Choosing A B-School
Choosing a B School from your Final Conversions
ARKS Srinivas, CEO, VistaMind
IIMA vs IIMB vs IIMC
IIML vs FMS
IIMI vs IIMK
SPJain vs MDI vs IIMS
NITIE vs IITB vs New IIMs
If you look at various MBA sites, these are the threads in demand everywhere!
So, you have more than One FINAL ADMISSIONS from MBA/PGP in Management Schools!
There are times, when you want a lot of choice. But, there are these times, when you would wish that the choices were out of your hand and you are handed a fait accompli!
But, it is a good problem to be in! Getting the chance to choose the B School you wish to study in, is definitely something everyone should wish for as this is the beginning of your Management Career, a decision making career!
What better than starting out by choosing the right school (read decision making) for yourself from among the choices you have?
While this is not a comprehensive guide to selection, I will make an attempt to make your decision making easier.
Some of the parameters that one should consider when taking a final decision would fall under the categories listed below.
But before that, you have to decide on which parameter is of paramount importance to YOU. Otherwise, there is a danger of going around in circles in this decision-making circus. Depending on the number of people one asks for advice, there would be that many opinions!!
Placements & Profiles
Don’t look at the average package alone. If there is ONE METRIC which is completely misleading and plain simple fraud, it is the Average Package in a B School.
Instead of just looking at the Average package, find out the lowest and highest salaries, median salary. Spend time in going through the companies that have come to the campus and if available, the profiles the companies have given to the students of that Institute.
Say, you want to take a decision between NITIE & IITB. Both are of equal level in almost all counts. How do you choose then?
Here, the decision will depend on your current interest. If you are interested in Finance, then check out which companies have come to the two campuses.
Goldman Sachs, Barclays, JPMC, ICICI, Citicorp, HDFC, Axis Bank, India Forex, Cequity Solutions, Franklin Templton, Home First, GIST Advisory etc have come 14% of 114 students, which is around 19 students got the finance profiles last year.
Axis Bank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche, HSBC, JLT, Yes Bank, JPMC, Kotak Mahindra Bank, etc have come.
5% of the students of 360, which is around 18 students got the Finance Profile last year.
Conclusion: There seem to be hardly any difference as for Finance is concerned between the two institutes. Hence a Batch size could be a easier metric to check and therefore take IITB, if one is going for Finance. (For Supply Chain or IT/ITES, the overwhelming favourite would be NITIE).
If you are deciding between the IIMs, there is very little to choose here. However a decision like FMS vs IIML would require a serious consideration on the Fees levels.
My bias for the top 3 IIMs is clear. If you have A, B or C, take that. If not, the above factor comes into picture.
Coming back to FMS vs IIML decision. Here, clearly the fees at FMS are a clear decider. While there are differences between the academic pattern of FMS and IIML (Semester vs Trimester) and the advantages of closed and residential campus at IIML, the fees charged at IIML is far higher than the final advantage one gets at studying at an IIM.
Institutes such as NITIE specialize in Supply Chain Management. NMIMS for eg, may have a better edge over say XIMB or SIBM in the Finance domain due to it’s proximity to the financials markets in Mumbai.
The IITs would have an edge in Business Analytics & IT areas, and older institutes will have a well-oiled course structure on Marketing & Sales domain.
Though it is very difficult to figure out the exact advantage between institutes for a specialization, talking to the seniors and students who have graduated from that place and who have taken such specializations can help one decide whether they would get what they want.
A Word of Caution: It is entirely likely that you may go with one idea (of specializing in one area) in mind and by the end of the first year, you would have changed your preference completely. (Yours truly went to IIMC with the idea of specializing in Systems Management and ended up specializing and working in Marketing and Sales Domain!)
If almost all other things remain same, then locational preference would kick in. Instead of XIM in Bhubaneswar, one may choose SIBM in Pune. Similarly, instead of BIM in Trichy one may choose KJ Somaiya in Mumbai.
Another way of looking at is the distance from your home. If you have studied in the North, I would advice one to go to IIMK instead of IIMI. Similarly, if one has, for all his life, stayed in the South, it is a good time to break the shackles and get some experience up North!
Location is just one parameter and according to me not a very serious issue. It is a personal preference issue and as I wrote, you can choose based on location, if almost all other parameters are similar.
In a good placement year, the batch size does not really matter. However, if the economy is down, then the lesser the batch size, the better for the student (and the entire batch). There is no way to predict what would happen in 2017. Hence, the safer bet would be to choose an institute with lesser strength.
While it is important to choose the right B School at this stage as this may affect your career for the next 35 years, it is also important that, the outcome of the two year management program depends solely on your work at the institute. Completely depending on the Institute to get you a Job of your choice would be foolhardy. You would be required to build your CV by doing well in acads, participating in a myriad activities – both on and off campus – to enhance your profile and make it appealing to the recruiter.
The real work of being a successful Management Professional has just begun, and we wish you the very best in this endeavor.
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