How to write essays for ISB application


Writing an essay is an art, especially when it is for your MBA application. It is these essays that become a “deal maker” or a “deal breaker” for most applicants. And why not, essays are one of the few things that you can control when you decide to apply for ISB (or any other B-school). Most other things such as your past academic record or your work experience have already been established with little scope of change. Moreover, when you are given a chance to present yourself, the school expects you to put your best foot forward. So, how should you go about writing essays for your ISB application?
 
Our experience of guiding various applicants over the years, as well as our own ISB applications (though that was years ago!) has helped us crystallize the mantra to the following:
 

  • Choose key points to talk about: Don’t try to write too much to impress the ISB admissions committee. Too many points may dilute impact. Be selective and choose the ones that present you in the best light or have the maximum impact.
 
  • Talk about the impact: Merely mentioning what you did won’t help. In order to stand out, talk about the impact your actions had. Quantifying the impact is a good way to demonstrate your achievement. For instance, “led a team of 20 to organize the college fest” is better than saying “organized the college fest”.
 
  • Link your credentials to the class experience: Ensure that you link your experience / achievement to the class experience. That almost instantly answers the “why you” - a common ISB essay question. Research about the school and find out areas where you would be able to contribute, if given an admission.  For instance, if you come from the Financial Services industry, leading the Finance Club and organizing a “Finance speaker series” can be a point in your ISB essay which would highlight both leadership potential and link your credentials to the class experience.   
 
Read our blog here on how to answer the Why You question in your MBA application
 
  • Be crisp and succinct: ISB (or any other top B school) would want to admit students who can present themselves well without using too many words – hence, the word limit to the essays. Not keeping your essays to the word limit is an offence! Hence, organize your points in such a way that you can present maximum impact without consuming too many words.
 
Click here to learn about the top 5 mistakes in ISB applications
 
Essays are a key success factor in the ISB admissions process. Make them your mantra for success by acing them, following the points above.