B-School Selection
Comments 55

IIMs versus FMS, XL, MDI and other top schools

Now that the first round results of almost all the b-schools are out, we get regular queries about which b-schools to join. There is rarely any confusion about A, B, and C but after that, it seems as if aspirants are having a lot of trouble choosing between the IIMs L, I and K and other top b-schools such as FMS, XLRI, MDI, and others. How does one go about making the right choice between the IIMs and other top schools? One of the terms thrown around a lot these days is ROI.


How you should really calculate ROI

A few years back, an aspirant I was speaking to after an ISB info session said

  • Sir, these days even IIM-A does not offer a great ROI, the average salary and fee are close to each other.

A lot of aspirants tend to use ROI to evaluate colleges. They tend to use ROI in conjunction with batch size to decide which college to join where ROI is simply taken to be the Average Salary/Cost of Education.

Well, once you do an MBA you will realize that more than an ROI, the better tool to use will be a Cost-Benefit Analysis since you are not investing in a purely financial instrument or land or gold.

Whenever one does a cost-benefit analysis one has to consider not just the tangible but also the intangible costs as well as benefits.

The intangible benefits or the benefits to which you cannot put a number are the ones that most aspirants on the verge of joining an MBA program, those who are doing their MBA and those who have just graduated are unaware of. This post will deal with all of these intangibles that might help aspirants to make a decision.


The three letters I-I-M carry more weight than you can imagine

Firstly, no aspirant should forget that the second most prestigious & valuable prefix that an institution in this country can carry is IIM. When most aspirants start preparing for the CAT, they do not tell themselves that they want to crack XL or MDI or FMS, it is always the IIMs that are on most people minds.

The same holds true for the rest of the business management fraternity — the word IIM carries a lot more weight than you can imagine. People evaluating you at your workplace are more likely to pull down an IIM grad at the slightest hesitation saying “How can this person be from an IIM” than they are to say “How can this person be from MDI or XL” (I overheard this as recently as last Sunday at a cafe).


The IIM-tag predisposes people to think positively about you

When you introduce yourself as an IIM graduate, people’s perception of your ability becomes vastly exaggerated. People will tend to treat you as being good unless you yourself prove them wrong. Whereas those from other brands are viewed neutrally and they have to prove themselves. It goes without saying the same applies when people look at your resume.

And if you are from say L, I and K and become a great professional, people might tend to think that you are from A, B or C; they might even assume you are from an IIT as well!


An MBA is about a lot more than your first job

The problem with the ROI method is that it places unduly high importance on the short-term result — the first job you get out of campus. Don’t you think that is barely any return! Good investments yield returns over a longer time period and a good MBA is also supposed to do the same.

You might not get your dream job even at IIM-A

On-campus recruitments are very unlike recruitments off-campus and this difference is key to understanding the long-term value of an MBA.

During placements on campus, recruiters are constantly comparing you with a huge list of other candidates they have at their disposal. For recruiters it is like a buffet with many awesome things to choose from but with one constraint — time and competing recruiters!

So what do companies do? They start using various filters to ensure that they look at fewer people and somehow get the people they want before their competitors get them. What are the filters that get applied? They vary from company to company but to name a few

  • the brand of the college you graduated from (everybody wants to get into McKinsey but they can’t possibly interview everyone, so they use the college brand as a filter)
  • leadership positions held (so guys with big leadership roles on campus get filtered in over may be people with a better CGPA) etc

So intense is the competition among companies that this year one prominent consulting firm at IIM-A was even willing to forego the final interview round if the people who they shortlisted so far were still not picked up by others. Imagine, they were scared that by the time they finish their process, they will no have candidates left!

Compare this with an off-campus process. Firstly, it is not a 3-day affair, so companies are not in any hurry to shortlist and interview people as fast as possible. So you will end up getting a fairer shot and enough time to make a good case for your candidature.

Companies do not need people only at the time of campus placements. In fact, most fresh MBA graduates quit their first jobs within a year! There is a constant need for people all year round and they scour various portals and recruitment agencies to get resumes.

