No other business school in the country celebrates and expatiates more about diversity than the Indian School of Business does!
A master’s degree is the final foray into academics for most individuals, hence making the choice of school even more important. And when it is MBA that you are looking to pursue, student network should be at the top of your priority list.
The founders of ISB realized this two decades ago – back when great MBA meant going to an IIM and studying in a batch with more than 90% of engineers. And hence, diversity became one of the most important and defining cornerstones of ISB.
What does diversity look like at ISB?
ISB admits approximately 850 select individuals to the flagship PGP program every year. While most schools are still talking about diversity on paper, ISB has added a whole new dimension to it! A typical class comprises journalists, actors, film directors, army and merchant navy officers, entrepreneurs, chartered accountants, investment bankers and ex-consultants holding degrees in commerce, economics, humanities and, of course, engineering. What is even more fascinating is that even though the average work experience of the class is approximately 4.5 years, candidates come with as little as two years and as much as 20 years of professional experience
Business schools have traditionally and historically been plagued with skewed gender representation across the globe and hence ISB comes as a breath of fresh air with almost 40%-women representation in class. In today’s world, nobody can deny the discerning perspectives and empowering cultural change brought forth by women leaders and a gender-balanced classroom at ISB renders the learnings more comprehensive and impactful
The class is refreshingly diverse from a test score viewpoint as well. The GMAT scores for an ISB class range from as low as 640 to as high as 770. However, students with low GMAT scores often have other resume spikes to their credit, like but not limited to, higher than average work experience, non-traditional backgrounds or entrepreneurial profiles and a propensity to add tremendous value to the class through their varied experiences
Students on exchange from far-flung corners of the world and cultures as diverse as that of Hong Kong, Canada, France, USA, UK, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Russia, China or Switzerland also bring in novel perspectives, enhancing the exposure of PGP students to different cultures and global best practices.
How does diversity elevate the ISB experience?
Attending lectures in the company of such a diverse group lends rich perspectives to the subjects being taught, as participants share their unique experiences and viewpoints with the class. For example, a financial valuation or marketing analytics course is significantly augmented by the invaluable, practical insights shared by a classmate who happens to have worked in the same domain. Or say, somebody who has worked in media and entertainment contributes by bringing a completely different industry perspective and anecdotes about influencer marketing.
How does ISB celebrate and encourage diversity?
Study Group Pairings
The concept of study groups is enforced to encourage amalgamation of perspectives and experiences while creating a safe space for students to bond and learn. They are essentially groups of 4-5 students who undertake projects and class assignments together. While ISB pairs students with each other during core terms, they are free to form their own groups in elective terms.
End result? When an ex-consultant from a top-tier consulting firm, an English graduate, an ex-army captain, a doctor and a chartered accountant brainstorm a problem, one can be assured of the optimal solution, revealing facets of the problems that may well have been missed in a traditional like-minded environment
Peer Learning Sessions
Popularly known as P2P sessions, these are independent sessions that PGP candidates are free to organize to educate the rest of the class in the real-world workings of the industries/backgrounds they have come from. In fact, very recently the class of 2020 witnessed an extremely informative session on aeronautical engineering and plane design by an ex-Indian Airforce fighter pilot.
Numerous Clubs and SIGs
With over 14 professional clubs, 11 social clubs, and 7 special initiatives groups – ISB has something for everybody. To really understand the extent of this statement, know that there is one official MEME group as well. And if you still feel there isn’t a club representation for your interests, you are absolutely free to start your own Special Interest Group or SIG. The class of 2020 alone had 8 SIGs, with the most popular addition being Media & Entertainment. PS: If your SIG remains intact for at least 3 years, it is bestowed the status of a permanent club!
ISB’s continuous focus on and enforcement of diversity on campus has produced magnificent outcomes, to say the least. Not only are ISB graduates better prepared and more aware, but many start-ups have been born from enthralling conversations between people as unlike one another as mountaineers, Limca Book record holder artists, national-level sports players, wine connoisseurs and cartoonists, to name a few.
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