Since it’s a new program, you won’t find many ISB PGPpro reviews to decide whether it’s the right program for you. Not to be confused with the UCLA PGP Pro. It’s quite expensive as well (the fee for 2017-18 is INR 30 Lakh + service tax).
EMBA aspirant, Vineet Solabannavar, was in the same situation. Here’s how he tackled the dilemma of choosing between the various executive MBA programs at ISB and INSEAD (PGPpro vs PGPMax vs ILPSIE) that he had shortlisted.
Frankly, I have written very few blogs but I think it is important that I document my Executive MBA admission process along with my personal insights for any prospective Executive MBA candidates in India.
In my current role, I am responsible for IT application management in Healthcare organization. I have been associated with Healthcare (in IT function) for around 10 years now with overall ~13 years of professional experience, and would like to continue growing in a similar industry.
During my career which has been mostly focused on providing IT services, I learnt a lot on structured management of projects and applications, but was having difficulty understanding the big picture needed as part of leadership roles.
During my interaction with a few ISB alumni, I realized that an MBA degree not only provides you with the core business skills but the experience gives you a lot of confidence as a person. An MBA degree also opens new doors through networking opportunities. With the stage I am at my career, I wanted to learn skills which would ensure that I would be setup for success in leadership roles and positions.
Initially I had thought about pursuing a full-time MBA either from India or abroad, but at this phase of my life both personally and professionally the cost of opportunity of spending 1-2 years on a full-time course and being away from my family would be a major challenge.
To clarify my thoughts I had email interaction with Sameer Kamat (founder of MBA Crystal Ball) who was able to provide me with some pointers on Full-time vs EMBA programs. This interaction along with some introspection provided me with confidence of pursuing an EMBA program.
The Executive MBA space in India is unexplored and there are a very few International level EMBA programs options available in the country. As part of the school selection process, ISB PGPMax and INSEAD ILPSE were really my only choices. I had also dwelled on the thought of applying for some EMBA programs in Dubai.
The PGPMax was the first choice with INSEAD being my next alternative. I did not want to apply for programs in Dubai because of the travel as I have few month’s old baby who needs attention.
Fortunately at this time ISB introduced a new EMBA program PGPpro which was targeting towards working professionals but with weekend flavor. PGPPro has a few benefits that I did not have to travel out of Hyderabad to attend the program as it is conducted in the ISB campus.
Another benefit is that I did have to be off work for a week long every six weeks (as required for PGPMax) with same number of credits as PGPMax.
ISB PGPpro is targeting mid-career professionals, who can exhibit some management experience along with strong academic skills.
The application process consisted of 2 essays along with 2 professional recommendations. GMAT is not mandatory for the application process.
I applied for PGPpro in Round 2 and had a very few days to complete the application, draft the essays and also gather 2 professional recommendations. With the time constraint I wanted to ensure I give my best while applying for the program.
My interactions with Sameer and MG along with the informative blogs on the MCB website provided me with enough confidence that MCB were the right people to assist me in my application process.
MG introduced me to Vibhav for the MBA essay writing process. For optimization purposes Vibhav suggested we start with both the essays and get an initial draft. The interaction with Vibhav was fantastic especially his availability even late evenings and weekends to ensure that we are moving towards the final draft.
Vibhav assisted me in translating my thoughts into a proper structure, and analyze some of the important aspects from my viewpoint. He ensured that I answered the questions correctly and did not include things which had no value to my application process.
During my interactions Vibhav also provided me with some useful insights of the MBA program, and how as a person you would change during the course of 1.5 years. As I am into the first few months of the program, I am able to relate the discussions with Vibhav.
This was one of the interviews I wanted to really do well! I was nervous before the interview, but as soon as I was in front of them, I was confident. The panel consisted of 2 members both of whom are ISB alums.
The interviewers wanted to understand my rationale behind doing an MBA, how would I add value to the class. The interview process is a very important step in the selection process and hence I ensured that I answered the questions to the best of my ability.
The interview results were announced within 2 days and I was excited to be part of the founding class of PGPpro.
The journey until now has been very exciting and fruitful. There have been many ‘aha’ moments as part of the initial MBA journey and I am always looking forward to meet my friends during the weekend.
The relationships I have created with the people of the class has been enriching and humbling. The class diversity enriches you with different perspectives. The faculty at ISB for the PGPpro program has been amazing with professors visiting from international schools.
Even though this is not a full-time MBA program, the course is rigorous and requires one to sacrifice lots of their personal interests. It throws you with challenges on time management and prioritization of activities.
I am looking forward to leverage the knowledge and skills in my day job. The road ahead is uncertain, but I think it is a calculated risk to open new doors to the future.