So you do not need to worry about the campus placements being final summit or crowning point to reach. In fact, it is just the beginning of the climb.

What the MBA gives you is a platform to reach the top over the course of your career.


It’s your peer network that will get you jobs in the long run

Campus placements last only a few days but your peer network, network of immediate seniors and alumni network will be the ones that will be getting you jobs over a longer period.

When you graduate from an IIM, you graduate with access to a network of people working in the best companies in the country. You will not come to know of openings through Naukri or other portals but from your peers since firms hire a lot through referrals.

Also, you get access to platforms such as IIM Jobs through which candidates and recruiters find each other. A student who just graduated from IIM-A told me that after graduating this March he was approached by three companies via IIM Jobs.

Can you place a monetary value to the opportunities that this network will open up for you?


If you want to start your own firm, the tag is invaluable to attract investors

Investors are always taking bets on people as much as they are on ideas. Even before you pitch your ideas, investors will be aware of all the hot ideas and opportunities that are present in the market. So, in essence, they are only evaluating the capability of the team and one of the things that goes a long way in boosting your credentials is the IIM-tag.

So keeping all of this mind how should you make your choices?

IIMs – L, I & K versus FMS, XLRI, S.P.Jain, MDI

Technically I would always place the old IIMs above all other schools purely for the reasons mentioned above.

The only exception can be FMS, for the almost non-existent fees! How does one break this deadlock? Choose FMS over the others if

  • If you have already done your graduation from an IIT and/or
  • If you are sure you want to explore entrepreneurship options immediately after your MBA

What is the rationale behind this?

Firstly, If you have not studied at a premier national-level college, whilst staying on campus in the hostel, an education at FMS or S.P.Jain will be incomplete in terms of the experience.

You will do an MBA only once and the experience of studying in an awesome campus (in contrast to FMS, S.P.Jain, and NMIMS) dedicated primarily to the program you are doing (in contrast to MBAs at IITs) is something that you will cherish for life. You are not going to really enjoy life again (maybe for a few years after you graduate) 🙂

If you have already experienced the same during your graduation then you can go ahead and choose FMS, else the IIMs.

Secondly, if you want to start working on your own venture straight out of college then an education loan will always be an albatross around your neck, making FMS best option.

A slightly more nuanced take can be this particular order(with the caveats mentioned about FMS) —  L, FMS, XL, IIM-I, IIM-K, and the rest.

There is a case for choosing SPJIMR-Ops over IIM-I and IIM-K if you are really keen on getting the full range of core operations jobs to choose from, the IIMs might not offer you such a vast selection since they do not admit based on specialization.

 


Choose other colleges over new IIMs

When it comes to the choice between new IIMs and other schools, choose other top schools over them since you will get the benefit of the degree only over a very long-term, when they are no longer considered new.

Also, everything else right from campus, to college culture and placements will just be beginning to take root and hence leave you quite a bit on the backfoot in the short-term. There is also be no network of peers of seniors through whom you get access to jobs.


You are not investing in a college you are also investing in yourself

Most view the expenditure on an MBA from the what-am-I-getting-for-what-I-am-paying lens, making it the college’s responsibility to deliver. Well, unfortunately, the college owes you nothing.

The college deems you suitable for a career in management and has offered you a seat giving you access to

  • the learning that they can offer and
  • the best firms in the country

You are investing this money to acquire this education and this network to maximize your potential and your career opportunities.

Most of the time what you study during the course will barely be used in the first few years of your life as an MBA. It will only start making sense when you come into big decision-making roles later in life (even those subjects which you will find most useless on campus).

You are not learning subjects that will help you do your first job better. You are learning and developing the skills to lead a company later.

So it makes a lot of sense to view things not from an immediate placement perspective but from the perspective of maximising your chances of leading the best firms or starting a successful firm of your own.


 

A few years back this post elicited a lot of aggressive responses.

People accused me of favouritism in placing L over XL since the former is my alma mater. People have pointed out the average salary at XL being higher than the one at L, and so and so forth.

