As most of my students would know, I have been with IMS for more than a decade now. But I started teaching for aptitude tests way back in the past, right after my graduation while preparing for the CAT a second time around. At that time I felt that the teaching stint had a great role to play in my cracking the CAT; I felt the teaching made my thought process very clear when faced with a problem since one has to have utmost clarity of thought to explain a problem in such a way as many students understand the solution right away. Also one is always looking to find better, cleaner or to put it simply more elegant solutions to problems. My first 6 years stint with IMS was with the Academics Dept and the last six months have been at the front-end teaching as well as running the business. Starting I have moved back to the IMS HO in Mumbai, as the Chief Learning Officer (CLO) for IMS. Over the past year, I …
As the years pass it seems to me that the decision-making process that goes into choosing a b-school is getting more and more complicated. This might be the reason behind me getting messages and emails asking for help in choosing between the premier non-IIM b-schools such as FMS, XL-BM, MDI, SPJIMR, NITIE and others. This post will address this specific issue.
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.
I think I have said this in another post — India is probably the only country where people will be willing to shell out more than 20 lakhs for a product and at the same time be willing to accept whatever the seller decides to give them. What am I referring to here? When I ask students who have both BM and HR calls from XLRI, what their preference is, or what they would prefer between XL-HR/TISS and IIM-K/MDI, most are very clear the specialization does not matter all that matters is the brand, others start bringing ROI into the picture.
The results of quite a few top b-schools are out and even now I get a lot of queries about that revolve around specializations — which specializations should I choose, I do not have any idea what my area of interest and so and so forth. This is not surprising since in India our strategy is simple — first crack the test, then see what is the best college your percentiles can get you and then finally start thinking about specializations! The funny part is that we do not seem to learn from our mistakes since this is the same policy we followed for our graduation as well and now want to do an MBA so that we can undo the mistakes of our graduation but without having changed our standard operating procedure!
This is a question that I get asked often by students and a very important one at that — how do I build my profile? So before we get on to the answer, let us evaluate what elements of a profile are.
Over the past few years of mentoring there are always students who keep in touch even after they graduate from b-school. Some to express gratitude once they get their final placement, some to sort out their post MBA dilemmas and others just to have a nice chat about everything under the sun :-). Likewise this year a student of mine wrote to me, just after a graduated, saying that he felt investing in an MBA was the best thing he did and over the course of a few mails I asked him to do a guest post about his MBA experience. Given that a lot of aspirants who made it to b-schools will be debating the pros and cons, thinking about the cost involved whether it is worth it, the better schools you missed out on and stuff, this post is timely. Two years back I remember this student also being in the same dilemma. He was wondering whether it was really worth leaving his job at Ford to do an MBA. I felt he should, …