Tag: ISB Hyderabad

[2022] Real ISB Interview Questions- November 2022

[2022] Real ISB Interview Questions- November 2022

Find 10+ interview excerpts of real ISB Interviews in October 2022 here- https://kumaranshul.com/2022/10/08/2022-real-isb-interview-questions/

Profile of the Candidate

Academic : B. Tech (Non IIT/NIT/BITS)

Professional Experience : 3 years of Work Ex in Tech Consulting

Post MBA Goal : Management Consulting

Date of Interview : 5th November 2022

Mode : Online

Questions asked :

Interviewer 1 – Let’s jump directly to your introduction and what are you looking out of the 1 year
PGP at ISB?
Interviewer 2 – Sorry to cut you here, since you already have a tier-1 MBA degree, why are you
looking for another MBA so soon and change your specialization? (Interviewer thought that I have
completed, or I am in the final year of MBA)
Interviewer 1 – How will JumpStartIndia help you in achieving your consulting goals?
Interviewer 1 – I would like to know about your experience so far at SPJIMR? How has the learning
been?
Interviewer 1 – Can you talk about the work and the projects that you have worked on while working
with Deloitte?
Interviewer 1 – Can you talk more about the second project that you mentioned?
Interviewer 1 – Since your second project catered to niche population, what implementations did
you do to make it more accessible?
Interviewer 3 – Since you have talked about working with US-Healthcare, what is your thought on
healthcare as a service? (I talked about Telehealth, Virtual care and stopped there stating that is all I
knew)
Interviewer 3 – You have mentioned that you had a 50 point increment in your GMAT score? What
was your initial and final score? How did you prepare for it?
Interviewer 3 – Do you know how are consulting shortlists decided at ISB? How do you plan to get a
shortlist?
Interviewer 2 – I would like to know more about the ECs and committee work that you are doing at
SPJIMR? Were you elected, selected, how many layers of interviews you had for selection?
Interviewer 2 – Have you ever worked as a team? How important are team building and team
dynamics? ISB will have study groups, how do you plan to participate in that?
Interviewer 1 – What was your role in the team during Deloitte? How big was the team?
Interviewer 3 – Consulting revolves around a lot of Hypothesis testing. What if you join ISB and after
6 months realise that ISB is not for you? Will you be again making a move out?
Interviewer 3 – What if consulting doesn’t happen at ISB? What will be your plan B?
Interviewer 2 – That’s all plan from our side. Do you have any questions for us?


Profile of the Candidate

Academic : BTech (no IIT, NIT. BITS)

Professional Experience : 2+ years of Work Ex in Analytics

Post MBA Goal : Analytics Consulting

Date of Interview : 6th November 2022

Location : Kolkata

Questions Asked:

1) Tell us something about yourself
2) Reason for each job switch and which role you liked the best
3) Short Term& Long term goals
4) views on moonlighting
5) impact and day to day work at present company (detailed description)
6) How did you tackle bad managers?
7)Since you’re into tech and analytics why not go into product management?
8) Any questions for us?


Profile of Candidate

Academic : BTech (non IIT/NIT/BITS)

Professional Experience : 5+ years of Work Ex as Developer in Aerospace Industry

Post MBA Goal : Product Management

Date of Interview : 5th November 2022

Location : Hyderabad

Questions asked:

  1. what was the innovation idea you worked on and couple of following questions on the same in terms of technical.
  2. what were your learnings when you worked on this idea.
  3. Tell us about your company
  4. you have taken team lead responsibility from quite early stages of career, what were your challenges?
  5. how did you resolve any conflicts in your team
  6. what were your responsibilities as scrum master.
  7. Did you mould yourself when working in different projects and different people
  8. why PGP at ISB
  9. How will you contribute to the SIG group that you mentioned in your essay
  10. Why product management?
  11. what do you think as good leader should have? (As I have already mentioned in long term goal)
  12. Did you learn Kuchipudi dance?
  13. Any questions for us.

Profile of Candidate

Academic : BDS

Professional Work Experience : 5+ years of Work ex as a Dentist

Post MBA Goal : Healthcare Management

Date of Interview : 6th November 2022

Location : Kolkata

Questions asked :

1 – Tell me something else apart from your SOP.
2 – Why you chose Dentistry?
3 – Why Mba?
4 – what are your short term goals?
5 – What about long term goal?
4 – Why ISB?
5 – Why not pursuing other healthcare management courses?
6 – How will you pay back the fees of college?
7 – What if not got placement from college?
8 – How will you manage the family, clinic etc
9 – Elaborate long term goal and discussed on that.


Want to read my own interview experience at ISB in 2016. Here you go-https://kumaranshul.com/2016/08/28/indian-school-of-business-interview-experience/

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[2022] Real ISB Interview Questions- October 2022

[2022] Real ISB Interview Questions- October 2022

Profile of the Candidate

Academics- B.Tech (non IIT/NIT/BITS), M.Tech (IIT Bombay)

Work experience- 5+ work experience in an E-Commerce MNC as a Software Developer

Post MBA Goals- Product Management

Date of the Interview- 8th October 2022

Location- Mumbai

Mode- Offline (In Person)

Questions asked

  1. Any recent projects that you have taken up in Product Management? Detailed follow up on the same
  2. Domain/Company deep dive questions- How do you think X (the company where the candidate works) can do better, especially in the Indian market. What are the possible challenges.
  3. Product Management is a very competitive choice of job during ISB Placement. What makes you unique as a future Product Manager?
  4. You want to take a POR (Position of Responsibility) at a club at ISB. Pitch yourself for the President of BTC (Business Technology Club) at ISB
  5. Extracurricular Project questions- Deep Dive, why was it successful, why do you think people perceive it well, how did it start, how did you get involve in the project, what exactly was your contribution
  6. What projects did you do as a Teaching Assistant during your M.Tech
  7. Hobbies (Chess)- What is your favorite opening in Chess. What have you learnt?
  8. Do you have any questions for us?

——————————————————————————————————————–

Profile of the Candidate

Academics- B.Tech (non-IIT/NIT/BITS)

Work Experience- 2+ years in Analytics Consulting, Fintech Startup and Fintech MNC

Post MBA Goals- Product Management in FinTech Industry

Date of the Interview- 8th October 2022

Location- Mumbai

Mode- Offline (in person)

Questions asked:

  1. What did you learn at the Analytics Consulting Firm? What all projects did you do?
  2. Why did you change your domain from Analytics Consulting to Fintech?
  3. Discussion on Long Term and Short Term Goals
  4. What exactly do you want to do in the long term?
  5. Why ISB?
  6. Being a reapplicant how is your application different this year? What went wrong last year according to you?
  7. Why not continue your current job and get into Product Management instead of pursuing an MBA?
  8. Explain a recent project that you have done at your current job
  9. Hobbies- (Cricket)- Who is your favorite cricketer? Why? (Reading)- Why do you like these 2 authors that you have mentioned? Which books by them do you like? Why?
  10. Do you have any questions for us

Profile of the Candidate

Academics- B. Tech in Electronics & Communication (non IIT/NIT/BITS)

Work Experience- Inspector at Central Board Of Indirect Taxes And Customs, Govt of India, 7+ years of Work Ex

Post MBA Goals- General Management

Date of Interview- 8th October 2022

Location- Mumbai

Mode- Offline (In person)

Questions asked

  1. Tell us anything about yourself- Anything you want to share
  2. Describe in detail about your 8 postings in the Customs Department
  3. Which posting has been your favorite? What did you love about it
  4. Describe one particular incident/example during your posting
  5. What is the most interesting assignment that you took during your favorite posting
  6. You seem to be really enjoying your job. Why do you want to transition?
  7. Is it because you think importance of taxes is fading away?
  8. Why don’t you try for a job in private sector without an MBA?
  9. Why ISB?
  10. Tell us Why ISB without using any catchy phrases
  11. Why General Management? Which companies are you targeting?
  12. You have to start General Management with some vertical. Which vertical would you want to start with?
  13. How will your work ex and skills be relevant in General Management?
  14. What is this Road Safety competition that you have mentioned in the application. Tell us more
  15. What is the safe way to drive on Indian roads?
  16. You are a proponent of Safe Driving and you also like F1 racing. How does that add up?
  17. Why are so many accidents happening every year in F1 races?
  18. More technical questions on F1 (which was mentioned in Hobbies in Essay)
  19. Which is your favorite F1 team? Are you happy with the performance?
  20. Is there a F1 race today? Which circuit? Is the race over? What is the result? Are you surprised with the result? Who came 2nd and 3rd in today’s race
  21. Anything in your profile you wanted us to ask you?
  22. Tell us anything interesting you want to share
  23. Before getting here, how confident were you about your selection at ISB?
  24. What is your Plan-B if ISB doesn’t happen?
  25. Do you have any questions for us?