Firstly, I live by Groucho Marx’s dictum — I refuse to join any club that will have me as a member.  So, there is no special attachment that I have to IIM-L or any other institution. Wherever I have studied, it has always been a few teachers, the architecture and the library, that I have had an attachment to or fondness for rather than the school or college as a whole. It goes without saying that the moment I meet any person from IIM-L, I do not get particularly excited since that particular individual should be someone with whom I will get along (one cannot have conversations with a tag).

Secondly, yes, the average salary at XL is higher than that at L, but the fees at L is lower.  Higher average salary does not mean that every student at XL will get a salary more than every student at L.  Also, the average is a function of the denominator. If you take the salaries of the top 180 students at both colleges, I am sure the comparison will look different. Now if you feel that you will end up in the bottom 120, then it is a different matter altogether.

Thirdly, I am not sure if the everyone in the cream (the ones who score 99.5 and above on the CAT) of the test-taking population takes the XAT. IITians would always like to add a few more Is to their resumes instead of other alphabets. I myself eased off when taking the XAT since I was sure that I had aced the CAT. Also, XAT is verbal heavy than LR-DI or QA heavy, so the CAT ends up filtering out a different set of toppers. So as a batch goes, I feel the kind of peer group you are likely to find at the top at L might be different from the kind you will find at XL.

To validate my arguments we need to slice and dice a lot of data that only the b-schools can give us and they couldn’t care less. So readers can take “my take” with a pinch of salt and ignore it, instead of launching into tirades.

I am sure XL can be argued to be a better choice solely on the basis of its sporting rivalry with IIM-C and the events surrounding this rivalry. After a point, it always boils down to the premises that you use to reach your conclusion, with a different set of premises or criteria you can arrive at a different conclusion.

Another major accusation that a commenter hurled was that people like me perpetuate the Sharma Ji ka beta and elite college ke peeche bhaagne wala syndrome. Well, relying on labeling people en masse seems to be a major national malaise that starts at the top. It is any day easier to label and discredit rather than having to tease out the rationale.

Did I ever make a statement saying if you have to do an MBA, do it only from the IIMs? Nope. In fact last year, I convinced a student to take up NMIMS and not waste yet another year running after an IIM without a job in hand. In most of my replies to queries on this blog, I always ask students to take not just the CAT but XAT, IIFT, NMAT and SNAP. So the commenter was attacking an argument that I did not make!

All I am saying is that if you have the luxury of choosing between the old IIMs and other schools, my personal vote would be for the old IIMs, and you are welcome to crumple it and throw it in the dustbin.

The reason I am making these things clear is that I do not want to go through the drudgery of defending a personal opinion in the comments section. As Oscar Wilde said, there are two kinds of people, charming and tedious, one of my other dictums in life to avoid the latter variety as much as possible.

I hope this article goes some way in helping aspirants view things from a different perspective and resolve the queries in their mind.

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55 Comments

  1. Mohit Jain says

    This was really good article sir!! I thoroughly enjoyed it at the same time widened my perspective over things. I have a request could you write an article based on the personality and attitude of 100 percentilers , What is the difference between their preparation and a 99.5+ percentiler prep. Also how to prepare for a 100 percentile!! Thank you very much looking forward to many more intriguing articles.

    Like

    • Hi Mohit,

      Glad you liked the article.

      Will do one on the 100-percentile that you asked for — personality and attitude of 100-percentilers.

      All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ritika Sharma says

        Hi sir,

        My profile is 9/9/7 with approximately 9 months of work ex in data analytics and I completed my engineering from NIT.
        I have converted both IIM I and K. I’m unable to decide between the two.
        Also, I’m inclined towards finance.

        Like

      • Hi Ritika,

        There is barely any difference between I and K. You might as well choose the better campus and smaller batch-size.

        As far as Finance goes, even if you get into IIM-C, which has the best Finance jobs in the country, your profile will not stand a chance of a shortlist. Since everyone interested in Finance will take a Fin specialization and get good marks, so what makes one candidate more suitable for a particular specialization is the profile match. For Finance the big profile requirements are relevant educational background or professional certifications — Commerce/Eco, CA/CFA or all of them.

