Perspectives from ISB

As the Round 3 application deadline approaches, prospective candidates find themselves grappling with a critical decision that can significantly impact their journey into the PGP program at ISB. The question on everyone’s mind: Does applying in Round 3 diminish your chances? Concerns about perceived disadvantages compared to earlier rounds often leave applicants hesitant, contemplating whether to delay their submissions. In this blog, we delve into the experiences and insights of current PGP Co’24 students who successfully navigated Round 3, shedding light on the realities and dispelling myths surrounding this pivotal stage in the admissions process.

  • Does Applying in Round 3 diminish your chances?

Deciding whether to apply in the third round of the PGP admissions process can be perplexing for many applicants, raising concerns about perceived disadvantages compared to earlier rounds. The fear of lower odds and uncertainty about potential variations in the selection process often lead applicants to contemplate delaying their submissions.

Sharing his experience, Sahil Gupta (PGP Co’24), a Round 3 applicant, advises, “Being in the same position last year, I heard rumours about lower odds and unique challenges in Round 3. Despite initial preparations for Round 2, my hectic schedule hindered my progress. Despite concerns, I took a leap of faith based on others’ advice. As a Chartered Accountant with a less-than-stellar GMAT/GRE score, I believed my chances were minimal. Yet, here I am today. The application process is straightforward: apply, undergo interviews, participate in interactive sessions, and soon enough, you’ll be part of the ISB community!”

Adding her perspective, Tania Aggarwal (PGP Co’24), a Round 3 applicant, states, “I had similar concerns last year, given my extensive work experience. However, after participating in PGP webinars, I discovered that applying in Round 3 had no drawbacks. ISB doesn’t view reapplications negatively. Even if not accepted, applying in Round 3 offers personalized feedback, ensuring a stronger application in subsequent years. This realization prompted my decision to proceed with my application in Round 3, and I got selected.”

For Lohitha Reddy (PGP Co’24), the journey was unique, “Honestly, it was a whirlwind experience. I took my GMAT/GRE exam on December 30th and later decided to apply to ISB. It wasn’t until January 4th that I realized the Round 2 deadline had passed, leaving me with just one month for the Round 3 application process. If you find yourself in a similar situation, contemplating a last-minute decision without prior planning in Round 2, I encourage you to take a chance. Trust yourself, and you’ll navigate through it successfully.”

Advocating for seizing opportunities, Shino Shibu (PGP Co’24) emphasizes, “Statistics on round-wise acceptance rates are unavailable, making it futile to worry about the likelihood of admission in Round 3. It’s more practical to seize opportunities when they arise. Wasting a year waiting for a potential advantage without guaranteed results is counterproductive. As someone who values seizing opportunities, I applied in R3 and found success. Avoid overanalysing your chances; take decisive action rather than relying on intricate calculations with uncertain outcomes.”

  • Is Round 3 for Diversity candidates?

The admissions team at ISB frequently encounters a plethora of intriguing questions from candidates, some of which leave them astounded. One particularly noteworthy query revolves around Round 3, where it is often perceived that ISB shifts its focus exclusively to diversity candidates, given that Rounds 1 and 2 have already witnessed the selection of conventional candidates.

Amit Tyagi, Associate Director of Admissions & Financial Aid at ISB, dispels this notion, stating, “There is no dedicated diversity candidate category at ISB; quotas do not exist for any group. The evaluation process remains uniform for everyone. While diversity quotient may play a role the evaluation process for them is similar to all other candidates. The perception that Round 3 is exclusively for diversity considerations is baseless; it is open to all applicants, and success depends on meeting the established cut-offs.”

Sahil Gupta (PGP Co’24) advises prospective candidates, saying, “Put your best foot forward. ISB is always on the lookout for unique personalities, and I believe every personality is unique. Just focus on bringing that uniqueness to the forefront. Your only concern should be about your admissions and not about the kind of applicants in the pool. Concentrate on showcasing yourself and apply when your application is strongest. That’s the mantra!”

Tania Aggarwal (PGP Co’24) adds, “To truly stand out in your ISB application, introspect and identify the unique aspects of your journey. ISB values individual accomplishments and personal growth more than mere diversity. Highlight what sets you apart, the milestones you’ve achieved, and the challenges you’ve overcome. Showcase your proactive approach to trying new things and pushing boundaries. Tailor your essays to vividly reflect these qualities, emphasizing how they contribute to your identity as a standout individual. Focus on articulating your distinctive experiences and the resilience you’ve demonstrated throughout your journey—this will undoubtedly make your application more compelling.”