Academics- B.Tech (non IIT/NIT/BITS)

Work Ex- 5+Years of Work experience in Deloitte, KPMG in Tech Consulting

Post MBA Goals- Product Management

Date of Interview- 9th October 2022

Location- Hyderbad

Mode of Interview- Offline (in person)

Question Asked

  • Tell me about your work?
  • What have you done in KPMG on HCM and Security?
  • Toughest in work and how did you come out of it?
  • What is your happiest moment ?
  • Working with multiple stake holders?
  • Why have you chosen PM and how it is aligning with your experience?
  • What do you want to improve on any Google products?
  • Take any day-to-day App that you use and what will be that you want to implement?
  • How did you manage your team of 3 on ABC project?
  • What is your expectation from ISB?
  • What are your future plans ?

Academics : B. Tech (non IIT/NIT/BITS)

Work Ex- 4+ Work Experience in Healthcare Analytics Consulting (MNC+ Startup)

Post MBA Goals- Strategy Consulting + Entrepreneurship

Date of Interview- 15th October 2022

Location- Delhi

Mode of Interview- Offline (in person)

Questions Asked

  • What will be your specific learning path at ISB. What all courses will you take? What all activities will you do?
  • Can you tell us about a recent project that you have managed? Wasn’t the solution very obvious to the client? Why did they come to you?
  • You’re already doing some aspects of Consulting. Why do you want to do an MBA?
  • You mentioned you want to conduct ISB Masterchef. How does that fit into your story? What learnings would you draw from it?
  • You’re a reapplicant. What went wrong last time?
  • How were you able to narrow down to this point (the reason of reject last year)? What did you do after narrowing down to rectify the errors made during last year’s application?
  • What learnings have you drawn from your cooking hobby and love for food?
  • What learnings have you drawn from your professional life?
  • Why MBA? Why from ISB?
  • Since you are leading a team now, how would you describe your leadership style?
  • How do you manage a conflict within your team?
  • Do you think MBA is a good financial decision for you?

Profile of the Candidate

Academics : B. Tech (non IIT/NIT/BITS Pilani)

Work Ex :- 2+ years of Work Ex in an MNC Bank as a Developer

Post-MBA Goals : Product Management

Date of Interview- 16th October 2022

Location- Delhi

Mode of Interview- Offline (In Person)

Question asked

  1. Tell me about your Job Roles and Responsibilities.
  2. How has the Transition been between initial days of working/ training to shifting to a Project
  3. Product Management – You could have taken an online course and achieved this, Then why this?
  4. What do you identify as your Strengths and Weaknesses
  5. If given the Opportunity, what would you choose OSC or SLC and why?
  6. What have you done unique in your Job Role/ Project
  7. How do you identify yourself to be a Unique candidate as compared to others when it comes for GSB?
  8. Since you have a diverse profile in terms of Co-Curricular Activities, doesn’t it give an impression that you are into everything and not focused into one?
  9. Talk me through various initiatives you have taken in your College / Work life if any?
  10. What makes you a good leader?
  11. Who is your role Model in Cricket?
  12. What have you learnt from your role model and how have you inculcated those values in your life?
  13. Tell me about the hardest thing you have overcome in life?
  14. If you are not selected in a Leadership Role, how will you then go about it?
  15. Do you want to be a MS Dhoni of SLC or Ravindra Jadeja of OSC?
  16. Do you have any questions for us?

Profile of the Candidate

Academics : B. Tech (non-IIT/NIT/BITS)

Work Ex- 2+ years of Work Experience in Tech Mahindra and Cognizant as Programming Analyst

Post MBA Goals : Public Policy Consulting

Date of Interview : 23rd October 2022

Location : Hyderabad

Mode : Offline (In-person)

Questions asked :

1.Tell me something about yourself?

2.Tell us something about your work?

3.What impact your making with Professional experience in your day job?

4.why not UPSC? why did you give up so early?

5.Coming from a family with majority from govt sector why you want to move to corporate career?

6.your conversation with ISB alums who are working as Public policy consultant what learnings from ISB helped them to become a better public policy Consultants?

7.Tell us about few electives which you discussed with Alums to get good wholesale knowledge on public policy consulting

8.Tell us something about the work you done with KEC INTERNATIONAL (internship)?

9.How ISB fits in the picture?

10.on which sectors in public policy consulting you want to work and why?

11.why you want to work for women & poverty?

12.If you want to make some impact in developing women from marginalised sector what about matriarchy society stil existing in north eastern India?

13. Tell us about few monument you visited in Guntur & their history

14.Tell us about one of the old monuments you visited and it’s history did it make impact & its history?

15. Are you aware of any projects in Telangana where public policy consultants are making Impact?

16. As you said Public Policy Consultants have social Thinking Differentiate it with corporate Thinking and name any example of projects where they was100% success according to Social Thinking

17. Beaureaucracy follows Top Down Approach ( as said by me) how do you make impact from bottom up approch?

18. Anganwadi people also get data from grassroot level and makes some impact woth their service help us understanding what else can be added to make the work more effective?

19. What else India need to change to gain equilibrium in Tribal parts and marginalized society?

20. Any questions for us?


Profile of the Candidate

Academics : B. Tech (NSIT)

Work Experience : 4+ years of work ex in Analytics Consulting, Real Estate and Management Consulting

Post MBA Goal : Management Consulting

Date of Interview : 29 Oct 2022

Location : Delhi

Mode : Offline (in Person)

Questions Asked


Please tell me about yourself


Multiple questions regarding my job switch from Company A to Company B and further to Company C

Reason for switching

Highlights of your role

Were these switches deliberate

Your role at EY is boring compared to real estate, is that so ?

Managerial options explored

Why ISB many times


Explain geopolitics within a minute


Since you worked in a motor racing club, any recent highlights from f1 racing ?


Just a basic inquiry about my journals


Why not foreign universities (this question was answered while answering why ISB)


Why not progress your career via jobs and EY (answered while “why ISB” question)


Why switch from real estate to EY


Profile of the Candidate

Academics : B.Arch + MBA from MICA

Work Ex – 5+ years as a Product Manager in Music Media Industry

Post MBA Goal : Marketing in Consumer Tech Industry

Date of Interview- 29th October

Location : Bangalore

Mode : Offline

Questions asked

What’s my exact role
How do I decide if a product is worth investing in
Any campaign that I’m proud of
How does your team work
Why the interest in consumer tech

what is an instance when things went wrong and how you handled it

how do you take decisions ?

learnings and challenges of leading a team

why ISB?


Profile of the Candidate

Academics : BBA

Work Experience – Less than 2 years in Finance and Advertising (EEO Applicant)

Post MBA Goal : Digital Marketing

Date of Interview- 29th October

Location – Bangalore

Mode- Offline

Questions asked

Q1.You’re from Christ? Do you know ritika ( she had interviewed in the morning, same batch of college, worked on the initiative)

Q2. You also tell about project 9 to 5

Q3. Simply tell why do you want to do an MBA

Q4. Why not IIM and Insead ?

Q5. Do you think only an MBA can make you successful?

Q6. Why ISB and what if ISB doesn’t happen this year for you? Why are you so keen on ISB, you can apply to IIMs ?

Q7. A brands campaign you like?

Q8. How have you managed to change people’s opinions in a meeting room ?

Q9. Are opinions valued in your organization? Do you think you being younger has impacted your opinions in your company in any way?

Q10. Tell more about a Google project!

Q 11. Have you spoken to any alums (was asked from all Panelists) and what was their feedback on ISB

Q12. Who is Mr. Sriram? (was mentioned in my essay) (is an alum and did take a workshop online)

Q13. Write down 3 words as to why should people do MBA ? (Don’t want your personal reasons as we know them)

Q14. Why not continue project 9 to 5 hustle and make it a revenue generating model?