        This is the reason why engineers from elite colleges (who know this) are taking up a CFA. IIM-C has almost 80 engineers with a CFA – Level 1.

        As a female candidate, you might get Marketing roles within Finance without a CFA.

        Hope this clarifies,

        All the best!

        Like

    • Pranav Hareendran says

      Hi Tony,

      Could you make a comparative study among the top Non-IIM B-Schools like MDI, FMS, SP Jain, NM and NITIE.
      People seem to have a lot of confusion in this regard.

      Like

  2. Ayush says

    sir
    should one go for cat prep again with more than 4 years work ex for these old iim’s given his profile is decent.

    Like

    • Hi Ayush,

      With more than 4 years of work-ex, your profile will be a bit of an outlier at the old IIMs, so even if you make it you will be looking at a smaller bouquet of roles on offer.

      I would suggest looking at both GMAT and CAT.

      Take the GMAT before the end of June and apply to good 1-year programs such as the ones offered by ISB and the IIMs.

      Post-June, start preparing for the CAT and give the CAT one last shot.

      Hope this

      Like

  3. Manas Bhageria says

    Hi sir,
    First of all a big thank you for making out time and answering the queries of many students through your blogs. It is really helpful, especially for people like me who don’t have clarity on what exactly they want from an MBA education.
    My query is little off the topic of blog.
    CAT : 95.7 %ile, CAP interview done.
    Graduation : BE in electronics and instrumentation
    Work ex : 18 months by this june end in Infosys
    Given the above profile, How likely am I going to be shortlisted for a non IT profile or lets say marketing/finance/operations/consulting profile for final placements? I have heard a lot of people saying given the IT work ex tag, it is very difficult to be shortlisted for other profiles.

    Also can you please tell what kind of work one can expect after an MBA having majored in management information systems?

    Thank you

    Like

    • Hi Manas,

      MBA does not offer a huge domain shift for all profiles since what it primarily does it amplify what you have, it gives you a jump from where you are in terms of role and salary.

      So given that you have experience in IT, the recruiters most likely to be interested in you are IT firms hiring for business side roles, such as, Business Development (you will usually be placed abroad to manage big clients and get new clients), Project Management, your profile will always get you IT Consulting roles.

      E-commerce firms such as Amazon, Flipkart, Ola etc are also options. The other roles would be with firms such as Microsoft and Google that recruit Product Managers.

      Also, you will not be only doing a specialisation in MIS, you will take courses in other areas as well to meet credit requirements and to take up business side roles.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

  4. Subham Vasistha says

    Hello sir,
    Thank you for this article.
    Just wanted to clear a doubt…I have calls from IIMK, MDI, IIM Shillong and cap(waiting for the results).
    The things I want to know is where do you rate IIM Shillong…it seems to get lost between the old and new IIMs. Your opinions will be appreciated.

    Like

    • Hi Shubham,

      IIM-Shillong is better than the new and baby IIMs but still way behind the old IIMs at I and K. I would suggest MDI over Shillong.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

    • Rajesh says

      Hi Sir,
      Thanks for this article! It would be of great help if you clarify my query,
      I have 3.5 yrs experience in IT
      GEM – CAT:99.01 %le | 10: 90% | 12: 91% | BE Mech Eng 81%
      I have calls from IIM Shillong, CAP IIMs, MDI, NITIE
      I’ve converted NITIE as of now.
      Given my heavy work ex I would like to continue in the IT field after my MBA and I’ve heard new IIMs like Trichy offers good profile and package in IT. Is it wise to choose
      a. Shillong / New IIMs like Trichy for the IIM tag and IT work profiles OR
      b. NITIE considering my graduation stream and ops being my second choice fav next to IT systems OR
      c. MDI for more generalised MBA experience (higher placement figures tend to balance the high fees for MDI, but not sure of IT profiles since MDI is known for Marketing and HR)

      Thanks in advance!

