ISB has emerged as the dream B-school of many MBA aspirants in India. Since its inception in the year 2001, the institute has steadily climbed international B-school rankings and has firmly established itself as the avant-garde of management education in India. It is the only Indian B-school to feature in the top 30 of FT Global MBA Rankings 2020. It has campuses in Hyderabad and Mohali.
ISB offers one-year Post Graduate Programme in Management, short-duration Executive Education programmes for senior managers, a part-time Post Graduate Programme in Management for Senior Executives, a five-year Fellow Programme in Management, a post-graduate programme in management for family business and various advanced management programmes in Healthcare, Infrastructure, Manufacturing and operations, Business Analytics and Public Policy.
ISB’s POST-GRADUATE PROGRAMME IN MANAGEMENT
PGP is the flagship course of ISB. It is a one-year full-time residential program that is comparable in content to MBA programs offered by B-schools around the world. Total batch strength for PGP Class of 2020 is reported to be 896.
Hyderabad campus – 603
Mohali campus – 296
Unlike IIMs, there are no quotas or reservations for entry into this B-school. Admissions are solely on the basis of merit. ISB admits students in three rounds. Applying in later rounds does not reduce the chances of your admission. However, if you wish to apply for scholarships or fee waiver, then it is advisable to apply in Round 1. Application deadlines are:
- Round 1 – September 15, 2019
- Round 2 – December 1, 2019
- Round 3 – January 1, 2020
Entry into ISB’s PGP is on the basis of GMAT or GRE scores. A minimum work experience of 24 months is also required for applying to the course. ISB website does not specify minimum cut-off scores for GMAT or GRE. However, it does give the range of scores for its current class:
GMAT – 600 to 780
GRE – 311 to 335
TOEFL or IELTS score is required if your graduation studies have not been in English medium.
ISB SELECTION PROCESS
Application process for ISB PGP is completely online. You will need to create an account with a username and password before you begin the application process. The application consists of ten sections:
- Applicant details
- Personal details
- Education details
- Work experience details
- Awards and extra-curricular
- Essays (2)
- Terms, declaration and payment
Once you have submitted your online application, the Admissions Committee reviews it. You may be shortlisted for the interview on the basis of your academic profile at school and college, GMAT/GRE score, work experience, application essays and letter of evaluation (recommendation) from your supervisor.
There is no ideal applicant for ISB, but the institute does look for a balanced profile. Consistently above average scores in 10th, 12th and undergrad augmented by work experience of 4 years or more ought to help you get an interview call.
However, not every successful applicant is an all-rounder. The key lies in showcasing your profile smartly. So you can surely offset your not-so-stellar grades with greater work experience or your lesser UG grades with good GMAT or GRE scores. Possess and project one quality that is irrefutable and of course, communicate it successfully in your essays.
Over the years, we have noticed one common feature in ISB essays that have hit the mark—honest communication that shows your eagerness in aligning your learnings so far with your goals and with what the ISB has to offer.
A word about recommendation. In the application, you are required to fill in the details (name, designation and email-id) of one recommender. This should be your current or last manager who has known you for a considerable length of time (a year or more). The recommender should be able to highlight your strengths, achievements at work, leadership potential and scope for improvement. You can also nominate a client whom you have worked with in the past. Remember to give your recommender’s corporate email-id as contact.
SCHOLARSHIP CRITERIA FOR ISB
Every applicant to ISB is considered for merit-based scholarships. Fee waivers are awarded on the basis of your profile and don’t require separate essays. However, as only 30 to 50 applicants receive some kind of scholarship, it is very difficult to receive one. There are three types of scholarships offered by ISB:
- Full fee waiver – given very rarely and only to exceptional profiles
- Partial waiver – more common, but amount is less than 5 lakh
- Need-based scholarships – awarded to people with household incomes below 10 Lakh. Proof of the same should be submitted at the time of admission.
If shortlisted for interview, applicant is informed five days before the scheduled interview date. ISB interviews are conversational and on an average, last for 20 minutes. Interview questions are mostly based on your applications essays and are aimed at checking your goal clarity, leadership potential and communication skills.
