ISB has opened its admissions for full-time MBA program for the class beginning in 2017. While the First round Application deadline is on October 15, 2016, the Second Round ends on January 15, 2017.
We are analyzing below how these essays have to be written to create maximum impact on the admissions committee.
ISB essay 1
If we were to admit just one more candidate to the Postgraduate Programme (PGP) at the ISB, why should it be you? (400 words max)
In this essay, you have to explain why and how you are different from the applicant pool and how you can add unique value to the class as also have dynamic career goals.
ISB, like any other b-school does not like bookish learners, who basically love to follow the herd. They prefer trendsetters who hold the potential to create disruptions in different fields and are driven by an innovative passion to excel. So revolve around past and present where you had a transformational impact through your work, ideas and implementation skills. That would prove you are unique and you have the utmost drive for innovation.
Your ability to add value to the class is another very crucial aspect ISB weighs. So, describe all the ways you can do that. Mind it – don’t say anything which is generic that you were a football player or a guitarist. Talk about things which are very unusual, they add to people’s wisdom. This is where you can add value.
ISB Essay 2
Describe your your short and long term career plans. How does the PGP fit in with those? (300 words max)
You have to explain your short term and long term goals and why they are so. The strategic importance of these goals also need to discussed, as to how progressing your career in the said direction can help you achieve excellence.
Here don’t simply talk of a job role or a job position you would be looking for. Try to show how you can bring about disruptions through the path you aspire to follow. That would imply you are a person of dynamic nature and that you are not simply pursuing MBA for the degree as also you are not a job seeker.
Stress on the importance of learning in MBA and how that knowledge would propel you further ahead. Of course, don’t forget to mention how ISB would add value to your learning in addition to the management education.
ISB Essay 3 ( optional)
Please use this space to provide any other information not covered elsewhere in the application that could significantly impact your candidature at ISB. Note: It is not necessary for you to write this essay. Please use this space only if there is something really significant that you would like us to know.
(200 words max)
You must write the optional essay – most applicants make the mistake of not attempting it, thinking it to be non-compulsory.
Since we have limited opportunity about the broadness inside you in two other essays, this gives an additional opportunity to talk those areas which could not talk about but adds a lot of value to your personal and professional profile.
For re-applicants, they need to write an additional essay as to how they have analyzed their profile in the past one year and how they have improved upon their short-comings. Here, be candid about your weaknesses – rather accepting one’s limitations shows his progressive thinking – that the candidate can work upon certain areas and really move ahead with conviction and courage. Such an attitude sends a positive message to the Adcom.
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One of the hardest things for many MBA applicants to deal with when it comes to writing their business school essays is to stay under the word limit. You would think crafting a clear, well-written, and compelling essay that fully addressed the prompt is hard enough, but MBA programs make things a bit more difficult with often dauntingly tight word limits.
There are a few things that make staying under essay word limits so tough. First, most candidates are not used to explaining themselves in a limited amount of words. The MBA application is an exercise in saying a lot in a few words, meaning every word has to matter – extra pronouns, articles, and prepositions must be reduced to stay under the given word count. Focusing on being as concise and as direct as possible in your language is a major key to making the most of your word count. A good rule of thumb here is if the word doesn’t drive the essay forward and is not integral to the ultimate message you are trying to convey, then you should strongly consider removing it.
Second, many candidates will ignore one of the golden rules of MBA essay writing: answer the question! With so few words to write your essay, there is little room to answer extraneous questions or include content not directly referenced in the essay prompt. Providing extra, unnecessary information can also be seen by the admissions committee as the sign of a candidate who is repurposing essays from other schools, which is definitely a bad idea. Answering unasked questions will waste your words and reduce the focus of your narrative, so stick with what the prompt gives you.
Third, candidates often make the mistake of spending too much time trying to fit their essays into traditional writing templates with an introduction and conclusion. With so few words, it is often best to skip formalities and dive right into the content. In many instances, if the writing is strong enough, this approach eliminates the need for clunky introductions and conclusions that will most likely end up sounding forced and unnatural anyways.
Finally, don’t forget the outline! Creating an outline before writing really brings a focused edge to the essay writing process. Ensure that your outline fully addresses the essay prompt while still allowing enough real estate to communicate your narrative in a compelling way.
Don’t let tight essay word limits sap all of the life out of your essays; follow the tips above to ensure you are making the most out of this part of the application process.
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Dozie A. is a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for the Kellogg School of Managementat Northwestern University. His specialties include consulting, marketing, and low GPA/GMAT applicants. You can read more of his articles here.