Q15. Why not join your family business?

Q 16. Any questions for us?

Q17. Are you friends with your initiative co founder ? Did you apply together


Profile of the Candidate

Academic : B.Tech (BITS Pilani)

Work Ex : Less than 1 year work ex in Semiconductor Industry

Post MBA Goal : Product Management

Date of Interview : 29th October 2022

Location : Delhi

Questions asked

  1. Give a short introduction about yourself
  2. Can you tell us more about setting up a petrol pump.
  3. Why do you want to be a product manager?
  4. Can you give a specific example where you had some PM experience in your job?
  5. How will an MBA help you?
  6. What are the skills which will help you in becoming a product manager?
  7. Guesstimate: estimate the average litres of Coca Cola consumed in Delhi in a day
  8. Why ISB?
  9. What will you contribute to ISB?

Want to read my own interview experience at ISB in 2016. Here you go-https://kumaranshul.com/2016/08/28/indian-school-of-business-interview-experience/

[2022] How to write Essay 1 of ISB PGP Application

[2022] How to write Essay 1 of ISB PGP Application

ISB has opened up application for ISB PGP Class of 2024 and as expected, ISB has changed the Essay 1 topic. Historically ISB mostly changes the topic of Essay 1 every 2 years, while the Essay 2 (“Goals Essay”) topic remains the same.

The new ISB PGP Essay 1 topic is as follows :-

“Peer Learning is a major building block of PGP at ISB. Help us in understanding how will you be able to add value to the PGP Peer Group through your personal and professional qualities/capabilities”

The 51-week long ISB Program is not only a fast-track program but also one with an extremely diverse cohort and hence it comes as no surprise that ISB stresses a lot on peer learning. Moreover, every top B-school wants to know from its applicants that how can they contribute to the MBA program and with this essay ISB aims to gauge the same.

Before you go ahead with writing this essay, please take some time and do some self-reflection on your academic and professional qualities/capabilities/achievements- ideally make a list of everything that comes to your mind.

Testimonial from one of my mentees.

Next step

Within 400 words, you can talk about at-most 3 distinct qualities/capabilities/achievement of yours through which you will be able to contribute to peer learning at ISB. Here are the some of the qualities/capabilities bucket that you might want to consider :-

  1. Academic/Scholastic Edge
  2. Professional Expertise
  3. Entrepreneurial Experience
  4. Leadership (Team Management) Experience
  5. Diverse Extra-Curricular Achievements

1. Academic/Scholastic Edge

Choose this if you have,

a) Exceptional Quantitative skills
b) Exemplary Academic Record- college/school/district/university topper etc

c) Patent/Research Papers

d) Subject Matter Expertise- if you have deep and unique knowledge in a particular field

e) International /National level awards and scholarships

f) Significant Certifications

How to write about Academic/Scholastic Edge

Describe your achievements/capabilities in brief and then explain how will you be able to contribute to the competitive cohort by helping your peers excel in assignments, case study discussion, B-school competitions, Live Projects etc.

2. Professional Expertise

Choose this if you have

  1. Years of Experience in a particular industry/domain/functional area
  2. Series of professional achievements – quantifiable impact, promotions etc
  3. Exposure to wide variety of roles, cultures, geographies, domains etc
  4. Early stage startup experience

B-Schools also prefer professionally mature candidates and hence more than 10% of the batch at ISB is comprised of Senior Executives (having more than 8 years of Work Experience). If you have nuanced knowledge of a particular industry/function/domain because of many years of work experience, you can mention that you will be able to help your peers in building their industry knowledge, introducing your own perspective, and thought process during case study discussions because of your years of experience and will help your peers in every way possible leveraging your wealth of experience.

Applicants with tech background can mention that they will be able to help their non-tech peers to understand the nuances of Product Management and Tech Consulting- both of which are sought after jobs at ISB as well as help them in tech-oriented electives.

Likewise, people with specific industry experience (such as Healthcare, Real Estate, Public Policy etc) can mention that they can help their peers who are interested in getting Industry Specialization at ISB to get their foot on the door in a specific industry.

People who have worked in an early stage startup bring unique perspectives and ideas with them and they can also help their peers with their knowledge of building a product and/or acquiring customers for a new product.

Aman is PGP Candidate at ISB, Batch of 2023

3. Entrepreneurial Experience

Entrepreneurs constitute a small but significant part of ISB cohort because they bring with themselves a few unique skillsets that others don’t- fundraising, network with VCs and Angels, investor relations, building from 0 to 1, how to achieve PMF (Product Market Fit) etc.

If you have been an entrepreneur, you can mention how you can help your peers with these unique skillsets who want to build their own startup in the future. You can also mention that you would contribute to the EVC Club (Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club) at ISB.

4. Leadership/Team Management Experience

You should choose this if you have a team/people management experience- something which is highly valued in an MBA Application. Please note that such experience need not be strictly professional- if you have created an impact by leading a group of people even outside a professional setting (such as at an NGO), you can use this topic.

In the essay, convey your potential for making an impact, examples of your achievements as a leader and then eventually mention how can you help your peers at ISB. You can mention that you would take a POR (Position of Responsibility) at the ISB GSB (Graduate Student Body) or at one of the Professional or Social Clubs. You can also talk about any new initiatives that you want to take or a cause for which you want to take a stand for.

Abhidha is an ISB PGP Alum, Class of 2022

5. Diverse Extra-Curricular Achievements

If you have significant achievements outside the workplace (Sports, Arts, Social Work, Content Creation, Language Learning, Toastmasters, Event Management, Fitness etc), you can mention it in the essay. It can help you to fill the gaps in your profile if you do not have very strong achievements to show at your workplace. You can mention that with your rich experience in a particular activity, you bring a unique perspective, can help to organize similar activities for the Social Clubs at ISB (or even lead one of the social clubs) and enhance student involvement in the same.

6. Other Virtues/Capabilities/Qualities

Apart from the above-mentioned capabilities, there are many more virtues that you can mention (if you have strong experience/examples) :-

  1. Exceptional Communication/Interpersonal/Presentation skills- You can mention that through these you will be able to contribute to class presentations, B-School competitions, and similar team projects.
  2. Mentorship- You can mention this if you have mentored people in your professional/personal life. Accordingly, you can explain that you would be able to mentor your peers in specific knowledge areas (for ex, industry knowledge, domain deep-dive, functional know-how etc) if needed.

You can find many other virtues that I had listed in my blog for the past topic of Essay 1 of ISB. You can find them here- https://kumaranshul.com/2020/08/18/how-to-write-essay-1-of-isb-pgp-application/

Structure of the Essay

Once you have decided what all virtues/capabilities/achievements you want to include, you need to start writing the essay in a proper format. The following structure is recommended

Introductory Paragraph

Please summarize your entire professional experience in NOT MORE THAN 2 sentence. Here is an example,

“During my 9 years of working as a Supply Chain & tooling professional for a PSU, I have undertaken key technical assignments & procurement exercises, managed transition during policy & regimen changes (such as CST to GST, tender to GeM portal etc.) and developed a nuanced understanding of government machinery. I have lead cross-functional teams, systematically managed stakeholders (internal & external customers, vendors, agencies etc.) and initiated multiple epoch-making changes in existing practices”

2nd Paragraph- First Capability/Quality

Start with describing your capability with examples from and then end with how you will help your peers.

3rd Paragraph- Second Capability/Quality

4th Paragraph- Third Capability/Quality

Last Paragraph (Conclusion)

The conclusion should firmly conclude that once being a part of ISB PGP Cohort, you will contribute valuably to peer learning. For example,

“I am confident that my rich experience in_____ and/or my ability to _______ will add value to my cohort at ISB and I also hope to learn from my peers, and be a part of the process of personal and professional development”

Want to start your ISB Application with my help?

What to do after submitting ISB Application?

What to do after submitting ISB Application?

ISB Round 1 Deadline just got over on 12th September 2021 and now starts the tumultuous time of waiting for the shortlists! Though it’s quite natural to feel anxious/restless during this period, ideally it should be spent reflecting on everything that you have put down in your application and make yourself ready for the D-day.

I have been mentoring ISB Applicants to help them put their best foot forward with respect to Application writing and Interview preparation since last 5 years and I have realised that this time (between application submission and interview), if utilised well, can be a game changer for your final admit.

