The ISB Young Leaders Programme (ISB YLP) stands as a beacon of educational excellence, offering a gateway to exceptional opportunities for young talents. It’s a stepping stone towards a transformative academic journey designed to nurture future leaders. This comprehensive guide sheds light on every aspect, aiding aspiring students in making informed decisions.

Indian School of Business Young Leaders Programme campus building
Explore the cutting edge campus of the ISB Young Leaders Programme designed to foster innovation and leadership

The ISB (Indian School of Business) offers the Young Leadership Program (YLP), a deferred MBA initiative designed for recent graduates aiming to secure admission to ISB’s regular MBA program. As part of this program, candidates need to gain a minimum of 2 years of professional work experience in their chosen industry before commencing the MBA program.

Throughout these pre-MBA work years, ISB conducts sessions, seminars, and interactive activities to maintain engagement and provide guidance to the candidates.

The ISB YLP is highly sought after, providing undergraduates the opportunity for guaranteed admission into ISB’s esteemed Post Graduate Programme (PGP) while they are in their pre-final year of undergraduate studies. However, admission is dependent on completing at least one year and nine months of work experience post-undergraduate.

YLP participants benefit from networking with peers and alumni from diverse educational and professional backgrounds. They also have access to renowned resident and international faculty, engaging in research-driven contemporary programs.

Exterior view of the Indian School of Business campus architecture
The Indian School of Business campus blends traditional design with modern educational facilities

Importance of ISB YLP

Participants will benefit from educational sessions conducted by industry experts and esteemed faculty from ISB. They’ll receive guidance from experienced ISB mentors to navigate their career paths effectively. Admission assurance for ISB’s flagship PGP program is provided during the pre-final undergraduate year, contingent upon completing one year and nine months of work experience.

The program includes four immersive YLP learning weekends held at the ISB campus, spaced six months apart during their work tenure. Participants will also have valuable networking opportunities with a community of high-achieving individuals, including fellow YLP admits, ISB students, and alumni who share similar ambitions and drive

Eligibility Criteria

  1. The candidate must be either in their pre-final or final year of college.
  2. Candidates must have a valid GRE/GMAT score before the 31st of August 2024.
  3. Candidates can apply with official college mark-sheets and transcripts are not needed.
  4. 1 LOR
  5. 2 essays
  6. Interview by invite
Handwritten study notes from an ISB Young Leaders Programme student
Personalized note taking exemplifies the bespoke learning experience at ISBs Young Leaders Programme

Let’s dive into the ISB YLP essay analysis for stage 1;

Everyone is inclined towards a particular interest/goal that they are passionate about, be it in the field of academics or extra-curriculars. What is that one thing that you are passionate about? What are your current efforts in pursuing it, and what efforts will you put in the future to achieve that goal? (300 words max)

Introduction (Approx. 50 words):

  • Start by introducing your passion or interest briefly.
  • Highlight why this particular interest or goal is significant to you.
  • Provide a concise overview of what the essay will cover.

Passion or Interest (Approx. 100 words):

  • Describe your specific passion or interest. It could be academic or extracurricular.
  • Explain why this particular interest captivates you and how it aligns with your values or long-term aspirations.
  • Share a personal anecdote or experience that sparked this passion.

Current Efforts (Approx. 100 words):

  • Discuss the efforts and steps you’ve already taken to pursue this interest.
  • Highlight any achievements, experiences, or skills gained through these efforts.
  • Showcase your dedication and commitment to this passion.

Future Plans and Efforts (Approx. 50 words):

  • Outline your envisioned future efforts and plans to further your pursuit.
  • Emphasize how you plan to leverage your skills and experiences gained.
  • Discuss any specific milestones or goals you aim to achieve.

Conclusion (Approx. 50 words):

  • Recap your passion briefly and reiterate its significance in your life.
  • Stress the importance of this passion in shaping your future.
  • End with a forward-looking statement, showcasing your enthusiasm and determination to continue pursuing this interest.

Sample cues for each section:


  • Introduce your passion succinctly. For example: “Passion for  XYZ started …. in my life.”
  • Mention why this interest matters to you: “This passion …… creates a positive impact on the world.”

Passion or Interest:

  • Describe the specific aspect of your passion: “The realm of …. fascinates me due to its potential to merge profitability with……………”
  • Share a personal anecdote: “Witnessing the effects of ………….. my commitment to this cause.”

Current Efforts:

  • Discuss actions taken: “Engaging in ………………”
  • Highlight accomplishments: “Successfully ………….. by ABC% at campaigns.”

Future Plans and Efforts:

  • Discuss upcoming steps: “Looking forward…………………… pursue specialized coursework.”
  • Outline goals: “Aspiring ………………..impact.”


  • Reiterate passion’s significance: “The pursuit ………………for meaningful change.”
  • Express enthusiasm for the future: “I……………..”

Remember, these cues are just a starting point. Tailor your responses to reflect your personal experiences, aspirations, and achievements authentically.

Let’s dive into the YLP stage 2 essay analysis;

What is the ideal career that 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?

Essay Structure:

  1. Introduction (50-60 words):
    • Briefly introduce your initial career aspirations.
    • State whether these aspirations have evolved or remained unchanged.
  2. Evolution of Career Aspirations (100-120 words):
    • Discuss your initial career aspirations and what led you to desire that particular career.
    • Explain the factors or experiences that prompted a change, if any, in your career goals.
    • Highlight any pivotal moments or realizations that influenced your career trajectory.
  3. Current Career Aspirations (50-60 words):
    • Present your current career goals and ambitions.
    • Emphasize why these goals align better with your passions, skills, or aspirations than your previous ones.
  4. Strategy to Achieve Ideal Career (70-80 words):
    • Outline a strategic plan or roadmap to achieve your current career goals.
    • Discuss steps you’ve already taken or intend to take (education, skills, experiences) to make this career a reality.

