The Young Leaders’ Programme Of The Indian School Of Business

As soon as we step into the final year of our undergraduate college, there is a strange feeling of limbo that tugs along. There are a lot of variables and uncertainties that confront us:

1. Whether to get some work experience or go for an MBA (PGP/PGDM etc.)

2. If we decide to work, will it be plausible to take the requisite time off, write the requisite exams (GMAT/CAT etc..) and then be able to beat nearly two lakh aspirants by decimals?

3. If I choose to take up MBA without working, am I not losing out on my ability to relate business problems with actual problems that I have faced as a professional?

4. Which industry do I want to work in? Is it the right one for me? What if I want to switch?

The Young Leaders’ Programme (YLP) at the Indian School of Business tackles pretty much all the above questions and answers them for you!

The YLP is a route to the flagship Post Graduate Programme of the Indian School of Business. It is a deferred admission option for students who are in their pre-final/final year of graduation. 

It is a seven to eight month long process spread over three rounds.

The First Round: It typically comprises of profile submission, a resume, and an essay.

The Second Round: The shortlisted candidates need to submit their GMAT/GRE scores within a specific timeline(2.5 to 3 months), along with Letters of Recommendation and three essays. YLP is an extremely competitive programme. While high test scores do help, ISB takes into account other factors as well. There have been cases with candidates scoring as high as 780(GMAT) getting dinged and ones with scores hovering around 640 getting an admit.

The Final Round: The selected candidates are called for an interview to Hyderabad/Mohali campus and the final results are declared in 2-3 weeks.

The process post-selection:

Once selected, the candidates need to complete at-least twenty months of full-time work experience, and then they are absorbed into the 1-year flagship Postgraduate Programme at ISB. They have the option to defer for an extra year if they aren’t able to complete the requisite work experience. Deferrals are allowed on a case by case basis.

The Learning Weekends:

Every six months, the YLP batch is invited to the Hyderabad/Mohali ISB campus for a two-day learning weekend. It entails a sneak peek into business school life and an interaction with a group of diverse high achievers only spurs one to perform better and utilise those twenty months effectively. One can meet people in almost every possible industry ranging from Consulting, Investment Banking, Public Policy, Marketing, Business Development, Strategy, Entrepreneurship etc. Also, the candidates have the opportunity to interact with the students currently pursuing their PGP, ISB alumni and Professors. Invitations are also rolled out for attendance in Leadership Summits and the entire YLP batch is a great networking opportunity in itself.

The YLP has been structured beautifully allowing one to be able to get some work experience and also not worry about the hassles of preparing for examinations and diluting focus while working.

Twenty months of high-quality work experience is a sweet spot considering the Indian context, allowing people to cultivate a skill-set and at the same time be malleable enough to transition into a manager material in a different industry.

It allows people to switch industries before their MBA and understand what they are passionate without really worrying too much about the financial repercussions because there is already a one year PGP to back you up in case you end up making the wrong choice.

One of the most underrated benefits of the YLP is the comfort of being able to talk to diverse people of similar age-groups and learning from them. We would have night long conversations on starting out with personal investing, career opportunities in various industries, preparing for consulting case interviews and guesstimate questions, books to read etc.

For further details regarding the application timelines and admission calendar visit

Utsav Patodia

Having graduated in Commerce and Accountancy from St. Xavier's College, Kolkata and securing an admit into the YLP Programme, I have worked and interned in diverse industries ranging from Corporate Finance and Assurance to Venture capital. I will be joining the PGP at ISB, Class of 2019(2018-2019).