ISB YLP Sample Essay – 1
ISB Essay Question 1: If we were to admit just one more candidate to the Postgraduate Programme (PGP) at the ISB, why should it be you? (500 Words)
“Noone told you when to run, you missed the starting gun” – Pink Floyd
“There are two paths you can go by but in the long run there’s still time to change the road you’re on.” – Led Zeppelin
The above lines define my life in a nutshell. I come from a family where access to best education guidance was scarce due to which I didn’t even get to know about IIT-JEE till late – missed the starting gun.
But then after a late start, BITS Pilani happened and I was left with no regrets. After Graduation, I joined Reliance Industries (RIL). From the start, I was demotivated to see the rigidity of the monotonous 9-5 job. There was very little scope to take initiatives, learn, and outshine. I always wanted to be in a role where I can take initiatives, implement my ideas, and learn from my failures and successes. In 2015, the startup ecosystem in India was on a boom and I felt a startup would be a perfect place for me – time to change the road I was on.
I thereby quit RIL and joined My Wash, as their first employee. I was super excited to feel the uncertainty of a young startup even though the risk involved was huge but I had the confidence to succeed. After 8 months, things got rough as funds dried up and we had to layoff staff. This led to an air of demotivation among the employees. I knew as operations lead, I had to believe and instill confidence in my team if My wash had to have any chance of surviving. I tried to be the source of motivation to other employees and created an emotional connection through open and honest communication with my team about the difficulties as well as achievements through town-hall meetings. My Team and I worked without a salary for three months and got rewarded for our confidence and perseverance when the MyWash family got acquired by House Joy. It was a moment of great satisfaction and contentment but I believed I still had a lot to learn from a startup.
After wash, I joined Revv to launch and head its Bangalore operations. One of my main learnings from MyWash was the importance of delegation. In Revv, I delegated work more efficiently and focused on applying my strengths in more creative areas than before. For example, I designed and executed the first PR campaign for Revv which was a huge success and got covered in the Economic Times and other national dailies.
I care for, but not fear for, my career and this has enabled me to have real confidence in my abilities and take calculated risks. Within a short 3 years, I have seen expansion, acquisition, faced employee strikes, and threats. I believe all these experiences have given me a lot of learnings about teamwork and leadership which I can share with my class at ISB and become a valuable contributor in my peer’s learning.
ISB YLP Sample Essays – 2
ISB Essay Question 2: Describe your short and long term career plans. How does the PGP fit in with those?
My immediate post-PGP goal is to join a large consulting firm or a corporate house in Strategy and Operations domain. I have three and a half years of work experience, mostly in early-stage startups, where I have tasted good success in team building, running on ground operations, and managing unit economics.
But I always felt most challenged and excited during brainstorming sessions on business strategy with start-up founders. I believe, a strategy consulting role would provide me exposure to diverse sets of challenging situations faced by various businesses and would require me to come up with novel solutions. Such experiences would be helpful in tackling similar challenges while pursuing my entrepreneurial ambitions in the long term.
So far, I have experience in developing on-ground operations strategies but now I want to move up in value-chain and learn in-depth about the nuances of broader strategic management governing business decisions. I believe the ISB PGP program is a perfect platform for me to gain in-depth knowledge of principles behind strategic management theoretically through the curriculum and practically through industry collaborations which would help me land into the strategy consulting domain. If given the opportunity, I am especially looking forward to being a part of the Consulting Club. The Mentor-Mentee model is an attractive opportunity for people like me to learn from alumni in reputed consulting firms. Keeping my long-term goal in mind, I also want to understand the finer details of the venture capital domain. I think Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club would be a great platform for me to connect with successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists and learn the intricacies and nuances of raising funds.
Since ISB can provide a well-crafted and proven path to my short-term and long-term goals, it seems to be the perfect destination for me to start nursing them.