Tag: ISB Hyderabad

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.

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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

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

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Indian School of Business- Interview Experience

Interview

It had already been a month of submitting the application when I finally got a call for interview on 14th March 2016 and my interview was scheduled after 6 days, ie on 20th February 2016.

After some initial debacle (when the rustic auto driver didn’t understand what is “ITC Windsor”, still pretended to know where it is and authoritatively decided to take me somewhere else, before I actually realized he is taking me on the wrong roads), I finally reached the venue 1 hour in advance, visibly grimacing in the business suit (I hate wearing so many clothes).

The security guard outside the hotel promptly guided me towards the interview area and I was made to sit in a small room with 7-8 other applicants. I had read other interview debriefs where everyone had advised to talk to other candidates present to calm yourself down but somehow all I did was to sit down silently and stare around the beautifully furnished room.

After a while, a somewhat senior guy entered the room with a small travel bag. Someone asked him, “Are you coming from some other city?”

“No”, he replied, “I own a company at Bangalore, I want to show the interview panel some products of my company”

Needless to say, whatever hopes I had to make the cut sank. I had an idea of how impressive are the profiles of ISB applicants but here there was someone in front of me, enough for me to lose hope (I am a bit on the pessimistic side)

In hindsight, that feeling actually calmed me down and I started talking to other EEO (Early Entry Option) applicants. EEO applicants (I myself was one) have less than the mandatory 2 years of Work Experience required by ISB. If selected, they are given a deferred admission but they can join only when  they complete 2 years at work.

After around 1.5 hours of waiting, my turn came. One of the interviewer himself came to call me and asked me to follow him. Before we reached the interview room, he shook hands with me and introduced himself, “Hello, I am_______, from Co2012.

There were two interviewers in the panel (both alumni, no one from the AdCom). One (Let’s call him P1) had my application print out in his hands while the other (P2) just sat there most of the time and nodded.

P1- So, you are a Dentist. Why are you making this career shift?

This question was more than expected so I started with the answer that I had mugged up.

Me- Sir, if you would closely look to my CV and profile, you will realize that it has been always skewed towards entrepreneurship and management. (Don’t know why, I got tongue-tied at this point)

P2- (Nodding and after waiting for a few seconds).Please elaborate.

I gathered myself again started the answer that I had mugged up, this time with decent confidence. Both P1 and P2 seemed convinced.

P1 (Flipping through my application)- So you have shown your internship at hospital as work experience? Was it full time?

Me- Yes sir, it was full time and paid.

P1- Can you tell us one incident during that one year at internship where you had to show leadership or management skills?

Me- Sir I cannot think of any moment like that. All I can say is that I completed all my patient quotas in time, was the only person in my batch to finish internship without any extensions (infact 3 leaves were left when I finished) and in mid of all this, I got my startup registered.

P1- (Didn’t look convinced at all)- We will come to your startup story later (I realized that he has read my application essays, atleast superficially). Tell me how come you landed up at Oliveboard? How come you, being a dentist, having no relevant education  or degree got a marketing profile?

Me (again I had expected this question)- I will quote my offer letter here, “You are being offered this job because of your attitude and previous startup experience”

P1- So what exactly you do there?

Me- If you don’t mind, can I answer this question by explain the difference that I have made to the organization after I joined and also by citing a difficult situation that I managed?

P1- Please go ahead.

I explained it decently and both look convinced.

P1- Now let’s come to your journal. What made you start it?

Me (another expected question)- Explained

P1- Who all are the members in your journal and how exactly do you work?

Me- Can I get a pen and paper to explain?

P1 handed me a pen and paper. I explained with the help of flowcharts that how “Double blind peer review” review process of a scientific journal works.

P1- How did you get so many reviewers from abroad?

Me- Through Facebook

P1- And how much do you pay them?

Me- Absolutely nothing, sir

P1- Then how come they work for you free?

Me- Most of the reviewers I approached are very senior and extremely successful in their career. They definitely do not need any extra revenue by reviewing scientific articles. When I approached them, they were extremely impressed that a 2nd year UG student is trying to start a scientific journal and they supported me. I received a fair share of mockery and criticism too but mostly the dental fraternity was supportive. Also, Indian Dental Academicians need to maintain a certain number of points according to the guidelines set by the DCI (Dental Council of India) and they get some points for reviewing journals. And hence, they are in my team.

P1 (Smiling)- Makes sense. How many articles have you received after you started charging publication fee from the authors?

Me- Sir, It has been exactly 1 year and we have a revenue of _____

P2 (all of a sudden as if he got back from dead)- Have you brought the hard copies of the journal?

Me- Yes sir. It is in my bag in the other room

P2- Why didn’t you bring whose with you here?

Me- Sir, I didn’t want to look like as if I am trying too hard.

P2- So you are not trying eh?

Me- Sir, don’t get me wrong, ISB is the only college I have applied to and even if I don’t get through, I will only apply to ISB and nowhere else the next year too. There is a thin line between trying and looking like an absolute desperate and hence I decided not to cross that line.

P2 (laughed loudly)- Fair enough. Once the interview is over, show us the hard copies.

Me- Sure sir.

P1- So Dr. Anshul, what do you want to do post MBA?

Me- Sir, being an EEO applicant I think it is too early to decide that (both nodded on this). I have just started my career and I think I have a knack for marketing and entrepreneurship. I am versatile and can manage completely unrelated stuff equally well. I might take up a healthcare management job but I am keeping all my options open.

P1- Hmm..but you do know right that those jobs are generally for doctors with 5-6 years of work experience?

Me- No sir. I have no idea about that.

P1- Please go home and do your research. Also, you can get those jobs without an MBA. Why you want to invest so much of money?