I am enlisting a few action items that you must partake in to ensure an optimal use of your time with respect to your readiness for the final interview :-

1. Get rid of all distracting thoughts.

Time and again I have noticed applicants wasting their time pondering on trivial things- most of which they can’t change:-

Is my GMAT/GRE score good enough?

ISB masks your GMAT/GRE score while evaluating your application. Weightage for the interview is added after your interview is over to make the final decision (Admit/No Admit/Waitlisted). Moreover, you can’t improve your GMAT/GRE score now, so thinking about it will do no good.

What if I get to face a stress interview?

Typically ISB interviews are not stressful and interviewers do not try to put you in a spot. It’s more of a conversation with the objective of knowing you better.

Have I correctly mentioned my short-term and long-term goals?

There is no right and wrong ways to answer the question that asks for short-term and long-term goals in your application. Moreover, there is no way you can change what you have written down once the application is submitted. All you need to do is to justify your goals and explain them (when prompted to) during the interview with confidence and conviction.

Please do not waste a moment by getting overwhelmed with these thoughts. Try to consciously repulse them and convince yourself that you will only use your time in things that you can change and won’t freak out for things you can’t. This is the first step to use this time wisely.

2. Collate and brush up on your Industry and Domain knowledge

You need to deep-dive into the industry ( such as IT, Oil & Gas, Ed-Tech, E-Commerce etc) and domain (such as Marketing, Finance, Software Development, Sales etc) where you work in currently and the industry and domain where you want to work in post-MBA (as mentioned in your 2nd essay). Some of the information that you should collate and brush up on are :-

A) Market size and Market cap of the industries

B) Competitive landscape of the industries

C) All the recent Press Releases by your current and target companies

D) Key trends affecting/driving the growth of the industries/domains

E) Effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the industry/domain

F) Your key learnings from working in a particular industry and domain

3. WHY-HOW-WHAT for each initiative/achievements mentioned in the application

You must have mentioned about initiatives taken at/outside of work and your major personal/professional/extra-curricular achievements in different parts of your application- in Essay 1, in Awards & Achievements section, in Job Achievements section etc. Make a list of all the initiatives and achievements and make yourself ready for the following questions (the questions aren’t exhaustive) for each initiative/achievements:

A) WHY :- Why did you take this initiative? What was your motivation behind starting something new/taking responsibility ? Why did you think your approach was the best?

Through questions like these, interviewers try to understand your thought process and your approach towards problem solving.

B) HOW :- What steps/methods did you take/use to take the initiative. What challenges did you face? Who were the key stakeholders you engaged with? What did you do differently from others?

C) WHAT :- What did you learn from the initiative/achievement/project? Given a chance again, how would you do it differently?

In a nutshell, you need to tear down into each significant initiative/project/achievement that you have mentioned in your ISB Application and be ready for all kind of cross questions around them

4. Case Questions Preparation

In all probability, case questions (where you will be given a business challenge scenario and would be asked what would you do or how would you approach the problem) will be related to your industry/domain. Search for ”Consulting Case Interview” on Youtube and you will find multiple videos to help on this. It’s even more important for applicants who have mentioned ”Management Consulting” as their post-MBA goal in their ISB Application

Likewise, Product Management aspirants should read about typical PM Interview questions available easily on the internet. Though these questions are aimed at someone preparing for a PM job interview, they will give you a fair idea of what is expected out of a Product Manager in his/her full time job

5. Practice to improve your Verbal Communication

During my mock interview sessions with ISB Applicants, I have come across many individuals who have been exemplary achievers in their academic and professional life, but are completely tongue-tied/anxious when it comes to speaking up in an interview setting. Most of the B-Schools consider good communication skills as a pre-requisite for an admit, so please do not take this lightly. Practice speaking in front of a mirror. If you think you are struggling on this front, hire a mentor/consultant who can help you with not only guessing the probable questions that you might get asked during your interview, but would analyse your communication skill and advise you to improve it accordingly.

If you want to get in touch with me to prepare well for your interview or to prepare a holistic application for Round 2 of ISB/IIMs (1 year MBA)/US & European B-Schools, please follow me and drop a message on Instagram

You can read the reviews/testimonials by my other mentees here

Some of my other articles that you might find useful are :-

  1. How to write Essay 1 of ISB PGP Application
  2. 10 Important Tips for ISB Application writing
  3. Most common myths about ISB
  4. Applying to ISB- Everything that you want to know 
  5. My GMAT Debrief (730 in 1st attempt) 
  6. Life at ISB
How to write Essay 1 of ISB PGP Application

How to write Essay 1 of ISB PGP Application

Indian School of Business (ISB) Round 1 Application is open and you need to submit your application by September 20, 2020.

Before you read on, I request you to do these 3 things (for your own good) :-

  1. Follow this blog so that you get an email whenever I post (no spamming otherwise)- BLACK colored FOLLOW button on right side of the screen (if you are reading on Laptop) and on the bottom of the screen (if you are reading on your mobile phone)
  2. Like my page on Facebook – so that you can attend all live sessions
  3. Follow me on Instagram– that’s where I reply to your queries immediately!

This year ISB has reduced the discomfiture that the applicants used to experience while writing the admission and has made its expectations loud & clear- The Admission Committee wants to know what leadership qualities you possess and expects you to enumerate some examples from your personal & professional life that corroborate the leadership quality that you have declared to possess.

 “Describe with examples the most important personal quality that you possess, which significantly enhances your prospects of being successful as a leader?”

According to the Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy and Governance,

“Positive leadership behavior is a set of actions, taken by individuals in a position of power and influence, to motivate and cultivate others through mechanisms of empowerment, engagement, and collaborative assignment to meaningful work”

Needless to say ‘Leadership’ is more of a sense of being and a collection of actionable qualities that you possess, rather than a single or a couple of traits.

The essay asks for ‘the most important personal quality’ and hence it is imperative you choose a quality of which you have multiple examples to elaborate. You must keep it in your mind that if shortlisted, your interview will revolve around the quality that you had mentioned in the essay and the examples that you had provided.

I am enumerating a few qualities, of which you can choose one and then elaborate it with enough examples. Please go through each of the points carefully and then ponder if you have significant examples from your personal life & professional career to choose a particular leadership quality :-

  1. Resilience

A popular Japanese proverb says- “Nana korobi, ya oki” which means “Fall down seven timesstand up eight.” Ever found life hurling multiple setbacks at you and you ended up rising against the wave every single time? Ever lost all hopes because of continuous headwinds but you ended up emerging victorious?  If you think you have done so a couple of times, then Resilience is the personal quality that you can mention. You can mention about a huge financial loss which you recovered from because of your smart (and hard work), personal loss which broke you on all fronts but you were still able to overcome the trauma or talk about a professional setback which you you didn’t allow to linger for long. Please note , you should choose Resilience as your quality not only if you have faced multiple setbacks, but also when you have overcome them successfully.

2. Empowerment 

A good leader empowers his/her colleagues, employees and subordinates. He/she is inclusive during decision making, induces participation from everyone in the team so that each team member gets a fair chance to exercise their expertise, skill and judgement and hence ends up fostering a work environment which is built on trust, team work and equal opportunities for professional growth.

Have you played an important role and have taken a keen interest in coaching, mentoring and advising your team members to help them grow professionally? Have you driven innovation and critical thinking in your team solely by helping everyone to put their best foot forward? Do you think you are trusted by your employees/colleagues/sub ordinates because you have helped them in achieving what they wanted to?

If answers to these questions are in affirmative, then Empowerment is the leadership trait that you should mention in the essay.

3. Taking Initiatives

A successful leader is proactive (rather than reactive), can sense the needs of the target customers, the changes in market dynamics and the steps he/she needs to take to empower his/her team much ahead of time. Successful leaders aren’t afraid to take calculated risks and don’t wait for others to tell them what to do and how to do. They are forward thinkers who plan for future, and at the end they take full ownership and responsibility of their actions, be the outcome a failure or a success.

Have you taken a well-informed risk at your workplace that has reaped dividends (financial or otherwise) for your organization? Were you a part of the founding team of a new society/club/organization that taught you multiple nuances of management & leadership? Have you dirtied your hands while undertaking a functionally pristine project? Have you successfully driven adoption of a completely new product among your customers?

