Updated: Sep 18
At the tender age of 21, Ishita Nagpal undertook the successful journey from Christ University (Bangalore) to the ISB MBA program via the Early Entry Option (EEO). She was able to do it with the help of Faith Career's dedicated coach who gave her useful insights at the right time. Read her inspiring story.
#1) Ishita, can you please briefly describe your profile?
After graduating with a degree specializing in Finance and International Business from Christ
University (Bangalore), I was working as a Financial Analyst with Wipro Limited. The role taught me the importance of attention to detail, as I was dealing with taxation. I also create content for my venture Project 9 to 5 and and am currently working at Dentsu Webchuteny, an advertising firm, which helped me assimilate how to balance quality content marketing while working for multiple brands under strict deadlines.
I could explore my creative side by pitching ideas for influencer marketing campaigns for Google India and work on my analytical side by analyzing online performances of organic/paid media content for presenting analytical campaign reports to clients like Google and POCO.
#2) Why did you decide to pursue an MBA so early in your career?
I had already made a career switch from Finance to Marketing, therefore I was sure of what I wanted to do and I saw myself in a digital Brand manager role in the future to work with companies like Google or Uber directly instead of am agency. MBA would not only provide the right network but also knowledge resources to reach my ultimate goal of making my own initiative into a profitable business.
#3) What tips would you like to share with an aspirant who is working on their ISB Early Entry Option (EEO) Application?
Be completely authentic and honest about your achievements. Provide utmost clarity with your short-term and long-term goals (for example, make sure of putting down the name of a role and a company that might recruit from ISB. For long-term, do mention the career field you want to pivot to or if incase an entrepreneurial venture you want to embark on). Also mention how an MBA might be beneficial to you and how ISB would be a means to that end. (Can mention some co-curriculars, professors, courses, projects, fests, ISB alumni interaction, etc.).
#4) How did you prepare for the interview after submitting your ISB Early Entry Option application? What all steps did you take to prepare yourself for the interview?
I started my interview prep after receiving the invite which was a week's time period. Researching through the ISB website and understanding what you're opting for is important. I came across Faith Career's profile on Quora and reached out to them via Instagram 2 days before my interview. They guided me well enough even without taking the interview prep with them. I decided to go forward with the mock interviews cause they did seem really helpful.
My mentor at Faith Career gave all interview tips and a list of potential questions asked during such interviews. After preparing for them, I had my 1st round of mock interview which was followed by critical feedback which proved to be really helpful and helped me structure my answers correctly. Post that the 2nd round of mock interview on the next day did help me gain confidence and plan my answers well.
#6) What questions were asked to you during the ISB EEO interview?
The following questions were asked during my ISB Early Entry interview:
Q1. You're from Christ University, right? Do you know Ritika? (She had interviewed in the morning, same batch of college, worked on the initiative)
Q2. Tell us about Project 9 to 5.
Q3. Simply tell why do you want to do an MBA.
Q4. Why not IIM or INSEAD?
Q5. Do you think only an MBA can make you successful?
Q6. Why ISB and what if ISB doesn't happen this year for you? Why are you so keen on ISB,
you can apply to IIMs?
Q7. Tell us about a brand campaign that you like.
Q8. How have you managed to change people's opinions in a meeting room?
Q9. Are opinions valued in your organization? Do you think you being younger has impacted
your opinions in your company in any way?
Q10. Tell us more about a Google project.
Q 11. Have you spoken to any alums (was asked from all panelists) and what was their
feedback on ISB?
Q12. Who is Mr. Sriram? (was mentioned in my essay) (is an alum and did take a workshop
Q13. Write down 3 words as to why should people do MBA? (Don't want your personal reasons as we know them)
Q14. Why not continue Project 9 to 5 hustle and make it a revenue generating model?
Q15. Why not join your family business?
Q16. Why did you switch from Finance?
Q17. What makes you creative?
Q18. Have you collaborated in a team?
Q19. Any questions for us?
Q20. Are you friends with your initiative Co-Founder ? Did you apply together?
#7) How did you think you performed in the interview?
My ISB Early Entry interview went on for an hour and 5 minutes, and I thought I wouldn't get in because other interviews were only for 25 to 30 minutes. The interviewers kept asking questions based on my current profile, why MBA and why ISB and why an MBA so early in life.
Other questions from the field of Advertising and why I shouldn't pursue/continue with my father's business etc. The interview wasn't grilling but they wanted all answers to the point, they were very clear they don't need stories cause I was the last interviewee on that panel that day and they has listened to enough stories for the day.
#8) What are your final ‘To-Dos’ and ‘Not-to-Dos’ for an ISB aspirant?
ISB Early Entry applicants should do the following -
● Please be thorough with your profile achievements, academics, extra-curricular activities,
● Research extensively about ISB
● Start writing essays on time and proofread them
● Essays should not beat around the bush. be precise and concrete
● Give concrete short term and long term plans
● Mention how ISB benefits from you and how you can benefit from ISB
● Practice mock interviews
● Prepare all possible potential questions for interview and say it out loud
● Don't wait till the last minute to complete the essays
● Submit the application before the deadline
● Beat around the bush during an interview