Post CAT, XAT, NMAT, CMAT and all those other results, there are only two situations- waiting for at least a call or a dilemma which B-school should I join ‘if’ selected? To help you clear this dilemma once for all, let us go step by step- first let’s start with understanding what are the common myths that may cloud your decision, next, how to safeguard yourself from making mistakes in choosing the B-School and lastly, what should you exactly expect from a B-School.
1. The B-(ig) School Myths
– My relatives don’t know the name of this B-school, no use joining it
– Higher the fees, higher the guarantee
– Placements happen for the brand names
– Only IIMs, MDI and XLRI get all the brand value benefit, in placements and in life
– City index has to do a lot with placements
– Never choose HR as specialization while filling out forms, it is for ladies
Well, the vice-versa of all these is actually true. Yes having a good brand name on CV helps, but to what extent only depends on the learning you have in 2 years. Also, private institutes that charge 15+ lakhs of fees for example, do not ‘tacitly’ promise placements in return. Again, placements seem to drive the B-school choice in 99% cases, which shouldn’t happen. Have your priorities clearly laid out, it is not wrong to be ‘uncompromising’ about the specialization stream, the location, or even the fees. Life is beyond just IIMs, XLRI and MDI, let not this prejudice cloud your decision. Look out for all those good institutes that promise learning and not just placements. There are people who achieve heights despite ‘not’ belonging to this holy trinity.
City index and placements aren’t too related, contrary to what a lay man’s advice will be to you. Take examples like XLRI, XIMB, IIMs in places like Shillong and Kashipur which still do well. It is not the location but the reputation that matters and even more than that, what you will do there will matter. Lastly, there are prejudices about specializations like HR, it is advisable that one should not be too fixated about a specialization even before experiencing a few subjects. This is especially for institutes like IIMs that offer a general PGDM and you can choose specialization over time. For others that require a pre-selection of specialization, choose what interests you and not what gets most lucrative jobs. If you stand out, there is no stopping, no matter what be the specialization.
2. The Safeguarding Measures
-Take a paper and ‘actually’ write down why MBA, why this B-school and why not this B-school.
-Do this for all B-schools you are applying to. Next do the scoring. For all those which have pros exceeding cons, shortlist them and do some background work like talking to people studying in those B-schools (have questions apart from just previous year’s placement statistics), inquire about the gamut of opportunities it has to offer and jot down what opportunities will help you get career goals.
-Now, from the shortlist, weed out the B-schools that have only a placement promise because of past year’s track record. Often these records published are misleading.
-From all those B-schools, now left, choose the ones you’ll want to bet your next 2 years on. Yes, the opportunities, faculty and exposure will make all the difference to your confidence as a professional. Reliance on the pipeline of placements will only make you sluggish and under performer over time.
-Do justice while scoring value of big brands, of course IIMs stand out, but if not an IIM, life is still as green as much you water it with zeal and hard work.
-Strive for an institute with a good brand, ample opportunities, good feedback from alums and faculty that has credentials strong enough. Placements will happen when they’ll have to, let them not drive your decision.
The final variables you can consider to do scoring for a B-school is this:
[ Brand Value + Reputation for excellence + Feedback from seniors + Will the location suit you? + Is the fees justified according to you (do your ROI calculations) + Are the opportunities offered ample enough + Is the exposure offered ample enough + Does the institute persona resonate with yours? ]
3. What exactly to expect from a B-School?
A decent B-school everyone will say, provide you nothing but a little peace of mind (‘placements will happen like they happen every year’); but much more than that expect lots of hard work, assignments, live projects, competitive atmosphere, a surprises filled 2 year stint and above all an attitude that you’ll gain after MBA ends – ‘the CAN DO attitude’. MBA is nothing but a 2 year self-discovery journey, of self-testing and evaluation, of failures and achievements going hand in hand. You will only come out more shiny and bright, more tough and resilient and above all, much more dynamic and flexible. At the end of 2 years, most students realize what do they exactly want from life and what not. So, if this B-school choice is a dilemma, solve it with logic and heart both, without getting swayed away by popular opinions – this is one of the many decisions imminent !