Sample Cues:


  • “From a young age, I was captivated …… Over time, my aspirations have undergone a transformative journey…”

Evolution of Career Aspirations:

  • “Initially…. However, a turning point came when…..”
  • “The exposure to [mention experience or realization] shifted my focus towards [new field/aspect]. …………..[highlight key factors].”

Current Career Aspirations:

  • “My present career goal……. This vision resonates with my………”

Strategy to Achieve Ideal Career:

  • “To achieve this goal……………….”

Remember, this structure and cues are just a framework and should not copied blindly. Ensure that your essay reflects your unique experiences, aspirations, and the path you’ve chosen to pursue your ideal career. Use examples and personal anecdotes to make your essay compelling and authentic.

ISB YLP 2024 Deadline;

Stage 1; 26th March 2024. For stage one, the applicant needs to submit an essay and his/her grades during high school and college years while also expressing their extra co-curricular strongly.

Stage 2; 31st August 2024. The applicants who qualify for stage 2 need to submit an essay, a LOR, and their GMAT/GRE scores. ISB will accept both the current edition and the focus edition for all their programs in 2024. 

Stage 3; The applicants qualifying stage 2 will be invited for a rolling interview from September 2024 to December 2024. 

Once you get an offer letter, you have 15 days to accept the same.

Application Process

Career Prospects

Graduates of ISB YLP gain access to coveted job opportunities just as EEO and PGP, on the contrary, they all sit in the same class and have access to everything that a PGP student does. All YLP candidates are placed in top-tier companies across various sectors, owing to the program’s reputation and alumni network, with the average salary for the YLP students of the class of 2023 standing at 32,00,000 INR.

ISB Young Leaders Programme networking handshake over contract
Networking at ISB Young Leaders Programme paves the way for career advancement and fruitful collaborations

The students of the program are placed across diverse disciplines and industries. The following table gives a break of placements as per the job functions students are placed for:

Job FunctionPercentage of Placements
Business Research1%
General Management17%
Product Management3%
Project Management1%
Sales & Marketing18%

Entrepreneurial Endeavors The program nurtures an entrepreneurial spirit, offering support and resources to budding entrepreneurs to kickstart their ventures. The Ivenus and DLabs offer end-to-end mentorship to all students on the ISB campuses.

Alumni Network The robust alumni network extends post-graduation support, mentoring, and networking opportunities, fostering lifelong connections.

Scholarship application paperwork for the ISB Young Leaders Programme
ISB Young Leaders Programme offers scholarships opening doors to exceptional education for aspiring leaders

Scholarships & Finances

To read more about the scholarship options available at ISB for the YLP program, please check our blog here;

Diversity & Inclusion

Cultural Diversity The program celebrates diversity, creating an inclusive environment that values and respects individuals from varied cultural backgrounds.

The 2023 PGP cohort at ISB comprises a total of 843 individuals, with 531 being male and 312 female. Their collective work experience spans from zero years to over eight years, with the largest segment (358 students) possessing 3-5 years of work experience. Impressively, the class boasts an average GMAT score of 720 and an average GRE score of 328, indicative of the high expected performance levels in these competitive exams.

Class size: 843 Gender Distribution:

  • 63% male
  • 37% female 
  • Average GMAT Score: 710 
  • Average GRE Score: 329

Alumni Testimonials Alumni affirm the program’s influence on their careers, emphasizing the value of ISB YLP in shaping future leaders. The ISB YLP offers a unique opportunity to gain early admission to one of India’s leading business schools. It aims to recognize promising young leaders and pave the way for their entry into the esteemed Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) at ISB. This serves as a substantial advantage for students aspiring to a career in business management, allowing them to immerse themselves early in the business school setting and commence nurturing their professional network.


In conclusion, the ISB YLP is not merely an educational program but a transformative experience that shapes leaders of tomorrow. It amalgamates academic excellence with holistic growth, paving the way for individuals to embark on an illustrious journey towards their aspirations. Its unwavering commitment to academic brilliance, coupled with a nurturing environment, propels students toward unparalleled success.

Get ready to embark on this incredible journey with the ISB YLP, where each step is meticulously crafted to mold you into a future leader. The program’s blend of academic rigor, diverse perspectives, and a supportive community promises an enriching experience that goes beyond the confines of a classroom.

Unlock your potential, broaden your horizons, and set sail towards a future brimming with opportunities. Join the ISB YLP, where excellence meets opportunity, and carve your path toward a brighter tomorrow!


How competitive is ISB YLP?

The program is highly competitive, attracting applications from exceptional candidates worldwide.

Is work experience mandatory?

No, the ISB YLP program is specifically for students who are in college. Experienced professionals are recommended to check EEO and Regular entry options.

Are scholarships available?

Yes, ISB YLP offers scholarships based on merit and need, supporting deserving candidates.

What sets ISB YLP apart from other programs?

ISB YLP’s distinctive curriculum, global exposure, and strong alumni network set it apart, offering a unique educational experience.

How can I prepare for the interview?

Prepare by researching the program, understanding its values, and practicing mock interviews to showcase your strengths confidently.

You have Successfully Subscribed!