The post on the new and baby IIMs last year was meant to be a sort of reality check for aspirants who have to choose between these schools and others. My intention was not to dissuade anyone from joining but to help them make the right choice when faced with a list of schools to choose from.
An alum of IIM-Visakhapatnam and still a regular reader of this blog, Abhishek, commented that the new and baby IIMs were not as bad as the post made them out to be. We got talking and it turns out that since since I had only mentioned established private schools — with schools such as NMIMS and SIBM in mind — it was construed to mean a much longer list, including schools that I would never bring into the comparison.
But all is well that ends well and Abhishek has written a piece about his MBA experience from IIM-V
And yeah, I will vouch for Vizag (the shorter and more used name), the city I was born and raised in — it has a certain charm to say the least and many great vantage points to take in the sea. It is a different story though that by the time I turned 20 I was eager to leave Vizag and go to the bigger cities, the biggest of cities, I felt Vizag was too slow for me, I kept saying it was for retired people :-). Ironically, once my parents retired, they left Vizag and moved to their hometown. So now, the only reasons to go back are a friend and that sea.
When you go to a restaurant you don’t expect much from and the ambience and food turn out to be top class, you’re happier than getting the same treatment at a 5 star restaurant. Because you hadn’t asked for it.
To someone who had converted and rejected colleges like XIMB, IRMA for three consecutive years (from 2013 to 2015), IIM Visakhapatnam did something similar and I would always be grateful for that. Coming from a commerce background and not opting for a CA, an MBA was always at the back of my mind. Yes, this is the story of someone who was sure of doing an MBA right after his 12th exams. The only question was when and from where.
My tryst with CAT had started back in the year 2012 when I was only in the final year at St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta (arguably the second best Commerce College in the country). It was always the next logical step after a BBA in Marketing. In fact, I had even taken admission at a premium college right after my undergrad (XIMB). Had I not opted out after 21 days of lovely stay, I would have already passed out by 2015 which later happened to be the year I last wrote the CAT.
It was my love for marketing that made me opt out of XIMB. I had converted the HRM course. I virtually went on to work for a renowned E-Commerce company- Groupon in a Category Management role with folks from premiere B Schools like IMT Ghaziabad, IMI Delhi, FORE working in the same role as mine. I was lucky to have bagged such a role and worked there till 2016. When I converted IIM Visakhapatnam in 2016 which was being mentored by IIM Bangalore, I thought it was time.
The main reason was – the summer placements were supposed to happen simultaneously with IIM Bangalore, and I was sure I would crack something good as I had a very rare ‘relevant’ profile coming to my IIM Batch.
When I stepped foot into IIM Visakhapatnam, I was pleasantly surprised. I will not tell you why but infact show you why. Here are a few sceneries which greeted me when I entered the hostel of IIM Visakhapatnam.
I know, I know- this ain’t a hotel room. This is, in fact, a picture of one of the rooms of IIM Visakhapatnam. Our hostel is in the beach road and this is a normal view once you wake up. It took some time to sink in that I had come here to study and not chill.
Well, for the sincere folks, the classrooms were not bad either, as they were the exact replica of the classrooms of our mentor institute: IIM Bangalore.
When the committee selections started, I chose to and got successful in joining the Placement Committee. I was part of the Placement Committee for both the years. Since I was instrumental in closing the successful final placements of the first two batches of IIM Visakhapatnam, I will share a few special things about the placement process of my college that helped us in becoming the second new IIM after IIM Rohtak to complete its final placement process for the batch of 2018 on 12th March 2018.
IIM Visakhapatnam had immense support from IIM Bangalore for the initial few batches. The first phase of the summer placement process was held at IIM Bangalore in a first of a kind ‘pooled summer placement process’ for the first three batches. Due to this, a lot of students were able to intern at companies which recruit from IIM Bangalore. Few examples are Directi, Cloudtail. If you have a network in the corporate arena, you would come to know that these companies fetch you a 6 figure monthly stipend during the summer internship itself. I found myself to be lucky to have interned at Cloudtail in a ‘once in a lifetime project’ alongside colleagues from IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, XLRI, FMS. My project was to devise a discounting model for the Amazon Pantry category before the Great Indian Sale on Amazon. Trust me, this internship itself is a great talking point in most of my job interviews.
Few of these students were able to perform exceedingly well, perhaps at par with their colleagues from IIM ABC. This helped the students bag PPOs which virtually led to some of these companies becoming loyal recruiters at IIM Visakhapatnam. The profiles that these companies were offering were the same that they would have offered at IIM Bangalore. For instance, Bosch offers the prestigious Junior Managers’ Program. If you do an ordinary Linkedin search, you would come to know that the role is only offered at select premiere campuses like IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIFT Delhi, IIM Kozhikode. The role involves an international stint to Germany.
Since the first two batches were taught predominantly by IIM Bangalore professors, the students had access to vast knowledge and experience from them. Hence they were able to fare tremendously in the interviews for these companies.
The batch size was only 50 for the first two years; once you take note of the above factors , you would realise that placing the students at profiles of their choice wasn’t a headache. As a result, we concluded our final placements on 12 March 2018, much before some of our new and so called baby IIM peers.
Oh, I forgot to mention. We have something called a BPIM which is a course that you take abroad. The entire batch takes this course unlike the student exchange which is opted by only a few. I travelled to Dubai with 30 of my peers and it was an amazing experience. Few others went to China.
Coming to 2020, the institute has only galloped in terms of improvement. I know people say the initial few batches shape an IIM, but for me the opposite still holds true. IIM Visakhapatnam, I am glad you accepted me and gave me things I will cherish for a lifetime.