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Enrolling in a Business School is an important career decision. Critically look at your career to date, the choices you have made, the key influences behind those choices, your goals for the future and how do you think ISB's PGP can help you in achieving your goals? (300 words max)
This is a rather layered essay prompt for an allowance of a mere 300 words. Your career history, the choices, the influences, plans for the immediate and long-term future, the need for an MBA and the choice of ISB as your preferred school; will add up to a substantial response. The career goal essay has consistently found place in the ISB application, especially given the fact that unlike most international programs of similar repute, ISB provides complete placement support. This remains one of the primary reasons why ISB is very keen to understand your short-term goals. We strongly recommend that you do not get misled by the phrase “your goals for the future” and get too engrossed in detailing your plans for the “future and beyond”. The focus should be on what you want to achieve immediately after the MBA.
Provide specific details about the industry, function etc., pertaining to your dream role, post MBA. Do not get into designations. You may very well be made the CTO of a company with 5 employees – but is that what you want? It helps to keep your short-term goals consistent with your past. The recruiter is going to value your experience until now; hence do not underplay it. The idea is to demonstrate your intention of effectively leveraging the experience and exposure you have gained until now. You may want to move to a different function or industry – that is justifiable. Focus on the Transferable Skills that will equip you to perform in your new role.
If you recognize that the role/industry you want to enter is a bit too competitive, it may be a good idea to also present a Plan B. But both your Plan A and Plan B must be consistent with your long-term plans. All that you will do in the next 4-5 years is not to be regarded as the ultimate destination, but rather, as the path leading towards a larger purpose. It will be judicious to present what you may want to achieve in the medium to long term. Again, do not get into designations, but focus on presenting the direction you would want your career to take. Define your long-term plans to include the foreseeable future – let’s say 8-10 years from now. Your plans may very well evolve with time and experience, but a base plan must be in place, to start with.
A major part of your essay should also go into establishing the quality, context and highlights of your past experience. If you have undertaken any major industry or function shifts, cite what you learnt at each stage, even while demonstrating that you achieved seamless transitions.
Conclude by validating the indispensable need for an MBA and why you think ISB precisely resonates with your aspirations. Remember not to go overboard with ‘why ISB’, since it would be simplistic to expect to be selected just because you were able to list several clubs and electives and the faculty at ISB. The essay is more about you and how ISB remains an interesting choice in your scheme of things. Make it short and sweet.
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