Today, we'll cover the engine which makes sure you get the most out of your experience at ISB, the Graduate Student Board (GSB).
According to ISB, “The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is an organization of the students of the Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP). The organization is governed by the GSB and it comprises representatives elected by members of the GSA, i.e. all the PGP students.”
The GSB, along with the professional and social clubs (we'll cover them in a subsequent post), pretty much run the entire show throughout the year.
The election process is similar to the one in any democracy (albeit healthier / cleaner competition, no left / right wings) with campaigning followed by soapbox presentations and voting. The campaigning starts mid-way through Term 1 and the elections are concluded by the start of Term 2. It is a lot of fun for all the folks involved in the process. From manifestos and soapbox presentations containing 'Game of Thrones' references to 'campaigning' via organizing parties, the candidates come-up with newer ways of asking for votes every year. Also, it is a bigger challenge to woo ~600 folks in Hyderabad than ~300 in Mohali, especially because the former cohort is spread across 4 student villages!
However, both campuses have exactly the same GSB structure and the elected representatives work together as a cohesive unit throughout the year.
Apart from the GSB President, there are 7 councils, each having a Director who is the elected representative. She chooses the core team for the council based on the Expression of Interest (EoIs) and interviews of the interested candidates. Here are the details of the various positions within the GSB:
- GSB President: She is the captain of the ship and the face of the class for all major events pertaining to PGP, internal or external. All clubs and councils eventually report to her and she is accountable for the smooth functioning of all student-led activities throughout the year. This position is by far the most demanding in terms of time and effort required to fulfil the duties. In most cases, academics take a hit due to the sheer workload and hence is imperative to have a study group which understands the demands of the role and is willing to sometimes cover for you. However, we have also seen GSB Presidents in the past making it to the Dean’s list (top 10 %ile of the class)
- Academic Affairs Council (AAC): This council is the custodian of all academics-related topics for the students and works in conjunction with the Academic Services & Administration (ASA) department of ISB. Topics such as course / professor feedback, electives, P2P learning sessions, curriculum feedback, etc., are covered under its umbrella
- Alumni Affairs Council (ALC): The ALC is the connect between the students and the alumni. It works with the Alumni Affairs and Student Engagement & Applied Learning (SEAL) departments of ISB. It helps organize the flagship 'back-to-school' events such as Equinox at Mohali and Solstice at Hyderabad
- Career Advancement Council (CAC): The team which enables the process to get you a job, the CAC works with the Career Advancement Services (CAS) at ISB to run the placement process for the year. From managing the pre-work to the logistics during the placement 'days', the CAC members play a pivotal role in ensuring a smooth process. All this while they're also looking to secure their dream job!
- Marketing & Communications Council (MCC): The MCC takes care of all the internal and external branding / promotion of all the major events throughout the year. It is the custodian of 'brand ISB' for the year and manages various media and marketing initiatives during the year. For instance, the social media handle 'Life at ISB' is managed by the members of this council along with the media team of ISB
- Student Life Council (SLC): Although popularly known as the “party planners”, this group is also responsible for making the academic rigor at ISB much more enjoyable. The council organizes festivals and cultural events during the year. All social clubs report to the SLC Director and she is one of (if not the most) the more popular students on campus, sometimes even more than the President.
Also, the role is equally demanding. While the other students are chilling out after the examinations, the council members are busy preparing for the fun events scheduled in the evening!
- Operations & Sustainability Council: This team works with the Operations department at ISB to cover all the facility-related topics on campus. From food & beverage and IT to the Learning Resource Center (LRC aka library) and student villages, all topics are managed by this council. This role is like electricity, you don’t realize the value of it until it stops functioning!
- Finance & Governance Council: This council was constituted in 2016 and includes the Financial (earlier under The Treasurer role) and the Governance (policy and performance measurement for professional and student clubs) at ISB. The council focuses on planning, monitoring and managing the financial budget of the GSB (including professional and social clubs), leads the 'Shadow a CEO' initiative and a few admissions-related new initiatives
The students understand the importance of choosing the right people for these jobs since their whole ISB experience largely depends on how the GSB functions. The Directors and their teams on the other hand have an onerous task to living up to the expectations of the class.
Alumni speak: 'The GSB ensured that my one year at ISB is one of the best years of my life. I was able to focus on the goals I intended to accomplish at ISB, without worrying about how I'll get access to learning opportunities, wind-down after a tough term, utilize the world-class infrastructure at the school and have a smooth placement process!' Manas Arora, Class of 2013 and Consultant, Strategy4GMAT
Application Tip: You can express your interest in leading or being a part of the core team of one of the councils. It is important to mention the exact role you'd like to perform to add value and it should link with the skill-sets or interests you demonstrate in the rest of your application. Like everything else at ISB, these positions of responsibility come at a trade-off and there is an opportunity cost (academics, sleep, etc ) so be prepared to answer such questions in the interview.
As always, we have collected some videos for you. Have a look!
Soapbox- Candidate for SLC Director 2017
Soapbox- Candidate for OSC Director 2015
ISB GSB Elections (GoT Version)