With their flagship Post Graduate Program in Management ranked 24th globally according to Financial Times in 2019, ISB is one of the most aspirational b-schools in India. Many students every year diligently write the GMAT/ GRE to get into ISB. So how does one actually achieve this? What are the ins and out of getting into a b-school like ISB? In this article, we bring you Vyom Gautam, from the incoming ISB PGP Class Of 2022. With a B.tech in Mechanical and Automobile Engineering from VIT (Vellore), Vyom worked with SKF India, a leading automobile and aerospace facilitator, for 2+ years before getting into ISB. Everything from Vyom's journey, to GMAT prep, essay prompts at ISB, Interview experience and more has been captured in this article. Read to know more!
Please give us a brief introduction about yourself and your profile.
I am pleased to share that I am an incoming MBA candidate at the Indian School of Business Class of '22. With a B.Tech in Automotive, I have worked with SKF India for over 2 years. One of the leading players in the automobile and aerospace parts manufacturing industry of India, SKF is a great place to work at. I am also an out and out automotive enthusiast with a particular interest in marketing and sales. My job role involves building a strategy for adapting to electrification trends and shared mobility. Previously I also worked with Pravega Racing for 3 years. I managed a team of various stakeholders and managed sponsorship and operations. Currently, I am Key Accounts Manager for Automotive at SKF India.
How did you prepare for the GMAT/GRE? What resources did you use?
This was my 3rd GMAT attempt. All prep was on my own. The major resources I used were Official GMAT Guides and multiple test series. Some series that helped me improve my performance include Veritas, Manhattan, TIME etc. Verbal has been my strength so I made sure I did not slip in that section. When it came to Quant, I improved my performance by using patterns in solving questions and conditioning my thought process in line with GMAT.
Could you tell us how you went about answering the essay prompts at ISB?
Essay prompts at ISB are about how developed and well rounded you thinking is. They help the committee understand your motivation and drive levels. Questions like 'what do you see yourself doing a few years from now?' or 'why do you deserve to be one of the 900 ISB students?' are typically asked as essay prompts while completing the ISB application. Personally, I worked on 2 aspects to strengthen my game:
- Understood the essay questions from multiple perspectives.
- Drafted the answers and got them reviewed by ISB Alumni & office colleagues.
Many people use the services of an admissions consultant when fine-tuning applications. In my case, I did not enlist the services of any consultant. Though a lot of people use these services, I wanted my essays to represent myself. There is a lot of risk of consultant essays sounding generic and drab.
What made you choose ISB? Did you apply to other institutes?
I did not want to give CAT and wanted to remain in India. I ended up applying to ISB & SPJIMR as they're the only 2 top tier institutes who accept GMAT.
How was your ISB interview experience? What questions/type of questions were you asked?
My interview was 40-45 minutes long, very casual and a free discussion. 90% of questions asked were on my work experience at SKF and my Racing exp during VIT.
What, in your opinion makes up an ideal candidate for the PGP program at ISB? What kind of stand out qualities is ISB looking for in candidates? Why do you think you made it?
I think ISB looks for diversity when selecting applicants. The process is such that outliers in different fields, regardless of their UG/academics, stand out. I think people with varied experience and diverse profiles are preferred. Of course, the academic background is still a very important factor. But I believe I made it as I bring a very unique experience (Racing+Automotive) to share with the cohort. Most of the applicants do not have such backgrounds, plus my GMAT score was quite decent.
Any suggestions to the aspirants who are vying for a seat at ISB?
As I said, ISB looks at outliers or individuals with unique and diverse experiences. They are keen to select individuals who show drive and dedication with some thought put into it. So my advice, if you are planning to get into ISB? Identify those 1-2 spikes in your CV/background and focus on selling them. Keep the GMAT score above 690.
Best of luck!
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