The Post Graduate Programme in Management for Executives (PGPX) is one of the finest one-year, full-time, residential programmes in India.  The current batch of students carries an average GMAT score of around 700. The average experience of the batch is more than 8.5 years in a variety of sectors. The class represents a diverse range of industries and it is one of the best in India when it comes to diversity.

The programme is globally known for intellectual rigor of IIMA. The design of the programme based on a vigorous debate among the industry leaders from public and private sector organizations and a fifteen member strong IIMA faculty, is quite unique in the world. It is no surprise that programme is consistently rated as either best or second best programme in the world by Financial Times for career progress.


Financial times




IIMA-PGPX Essays submission is for short-listed applicants only. Typically candidates get hardly 10-15 days time for creating the essays once the shortlist is announced. So it is highly advisable to spend some time to shortlist essay stories and arrive at possible themes for the essays well before the shortlist is announced. Below are some tips based on last year essays.

Essay 1: Describe your best day at work
This is a new one from PGPX this year. Although we loved the IIMA PGPX past behavioural questions, we are happy to note that these new essay questions bring in a new energy! Through essay 2, they have molded a regular goals essay into a creative piece where you reflect passion for future goals and here they give you a chance to explain what you are currently passionate about and what you have achieved.

My key advice here would be to put on your “enthusiastic” hat on and write down all the things you love about your work…the daily roles and responsibilities, the interactions with people around you, the fire-fighting of issues and yes, that sweet feeling of achievement that makes your time at office worthwhile.

Ofcourse, you cannot write down just everything in this essays, because, well we are guided by a word limit. So, of the list you have created, select your most meaningful and important experiences, and weave them into your routine for your best day. Now there is some bit of strategy here. 

Ideally, you should talk about 1-2 of your biggest responsibilities that you mentioned in the application form in the first stage of the application. In the same vain you should also talk about your key achievements. You should go beyond merely listing them down to explain what is it, that excites you about these. What big impact were you able to create through them

For instance if you mentioned about Account Management as one of your responsibilities and cited a few accomplishments about growing a certain account by 30% in last financial year, you should have a meeting with your account reps or with your key customer stakeholder discussing something to this effect which moves the needle forward.

This essay is also a good place to talk about some strategic initiatives that you wish to lead in the future. In terms of essay execution, you could say that you have an important meeting lined up with one of the top brass to discuss this initiative you are driving that will lead to $value impact. 

Lastly do remember this: Given that PGPX is essentially leadership-focused course for execs, please ensure that your ‘best’ day at work contains such activities which demonstrate your:

* Leadership ability: for instance, you motivating a team, influencing or persuading customers, mentoring or giving feedback to a co-worker to help improve her performance

* Strategic thinking: for instance, a planning session, a discussion to figure out innovative ways of doing something

* Execution capability: for instance, an account or sales pipeline review, a meeting to communicate the improvement measures which have been put in place.

Essay 2: Why would you not like to go back to your last organization?

So, can you not go back to your current organization post PGPX? Certainly you can, if that’s the plan. In some cases, they might be sponsoring your PGPX. 

This has to be a “what are you passionate about?” essay. What dreams are you chasing that require you to look forward and move on to new opportunities, to a new job that empowers you to achieve all that you dreamed of (professionally). 

However, cloaked in the answer is also the career goals essay. Here are a couple of questions we would definitely recommend answering in this question:

1. How has your career been so far? What were the transitions? What was the rationale behind the choices you made (to change jobs, or change tracks within the same company)? What were the milestones you achieved, and how did they help you steer your career in a particular direction.

2. How has your learning been so far?

3. With your past experiences in mind, what is it that you wish to achieve now? What large-scale impact do you want to create? Why is this meaningful for you? 

4. How will you achieve this? (This is where the career goals come in- mention your short term and long-term career goals)
Why will your current organization not be the right place to make this change? (you need to learn a new set of skills, which can be attained through an MBA).

5. How will PGPX help you get there?

There might be opportunities available within the organization to support your career ambitions. If so, great and you might have plans to go back. Else you would look outside your organization. So, a response either way is fine. Just be sure to communicate a passion, a sense of purpose and a larger goal in life. They want to know less about whether you would go back or not, but more about the rest of the things that we covered above.

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