If all the above-mentioned points rings a bell, please go ahead and use this trait in your essay.

4. Integrity

In simple words, Integrity can be defined as “Doing the right thing even when no one is watching”. 

Every large MNC (Multi-national company) has a very strict Legal & Compliance team which lays down the code of conduct & compliance and keeps a strict watch on the employees- the more high you are in the corporate ladder, the more strict will be your punishment if you are found guilty of violating any code of ethics & conduct.

Have you ever noticed something grossly unethical going on in your organization and have raised an alarm? Have you ever faced a situation where you were lured by an exciting offer/choice/chance to help you achieve what you wanted to, but you decided to avoid because those chances fell in the ‘grey/dark zone of ethics & compliance’ ?

Integrity, as a trait, is often associated with kindness, and having good intentions instead of selfish motives. A leader who demonstrates high levels of integrity is well-respected and trusted across the organization.

If you have examples that highlight integrity as your inherent trait, please use it in the essay.

5. Problem Solving

The Covid-19 pandemic has put unprecedented challenges in front of business leaders and they are expected to solve problems that they have never encountered before.  A successful leader is able to anticipate any obstacle, assess the challenge, find possible solutions for mitigation, assess those solutions in terms of their viability, and thereby select the best possible solution.

If you have responded successfully to changing market dynamics, if you have overcome major obstacles in the modus-operandi of your organization with the help of technology/data/effective communication/otherwise, if your manager often relies on you whenever he/she hits a roadblock, then you have a problem-solving mindset and you should mention this trait in your essay.

6. Empathy

Empathy is understanding others’ feelings, perspectives & opinions as if they are your own. More often than not, Empathy is declared as an extremely crucial leadership trait because to put it out simply- you can’t lead someone whom you don’t understand. An empathetic leader is well aware of the fact that listening intently to his team members/employees/subordinates is extremely vital to generate insights which help in achieving well-being of everyone. An empathetic leader often puts himself/herself in the shoes of his/her employees before taking any major decisions that might affect the employees. He/she is responsible for maintaining a healthy and non-toxic work culture and hence has the ability for the long-term success of the organization.

Have you been in any situation where you strove hard to be inclusive and fair to most of your team mates/subordinates? Have you taken initiatives to ensure that your colleagues/subordinates/reportees feel safe, secure in the organization and their justifiable needs are taken care of ? Have you gone beyond your call of duty to help others? If your answer is in affirmative, you must write about Empathy as your leadership trait in the essay.

7. Passion

A passionate leader believes in the core values, mission & vision of the company, inspire & drive others to believe in the mission & vision and is madly involved in ‘making a difference’. The more enthroned you are in pushing your organization towards success, the more passionate you are considered to be. Passionate leaders create zest & enthusiasm in the team, and are vocal and expressive about what the organization aims to achieve.

If you have believed strongly for a cause (social, financial or otherwise) and have taken initiative/responsibility/accountability to address it, you come in the category of ‘passionate leaders’. If you always wanted to achieve something and have put considerable amount of time & efforts behind it, then also you can put ‘Passion’ as your personal trait in the essay.

8. Network & Influence

Do you think you have made a name for yourself as a ‘Thought Leader’ in a particular domain? Do you think your opinion on a particular stream/domain/industry is valued & acknowledged by a large number of people? Do you regularly produce & disseminate content related to your area of expertise and hence are considered ‘well known’ personality. Have you developed a rich network over the years and consider yourself as someone ‘who can get the work done’ just with the help of your network? If the answer is yes, you can consider writing about it in the essay.

I will write more blogposts on Essay 2, filling non-essay part of application and also on tips to crack the interview. To get notified about my future posts,

  1. Follow this blog so that you get an email whenever I post (no spamming otherwise)- BLACK colored FOLLOW button on right side of the screen (if you are reading on Laptop) and on the bottom of the screen (if you are reading on your mobile phone)
  2. Like my page on Facebook – so that you can attend all live sessions
  3. Follow me on Instagram– that’s where I reply to your queries immediately!

I have helped more than 200 applicants realize their dream of getting a Top B-School. Find their reviews here- https://www.facebook.com/DrKumarAnshul06/reviews/

Some of my other blogs that you will like are as follows :-

  1. 10 Important Tips for ISB Application writing
  2. Most common myths about ISB
  3. Applying to ISB- Everything that you want to know 
  4. My GMAT Debrief (730 in 1st attempt) 
  5. Life at ISB

 

 

 

10 Important Tips for ISB Application Writing

10 Important Tips for ISB Application Writing

Hello ISB Aspirant. This year’s both Round 1 & Round 2 deadlines are scheduled 1 month earlier than the norm. Assuming you are applying for Round 1 (September 15th), you just have 45 days left to submit the application. It becomes extremely necessary to put your best foot forward for ISB Application at this stage because whatever you put down in your application will be discussed and questioned during the interview. Hence the message is loud & clear- a well-written application is half the work done!

When you actually sit down to write the application, you realize that it is not as easy as it looks- there is a character limit for everything which makes it extremely necessary to know how to pitch perfect your sentences, what to leave and what to include and most importantly how to articulate your thoughts into well-meaning sentences.

There are a few things that you must take care while drafting your application and I have listed them down in the following bullet points :-

  1. Avoid repetition :- There are multiple sections in the application portal- Job Responsibilities, Achievements at Jobs, Awards & Achievements (5 points), Extra Curricular Activities ( 5 points), Hobbies (3 points) and so on. Apart from these, there are essays which ofcourse are the most pivotal part of the entire application. It might happen that while penning down, you include the same achievement under “Achievements at job” as well as “Awards & Achievements” (which is for your entire academic & professional life. It might also happen that you repeat the same instance for extra-curricular & hobbies. Doing so can give an indication to the one from Adcom (who is reading your essays) that either you haven’t given enough time and attention to the application or you aren’t able to highlight different instances from your academic & professional life under these different sections of the application portal. It’s best if you avoid this and include unique instances/initiatives/awards/achievements/hobbies/extra-curriculars under each section.
  2. Don’t ignore ‘non-essay’ part of the application :- Most often applicants give their best to put down the best essays, but ignore the other parts of the application- Job Responsibilities, Achievements at Jobs, Awards & Achievements, Extra Curricular Activities and Hobbies. You never know in which direction your interview will go to and hence ignoring any of these sections can prove detrimental. For example, in my own case, once the discussion on my essays got over, around 20 minutes were spent discussing each point that I had mentioned under Job Responsibilities.
  3.  Ask for help :- Please keep in mind that there are thousands of applicants eyeing that coveted seat at ISB and it does no harm to ask help from people who have gone through the process in the past, so that you can give your best. Find out ISB alumni from your office and ask if they can review your application. You can also try to connect to alumni on Linkedin.  You can also get in touch with me on Instagram ,us too if you want to- I will try my best to resolve your query.
  4. Always cross question yourself :– While you are writing the essays, please ask yourself if you can handle any kind of cross-questions for each particular sentence that you have written. Let’s say you mentioned an initiative that you took at your workplace. What motivated you to take that initiative? What did you do differently than others? What was the end result of that initiative? How did it benefit your company in the short or long run? Give a chance again, what would you have done different for a better outcome?- Be ready with answers to all these questions because there are high chances that you will face these in the interview.
  5. Avoid unnecessary advices & gimmicks :- There is a plethora of admission consultancies mushrooming these days and its normal to feel clueless about whom to consult and whom to not. Please do proper background check before signing up with any consultancy- What are the credentials of the mentors who will help you in application & interviews? Are these mentors ISB Alumnus/Admits themselves? How many applicants have made it through ISB with the help of the consultancy? What is the success rate? Take an informed decision before investing your money anywhere
  6. Don’t try to randomly copy someone’s else essays– Please keep it in mind that ISB is looking for diversity and uniqueness and by copying someone’s else essays (even if he/she has made it through ISB) can only do more harm than good. Find out your own unique story and highlight it in the best way possible. If you can’t, read Point no 3 again.
  7. Don’t use flowery language :- Trying to accessorize your essays with random poetic phrases or artistry prose isn’t always a good idea. Be succinct, profound and stick to the point.
  8. Don’t wait till the last moment:- “Right now I am preparing for GMAT. I will see to the application, once I get free from GMAT”– This is one of the most common comment that I get from applicants every year and no matter how much I try to deter people away from it, they still indulge in the practice. Please note that writing an ill-prepared application is as good as not applying at all. Please start writing rough drafts of application as soon as possible. Don’t leave it for the last 5 or 10 days.
  9. Don’t ignore Letter of Recommendation (it takes time to convince your boss or to even find someone who will write the LOR for you) :- Please decide before handedly who do you want to choose to write the LOR- your current manager/your ex-manager/your colleague/your mentor etc. Communicate to that person regarding your decision to apply to ISB so that he/she is well prepared when the time comes. Be in constant touch with the concerned person till it is made sure that the LOR has been submitted well within the deadline
  10. Revise, revise and revise :- Last but not the least, make sure to get the entire application read by atleast two people before you submit- It would be foolish to submit an application that is strong in substance but has typos!

