Essay Analysis

ISB Young Leaders Program (YLP) 2022 Essay Analysis and Sample Essay Structure

What is ISB YLP? 

The ISB Young Leaders Program (YLP) is an entry channel to the full-time 1-year ISB Post-Graduate Program (PGP), for students still in college. This is a deferred admit program that ensures an admitted candidate a seat at the ISB PGP, after gaining approximately 2 years of full-time experience. Students in their final or pre-final year may apply through the YLP deadlines and secure an admit to the ISB PGP, as they complete college. The admitted candidates may then take up a full-time professional engagement of their choice, before joining ISB.


ISB YLP is a unique opportunity for college students to apply to one of the best business schools in the country. YLP Stage-1 does not require a GMAT/GRE score. Strong academic scores, therefore, are a big plus. Additionally, present a compelling story, that makes the admissions team understand your strengths, and believe that you will be a valuable addition to the class

Vikram Singh, CEO and Chief Mentor at ISBmantra, and a Former Admissions Officer at ISB

YLP Stage-1 is the first step in the application process, which requires the applicants to submit an essay, along with a few details about their profile. Please note that the Stage-1 application does not require a GMAT/GRE score. Applicants selected through Stage-1, move to Stage-2, where they must submit an essay, along with their test score. ISB Application Deadline, check this article to know the deadlines of ISB YLP stage 1 and stage 2.

ISB YLP Stage-1 Essay Question

The Stage-1 Application Essay remains critical to one’s application, given that the essay is the only key component that the applicant is able to present to the admissions team, to communicate their best stories. 

The following is the Stage-1 Essay Question for YLP 2022:

“Describe a personal incident or achievement which changed you as a person. How did it change your perspective about yourself or about others? (300 words)”

ISB YLP Stage-1 Essay Analysis & Tips

YLP applicants do not have any full-time professional experience. The question, therefore, aptly asks for a “personal” incident or achievement. While you may touch upon any aspect of your life, relating this story/incident/example to a leadership role may further add value, instead of presenting a standard, ad hoc situation, where you may just be an individual contributor. This leadership story can come from a college activity, community engagement, or an initiative beyond college. 

It is possible that you have had incidents/experiences relating to your childhood that transformed your approach to life – but if you had no role to play in that incident (other than being affected by it), then it may not be the best story to pick.

The second part of the question asks how the incident or achievement “changed you as a person”. While this is open-ended, you do not need to take this part too literally. The change need not be too transformational or dramatic. The idea is to present how the experience left you with some crucial learnings. 

“How did it change your perspective about yourself or about others?” – well, at some level, the answer to this part of the question becomes easier if you have presented an incident that involves other stakeholders. This will allow you to demonstrate skills such as teamwork, empathy, humility, etc. Additionally, you may present what you learned from others, as well as from the entire experience, bringing about a positive shift in your perspective or approach. 

The 300-word limit ensures that you communicate the story or incident in brief and touch upon how it impacted you.

ISB YLP Stage-1 Sample Essay Structure


How Can ISBmantra Help?

Every applicant is unique; so is every story. Our team of former admissions officers from ISB, along with a pool of 30+ ISB alumni, works with every applicant in a completely personalized manner to help bring out your unique stories. Further, your Consultant works as your coach, helping you in identifying your strengths, picking the most impactful stories, and presenting them through the essay. Explore our YLP Comprehensive Application Builder with Moneyback.

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