S.P Jain (SPJIMR in full or SP as it is usually referred to) is one of the most underrated business schools in the country. One of the highlights of the S.P.Jain admissions process is that applicants have to choose their specialization at the time of application. While this might be tough for freshers who do not have enough information and self-awareness to choose a specialization, it is a boon for applicants with work experience.
The biggest advantage of such a process is during placements. The placement team will ensure that for each specialization there are enough recruiters coming on board during the placements. For example, for a person with 3-4 years of work experience in the operations sector, S.P.Jain will be a much better option than may be even the IIMs since there will be recruiters coming down specifically to hire people with such a profile. At an IIM the placements committee does not have the responsibility to specifically find 60 niche operations jobs.
The college also enjoys having a huge locational-advantage with Mumbai being the financial capital of the country as a well as the city where the most sought after Marketing recruiters such as HUL are headquartered.
Profile-based Calls & Score-Based Calls
S.P.Jain also has two different routes through which it gives out calls after you fill in the application form, the deadline for the same is 24-November.
Profile-based Call: The first is an interview call based purely on your profile — your profile should be in line with the specialization you apply for and what recruiters hiring for that specialization look for. This shortlist is out even without a test score. Once the CAT/XAT/GMAT results are out you need to meet the criteria given in the table below
|Qualifying criteria||CAT 2017||XAT 2018||GMAT (Tests taken between 1st January
2015 and 31st December 2017)
|Overall Qualifying Score||85 percentile||85 percentile||650|
|Sectional Qualifying Score||70 percentile||70 percentile||N.A.|
Score-based Call: This shortlist is released after the CAT scores are out and based purely on your CAT scores.
This goes on to show that if you get a profile-based call, you will need a lower percentile to get an interview call than if you get a score-based call.
How To Fill The S.P.Jain Application Form
A great profile needs to rank highly on the following parameters:
- Academic track record
- Co-curricular & extra-curricular track record
- Profile-specialization match
So a lot depends on making a good application that reflects each of these. We will look at a screenshot of how each component of the online application looks and then discuss the best way to go about filling it.
Academic achievements primarily relate to such achievements as standing in the top performers in your class at various levels, X, XII, Graduation Year or in an exam such as the NTSC or JEE or Math Olympiad.
How does one go about filling this part?
Make a list of all academic achievements. Rank order them not in chronological order but in terms of
- Level of achievement or position you secured
- Level of competition or perceived toughness – NTSC, Olympiads, AIEEE, JEE
- Scale of the achievement – school, city, state, district national
In case you do not have 3 academic achievements then list co-curricular achievements such as paper-presentations, journal publications or anything that is related to your academics.
Describe in less than 50 words: Try to be as brief as possible if the achievement is something that can be easily understood. Use the remaining space to describe how this is something that you have been consistently good at. For example, you have only one top 1-5 in terms of academic achievement but you have always been driven to do well academically. Add that part in the description — throughout your education, you have stood in the top 10% (do not write 10%, calculate your position) of your class etc.
Add anything that puts your achievement into perspective — only person from your town/village/school/institution to achieve this, number of participants etc.
For the versatility section please make a list of all your areas of interest that fall out of the curricular and co-curricular category.
Do not approach it from the perspective of what evaluators might find attractive but rather look at the level of interest/achievement you have in that area. For example, if dancing is your biggest passion/interest then rank it first. Do not rush to rank social-service activities first.
If you have certificates and achievements great, but even if you do not, you can still go ahead and fill up three areas as long as you have a strong interest and have done more than your peers.
For example, if reading is a major passion, you will not have any certificates to show for the same! But use the description space to present how much you like reading — favourite genres, favourite authors, reading since age so and so, read so many books a month etc. Any genre is fine as long as it has some international/intellectual significance. For example, fantasy, science-fiction, historical fiction, all are fine. Just ensure that you do not cite Chetan Bhagat :-).
The same applies to any other area of interest that does not correspond with certificates. Applicants from this part of the world (TN & AP), please do not write watching movies since everyone does it. If you watch world cinema or any specific genre of movies a lot, are knowledgeable and can hold a conversation about the same then you can go ahead and mention movies.
Since this deals with versatility ensure that you choose three different areas. If you have participated in CSR activities at your workplace or volunteered for NGOs please include that as well.
Overall Versatility Rating: Rate yourself based on the diversity of things you have participated in and the level of interest across areas.
The two sections, personal and professional are clearly demarcated.
In the personal section, include any activity where you took or were given the responsibility. They can be
- on-going or long-duration responsibilities such as helping you brother/sister in his/her education or guiding him/her throughout, taking up some household responsibility owing to family situation (working parents),or
- specific short-duration responsibilities such as arranging the wedding of a sibling or family member etc or having to help out your parent in a specific task etc.
In the professional section include responsibilities that you undertook that were not part of your KRAs or job description. They can be can be
- handling responsibilities higher than your designation due to the absence of manpower
- special projects/initiatives that you undertook or were given to you
- organizing events at your workplace
In both cases use the description to put in perspective
- the scale/importance of responsibility,
- the role you played and
- the quality of the outcome
This is possibly one of the most important aspects of applying to S.P.Jain — choosing the right specialization.
How does one go about this? The first question is whether you are applying with work experience or applying as a fresher.
Work-experience candidates should apply to the area in with the reason “relevant work-experience”. This has to be the first preference.
If you are applying with IT work-experience, unless you can really connect the nature of your work with an another specialization, choose Information Management (IM). In previous years, applicants whose profiles did not match with the specialization they applied to have been reassigned to a different specialization! DO NOT make your first preference based on “special interest in this area”, make that your second preference.
Freshers can choose specializations based on “graduated in a related area”. Non-engineering freshers such as Commerce, Economics or BBA graduates can apply to Finance. You can choose a second area as Marketing or Operations based on “done specialized courses in this area” or “special interest in this area”.
Engineering freshers can apply to any specialization based on “done specialized courses in this area” or “special interest in this area”.
Please note that for Finance you will be competing with people who have “graduated in related area” such as the backgrounds mentioned above and CA. So do not mention it as your first preference unless you are really serious about it and are sure that despite your profile not being relevant you will get a shortlist through a stellar CAT score.
A safer option is to apply to Marketing (since recruiters in this sector look for freshers) based on “special interest in this area” and Operations/Finance as a second preference under “done specialized courses in this area” or “special interest in this area”, whichever is relevant.
If you are mentioning Special Area Of Interest, you have to provide an explanation in 50 words.
Use this space to mention
- why you like this specialization and how your skills or traits are aligned to the same and
- the things you have done informally that demonstrate your special interest in this area.
You might have done a lot of things for which you have no certificates to show —
- say organising events in your college and firm or working unpaid for an event management for Marketing
- following stock-markets or investing on your own keenly for finance
- in both fields, you can mention the books that you have read to improve your knowledge of the same
The last part of the form is the work-experience details, the filling up of which should be pretty straightforward.
This has already been a super-long post. Hope I have covered most of the stuff needed to fill the form.
Feel free to post any queries you might have in the comments section.