Lohitha Reddy (PGP Co’24) concludes, “The diversity that ISB seeks is in personalities rather than profiles, aiming to bring out the best in others and create a more enriching cohort for mutual learning.”

  • Do Round 3 applicants get Mohali Campus only?

Another prevalent misconception revolves around the belief that individuals who apply in the third round, if successfully selected, are automatically assigned to the Mohali campus.

Shino Shibu (PGP Co’24) shares his perspective, “I’m currently at the Hyderabad Campus and unsure about the process of how the campuses are assigned. I would love to visit the Mohali Campus, especially to witness the sports events. There seems to be scepticism about whether there’s a significant difference in campuses. I don’t think there’s any preference based on profiles or exams; it seems quite random. I’ve spoken to friends at the Mohali Campus, and they share the same sentiment.”

Hailing from Hyderabad, Lohitha Reddy (PGP Co’24) found herself on the other end of the country, “Coming from Hyderabad, I initially aimed for Hyderabad campus but ended up in Mohali. Unexpected, yet it turned out to be the best experience. Both campuses offer a similar learning environment with shared opportunities. You can even spend time on the other campus if you want to experience both. Whether it’s Mohali or Hyderabad, the difference is negligible. Don’t let the location deter you; apply and embrace the journey at ISB.”

Sahil Gupta (PGP Co’24) opted for the Mohali Campus and had his wish fulfilled, “Although it’s not true that ISB gives the Mohali campus to Round 3 candidates, I would recommend taking it. Personally, I opted for Mohali and have never regretted the decision. Dispelling any misconceptions, it’s a great choice. So, if the opportunity arises again, I’d select Mohali without hesitation.”

Adding a touch of humour, Tania Aggarwal (PGP Co’24) playfully comments, “Oh, and by the way, the food is better at Mohali!” 

In the resounding echoes of success at the Indian School of Business (ISB), Round 3 applicants are not merely hopeful contenders; they are the architects of their destiny, as revealed through the inspiring narratives of Sahil Gupta, Tania Aggarwal, Lohitha Reddy, and Shino Shibu. Casting aside the prevailing misconceptions that Round 3 is reserved for diversity candidates and Mohali campus pursuits, ISB authorities and the triumphant testimonies of students shatter these illusions. The true essence lies in harnessing individual strengths, showcasing unparalleled uniqueness, and making decisions grounded in personal aspirations. Beyond the confines of application rounds or campus assignments, triumph at ISB is an indomitable spirit that transcends barriers, urging aspirants to seize every opportunity and embark on an enriching journey that promises not just success, but a legacy of inspiration and transformation.

The above blog summarises and presents excerpts from PGP Wednesdays organised by Admissions and Financial Aid Team at ISB dating 03-01-2024 at 6:30 PM IST. The topic of discussion was Contemplating on Round 3 Application? Let insights form PGP students be your guide.” The Panel included Tania Aggarwal (PGP Co’ 2024), Lohitha Reddy (PGP Co’ 2024), Sahil Gupta (PGP Co’ 2024), Shino Shibu (PGP Co’ 2024) and Amit Tyagi (Associate Director, AFA at ISB). The session was hosted by Ketan Tiwari (Regional Manager, AFA at ISB).

Will I get any scholarship in Round 3?

A minimum of 25% and a maximum of up to 100% in tuition fee waivers will be offered in Round 3. In fact, ISB has almost doubled its scholarships in Round 3. All Round 3 applicants are eligible for merit-based and need-based scholarships. In addition to these scholarships, students may receive corporate scholarships and alumni endowments once they join ISB.

Merit Scholarship: By default, everyone who applies to ISB is considered for the merit-based scholarship. The overall application is evaluated based on GMAT/GRE scores, academics, quality of work experience, interview performance, etc.

Need-based scholarships: Applicants whose family income is less than 18 LPA are eligible for need-based scholarships. If you would like to apply for this scholarship, on the scholarship section of the application portal, you are required to select a suitable scholarship. This will enable you to submit a separate essay for the respective need-based scholarship. Family income includes the income/pension of you, your father, your mother, and your spouse (if any). Income proofs for the same need to be submitted.

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