I hope this article written at this wee hour of night will add some value to your application. Some other articles that you might find useful are :-

  1. Most common myths about ISB
  2. Applying to ISB- Everything that you want to know 
  3. My GMAT Debrief (730 in 1st attempt)

I have helped more than 200 aspirants fulfill their ‘ISB Dream’ (Read reviews of many candidates who have attended my sessions here).

Feel free to message me on Instagram if you have any queries.

I will KEEP writing many posts to help aspirants. Make sure you FOLLOW the blog (FOLLOW button is on the right side of the screen if reading on laptop/desktop) or at the bottom of the screen if reading on mobile) so that you get an email whenever I post.

Placements at ISB- My Story Part 2

Placements at ISB- My Story Part 2

This is a continuation of my previous post- Placements at ISB- My Story Part 1

So I had decimated my number of shortlists from 8 to 2 for the 1st day of Day 1, i.e. 23rd November 2017. Since Directi has shortlisted almost everyone who had applied, my only hope was Danaher.

After getting the shortlist at 2.45 am, I started messaging all my close Dentist friends to have an idea about Kavo Kerr (the Danaher company I was going to interview for) as a brand. I started getting their replies when they woke up at around 8 AM. I also talked to an alum over the phone who had got through Danaher last year. Hence, by the time I sat for interview I had a decent idea about Kavo Kerr’s product, sales, distribution and marketing strategies.

I had woken up in the morning with a sore throat, runny nose and slight fever. I made coffee and somehow burned my tongue while sipping it. So, I was all set for the interview with 100+ degree fever, runny nose, sore throat and a burned tongue. I reached the interview venue (Executive Housing) at the designated time (10.30 am) and as expected the interview was running late. Finally I went in at 12.30 PM. Expecting a technical interview (since I already had had a behavioral interview last night), I was a bit surprised when this interview went on behavioral line as well. After a short conversation of 15-20 min, they asked me to leave and said they will inform me if I am selected for the next round.

I left for the interview venue of Directi. I had already missed my designated slot and they asked me to wait. After waiting for around half an hour, they told me that my interview will be taken in the evening. I left the venue to grab a bite as it was already 1 PM. I bumped into a friend from Mohali and we ordered a sandwich. As soon as we sat together to eat, I got a call from Danaher saying I should report ‘immediately’.

I ran again like a ninja, panting & sweating like crazy, only to be asked to ‘wait’. I kept waiting for another hour and they called me in.

I was again facing the same two HR Leaders (who took the pre-process interview) and they again started with a couple of behavioral questions.

What is you other option apart from Danaher? Will you accept the offer if we give it to you now? How much salary are you expecting? Are you just saying that salary isn’t your major criteria to impress us?

I guess I answered all these questions to their satisfaction, but I was again asked to wait. After a while, I was called and they said they will put me on call with some business leaders from Singapore. I said, “OK” and again a period of waiting ensued. I was called in after another 30-35 minutes and they said “We would like you to talk to another business leader who is taking interview in the next room. Please wait till he is done”

I finally got to meet the concerned person after another half hour. The interaction  started with a lot of WHYs- Why Dentistry? Why Digital Marketing? Why Dentistry if you wanted to do Digital Marketing? Why MBA and why ISB? How can you help Kavo Kerr (the dental product company under Danaher) brand to grow?

The questions also spanned across the details of my ELP. Then the interviewer said, “I understand you have taken many initiatives in Oliveboard (the startup where I worked prior to ISB) but Danaher would be different. You need to keep everyone in loop before taking any major decision. You just can’t do things at your whim. In next 5 minutes, I tried my best to explain that how I have also undertaken many projects in a ‘planned & systematic way’. “Fantastic” was the word with which he ended the interview.

I was called in immediately after 2 minutes and they said the business leader at the Singapore office has asked them to take the final call and hence I don’t need to talk to him directly.  After 5 minutes, I was called in for the salary negotiation & final offer. Once I signed the offer letter, I was led to another room to meet other business leaders.

I went back to my room, slept for a while and then left for Directi interview (even when I had no intention of joining them) because according to the rule, we needed to attend all the scheduled interviews for the day even after signing an offer.

It’s weird that I am writing this post just the night before my Day 1 at Danaher. With a bit of cold feet (as it will be first stint at Corporate Life), I am excited, humbled as well as grateful to ISB. I will keep you all updated with my future experiences.

Attraversiamo!

Life at ISB in 51 Facebook Updates

Life at ISB in 51 Facebook Updates

Let’s connect on Instagram to chat about ISB and beyond!

My mind was a mumbo-jumbo of self-deprecating thoughts while entering the gates of this school. I had dreamed of it right since 2013, my 3rd year of Dental School when I actually decided to pursue an MBA post graduation. From letting go of all the revelry of my internship year (called as the ‘honeymoon’ period of Dentistry) to registering my startup, and finally dumping clinical dentistry for Digital Marketing as my choice of job immediately after graduating, most of my career steps were aimed to strengthen my candidature for ISB. I was grateful enough to soon bag a seat through the EEO (Early Entry Option), but when the time finally arrived (after one year of waiting) to join, I got cold feet. I had absolutely no clue if the big risk that I had taken was worth it or if I would be able to even survive the one year with my sanity at its place.

Now, when the time is almost ripe to leave this ‘temple of transformation’, all I have to say is that this place has completely changed me who I was, has changed my perspective of everything I had believed in, made me test the deep waters and then gave me enough strength to pull myself out of it!

The aim of this post is simple- to keep the memories of this remarkable and ‘status-quo-changing’ year in a quirky way, that is ‘just a bookmark’ away. All of the facebook posts here are mine and hence from my personal perspective (Duh!), but I am sure everyone who has experienced #LifeAtISB will be able to relate to 90% of them.

15 April

15th April 2017 was the day when we all entered ISB- the chaotic but well-planned registration process, lots of Hi-hellos with people whom we had met at those city meetups was followed by the welcome dinner. We all had a peaceful sleep in our beautifully done quad, before the hell broke loose. . .

22 April

From ‘hell’. I didn’t mean those outdoors of O-Week, but that Simulation Competition in LEAD, followed by the Math Bootcamp. I, who hadn’t seen numbers in ages, got a fair share of idea of what I had signed up for, how challenging the next year is going to be for me (I am sure, non-maths, non-commerce cohort of ISB will understand).

3 May

Who would have imagined that our 1st Group Assignment will be such a deadly one. While we broke our head overnight on launching the feasible brand of detergent in Brazil, we got to know our 1st ever study group more closely (for the better or worse). I remember meeting some drunk people on the bench near SV1 at 5 AM on my way back to my quad after submitting the assignment. They forced me to accompany them to the dam, where we had two pints of beer each. I returned at around 10 AM, only to bunk all the afternoon lectures- Life at ISB had begun!

6 May

Meanwhile life went on with SMMD in-class quizzes, FADM off-class quizzes, MGEC hard-copy homeworks and faffing our way to Marketing Management.

7 may

We were still getting used to the deadlines when I already had the live horror experience (sounds too exaggerated now, but things were different back then). I slept off in the mid of the assignment and had to pull off a ninja attack to submit it in time- 8 seconds early is still the best record of mine!

11 may

Describing #LifeAtISB would be incomplete without giving proper worth to the reptiles. I remember someone spotted a live scorpion in the commode (No Kidding!) in SV4. We realized snakes and the impending mid-term results were not the only stuff we were supposed to be afraid of, there were scorpions too.

