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Indian School of Business PGP Essay Topic Analysis 2023-2024

isb pgp essays

The following essay topic analysis examines the Indian School of Business (ISB) PGP admissions essays for the 2023-2024 admissions season. You can also review essay topic analyses for other leading MBA programs as well as general Essay Tips to further aid you in developing your admissions essays.

Indian School of Business PGP Essays & Analysis 2023-2024

Let’s take a closer look at each ISB PGP essay prompt.

ISB PGP Essay 1

Provide an honest portrayal of yourself, emphasizing your strengths and weaknesses. Highlight the key elements that have shaped your personal journey. Give relevant illustrations as needed.
(400 words max)
This is a fairly open-ended question that essentially asks the applicant to introduce him or herself to the admissions reader, delving past the facts of one’s job and hobbies into a deeper discussion of the candidate’s personality and values. That said, there is still an opening to provide illustrative examples that show how these qualities manifest in one’s day-to-day life. Applicants should of course note that this prompt also asks them to discuss formative past experiences that have shaped who the applicant is today, giving them plenty to do with the 400 word allotment for this response.

It’s important to address the question in full when responding to this sort of essay, but it’s also in one’s best interest to focus as much as possible on the positive. This is a akin to describing oneself to a new friend or on a first date: you do want to provide a heads up about any salient shortcomings you’re aware of, but want to spend most of your time selling your strengths (i.e. the reasons that someone might want to befriend/date/admit you). With this in mind, you might lead off with two or three positive qualities, sharing brief examples of what these characteristics have enabled you to accomplish or how they’ve positioned you to help others. When discussing these kinds of personal qualities, it’s ideal to back up every statement about your character with a brief example to really “prove” that you possess the quality in question. By doing so, you’re effectively “showing” rather than “telling” the reader how your personality and values inform your behavior (and potential contribution to the ISB PGP program). After illustrating your strengths, you’ll then want to comment on one or two weaknesses – ideally ones that you’ve already taken steps to address. Strategically, it would be best to focus on weaknesses that are skills you can improve as opposed to behavioral weaknesses such as a short temper or impatience.

Note that this response also calls for the candidate to reflect on the forces that have shaped his or her personal development; commentary on this topic could be built into the discussion of each personal characteristic introduced — or in an introduction or conclusion if there are themes that run throughout your examples.

ISB PGP Essay 2

Contemplate two distinct situations—one where you experienced success and another where you faced failure. Delve into the personal and interpersonal lessons you learned from these instances. (400 words max)
This response — which asks applicants to detail (1) an example of success, (2) a failure, (3) the lessons they learned from each — requires one to cover quite a bit of ground in just 400 words. In detailing both items 1 and 2, applicants will need to provide sufficient context for a reader to readily understand the nature of the situation or project, the stakes involved, and the outcome. Between the need to provide background and the sheer volume of information being requested, this is a truly challenging prompt to address in just 400 words.

Applicants will need to be thoughtful about how they organize this essay. It does not seem like they can be related examples, as ISB asks for two distinct situations. As such, we recommend treating the achievement and failure within two 200-word mini-responses to ensure that they fully address each element of the question.

Candidates should note that both the accomplishment and failure can be drawn from the professional or personal realms, leaving a fair amount of leeway in the subjects they select. Of course, the lessons will need to be personal and interpersonal in nature. Applicants should think strategically about the examples that will add the most value to their files; given how little room there is to detail professional accomplishments in the other essays, for example, applicants may find that a workplace success of which they’re proud is a good choice for this response.

Optional Essay

Given your previous experience and future aspirations, how do you plan to use the PGP at ISB to fulfil your professional goals? Note: It is not necessary for you to write this essay. Please use this space only if there is something really significant that you would like us to know. (250 words max)
We encourage applicants to answer this question, even though it is technically optional. It is a chance to show your passion for the program and highlight aspects of your professional experience and plans that can help set you apart in the applicant pool. The prompt’s emphasis on “something really significant” conveys that ISB is looking for truly deep research into the program and strong connections to your future plans. This is not the time to simply state you are simply excited about the “community and curriculum,” but to maximize the detail you share in each sentence by spelling out the specific offerings that speak to you. Conducting thorough research on the program — whether by attending online info sessions, or speaking with students and alumni — will help you achieve maximum impact with this brief response.

Clear Admit Resources

Thanks for reading our analysis of this year’s ISB MBA essay topics! As you work on your Indian School of Business MBA essays and application, we encourage you to consider all of Clear Admit’s ISB offerings: