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Choosing the right B-School

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Thinking of pursuing an MBA/PGDM? Finding the right B-school is critical as it involves a huge investment both in terms of time and money. One must be clear as to why he/she should do an MBA. Choice of school comes as a second step. Here's an indepth look into what must be kept in mind while selecting your B-school

By  Ravinder Bhatia (Assistant Professor at Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi.

To acquire  Knowledge: Although  information and material is available in abundance in  books or on the internet, real knowledge comes from the interaction and intellectual debates that one  will have with the  professors and peers at a B-school. Case studies, presentations, projects, research papers etc add to your knowledge.

Career Shift: Imagine someone has been in the field of IT for 3 years but that does not excite him. He wants to change gears. Choose  an MBA and thus  change career tracks smoothly.

Career Progression: Just think that one has been working at a senior level with a hefty package. Come promotion time and your junior is promoted. Reason he is an MBA, you are not. So doing an MBA becomes essential in case you wish to have an exciting career.

Self-Growth: Many MBA students discover a new person in themselves once they graduate from a business school.

Networking: Doing an MBA from a reputed B-school gives you a great opportunity to network with alumni and smart and talented people who will hold top strategic positions in major companies.

Certified Hallmark: Just like gold, an MBA from a reputed B-school gives you a certificated hallmark that you are competent to become a successful leader in near future

Personal: Someone needs to do an MBA as his would be in-laws want an MBA bridegroom. Another guy commented that he has his own flourishing business, yet his visiting card does not mention MBA. So an MBA.

Once you are convinced that you want to do an MBA, comes the choice of a good B-school.

There are nearly 4000 B-schools. There are no laid down norms for making a choice. However, based on past experience, certain broad parameters are listed below which might make taking a decision easier.

One must look out for an institute that is approved by the AICTE. Some  B-Schools  have NBA accreditation. If one is keen to do a PhD. AIU needs to be seen as it recognizes PGDM as being equivalent  to an MBA.

Since how long has the institute been in existence? How many batches of students have passed out? What is its market reputation? Details of alumni. These are some of the points which should be absolutely clear for  the aspiring students. Older the institute, better it is.

Intellectual Capital
It is essential that an institute has well qualified (post PhD) and Industry-experienced faculty. An institute with core faculty is a big plus for the students as they are available for guidance and consultation regularly vis-a-vis the visiting faculty.

Pedagogy and Curriculum
In recent years theoretical teaching has been replaced by practical exposure. Curriculum needs to be revised in consultation with experts from the industry and experienced faculty on a yearly basis so as to bridge the gap between what is being taught and what the industry needs.

E Cell – All the students who pass out do not necessarily want to do a 9 to 5 job. They wish to be entrepreneurs and do something different for themselves. An institute that has an E-Cell can better prepare the students to develop e skills.

A fully equipped campus, library, computer centre, classrooms and canteen  are some of the facilities that a good B-school will provide to its students.

Summer Internships (SIP)
Does the Institute arrange for summer internship for all its students or do they have to fend for themselves? Some B-schools permit students to undergo their SIP in their native places. Ideally, the SIP should result in  a PPO.

A B-school only provides 100 per cent placement assistance.Ultimately the student has to face the  interview process and get selected. Find out  details of the companies that visit the campus. Ideally, the companies need to be from diverse verticals and should preferably visit the institute annually.
Compare the intake of students of the institute and number of students placed. Remember the larger the intake, more the difficulty in quality placement. Talk to seniors and alumni. See if there are enough alumni of your interest. If not take a call.

Don’t consult too many people around as it will add to your confusion. Visit the campus, meet with the faculty and talk to the existing students. All the Best!

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