ISB Ding

I went into hibernation after giving my ISB interview, the only school I applied to. 3 days before the results were actually released, I attended the ISB R1 admits and R2 "hopefuls" meet here in Hyderabad. It was a great meet and I was excited to study with those guys once I get into ISB.

But alas, something else was in store for me and one fine morning, when I was early to office, I got an SMS saying that I was not accepted. It really came as a shock to me and for the next one hour I was feeling, hoping rather, that it is a mistake and cannot be true. I mean, everything was in place now. Last time I had applied with 2.5 years of work-ex and was waitlisted. I screwed up my interview last time. This year, I applied with close to 5 years of work-ex and far better essays. My interview was more mature. Considering all this, I had assumed that I will get through this time and had planned everything.

Anyways, now I have got used to the fact that I will not be doing an MBA this year. Right now, am focusing on my job and keeping myself updated on the news on global MBA front. It's time to do some introspection to figure out the reasons for my reject. That is, before I get a feedback from ISB.

Why is ISB ranked 20th in FT Global MBA

The recent news that ISB is ranked 20th worldwide in the FT Global MBA rankings has invited a lot of opinions, objections and praises. Although I personally feel that getting this ranking is definitely good for ISB as the first thing ISB needs to be acknowledged in the global arena is exposure, and rankings is a definite way to achieve it. I do have some points to talk in favour of and discussions on some of the doubts that people might have.

Understanding the criteria
Every ranking institution follow a different criteria to compile the rankings, a fact every individual must understand before deciding whether a B-school deserved the particular ranking or not. I am not concluding anything here, but merely going over the facts. By going through the FT methodology, we see that “Weighted salary (US$)” and “Salary percentage increase” contribute 40 per cent of the rank for each school. This data is collected for the last three years beginning with the batch of 2004.

ISB has beaten the league US-Schools
Well, it comes as a big surprise that ISB is ranked above league schools, he likes of Kellogg, Duke, Anderson, Darden. Again, if you consider the salary percentage increase, it is understandable since the salaries of the above schools are more or less constant over the years and since ISB is gaining more corporate exposure with each coming year, the salaries have been rising at a fast pace. To add to that, the dollar has fallen considerable last year and if you adjust the salaries to PPP, the increase would be a lot.

I am not undermining the potential that ISB has, but I am just stating my personal analysis to acknowledge the position ISB has achieved.

ISB still needs to catch up on student diversity in nationality. Then why?
I agree to the fact that as compared to all other schools, ISB scores the lowest in terms of diversity. International students form only 5% of the batch as per the data, which is too low. But come to think of it, how will international students get to know that a school called ISB exist if it is not in the rankings. You ask yourself, will you apply to a US school which is not even there in the rankings? I won't, even if I have heard a lot of good things through word of mouth. I would like to know where it stands as compared to other schools. So exposure is the first thing required by ISB to attract foreign students, and the first way to get exposure is the rankings.

Why not IIMs?
Again, I do not want to undermine the fact that on some parameters, the IIMs score much above ISB, like Alumni base to talk about. But here we are comparing apples and oranges. IIMs cater to a different set of candidates. It is a totally different debate and I plan to write a new article on this argument. Promise.

There certainly will be increase in the number of applications in the coming years, as if the current competition was not enough. :) No seriously, the rankings will attract more students and definitely more from foreign shores. Apart from that, I think this ranking is a major global reputation booster for ISB and would impact its placements in a positive manner.