“Top 5 myths about ISB application busted!”
Over the last decade of its existence, ISB has evolved into a brand in itself – a sense of honor, prestige and accomplishment for everyone who has graduated from the Indian School of Business!
Constantly ranked as one of the top B-schools in India and also as 20th in the Global Top MBA Rankings 2012, Financial times, London, ISB has a lot to offer to future leaders in terms of research based innovative curriculum, international outreach, global best practices and insight into emerging markets for career growth.
ISB has constantly maintained these esteemed rankings for five years consecutively. To add more feathers to its cap, ISB has also been revered with South-Asia’s first AACSB accredited school! Undoubtedly, MBA aspirants are not leaving any stone unturned to add ‘ISB’ into their CVs.
However, in this helter-skelter, several myths have cropped up over the last few years. Most of these grapevines are related to the application process of ISB. We are looking at the top 5 myths!
Myth 1: You are bound to get rejected with a sub-700 score!
GMAT is important. Very important! This is because to select among thousands of applicants, this concrete 3 digit number is of great help to B-schools world over. GMAT provides a good indication of a student’s logical application in a business context that will make him an effective future leader.
But do not forget that GMAT is just a part of the selection process and not the selection process itself. Any reputed B-School, including ISB looks for a complete package to fit in their MBA program and not just one aspect in isolation.
There is a reason why ISB accepts applications with a lower GMAT score. Else they could have just put up on the website “Applicants with only a GMAT score higher than 700 need apply”. According to the official ISB statistics around 25% of the entering class had a sub-700 score. Infact over the last few years we have had several of our own students get through with a sub-700 score getting!
This myth is perhaps propagated by those who got rejected because the other factors such as weak essays, poor interview are intangibles that no one wants to admit. I have not heard an applicant say “I got dinged because my post-MBA goals were perhaps a bit fuzzy”. While GMAT gives a more solid reason – “I got dinged because I had a 690” makes the excuse a bit more palatable.
Read on for a detailed Analysis on the ideal GMAT score range for ISB.
Myth 2: You shouldn’t apply with more than 10 years of work-experience!
Till date, ISB has created over 4000 global leaders who are spread over 25 countries! Though the average experience in the class is still a “young” with 3-6 years experience being the median on the curve, more and more mid-career professionals are seeking an ISB PGP to catapult their careers to the next level.
ISB PGP admissions committee understands the unique background such senior people bring in, and works hard with the industry to ensure that they are rewarded with a position that is commensurate with their talents and experience. While the usual career progression is into a managerial position (“LEAD”), the students with more than 8-10 years of experience are provided with opportunities to interview for senior management roles such as Country Head (“LEAP”).
However, a caveat over here is that ISB (or any Bschool in the world) cannot guarantee placements. This is a known fact that there are fewer positions at such a level and that an MBA is not a “placement agency”. It is important that applicants with rich experience bring with them their own network, as well as understanding of their domain. ISB placement committee can ensure that the required groundwork is done to help facilitate the process.
Myth 3: The details in the application form are not that important!
ISB has an online application form that contains details regarding the applicant’s profile such as educational details, work-experience details, essays, video, and recommendations. Along with this there are also some details, which many applicants consider “minor”, such as extra-curricular, awards, languages known etc.
However the admissions committee gets to review a file which contains these very details before it even gets to see your essays. Thus, these details on the application form become the initial point of contact between you and ISB. First impression may not be the last one, but first impression does take you to the next level, that is the interview!
Thus, every aspirant should ensure that he/she reserves enough time to fill out all the details in the application form completely so that it comes across convincing, interesting and unique. It is very easy to create a login to see what are the details required. Do not leave out filling the form to the last date of application, when you will be hurried and might end up making mistakes.
Myth 4: Showing NGO/not-for-profit work is a must on your application!
ISB is in search for people who bring varied perspective into the classroom discussions. That is why you will come across many interesting yet so-called “unconventional” profiles at ISB of people who have been involvement in the society around us through various NGOs.
However, it is a myth that ISB wants everyone who applies to have contributed to a social cause. Though, it is true that such an association does impact the applications in a positive way, it should only be added if the applicant has genuinely done so. Association with an NGO just for the sake of embellishing your application will actually reduce your chances of an admission! Integrity is a quality that is highly regarded in B-schools these days.
Culturally Indians tend to use their times constructively in many other different ways – not just in social causes. So, candidates should look at creative ways of revealing their managerial or leadership qualities such as playing a sport, or being a part of rock-band!
Myth 5: The essays are the crucial aspects, the interviews can be handled!
Applicants place a lot of emphasis on the application essays – a correct thing to do because it is through essays that B-Schools will actually get to know about who you are as a person, and what you bring to the table.
However, it is also equally important that you focus on the interview process, through which the admissions committee tries to see if the person behind the essays is interesting in real-life. Those 20-40 minutes are crucial because it is an opportunity for you to bring out real-life examples to convey your strengths and managerial traits.
There is more to you than an application form and the ISB interview panel wants to see that. Don’t deny them the opportunity by trying to play safe and telling them what you think they want to hear. Or still worse talking something tangential to what you have mentioned in your application essays.
Here is what we suggest to applicants facing an MBA interview – treat it like a conversation, not a quiz. The panel wants to know you better, and the only person who can help them is you. Just ensure you are able to articulate the main questions well – why you want to do an MBA, why specifically ISB, why is now the right time in your career, and why should they select you. The rest of the questions should be about what *you* have done in *your* life – something you should definitely not worry about!
I hope this article was useful in busting a few myths for you. Did you believe in any of them before you started reading? Is there any other myth you would like us to answer? Do let us know.
For those planning to apply to ISB this year , please write to email@example.com or call us @ 9008177800.