21 May

I don’t remember what was this night about, except a couple of friends and alums had gathered in my room over scotch.

24 May

Well, you can ignore this one. There are a few stupidities only I am entitled to be involved with. . .

30 May

I still remember the relief after finishing that Marketing Management paper, full of essays & what not! Neither had I any clue what the big bad DMOP has in store for me, nor I knew that this would be the one of the best term breaks for a long long time (because the next term breaks were nothing but farce)

30 May 1

It was a weird feeling when I realized I had actually started liking the curriculum and the course, at a point when both were screwing me the most!

7 June

Term 2 started with my Birthday and as they say Birthdays at ISB are always special. With aching bums, broken slippers and mixture of cake and soda smashed on my face, I started the so-called ‘Hell Term’

8 June

I don’t know why I wrote this? End Term results weren’t out and Term 2 had hardly started. Looks like another post under the influence of holy spirits.

12 June

DMOP Quiz, never ending cases of Comp Strat, weekly submissions of GLEC Country Reports (I know more about the Chilean Economy than the Indian one, thank you GLEC), MarkStrat discussions stretching beyond 6 hours- still get goosebumps on thinking about those sleep-deprived days.

13 June

Meanwhile, number of people in the campus who threw a ‘Dentists are not Doctors’ on my face kept increasing. I don’t know if we the Dentists are Doctors or not, but it was always a gratifying feeling to provide consultation at those wee hours.

15 June

Term 2 also introduced us to ‘random’ lectures and sessions. There were lectures by alums, leadership talks by ‘more successful’ alums, peer-to-peer sessions by ‘more intelligent’ classmates and so on. While FOMO tightened its grip, I am sure we all eventually learnt what to attend, what to resist and what to attend for a few minutes before walking off.

20 June

The campus turned rainbow for the Pride Month with the LGBT flag flying high. Pictures on Facebook informed me about a colorful Pride March across the campus, which I missed because I was sleeping (no comments)

22 June

I take these words back. I couldn’t have been happier, and definitely not while doing RCTs.

5 July

‘The Kale’ arrived for the second part of Comp Strat and left the mortals of Sections EFGH bewildered, amused and mystified. Even apparently non-active users of Facebook were seen updating their status, expressing joys, jubilation and AHA moments over Professor Prashant Kale‘s lectures. Sadly, it ended too soon.

6 July

One of my major regrets at ISB would be that I still have no clue what the hell happened in the 2nd half of DMOP.

9 July

11:40 PM : Ran like a ninja from SV1 to LRC for taking the printout

11: 52 PM : Got the printout

11:57 PM : Submitted

I still remember Chile has a huge reserve of Copper and is the fastest growing economy of Latin America. Damn you GLEC!

20 July

Term 3 started with case competitions, ELPs and Live Projects. Live Projects were good, the ones which paid me and the manager took us out for drinks were better.

21 July

Well. . . . . .

4 August

Term 3 basically had no chill- Case competitions bombarded us faster than we expected and CFIN case assignments showed us the extreme ends of suffering (applicable for those who didn’t have CAs & CFAs in their study groups)

16 August

Loved the way how my 2 AM rant on CFIN was immediately supported by equally frustrating rants on MADM & OPMG. Phew!

18 August

I do agree that this sounds funny. But there was something in that first bidding along with the crazy cohort of Section G that got me excited enough (which is very often) to put up this status.

22 August

I never understood Operations clearly, till Professor Sarang Deo taught it in the Healthcare Context in Term 8.

7 September

How can we forget those belligerent combats during negotiations. Introduction to NEGA gave us a superficial realization that placements are near and very soon we will be on the table negotiating our own worth with someone who has no clue who we are.

17 September

ELP was the best learning experience at ISB. Designing the conjoint survey, getting the ‘difficult to understand’ survey filled with random strangers in Inorbit and GVK Malls, adhering to deadlines amidst everything that was happening in the campus, making sure that the client & our team were on the same page- I can’t put in words how effectual the entire experience was for me personally. If you are someone who is reading this prior to joining ISB- do take up ELP if you get a chance.

23 September

What a show ILS was! Take a bow Dawda & Team.

28 September

A special note for Section G- You guys have been amazing! And it’s not for the crazy time we have had together (infact I couldn’t attend even half the birthday gatherings & parties), but for the fact that ‘almost’ everyone exudes genuine warmth and everyone greets everyone with the kindest smile possible. #SectionGAlways , indeed.

14 October

Aaaand..came the resume making season. I wish I could honestly write what all went behind building  those resume points. But let’s not go there. . .

19 October

Amidst all the craziness and the imminent placement week, we celebrated Diwali. Some people chose to wear ethnic and got themselves clicked at the Rec Center (Facebook was spammed once again that day). While I just chose to glorify my clean room (which was actually cleaned by the house keeping), put some fairy lights to make it look Instagram-able, distributed sweets to all the security guards across campus who couldn’t celebrate and finally ended the day with Old Monk (sourced by someone from Bangalore) with a few close friends who made everyone feel awkward with inappropriate questions for Truth & Dare. It was a memorable night.

19 October 1`

You can ignore this one. . . .

7 November

Another week of an ‘overdose of submissions’. What made it worse was the fact that Placements were just 15 days away.

10 November

Term 5, when everyone chose such electives where they don’t have to study much so that placement preparation gets the full attention. Don’t ask me why I took ‘Portfolio Management‘. Even I have no clue.

22 November

I distinctly remember this one- I had posted this just before leaving for the pre-process of Day 1. It was one of the most difficult days at ISB for most of us, both mentally & physically. It will take me a separate blogpost to describe the entire placement season and I would leave that for some other time.

24 November

I consider myself extremely lucky to get out of the placement process without feeling much heat. And I have huge respect & admiration for the people who had to go through it for a little longer without losing their sanity. Nevertheless, the relief after the placement was ‘unearthy’. Life at ISB literally changed beyond this point.

28 November

I saw people breaking down after rejection ,then getting up immediately with full vigor and a wide smile for the next interview. I saw people jumping of joy after signing the offer, and I also saw the disappointed look on the face of people after signing the offer. A friend broke down in front of me after not getting any offer at the end of Day 2.1 and then miraculously got a call from HR at the end of Day 2.2 offering him the job (Later he told me, “You are the worst person to cry in front of”). Another friend asked if she can get a hug after she signed a offer she was not quite happy with. As I said, I need another blogpost to write about the placement season in detail. . .

30 November

We were so happy after getting placed that we went out to celebrate even before the final ELP presentation to the client.

14 December

Section G has been so cool that our Awards Night was accompanied with a Roast! It was remarkable because we couldn’t have done a roast session without offending people unless we were really close to each other as a section. Whatttta show!

15 December

The dormant foodie in us got unleashed post placement. We all found ourselves visiting and recommending each other fancy places to eat & drink across the city of Nizams. Kabul Darbar deserves a special mention just for this Raan!

22nd December1

Life in ISB is also about Life in Hyderabad. And the midnight ride to the Charminar will always be cherished. We even took the vegetarians to Shadab, though I don’t remember what did those poor souls order to eat there.

22nd December

And there came the Solstice! 3 days of unadulterated alcohol & fun. The highlight of Solstice was the moment when Vishal (Or was it Shekhar?) said “I can smell what’s going up in the air”. #RevelryMax

23 January

Term 7, with the end of Day 3 & 4, witnessed an exponential increase in the number of parties and decrease in amount of collective attention in the lectures.

14 February

But what didn’t slow down were the assignments, submissions and deadlines! We even had strict deadlines (which got extended 97 times) to write testimonials for the yearbook.

Writing Testimonials was another time when we all got creative (it happened for the first time during the resume writing season). Sweet words were exchanged and promises to keep in touch were made. Few people wrote testimonials because they felt like, while others wrote just to ‘return the favor’

27 February

Term 8 started with the ‘Emails about Graduation’ and random trips, outings and more parties. While we reveled and got ourselves drenched in hedonism, the sinking feeling of ‘It’s getting over’ increased with each passing day.

8 march

We really pushed ourselves to ‘extract’ as many number of meetups/parties as possible- UG College Meetup, Club Members meetup, 1st Study Group Meetup, ‘The Best Ever’ study group Meetup, Meetup because someone had ‘stuff’, Meetup because ‘One year at Hyderabad still haven’t seen Charminar yet’, Birthday Meetups because someone’s birthday was post Convocation and the list goes on. . .

