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PGP Essay Analysis

PGP Essay 1 Analysis

You are required to respond to the following Essay questions, two mandatory and one optional. If you are a re-applicant, even the third essay would be mandatory.

If we were to admit just one more candidate to the Postgraduate Programme (PGP) at the ISB, why should it be you? (500 words)

So the ‘Why You’ essay prompt continues for the third consecutive year, albeit with a 25% increase in the word limit (more on this later).

Taking the question literally may mislead you, since it is not going to be easy to prove that you are the ‘One’ – but ISB has over 800 seats and you can always prove that you are a worthy candidate. You would therefore want to focus on your strengths, qualities, skills and traits that you think are different from the larger pool of candidates, though you may not be the only one demonstrating them.

While talking about yourself, do not just go on claiming things, but back your claim with relevant examples. Since you are applying to a business school, focus more on your professional strengths than just personal qualities. What makes you unique can very well be your niche industry exposure, the initiatives you have taken at work, the exceptional growth you have achieved vis-à-vis your peers and so on. We would also advise presenting one (preferably only one) personal trait, backed by relevant examples.

As you list the qualities – personal and professional, what remains important is to question yourself if these are relevant to ISB. It’s a good idea to connect these traits to how they enable you to contribute to the class at ISB. Indulge in specific research to identify events, activities, clubs and other platforms at ISB that you would like to use in the context of your skills/qualities. Recall where you contributed in a similar manner in the past.

Overall, it’s not an easy question to answer, but if drafted well, can very well seal the deal for you.

Now on the increased word limit – let’s say it’s just a replacement to the optional and the reapplicant essays. Since the very idea of this essay prompt is to establish why ISB should consider you, feel free to add any additional points you have on mind, to present your strengths. If you are a reapplicant, you may very well add a paragraph on the additional effort you have put in and the changes in your profile you have brought about, which are further reasons why ISB should be interested in you. 

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