ADAM: To be honest, I first became aware of ISB when one of my former clients, a Kellogg student, told me that he had an amazing time as an exchange student at ISB. Earlier this year, when I started looking at MBA starting salaries provided by FT, I realized that ISB had one of the best ROI's of any program worldwide. How has ISB become so good at placing its students in such a short time?
HIMA: We can attribute our success to three factors:
- The quality of education and highly skilled students at the ISB. The students at ISB are high achieving professionals with high caliber academic backgrounds and work experience that, recruiters vie to hire them after a year at the ISB.
ADAM: ISB'S Post Graduate Program in Management (PGM) is presently ranked 20th in FT's ranking of MBA Program's Worldwide. Considering that the PGPM only started in 2001, what do you think explains ISB's ranking?
- Career progression of alumni
- The quality of ISB faculty
- Research credentials of ISB
- Strong industry and institute interaction
-The strong class profile over the years strong not only on academic achievements but also on diversity
ADAM: For many readers of this blog, who are mostly thinking about attending schools in Europe and the US, their most likely point of contact with ISB will be either on exchange programs to ISB or by meeting ISB exchange students at their schools. Could you explain a little bit about how ISB exchange programs work? More specifically: (1) Why would someone want to do an exchange program at ISB? (2) How important is the exchange program for students at ISB?
HIMA: Students from foreign countries and universities who come to ISB for an exchange programme, get to have a first-hand knowledge of the Indian business scenario. They can apply the management principles that they learn in class to the Indian context. The Indian economy is gradually becoming strong and buoyant and any corporation worth its salt is clamouring for a slice of the Indian market. So, this is just the right time for a neophyte in business practices to hone his skills right here in India.
ADAM: A number of my readers are from India, but generally find me because they are applying to American and/or European schools. Why would you encourage them to consider ISB?
HIMA: Again, the answer to this Q. is pretty much the same as above. For precisely the same reason that India is gradually becoming the hub of the global economies and there's is nothing like learning
ADAM: While I understand why ISB has to issue a PGPM instead of an MBA, for readers not familiar with the way the Indian government regulates educational institutions, can you explain it?
HIMA: Government regulations ISB believes merit is the only criteria on which students should be selected. ISB has always emphasized on selecting the highest quality of students irrespective of gender, caste or economic background and wishes to maintain this independence in selection. In India you need to be a university or deemed university to issue a masters degree but this will involve coming under the purview of Government regulations.
ADAM: How important are the application essays in determining who to admit?
HIMA: Application essays give us an insight into a students, leadership potential, maturity of thinking, analytical ability, diversity to the class, etc,. They help us in gaining a holistic perspective of the student, so are very crucial. Many times good essays, validated by interview have been responsible for admission keeping aside other scores.
ADAM: How important are recommendations? What constitutes a great recommendation?
HIMA: Very important. A potential students quality of work, career progression, initiative, crisis management skills are garnered from his Recommendations. Recommendations need to be honest, straight forward information on a student not glorified endorsements. A recommendation which gives a balanced view of the student strengths and weaknesses, throws light on his achievements and failures, shows his skill set is good.
ADAM: How important is the interview?
HIMA: Again very important and the deciding factor as only 40% of students get the offer after an interview.
ADAM: How important are campus visits? Do you keep track of who visits? Does it impact their chances for admission?
HIMA: Campus visits help a prospective applicant to see the institute and make up his mind. We do keep track of who visits but our decisions are not influenced by these visits.
ADAM: Can you provide my readers with some idea of how difficult it is to get into ISB?
HIMA: The competition varies from year to year. So, it is very difficult to give any concrete answer to this question. But a guesstimate would be 1:10.
ADAM: What changes to do you expect to see at ISB in the coming years?
HIMA: There are quite a few things on the anvil, in the near future we hope to
- Establish the next Research Centre of Excellence in Strategic Marketing
- Begin a new campus at Mohali in the northern part of India
- Start a pre-doctoral and Ph.D. programmes
ADAM: Can applicants get in touch with alums and current students? How?
HIMA: Yes. The applicant just needs to send an e-mail to the admissions office at email@example.com and they will put him in touch with a current student or alum.
ADAM: Can applicants get in touch with faculty members who they have a strong desire to work with?
ADAM: Is there anything else you would like us to know about ISB?