14 March

Group Assignments became a nightmare when people stopped replying on the Whatsapp Study Groups (because, priorities). “Kuch bhi likh ke submit kar de yaar” became a norm. I really pity the AAs and Professors of Term 8. Reading up those write-ups must have been upsetting.

11 March

HeyDay came with #TakeMeBackToTheStart and the realization finally started to sink in- It was time to get out of the cocoon and face the real world.

29th March

And then, just like that we had our last lecture. Pictures of name-cards flocked Facebook & Instagram (while few thought that they were too cool for that). No matter how each one’s experience had been at ISB, but the realization that the extra-ordinary classroom learning had ended finally, really hit hard.

I started working on this blogpost around 2 months ago (scrolling down to extract meaningful stuff from the garbage I post was difficult) and I had initially thought of putting up 51 updates (signifying the 51 weeks at ISB), ending the last update with our graduation. Tomorrow we all will graduate and cross over to our next phase of life. But in a parallel imaginary world, I would forever want to be a student at the Indian School of Business. Hence, there won’t be the 51th update to this post. ISB is going to stay.

Happy Graduation to one and all. Attraversiamo (Let’s cross over together to the other side).

~KA

Let’s connect on Instagram to chat about ISB and beyond!

Applying to ISB- Everything you want to know

Applying to ISB- Everything you want to know

CAT 2017 results are out (and so are some of the IIM calls). While those having calls must be preparing for GDPI, others need to ponder what to do next.

This article has been exclusively written for ardent (and eventually disappointed) CAT aspirants, who are completely clueless about ISB and GMAT/GRE (and hence, be prepared for a lengthy article).

Before you go ahead, you must know who is the author (i.e. who am I). I am a student of the current flagship MBA program (called as PGP- Post Graduate Program in Management ) at the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad Campus.

For more, please visit my LinkedIn Profile-Kumar Anshul

What is Indian School of Business?

ISB is a B-School with campuses at Hyderabad & Mohali, which is currently ranked 27th in the world by Financial Times for its flagship full time 1-year MBA course, called as the PGP (Post Graduate Program in Management.

Who is eligible for PGP from ISB?

Anyone with full time, paid work experience of more than 2 years is eligible to join the PGP course.

What is the total intake every year?

The class of 2018 is a strong batch of 879 students (Hyderabad + Mohali) and the annual intake generally revolves around the same number.

What do I need to apply to ISB?

You either need  GMAT or GRE score and then you need to apply online. The online application consists of 2-3 essays, details about your work experience, 10th, 12th & Graduation score, your awards & achievements, extra-curricular & hobbies.

What is an ideal/cut-off score in GMAT & GRE to get selected?

There is NO CUTOFF. Please understand that unlike CAT/XAT, the exam scores are only a small (though significant) part of your application. Your application is holistically evaluated by the admission team with separate weightage given to every part of the application. Though ofcourse, you should aim for a high score. Below is a screenshot for ISB’s website for the Class of 2018’s profile

ISB Class of 2018 profile 

As you can see the accepted GRE scores range from 303-335 and GMAT scores from 600-780.

When should I apply to ISB?

ISB has three modes of application :-

  1. YLP (Young Leaders Program)- This is for pre-final and final year students. If you get selected through YLP, a seat will be reserved for you and you can join when you have atleast 20 months of work experience.
  2. Early Entry Option (EEO) This is for working professionals who have less than 24 months of work experience. If selected through EEO,  a seat will be reserved for you and you can join when you have atleast 24 months of work experience.
  3. PGP- All working professionals with more than 24 months of work experience can apply through the regular PGP route

At this point, please keep in mind the following two facts :-

  1. YLP, EEO, PGP are just 3 different routes of applying to the same 1-year flagship MBA program at ISB. They are not different programs, just different ways of applying (depending on how many months of work experience you have) for the MBA.
  2. While the EEO & PGP applications are exactly similar, the YLP application differ. Since you don’t have any work experience while applying through, the essay topics and few other details in the application are different as compared to that of EEO/PGP

When do  I need to apply?

Every batch starts in mid-April and for that particular batch, there are two application rounds- Round 1 deadline is in October of the previous year and Round 2 deadline is in January of the same year.

For example, for the class that is going to start in April 2018, Round 1 deadline was on October 15th 2017 and Round 2 Deadline is on January 15th 2018.

If you apply to Round 1 and don’t get an admit, you can’t apply to Round 2. You can apply again in Round 1/Round 2 for next batch with the same GMAT/GRE score (as these scores are valid for 5 years).

The application cycle for YLP is different, please check the website for more details.

How can  I prepare for GMAT/GRE?

GMAT/GRE, unlike CAT/XAT takes 4-5 months of preparation (along with your work) and these exams can easily be aced with proper focused preparation. I have already written a series of articles on GMAT Preparation :-

  1. My GMAT Debrief- Kumar Anshul
  2. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about GMAT
  3. How to reduce the cost of your GMAT Preparation
  4. How to prepare for AWA section in GMAT

I have personally no clue about GRE but I have heard that it’s comparatively easier than GMAT (Specifically the Quant Section) but the aspirants need to mug a lot of words to ace the vocabulary based questions in Verbal Section.

 How is the interview process?

If your application gets shortlisted, you will be called for interview (3-5 days will be provided). The interview panel consists of 3-4 people from the admission team and alumni. The interview majorly revolves around everything that you have written in your application. So it is extremely important to give enough time & attention to your application.

I have also written in detail about my interview experience.

How can I go ahead with my application now?

If you are thinking of applying to Round 1 deadline (October 2018), you should focus on GMAT or GRE preparation now and then start working on your application by September.

In May 2016, we, a group of 12-15 ISB Admits started The Bootcamp Consultancy Pvt Ltd with an aim of helping students apply to ISB and other B-schools in India & abroad. In less than 2 years we have helped more than 100 aspirants grab their dream seat at ISB (through YLP, EEO and PGP application) and many others at world’s reputed B-Schools such as INSEAD, HKUST, Columbia, Imperial College London, Michigan Broad, IIM A, IIM B, SP Jain among others. Also read- 5 Reasons to choose The Bootcamp for ISB

You can join our facebook group- MBA Aspirants Group- The Bootcamp (https://www.facebook.com/groups/MBAaspirantsBootcamp/) and post any queries and we shall be more than happy to help you out.

There is another important article that you must read before applying to ISB- Most common myths about ISB (Indian School of Business)

If you found this article useful, I have two requests:-

  1. Follow this blog (link to follow is in right side of screen if you are reading on laptop/desktop and in the bottom of article if you are reading on smartphone). This will encourage me to write more.
  2. Follow me on Quora, I have written many answers there to help prospective aspirants.

If you have any more queries, please use the comment section below and I would reply as soon as possible.

Thank you!

 

Superhumans of ISB

Superhumans of ISB

The section party on SV lawns go on till 3 am. Within 3 hours at 6 AM, the one who was sloshed can be spotted with the trekking group, with all the energy in the world while taking that steep climb.

End terms start on Monday, and SLC is planning to organize a “Zumba Master Class” on Friday. Reason? “Stress bursting”

You sleep for 6 hours only to wake up to realize that someone has already attended a “Toastmaster’s Meetup, a Bhangra Session and is now back at LRC to complete his/her assignment in those 6 hours.

While CAs are in demand for P2P sessions for Financial Accounting, don’t be surprised to find an engineer with no background in Finance teaching a group of guys the nitty-gritty of Accounting.

“Stood for GSB Elections- Didn’t win. Stood again for Professional Club Elections- Didn’t win. Never mind! Will possibly volunteer for Solistice, ILS, Advaita and all”- Overheard

“Yaar, I think I should leave my McKInsey Dreams”

But why, you have nailed all the quizzes, assignments and even Mid Terms!”

But last Stat Quiz me bass 3/5 aaye. I will focus on Accenture Consulting now. They have a better work life balance”

– Conversation with a friend

3 months into the PGP program has made me sure of one fact- this one year is going to kick my ass out of all kinds of comfort zones that I have enveloped myself in.

With 1 quiz and 2 assignments due this weekend, I am chilling with a cup of Mocha while writing this piece- how can I not say that the much talked about “Transformation at ISB” has already begun!