      Like

      • Hi Rajesh,

        Since you have 3.5 years of IT work-ex and want to get into IT after this it is best you choose one of the new IIMs.

        NITIE makes sense only if you want manufacturing-related core Ops roles and MDI as you said with its Gurgaon location is really good for Marketing roles.

        So in your case, I would suggest new IIMs.

        All the best!

        Like

  5. Rhea says

    Sir
    I scored a 97 percentile in XAT but got rejected in XLRI this year. I graduated in 2018 , interned till September and then quit. My next best convert was NMIMS Mumbai MBA Core. I have taken it ; but still considering if I should look for a job and try again. [ B.Sc Economics Honors graduate]

    Like

      • Rhea says

        Sir
        The CAT retake article was extremely insightful However, before deciding, I also wanted to know, in your opinion,where does NM Mumbai’s flagship MBA Core stand ? Would it be fair to rank it right after MDI for finance ? Considering my academics are – 95% 10th/ 86.2% 12th/ 3.21/4 CGPA Economics honors , if I join NM, would I stand a chance of being placed in a finance profile par with say , MDI ?

        Like

      • NM is pretty decent for Finance you will get good if not better options than MDI which is known more for Marketing.

        Like

  6. Ayush says

    Sir

    I have converted for ximb and waiting for iim nagpur and amritsar results. What would you suggest among them. My profile 91/82/9.3 in x/xii/grad and have 3.5 yrs experience in operations in power sector.

    Thanks

    Like

  7. AYUSHMAN BANERJEE says

    Sir

    I have converted for ximb and waiting for iim nagpur and amritsar results. What would you suggest among them. My profile 91/82/9.3 in x/xii/grad and have 3.5 yrs experience in operations in power sector.

    Thanks

    Like

    • I would anyway suggest XIM-B over the baby IIMs since they have long, long way to go in terms of Infra and placements. Unless you can get in touch with students at the these baby IIMs and get first hand info, go with XIM-B.

      Like

  8. Abhijeet says

    Dear Sir,
    I have going through various articles regarding which would be a better institute for me to pursue my higher education. I have converted XL HRM, MDI and waitlisted in XL BM and IIM L. Result of IIM Indore is awaited. From past records, XL BM may convert.
    I missed the opportunity to do my Engineering from any of the IIT and once I missed it, branch became all important for me. Since my childhood, I had been fascinated towards Electrical Engineering and chose a private Engineering college over NITs because the best offering was Metallurgy.
    My aim is to complete my study first and then enter the professional field. Please advise me .
    PS : Due to quota policy of Govt. I feel afraid to try again. My Acads are : 10/12/Grad : 95.8/93.6/9.37.

    Like

  9. Ajith Suresh says

    Dear Sir

    I’m having cat percentile of 98.08 with acads 94/85.4/80.18 (10/12/B.Tech) with 30 months work experience in IT. Currently I’m having only two converts NMIMS and IIT M and waiting for cap results. Will it be wise to take up cat next year or should I join any of the above college or should I try for GMAT.

    Like

  10. Rhea says

    Sir
    Wanted to request you to kindly make a post on the top non IIM B schools. There is some lack of clarity in that regard.
    Thank You

    Like

  11. Harit Agarwal says

    Sir,

    You never fail to amaze with your blogs related to Bschool preparation and selection, wherein you really put genuine efforts in comprehensive and indepth analysis and presentation of your thoughts and content.
    I am in a dilemna and will appreciate your help on that. Can you please provide a preference order for NMIMS mumbai core(already converted) and IIM Ranchi and Udaipur(If selected), considering various factors like quality of education, faculty, peer group, placements and future prospects. Also, ROI is not a big concern, although it can be considered. I will request you to please support your response with some valid reasons for my reference. Looking forward to your reply.

    Thanks,
    Harit Agarwal

    Like

    • Hi Harit,

      In terms of placements alone, NMIMS will give a wider range of options across sectors when compared to the new or baby IIMs.

