ISB has announced essay topics around the month of June every year. However, with the delay due to COVID-19, essay topics would be announced in July 2020. The deadline would also be slightly delayed for Round 1 – 20 September (vs. 15 September in previous years).

While the exact words of the ISB essay topics vary every year, the underlying tenets remain the same,

  • Why should you be a part of the next ISB PGP class, i.e. the ‘why you’ essay
  • What are your short & long-term career goals and how would ISB help achieve them, i.e. the ‘why ISB’ essay
  • Highlight significant changes in your profile from the time you applied last time, i.e. the ‘re-applicant essay’

As one of the best ISB admission consultants with a team of ISB alumni, we would like to share some ISB sample essays through this blog post. Further in the post, we share past successful ISB essays for each topic from our clients who secured an ISB PGP admission.

ISB Sample Essay 1

If we were to admit just One more candidate to the Postgraduate Programme (PGP) at the ISB, why should it be you? (400 words max)

With a global B2B sales and account management background at ABC company, my experience and skill-set put me in good stead for my candidature at ISB. One of the instances which helped me build this experience was in June 2015, when I took on a new challenge to grow enterprise sales in Europe. During the second month of my stint, I was working on a potential deal with one of the largest travel agencies in Spain and Latin America. It was very difficult to bring them aboard since they were traditionally reluctant to adopt cloud based software.

After multiple calls and demos with the senior leadership, I helped identify and solve bottlenecks such as the massive scale of implementation, building custom features and pricing by working with different teams across the globe. Today, the company is one of our largest customers.

This deal was a huge test of my patience, grit and involved a lot of hard work since I was the primary point of contact for any queries from the client and led the overall effort. It provided me with an opportunity to interact with and present to senior stakeholders. The whole experience will surely help me to manage the rigor at ISB.

Handling sales in a startup is a high-pressure ask and I took up blogging ( to relax and started writing on multiple genres such as fiction, startups and inspirational articles on life. Soon, I found acceptance in the audience with positive feedback that they were motivated by my articles and liked the way I portrayed various aspects through my writing. My blogs have featured on the worldwide top 20 lists five times and once in the top 5. Today, there are over 3000 people who follow my work on Medium.

My experience with ABC company in a business development role, knowledge of the startup ecosystem and global sales strategies will help me contribute to different clubs at ISB such as the Entrepreneurship & Venture Capital Club and Business Technology Club. I would be able to add to the good work that the clubs at ISB are doing by leveraging my contacts from the industry and organizing events tailored to business development and account management, which are important areas for all firms alike. Also, based on my experience with blogging I’d like to take ISB Insight to the next level by enhancing its readership, getting senior leaders in my network to contribute articles and overhauling the website.

ISB Sample Essay 2

Describe your short and long term career plans. How does the PGP fit in with those? (300 words max)

My current role in Business Development at XYZ company involves selling IT products to global B2B customers, taking complete ownership of the account from evaluation to deal closure. In speaking with hundreds of prospects every month, I’ve realized that technology is always a basic and at the same time differentiating factor among organizations of all sizes. I have developed a strong interest in understanding the technology needs behind the products and want to help organizations grow in terms of adoption and revenue, with innovative solutions.

I believe that a technology consulting role in the short-term will help me develop a structured thought process and ability to approach and solve various problems across industries. The PGP at ISB will equip me with the business skills and classroom training (from a global faculty) required for the role and also provide opportunities within the management consulting space with companies such as Deloitte and Accenture. In the long term, I want to be a part of the leadership team in a global technology-focused enterprise. There, I want to grow the business rapidly, generate a vision and execute it in a sustainable way to create employment opportunities globally.

At ISB, I will also be able to improve further my interpersonal skills by interacting with peers from diverse backgrounds. It will help me build a professional network, which is essential to the career I aspire for. Apart from gaining classroom knowledge in courses such as Management of Organizations and Technology Strategy Consulting, I intend to hone my analytical skills better through the practicum courses at ISB which will equip me for challenges in the real world.

With my role at XYZ company, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with ISB graduates and it cemented my belief in the opportunities and grooming the school has to offer.

ISB Sample Essay 3 (Re-applicant essay)

Please use this space to explain significant improvements in your profile since your last application to the ISB PGP. Note: It is mandatory for you to write this essay. (200 words max)

Based on the feedback from ISB adcom on the reasons for not making the cut previous year, I chalked out a plan to address the gaps in my profile and application.

As an Investment Banking Analyst, I assist clients on M&A transactions. This year, I worked on deals cumulatively valuing INR1,550cr, of which I led deals valuing INR 550cr.

I got promoted in 2019 and I now supervise two Analysts. The transition involved a steep learning curve. I realized that people when empowered can contribute not just through deliverables but also through enhanced team spirit and unparalleled work ethic.

Further, I participated in a 6-months fellowship program organized by a leading women empowerment group (Group A). Through a highly selective process (<20% selection ratio), Group A admitted 20 young women for a customized leadership training to help them build the skills they need to realize their highest potential. The journey helped develop inter-personal skills and instil mindful leadership techniques.

Overall, it’s been a rewarding year: I got to hone my technical skills, leadership skills and developed a solid foundation in teamwork. I also received the ‘Outstanding Contributor’ award along with a personal appreciation note from National Head of Firm A.

We hope that these sample essays were helpful and will give you a good starting point for your ISB essays. There are a number of structures and formats to write ISB Application Essays. There is no one size fits all approach when it comes to ISB essays. Each profile has a different story to tell and it should be depicted in an impactful manner.

To find out how you can best tell your story to the ISB adcom, reach out to us at [email protected] .

Related posts:

How To Write Essays For ISB Application
How To Answer The “Why You” In Your ISB Application Essays
How To Answer The “Why ISB” In Your ISB Application Essays

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