About the ISB YLP
As the fourth semester dawns, most CBSites are faced with the too-familiar question of “CAT or GMAT?”. While the CAT opens doors to most of India’s most prestigious institutions, the Indian School of Business (ISB) with its radically different and holistic admission process uses the GMAT. My journey with ISB started in the month of January last year when I saw an advertisement for the Young Leader’s Program, or as it is more popularly known, the YLP. Since ISB does not ask for the GMAT in the first stage, I decided to give the program a go, considering the safety option of going to one of India’s best business schools.
The first stage asks for an essay and your resume along with a form that asks for your marks in 10th, 12th and under graduation. ISB generally has a basic cutoff of 6.5 CGPA to even consider your application so it is important to maintain a decent GPA. Their essay generally revolves around your motivation to study at ISB and your career goals, hence it is essential to have clarity around how you wish to present yourself in front of the admissions team. However, since the CBS brand is quite strong, a well-written essay and a good resume will get you past this stage, the results for which come out in the month of April.
After Stage 1, the next step is to give your GMAT, procure a recommendation and write another essay by the Stage 2 deadline, which is by the end of August. This stage is much more rigorous as you need to balance writing a more difficult essay and preparing for the GMAT. For the GMAT, a score above 700 is safe, however, students have also gotten in with lower GMAT scores in the 650-700 range. In the recommendation, you should ideally get it from someone who knows you well and would be willing to write positive things about your capabilities. As for the essay, every individual is different hence their response would be different too. However, some general advice would be to introspect and really understand yourself and think about the topic and also write two-three drafts before the deadline.
Stage 3 comprises of an interview with the alumni of ISB where the format is similar to a foreign B-School interview. My interview was very relaxed and primarily revolved around why an MBA and all my activities in my resume. They were highly interested in my co-curricular activities since that happened to be the more unique part of my resume and what I think set me apart.