Me (completely clueless where the interview was going)- Sure sir. I will do that tonight itself.

P1- You can leave

P2- Please bring the hard copies of your journal.

I ran towards the other room (it was 45 minutes already), sipped some cold water and returned and handed one copy each to both.

P2 (Flipping the pages)- Oh, so you have advertisement space too? How many advertisements have you got so far?

Me- None. And they are there only because the publisher wanted to, I really don’t want advertisements to be present on a scientific journal. Publication fee is the only major source of revenue and some royalty which we get through subscriptions.

P1- Where is the list of your team?

I showed him that page.

P1- How come you gathered so many people from so many countries?

Me- I have a facebook page on Dentistry with 30k+ Likes that I used to use for social medial marketing during my college days. I used the same page to build my team. Also, I did a webinar in a world virtual conference of dental students which helped me to get some team members initially. Rest all was word of mouth and facebook spamming.

P1- What else you want to do under your startup apart from the journal?

I mumbled something random (Don’t even remember what I said)

P1- Hmm..but how will you manage that? You will be having a full time demanding job post MBA which will take your 15 hours/day.

Me- Sir if I can manage it with medical school, I can manage it with job also. And I have worked for more than 15 hours/day effectively at various points during my UG, Internship and current job.

P1- I am not denying that, but I don’t think it will be possible.

Me (decided not to argue)- Then I will delegate the work sir. I am well networked in Indian Dental fraternity to do that.

P1- That I am sure you are. But you will leave all these so easily that you have build up with so much of hard work over these years?

Me- Sir, I said I will delegate the work. I will still be the owner.

Both P1 and P2 smiled.

P2- Ok last question, can you check my teeth and give some diagnosis?

Me- No sir, I cannot. I cannot break the infection control protocols. Patients must not be examined without gloves.

Both laughed loudly and asked me to leave.

Moral of the story- ISB interview, as per the common belief, is extremely chilled out. They don’t want to check your knowledge of economics, history, geography and finance. All they want to know is YOU. Be thorough with your application and you will sail through.

For any more queries, feel free to drop me a mail at kumaranshul.79@gmail.com. I will be happy to help anyone out.

We, a group of 17 ISB admits, have decided to help all future ISB applicants. Find out more about us on The Bootcamp. Or just drop me a message on facebook.

Also if you love reading or want to develop a love for reading, join my facebook group for book recommendations, reviews and freak deals on books.

Do FOLLOW my blog (Green colored tab on the left side of the screen) as I will be writing more on GMAT, MBA and Indian School of Business. If you are following the blog, you will get an email whenever I publish a new post.

Most Common myths about ISB (Indian School of Business)

ISB Pic

Indian School of Business (Hyderabad and Mohali) has been ranked as the 29th Best B-School in the world by Financial Times 2016 Ranking. Even then, a majority of Indian MBA aspirants are not aware about the basic features of this school. Many consider it “Out of reach” and do not even care to apply. This post is intended to be a ‘myth buster’ and I hope it will be informative to the aspirants.

1. ISB is only for professionals with 4-5 or more years of work experience.  

It is true that 2 years of Work experience is mandatory for a seat at ISB (yes, it is not a school for the freshers). It is also true that the average work experience of a batch at ISB is 5 years. But around 20% of the batch (as told to me by an AdCom member) has 2-3 years of Work Ex.

2. I am still at college. So I cannot apply to ISB.

ISB has a unique program (or you can say “mode of entry”) for final year and pre-final year students. It is called the Young Leaders Program (YLP). If selected, one seat will be reserved for you, but you can only join when you complete the compulsory 2 years of work ex. You can find more details on YLP here.

3. I just joined a job after graduating for college. I need to wait for 2 more years before applying to ISB.

For working professionals with less than 2 years of Work-Ex, ISB has something called the EEO (Early Entry Option). The mode of application is exactly the same as the normal mode but if offered an admission, you will be allowed to join only when you finish the compulsory 2 years of Work-Ex.

4. My GMAT score is less than 700. So my chances at ISB are low.

This year (Batch of 2016-17) ISB has admitted an aspirant with a GMAT score of 600! If you have good amount of work experience and exceptional achievements at your professional career and you are able to portray them well in your application essays and recommendation letter, a low GMAT score won’t stop you from getting an admit. But it is strongly advisable to target a score of more than 730 (the more, the better). Also from next application cycle, ISB will also be accepting GRE scores.

5. ISB Hyderabad is the main campus while the Mohali one is the off-campus.

ISB strictly follows “One School, Two Campuses” concept by ensuring the following :-

1. The number of students (550 in Hyderabad and around 250 in Mohali) are divided in such a way that the overall diversity and average work experience in both the campuses remains similar

2. All the professors in both the campuses are selected from a common pool and many a times the same professor teaches at both the campuses in different terms

3. Placements for both the campuses happen together (Students from the other campus have to fly down to the campus where placement is being organized)

4. Students are not allowed to tell their prospective recruiters during the placements that from which campus they belong to(to remove any biasing)

6. The Fees at ISB is too high for me

IIM A, B, C and XLRI all have fees somewhere around 17-19 Lakhs. The fees at ISB is 25 lakhs (including hostel, excluding food). Also, you must remember that unlike other b-schools, you will be unemployed only for one year and not two (as PGP at ISB is only 1 year long).

Also, loans are easily available. For example, under the SBI Scholar Loan Scheme, ISB is the only college apart from IIM A which is listed as “AA institution”, which means 30 Lacs loan will be made available to you without any collateral. Here is the complete list.

I will be writing more on GMAT and Indian School of Business. Make sure you FOLLOW my blog (Green color button on the left side of screen) so that you get an email every time I publish a new post. Use the comment section for any queries and I will be happy to reply to each of them.

-KA