      So if you join any of the new or baby IIMs, you will be looking at placement options that will be sub-par. The brand of an IIM is there but it has been 10 years since Shillong came into existence but it hasn’t really taken off. So new/baby IIM-tag might take a long, long time to mature and by that time you will be way past the first 10 years of your career with a sub-par start.

      Resumes are always built around brands and the brand value of firms you work with the most important factor post your MBA.

      I suggest you look at it solely from the sectors you want to work in and look at firms visiting each of these campuses and see if the new and baby IIMs are attracting enough big brands when compared to NM.

      The safer bet would be NM. People talk about batch-size and stuff, now if you intend to settle into the last quartile of the batch then you will have average options no matter which brand of college you go to.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

      • Harit Agarwal says

        Sir,

        Sorry, for the late reply.

        Thankyou so much for the analysis of my case, and providing me with such a crisp and comprehensive reply.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. tush0620 says

    Hi Tony,

    You mentioned that sp jain doesn’t have a great experience in terms of campus. I wanted to ask why did you feel that way?

    I am choosing SP jain in information management specialisation over MDI Gurgaon pgpm. Do you think it is a wise and pragmatic choice since I have 30 months of IT experience?

    Like

      • tush0620 says

        Which college can provide better opportunities in your opinion?
        MDI or Sp jain?

        Like

      • For IM and Ops, SPJIMR is good. For Finance they will be on par. For Marketing and General Management, MDI will be better.

        Like

  13. tush0620 says

    Should I go for IM at spjain or GM at MDI. What option would be better as I have worEx in IT?

    Like

    • What matters is what you want to do post-MBA. If you want to build a career in IT/Tech then go to SPJIMR-IM, if you want to explore other options as well by adding more width to your profile then go to MDI.

      How do you see yourself, a specialist or a generalist, that is the question.

      Like

  14. Anjani kumar Kari says

    Hi Sir,
    My cat percentile is 97.62. I am having experience of nearly 4 years in a public sector bank. I want to specialize in finance. Currently, I converted XIMB. I am also expecting a convert from IIM Raipur(Wl 269) and Department of financial studies, University of Delhi(DFS). (Wl 21). How is the brand value of DFS? I know ROI wise it is best. Will it help in the long run? Should I prefer it over IIM Raipur and to a lesser extent XIMB? Please answer with respect to finance specialization.

    Like

    • Hi,

      Things are always easier if your specialization focus is clear.

      If you want to look at a broader of firms and specializations then IIM-Raipur and XIM-B will be better bets.

      XIM-B and IIM-Raipur are bigger brands and hence over the longer-term, having their names on your resume will do more for you getting shortlisted or selected than DFS, which is virtually unknown but to a few.

      Also, RoI is not purely a ratio of average salary to fee since the returns on the investment like the EMIs you will pay are spread out over time — the alumni network (size and quality of firms they are in) the growth in salary from one job to the other, the positive perception of the brand — all of these are things that go a long way in building a successful career over a period of time.

      If you are really keen about Finance then look at DFS as a low-cost degree as a way to get your foot into the world of Finance, take up a CFA and do a big brand MBA later in your career. Look at the DFS more as a Diploma. In the long run, to get plum Finance roles, CFA is the first requirement (if you do not have a commerce background or a CA, even CAs are taking up CFA nowadays).

      Another angle is to take up IIM-Raipur and do the CFA immediately after your MBA. The difference, or small downside, in this case, is that you might not get a great Finance job on campus but the moment you get a CFA, you can easily get one off-campus with your IIM tag using the IIM-jobs portal. The upside is that you will not need to do another MBA.

      So DFS guarantees an okay Fin job on campus but it will mean that over a longer-term you might have to do an MBA unless you do spectacularly well at work.

      IIM-Raipur, will rule out the need for another MBA but might not land you a good Fin job in the short-run.

