Getting into ISB…

One of the parts of being an alum of an up and coming institute like ISB (the FT-20 ratings did the trick!) is that you get found and you get asked how to get in…I like to hear from people who have aspirations, who want to move on in life and I welcome every opportunity I can to interact with and talk to ISB aspirants. I was thinking the other day, is there a plan that I can lay down for people aspiring to be selected into ISB or is it a case by case scenario, each time? However, I did jot down a few things that came to my mind and here goes…

Have a plan

If you plan to do an MBA, there is no excuse to not having a plan. The plan might be rough, it might change and you might never end up implementing it. But do not cheat or lie to yourself to begin with, because you are just about to commit long ardous hours, your future and not to mention an enormous amount of money (especially in the case of ISB compared to the other B-schools in India). So spend sometime thinking about your goals and stretch your thinking beyond your issues with your boss or “just-want-to-get-out-of-here” syndrome…the place you want to get to might not be ISB and might not be with an MBA degree…

Differentiate Yourself

The essays you write, the work you do, what you are interested in should stand you apart. If people don’t notice you and you can’t point out one thing you are passionate about and want to do or currently do better than others, chances are that you might not get in. ISB gets tons of resumes from IT and engineering domain and likes to maintain diversity and if you are not diversified with respect to work experience or education, maybe one of your personal interested can stand you apart!

Spend Time Apart From Academics

This is not a fashion statement or get some social work experience on to my resume – kind of advice. Any MBA aspirant needs a well-rounded personality, which unfortunately our education does not hand down to you, you need to spend time in cultivating interests and habits outside of your regular academics that interest you sufficiently. The special interests you create and spend time on will not only help you differentiate yourself but also make you a well-rounded personality that an MBA school is looking for!

Check Your Urge To Deliver Accurate Engineering Results

If you have a penchant to deliver accurate engineering results and are not comfortable with vague problem definitions, high level strategy projects, driving sales for a company and working on problems that might not have immediate solutions, maybe you need to check your inclinations. MBA is a sure step towards doing something different, but what is the difference you want to create in your career that will make you richer, happier, satisfied or accomplished or whatever it is that you want to be? Don’t do something because everybody else does it and it seems like the most logical thing to do. Understand what you love doing and pursue the dream…

Start your own company

It is kind of strange…but no experience can teach you as much as doing something on your own…and the earlier in life you gain from such an experience, the better. There is no minimum age limit on this, startup on your own the earliest you can and if you are a roaring success, you can go to ISB to take a session on entrepreneurship, if you fail, you can leverage your experience to get an admission – either ways it is a win-win.

None of the above is mutually exclusive and most of it is over and above, get a good GMAT score and write good essays etc. I’m sure I have missed many others and would love to hear from people who would like to share their thoughts on this…

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