Triya's Insight into ISB's Young Leaders Programme!
We receive a lot of queries about different kinds of programmes that people can explore after their undergraduate in India and abroad. While we’re working on finding stories about the latter for you, we’re excited to announce that we’ve found someone presently enrolled in one of India’s most unique and prestigious opportunities for a B School aspirant- ISB’s Young Leader Programme!
Triya Shah is a YLP Admit, expecting to join the course for the batch of 2022-2023. A graduate of St. Xavier’s Mumbai in Mass Media and Communications, she navigates us through the process of applying and getting into the YLP.
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As a communications student, I knew that having an interest in business was going to raise some questions, as it did. But I knew it was something I wanted to pursue and decidedly so, I tried to use my diverse background as a strength instead of something that held me back. Through this article, I’m going to try and tell y’all about the ISB YLP and how I got there. But before I begin, let’s talk about what the program actually is and what it entails.
1. What is the ISB YLP and why should you go for it?
The Young Leaders Program is a one of its kind, deferred admission program offered by ISB to pre- final and final year graduation students. Through a selective process, ISB allows a few students to reserve their seat in a PGPM batch that commences two years post their graduation provided they finish the mandatory work experience requirement.
For example, I graduate in 2020, so I’m eligible to join ISB in 2022.
ISB essentially gives a chance to motivated students to secure a seat for their highly esteemed program. Personally, this has given me a strong sense of security for my academic future.
Additionally, the format of YLP also involves mentoring and other such stints organized by ISB for the YLP students in the year before their admit. They conduct ‘learning weekends’ for the YLP admits once every 6 months to undergo mentorship and training sessions at the campus. After the applicant has reserved their seat, they are also required to complete a minimum of 20 months of work experience as eligibility criteria before joining the PGP batch.
The entire experience provides manifold experiences for fresh graduates to polish themselves before they actually start the program.
2. What is the process for YLP?
YLP admissions take over 9 months and are divided across 3 rounds. I'll explain the requirements for all 3 in detail while simultaneously exploring my experience for the same;
R1 requires the applicant to submit their recent GPA, a few details about their extracurricular activities, hobbies and awards and an essay. The essay has to be written on a topic provided by ISB and it generally explores the applicant’s candidature and personal development.
Results: Mid September (uncertain)
After one round of elimination, applicants who qualify to R2 have to submit some more rigorous academic details, a GMAT/GRE score and one or two essays.
I’d personally recommend strong preparation for GMAT/GRE but I can also say that a lower score won’t necessarily stand in your way if you can make up for it with the rest of your profile.
Essays are also an important part of the application so it’s definitely important to not underestimate / overlook them.
Results: End of October
R3 is essentially the interview round where all remaining applicants are called before a panel to be judged on their interpersonal skills.
The interviews are carefully catered to one’s entire application, across all three rounds and are used to test the applicant in different ways to see the viability of their candidature.
3. What happens after an admit?
ISB requires the applicant to confirm their offer and reserve a seat by making a small financial commitment. After the applicant has reserved their seat, they are required to complete a minimum 20 months of work experience as eligibility criteria before joining the PGP batch. Additionally, ISB conducts ‘learning weekends’ for the YLP admits once every 6 months to undergo mentorship and
training sessions at the campus.
Now, let me cover some crucial points about my profile that aided my application and eventually, my admit!
- My academic background faced an interesting turn of events when I switched from Commerce ( Junior College ) to Mass Media ( Degree College ). While my decision was driven primarily by my interests, I made sure to enrol for one of the best programs.
- At Xavier’s, I fostered a strong extra-curricular background by volunteering for and heading collegiate festivals. Including, representing the college and India at Harvard College for a student conference. These ventures made me realize my keen interest in management.
- Thirdly, I took up multiple internships to solidify my professional interests. While I’m still in the process of narrowing it down, my stints have given me an insight into what I don’t want to do, and I think this is just as helpful!
Moving on to a more personalized perspective about how my communications background played a role in my application, I remember when I was preparing for my round 3 interview, one of my professors told me – “At YLP, in a small class full of engineers, you have to use your communication as a tool.”
Needless to say, that’s exactly what I did.
I used my essays to go beyond the ‘literal’ perspective and explore a deeper meaning behind the topics while keeping it clear, crisp and to the point.
During the interview, I engaged in conversations with the interviewers, highlighting every relevant part of my application through discernible methods, even if it meant drawing them a flow-chart or showing them a video.
Additionally, my field of interest is marketing, a coveted stream to study at ISB as well. To integrate this into my profile, I focused on it in my application and R1 essay, which eventually became a point of discussion during my interview. Engaging in conversation about something I’m passionate about was helpful during my interview, especially when the panel joined in and it turned into a mutual discussion.
All in all, your diverse background doesn’t have to stand in the way of getting an admit, as long as
you’re passionate about what you want and willing to work hard to get there.
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