      In both cases, CFA is a must if you want an A-lister Fin career, there are 70-80 engineers every year at IIM-C with a CFA L1 and most of them finish L2 after their MBA.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

  15. Abhishek Yadav says

    Hi sir,
    I am from mechanical background but having a workex of 3 years in IT industry. Acads 10/12/grad are 81/75/72. I am interested in operations management. Converted NMIMS mumbai and VGSOM… Decided to go for vgsom as it is better for operations (got this review from people). Now, I am waitlisted for IIM ranchi n trichy…. Hoping to convert it in next list. Please help me to choose between vgsom, ranchi n trichy. Also please tell me how difficult it will be for me to get ops profile after having IT workex…???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Abhishek,

      Getting an Ops role after IT depends upon how you pitch your IT experience and the kind of resumes you are competing with.

      VGSOM will always give you a better head start in terms of placements than the new IIMs. As far as the IIM-tag goes, I am not sure about when the brand of the new IIMs since there are so many of them will start getting recognised.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

  16. Ravi Bansal says

    Sir,

    I have around 2.5 years of work experience in Analytics (My job is stable and paying me well ~10 LPA ).
    I converted only NITIE PGDIM and now I am confused whether should I go for it or not.? Considering this year NITIE has increased its fees to 15 lakhs.

    Brief about profile 85/85/77 GEM 2016 pass out.
    My other options are
    1. cat 2019 for better colleges (C,XL,FMS,MDI,SP Jain)
    2. GMAT for ISB

    Please guide me regarding this.

    Thanks

    Like

  17. Vamsi says

    Sir,
    I am an ardent follower of your post since the starting of my CAT prep. There were times where I got motivation solely from your posts. Thanks for your honest blogging. Now I am in a great dilemma hoping that you may resolve.
    My profile is (10th- 92.7%, 12th-96.8%, B.Tech- 7.37), 2years of work experience in my own family business (Retail and wholesale business of building and construction materials and accessories)
    Calls converted – IIM Udaipur, Trichy, Kashipur, Raipur, Rohtak.
    Expecting to convert (sure of conversion in the next list) – NITIE – PGDM, IIM Ranchi.
    My expectations after MBA are I want to start my own manufacturing firm and expand my business opportunities. But before that, I want to work in a decent reputed company for 2 to 3 years to gain the actual corporate work experience before taking my thing on a high note. I am open to any specialisation except for finance and HR ( somewhat aligned towards marketing and operations).
    Now as per my profile what can be the good choice among the above-mentioned colleges and how far my profile(regards to the family business exp of 2years) can fetch good jobs in campus placements.
    Please help me with this sir.

    Like

    • Hi Vamsi,

      If your work-ex with your family is paid, full-time, work-ex for which you can show salary slips and bank statements, it is fine.

      If you want to set up your own manufacturing firm then without a doubt NITIE, is the best option. It will provide you with the best possible manufacturing jobs with the biggest brands in the country. So it will tie in best with your future plans.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

  18. AnY_Me says

    Hello Sir,
    I finished my Engineering (B.E. in I.T.). I have started coaching for CAT. I wanted to know what is the impact of not having any work experience in the selection process.
    I don’t have any experience of the industry, not even as an intern but I’ve worked as a freelancer on 4-5 projects.
    To what extent this can affect the selection process?

    Like

    • Hi,

      The impact on the selection process is purely quantitative. Some schools give weight to work-ex, marks, in giving out the first call — IIM-B, IIM-L, and some do not, IIM-A. For schools that do give marks, freshers have to compensate with a higher CAT Score to get the first call.

      In the interview process what matters is the quality of the candidate irrespective of whether he or she has work-ex or not.

      Please go through this post to get a better idea — https://thecatwriter.com/2016/06/08/the-iim-selection-criteria-will-i-get-a-call-from-the-iims/

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

  19. GAURAVKUMAR says

    Really gud post sir.
    Sir,will i get any Iims if i score a good %ile in CAT as i have poor academics
    10th/12th/B.tech(Civil) – 88/58/70.
    plzz..guide me it really helps me a lot.

    Like

    • With poor XII marks, it is a bit tough to get a call from the old IIMs but you might get calls from new and baby IIMs.

