What is ISB YLP?

The Young Leaders Programme (YLP) is one of the entry modes to ISB’s flagship Post Graduation Programme (PGP). In this programme, college students who are still in their final or pre-final year can apply to ISB and upon selection, are required to complete at least 20 months of full-time work experience before they join the ISB PGP. This programme is best suited for MBA aspirants still pursuing undergraduate degrees. Upon joining the ISB PGP, every candidate is given the same opportunities and treated equally, regardless of the mode of entry.


 “Describe a personal incident or achievement which changed you as a person. How did it change your perspective about yourself or about others? (300 words)”

First, it’s always a good idea to divide your essay into sections and think of a structure beforehand. This would help you create a flow and keep the word limit in check. A commonly used structure is as follows:

1. Introduction (50 words)

2. Personal incident/experience (120 words)

3. Learnings and change in perspective (100 words)

4. Conclusion (30 words)

Let’s break this down further:


This needs to be short and to the point. Your introduction sets the tone for the entire essay. Use this to your advantage and let the reader know exactly what you are going to talk about.

You can use an introduction in many ways. You could show the reader what your interests are, showcase your personality, give context to your story, or talk about a common notion, and then lead them towards the incident you’re going to talk about. You’re open to start with an apt quote, but you need to be sure that it is a valuable addition to your essay.

Personal incident:

One of the biggest issues with penning down a personal incident, especially for ISB YLP, is that everyone tries to think of something very extreme and impressive, and when they don’t find anything, they simply exaggerate.

While we are not asking you to write about something very common, you should also not fake it. It is obvious that you should write about something that brings out your unique personality and showcases your skills / capabilities, but don’t overdo it to impress the admissions team. ISB understands that you’re still in college and doesn’t expect extraordinary things. They focus on the ‘learnings’ and ‘change’ that the incident led to and how impactful it was.

Don’t try to fit too many incidents, one is fine as they have mentioned “describe A personal incident”.

Change in perspective:

Here, you need to make sure you highlight your contributions, and talk about how the process impacted you as well as other stakeholders present in the situation. It is important to show what you learnt from others as well, and how that brought about a shift in the way you approach things now.


“What is the ideal career which you always wanted to pursue? Do you still want to pursue the same or has it changed? How do you plan to make your ideal career a reality? (300 words)”

The way the essay prompt is written shows that they want a story. What was your thought process? How did it change or solidified with regards to your career? What caused it? Additionally, you need to write about what steps you will take to make that a reality.

This is a simple career goal question, and we understand that many ISB YLP applicants don’t always have a clear goal.

So, what should you do? Well, the best approach would be to not focus on what you will do (unless you have it all planned out in your head), and focus on what you have been doing. You should look at what your interests have been till now, what you have worked at, and what kind of career you are inclined towards.

As mentioned before, we are not asking you to fake it. Looking back will simply help you realise what might be the career path you want to go ahead with. You may experience no fields and might not follow the same path post the PGP. But it is very important for ISB to see what experiences made you sure about your career or at least nudged you towards it.

But how should you approach this? Use anecdotes and experiences to tell them how an incident solidified your interest in something, or made you realise that you’re interested in something else. Don’t write it in plain facts! Talk about a situation, what you did, what impact it resulted in and finally what change it brought in your decision.

Another thing to keep in mind is to not get carried away. Don’t write things just for the sake of it, make sure it resonates with your profile and is consistent. If you tell them something that doesn’t seem to match with your overall profile, they are bound to have questions. Make your essay authentic and believable. 

Lastly, mention some key points about how ISB would help you achieve your goals and what steps you’ll take (in addition to what you’re already doing) to reach your goals. Talk about diversity and networking at ISB if you want to, but we would suggest adding some well researched, unique points about how ISB would help you. This shows your interest about the program and the school.

Remember, ISB won’t consider your candidature just because your profile and essay are good, they will also see if you have a clear purpose and goal clarity for pursuing the PGP.

ISB YLP deadlines (2022-2023):

There have been changes in the deadlines this year to adjust for the varying under-graduation calendars. Make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to apply!

Stage 1 applicationRound 1 – 16th October 2022Round 2 – 26th March 2023
Stage 2 shortlistRound 1 – 9th December 2022Round 2 – 12th May 2023
Stage 2 application deadline31st August 2023
Stage 2 (interview)15th September 2023 – 30th November 2023
Final resultsSecond week of December 2023

About Strategy4Gmat (S4G)

Founded in 2016, S4G is an ISB alumni venture who have also been a part of ISB’s PGP admissions and interview panel in the past. They will guide you in lines to what ISB looks for and how you can increase your chances of securing an admit. Not to mention the great insights they can give you from the years of experience they have had looking at many profiles.

S4G has a low applicant to consultant ratio, which would ensure that your profile and essay are personalised and you put forward the best application possible.

Known for being “brutally honest”, the mentors at S4G provide unlimited essay and application form reviews. They treat your application as their own. Following a two mentor model, every application is reviewed even by the co-founders !

With a 94% interview call success rate and a 86% final admit success rate, S4G is one of the most successful admission consultants in the industry. With 90+ ISB admits in 2020-21, S4G is now setting its eyes on ensuring > 100 admits to ISB this year !For more information, write to us at: [email protected]

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