Selecting the right B-school may sound tough. But once you have learnt the trick, it is nothing less than an exciting journey
Most of the B-school entrance tests are over. The results have also started pouring in. For some of you the surfeit of admission offers would be perplexing. The choice making could become difficult. For the others, it could be choice of a not so well known B-school versus the opportunity to work. This article focuses on helping you with some basis to arrive at a sound decision.
Placements are the gateway to good careers. Most of you are joining the B-schools to sculpt successful careers. It then becomes imperative that you get good openings when you walk out with an MBA in hand. Placements is a good metric on how the industry views the B-school and hence on the type of profiles that are offered in the campus. Look at the companies that have come in the past couple of years and recruited from the campus. The last point is important, since there are B-schools that also include the companies in which students have joined off-campus.
Profiles of roles
Job profiles are as important as the companies themselves. The value of the job that you get is defined by the profile of the job. When we say profile we are referring to the responsibility, authority, span of the job, the position in the organisational hierarchy among other things. An organisation could visit two different campuses and offer different roles in the same department. The profiles and therefore the compensation could be very different. So when you are making an opinion about the campus, do not just look at the organisation that visited a campus for placement, but also the roles for which the students were recruited. That gives a fair idea about the reputation of the B-school.
Great faculty creates great managers. One of the main reasons why you are getting into a B-school is to learn. The role of faculty in shaping that learning needs no mention. You would reap the maximum benefits of a B-school when you interact with an experienced teacher. They could be either full time faculty or the visiting faculty. Generally, it is better to have a majority as full time faculty. Nevertheless, there are many part time or visiting faculty who are equally good. In fact, there are some good B-schools who have a lot of visiting faculty teaching on weekends. The “educational” background of the faculty and their work experience (if any) could give a lot of insights for you to judge them on. Normally, the process of faculty appointments is very stringent in the good B-schools.
A B-school near a business hub gives more opportunities than another in a remote place. The location of a B-school impacts a range of outcomes, both academic and non-academic, at the institute. For instance, in today’s context, when the organisations are cutting down their recruitments and operational costs, the probability of it visiting a campus in a remote location is fairly low. They would prefer recruiting from a “nearer” campus. This is valid for both summer internship as well as the final placements. In addition, there are quite a few courses in the campus that may need you to do some project work. In that context the location of the institute could make a big difference.
If the choice is between two equally good schools, choose the one with smaller batch. B-schools which are big brands can place students quite easily. This would mean that if the number of students in a batch is large, the placement process is pretty smooth for the students. But if there are two equally good institutes, if one is looking purely at the placement at the end of the year, the one with smaller batch would fetch better returns on the investment.
Area of interest
If you have an interest in an area of business, chase it. Your choice of a B-school could also depend on what you are wanting to specialise in. If you want to specialise in HR and join an institution which traditionally has very few HR graduates, you are likely to find it a little difficult to pursue your field of interest. It is possible that in some cases, it may be impossible to get a break at the time of placements.
The students who have passed out from an institute are assets for placements and taking the institute’s name to places. If Prasoon Joshi, the famous lyricist is alumnus of Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Ghaziabad, then Chanda Kochhar, managing director and CEO-designate of ICICI Bank, was a part of JBIMS. This distinguished alumni has helped their institutes register name in leading institutes of India. The alumni usually help their institutes to grow and help their juniors to get good placements and worthy careers.
While making choice on the basis of above mentioned criteria, you have to be realistic about your capabilities. You need to have a fair assessment of how you see yourself performing in the campus. That impacts how the weightage for each of these parameters would change. So do a score card of the B-school. Some of the past surveys could come in handy while arriving at these decisions.
R SHIVA KUMAR,