The total fees of ISB PGP in 2020 stands at ₹3,598,940. This includes admission fee with 18% GST, tuition fee, hostel fee, library fee, alumni association fee (again with 18% GST on all) and a refundable security deposit. ISB has tie-ups with almost all leading banks and they provide loans covering up to 95% of the total fees.
ISB fees can make you feel edgy and you may question its justifiability at first. But talk to any ISB grad and they will tell you to go ahead and take the risk! The reasons? Superb placements, amazing faculty, meaningful projects, conducive learning environment, rigorous curriculum, cutting edge coursework, great networking opportunities, positive perception within the country…the list goes on.
BUT WHAT ABOUT ROI?
ISB fees is one of the highest in the country and yet, tens of thousands of folks apply every year. The reason is that it is worth it. Not only because of learnings, repute et al, but also due to the quick ROI. Average salary package in ISB placements is purported to be 25 lakh, that is, approximately 2 lakh per month. Factoring in your EMI for student loan (including resultant tax savings) and costs of living, ISB grads break even in anywhere between 2 to 5 years.
CAN ‘FRESHERS’ GET INTO ISB?
At Jamboree, we get that asked a lot. ISB offers two options for entry into PGP, if your work experience is less than 24 months as on March 31: Early Entry Option (EEO) and Young Leaders Programme (YLP).
Early Entry Option
EEO is a deferred admission offer to those working professionals who have less than 24 months of work experience. What this essentially means is that you can apply to PGP with your current work experience and if offered admission, you can pay fees and join later once you do have adequate work experience. To apply successfully in EEO, you would need a balanced academic record (Class 11, 12 and college); a good GMAT/GRE score; essays that reflect your personality, goals and your ability to lead and influence people, internships, etc. and a recommendation letter from your professor, internship supervisor or mentor.
Young Leaders Programme
YLP is a foundation programme that ISB offers to graduate or post graduate students who are in their pre-final or final year. The idea behind YLP is to mentor high performing students through a combination of online and offline learning methods, and to groom them for leadership positions in the future. YLP is in fact an alternate entry route to ISB’s PGP.
Admission process of YLP is designed to assess your academic credentials, personal attributes and the ability to lead and influence people. It has three stages:
|Stage 1||Application form, One essay and Application fee||March 25, 2020|
|Stage 2||GMAT or GRE score, One essay and One evaluation||August 31, 2020|
|Stage 3||Face-to-face interview||Interviews between September 15 and November 10, 2020|
Ideal score for ISB YLP
ISB YLP is quite popular among those college students who have a clear picture of what they want to do after their bachelors. This programme is meant for students who have been consistently brilliant in their academic performance as well as in their extra-curriculars. In addition to that, if you manage to get a GMAT score of 700 or above, consider yourself in the ‘safe zone’.
Not many people know that ISB has a smaller campus in Mohali. The modern energy-efficient Mohali campus became operational in 2012 and accommodates close to 300 students. Admission process to ISB is common to both campuses. While filling the online application form of PGP, students can indicate their campus preference. Opting for either campus will not affect the decision of the Admissions Committee. Although campus preference is considered, students are ultimately allotted the campus according to an algorithm that takes into consideration gender ratio, work experience, scores, age, etc. to ensure diversity in the cohort.
There is no difference in curriculum and course delivery on both the campuses. Professors at both campuses are common too. Placements happen on a single campus with the students of one flying to the other to participate. To ensure there is no bias, recruiters are not aware of a student’s campus.
ISB PLACEMENT HIGHLIGHTS (DEC 2019/JAN 2020)
- 1383 offers on Day 1 in comparison to 1194 offers last year
- Average CTC on Day 1 of placements stood at INR 26.15 lakhs pa – a 124% increase from the pre-ISB average CTC
- 231 companies, including 65 first-time recruiters hired from ISB this year
Any mention of ISB placements is incomplete without its massive alumni network. ISB boasts of several top management-level alumni across various industries—management consulting, IT, finance, e-commerce, media—and they contribute significantly in building the famed ISB-Industry connect. With 10,600 members and counting, ISB alumni network is indeed one of the greatest strengths of the institute.
To know more about the dynamics of admission at ISB, here is a video of Jamboree’s webinar with Mr. Vijay Gautam, head of outreach at ISB