ISB MBA after 30?

We got a number of queries during the ISB Admissions Gyan Sessions from prospective applicants who are over 30 (i.e. with more than 8-9 years of experience). Let’s call them ‘O30’.

Is ISB the right fit for me? Will my application be considered differently? What are the prospects after ISB? These are valid questions since the stakes are much higher than for  someone with 2-5 years of experience. Here’s a list of points one needs to know before applying to ISB with more than 8 years of experience:

  • Know Why MBA: Before taking the decision to go for an MBA, one should identify the drivers for it. It could be a jump in the same career trajectory, change of industry / function or a short ‘break’ from the day-to-day professional monotony. Though this applies to all candidates, it is more imperative to be exactly aware since the ramifications would be bigger relative to the ‘younger’ applicants.


  • Chances at ISB: In our experience, the ratio of O30s applying to ISB vs the ones getting through is not bad. O30s are in a more advanced phase of life and very few apply. Given that they are more mature and experienced, they add a lot of balance to the class (making it truly diverse), their chances of getting in tend to be higher.


  • Application: With higher experience come greater expectations for more impactful accomplishments. O30s need to make sure that there are more ‘bragging points’ than a 25-year-old since they’ve got a larger crack at life so far. Of course, impact matters more than the number.


  • Life at ISB: With diversity in experience, life at ISB is surely an enriching experience. The ‘back to school’ experience is a little overwhelming at start but as one goes through a couple of terms, it is a breeze and lives up to the ‘best year of my life’ tag for most. On the professional front, clubs such as the Senior Executive Club (for students with 8+ years of experience) provide an opportunity to connect, harness cross-industry knowledge and enable the club members with the right tools and techniques to lead the industry in senior leadership roles


  • Placements: The number of jobs requiring 8+ years of is comparatively lower than other experience ranges. Also, it is a bit challenging to shift the core domain O30s have specialized in over 8-9+ years. However, there are a number of opportunities to grow in the same domain or shift industries but continue within the same domain. For e.g. it would be tough to move from a Tech. Consultant to handle FMCG sales but easier to become a Product Manager in e-commerce


Getting into ISB is not difficult (perhaps a tad easier than non-O30s). However, the realistic prospects post-ISB should be researched and thought through before getting in.

Feel free to reach out to us on for further details. Good luck!

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