      I would suggest not just taking the CAT and applying to IIMs but taking a shot at IIFT, NMAT, and SNAP. All of these colleges will give you good career options. You can either choose to look at a few college names and your profile and let yourself be bogged down or set yourself the right goal — to get into a top 20 b-school that will give you good career options.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

  20. sainiabhinav says

    Few years ago I had the same dilemma while choosing between FMS and IIM-K (I was an avid reader of your blog during my CAT preparation). I remember posting the query on your blog and getting a heartfelt and detailed reply. I passed out of IIM-K this year and I must say it was an experience of a lifetime! Given another chance, I would choose IIMK over FMS any day. I must say you are doing a tremendous job guiding students. We need more people like you in teaching. Cheers 🙂

    Like

    • Hi Abhinav,
      It feels great to come across comments such as yours.

      I am really glad that what I said or rather my opinion, which usually involves not making monetary considerations the decider, was borne out by your experience!

      Hope you got into a firm of your choice, all the best with the job.

      Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Aayush Bhatt says

    I am an English Literature graduate (2018) from University of Delhi. I appeared for CAT in 2018 and scored a 94.3 percentile. I sat for IMT Ghaziabad’s interview, cleared it, but did not take the offer of admission for the sole reason that you have explained in this blog. I am also of the opinion that when someone with the tag of an IIM speaks, people listen.
    I took up a job as a content writer in the month of April this year and am currently working in the same capacity. But this work experience won’t help me as it will fall under the category of 0-6 months, which furnishes no marks. However, I want to know do you think with this work experience, and considering the fact that it’ll be two years since my graduation in 2020, do I have a shot at an IIM? Also, do you think that leaving IMT Ghaziabad was a wise decision?

    Thanks in advance.

    Like

    • Aayush Bhatt says

      One of the reasons I ask this is that being a literature student, you don’t get much marks. I had the second rank in my college with a cgpa of merely 6.86. Since there is no scaling of any kind for courses like literature, I think this will hit me hard.

      Like

      • Not really, you will get marks for education diversity wherever applicable and colleges do scale percentages but how they do it is something we do not know in detail.

        Like

      • Aayush Bhatt says

        Thank you sir for taking time to answer this. I already feel like I’m troubling you with these questions. But in one of your posts, you have explained the scaling process. For instance, IIMA has put the arts and humanities courses in one category. One of the criteria that it factors in to give out the WAT calls is the percentile of a student in the stream that he falls in. The institute keep the cutoff for this at the 80th percentile in the stream. And since the stream contains courses like Economics, History, and many more. the usual cutoff is 73-74 percent.
        All I want to ask you is that being a literature student, should I go for it knowing that the best institutes are already our of question?

        Like

      • Hi Aayush,

        It depends on what you classify as best; if you have IMT at one end and IIM-A at the other and decide to go or not to go based on these two extremes then it would not be a wise thing to do. IIM-C, for example, does not consider graduation marks and there are many other colleges through CAT and through and tests such as the IIFT, NMAT, and SNAP, that are much better than IMT and that you can get into.

        So yeah, the going for it question, keeping only A in mind is not really relevant. If you have other career options, say within Literature, where you can make it schools as good as IIM-A, you can go ahead and ditch the MBA idea. If you are just beating yourself up over your marks and IIM-A then you know my answer :-).

        All the best!

        Like

      • Aayush Bhatt says

        Okay sir. A big thanks for these valuable insights. Really appreciate it.

        Like

    • Hi Aayush,

      There is no point looking back at the IMT decision right now. if you felt that you deserve a better college at that point in time then the same should hold true now unless — IMT’s ranking has dramatically shot up or your assessment of yourself has dramatically fallen.

      While there will not be any marks that you gain for 6 months of work-ex content writing as a field is relatively new in the sense that not a lot of aspirants will have it on their resume. Any work-ex is only as good as how you present it and how you answer questions about the same. So do not think too much about these things right now and focus on getting the best score you can.

      Hope this clarifies,

      All the best!

      Like

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