In my second year of engineering, I had a choice to make whether to pursue MS or to pursue MBA. I had heard about the ISB-YLP Programme from my seniors. I decided that research wasn't for me and I wanted to be on the business side of things so the decision to pursue an MBA was made way early while I was in my second year.
The next step was to analyse whether to pursue an MBA in India or abroad. The main constraint of pursuing an MBA abroad was a higher work experience bracket along with the high cost of education. So I was clear that my first preference would be India. So I started preparing for CAT. In 2017, in my pre-final year I began preparing for the YLP application process.
The process began in March where the first stage was all about my personal profile which included my education, internship details, hobbies, etc. And more importantly, an essay. Based on these details I was shortlisted for Round 2. Round 2 was all about another essay along with GMAT score. I must mention that I prepared for GMAT in just 1 month without any professional coaching for the same. I had purchased mock tests in which I could never score more than 620. So i was on a knife-edge on the exam day. When the score popped up on the screen, it was 710! A great sigh of relief because I knew that I had a fighting chance to get a shortlist. And I ultimately got an interview call!
I had one week to prepare for the interview and was called to the Hyderabad campus for the same. The interview began with a general "Walk me through your profile" question. The interviewer asked me a follow-up on World War 2 because I had mentioned the same that I like to read history, specially military operations while introducing myself. I was able to answer and break the ice comfortably. Then there were a few questions about what I want out of ISB and how it is in line with my career goals. There were a few questions on business GK. Overall it was all done in 40 mins.
3 weeks later at 6 pm at the end of Oct 2017 , I got an email that I have been admitted. I decided to skip CAT which was due 2 weeks later:)
Prepare your essays well. Your essays will be thoroughly read by the admissions team and you will be quized in the interview based on the same. Infact an essay can be a make or break on your interim shortlists.
I believe what they look for is a certain degree of clarity of thought and they like to vett the depth of your thinking and how well-read are you when it comes to your career goals. ISB YLP is a great platform to get a confirmed MBA seat and pursue your career after your graduation. Work experience is valued in the industry. Additionally you get a choice to defer your admission by a year. I chose not to defer and joined ISB as a part of the class of 2021 at the peak of COVID-19!
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