1. Lots of students do not understand the value addition that a top B school can bring to their lives. Specially fresh graduates.
2. MBA from any B school is not that good. I will give reasons.
The name IIM Ahmedabad has been used as a symbolic reference to all top B schools (Ranked 1 to 10). Have also used IIM A instead of any other IIM/XL etc because most my life experiences are related to my alma mater, IIM A.
When I joined IIM A as a fresh BE pass out, I had no prior full time work experience. Everything that I saw at IIM A was quite new for me.
1. Surprise quizzes every week
These quizzes were real ones! Marks was added in the final score. There were 2-3 quizzes every week. You had to be ready with all the subjects all the time. Such academic sincerity!! The system was tough. Not only me, most people around took 2-3 months time to get used to this Surprise quiz thing! It used to be a HORROR thing in the beginning. The college trains you to always be prepared and to value learning.
2. Cold calls
We had to read 3 case studies every day as pre class prep(total approx 50-100 page). We had to go through the data given and be ready with our solution. COLD CALL meant the teacher could ask anyone to start the class with his/her case solution. So, there was practically no theory(books to read were provided and had to be read at hostel - self study). We had to read, understand, solve and then classes used to begin. Now, if a student was not ready, he or she could face the threat of failing in the paper. Failing in 3-4 such papers could mean a year back or even worse. The academic discipline was unmatched. It took 1-2 months to get used to it but then eventually we became great at case analysis and discussion. Teachers were awesome and their methods brilliant - most of them. It was fun. We were being trained to become professionals.
3. Group Assignments
More than half of the total projects/assignments/presentations had to be done in groups of size 3-6. These study group tasks teach you how to work in a team setting. This was a regular part of the learning program. Every week you will spend 4-10 hours working in groups and trying to make projects. This experience was new and really helpful for a fresher like me who had till now done most tasks individually in life. This is the kind of hands on team working learning that IIM Ahmedabad provides.
4. Guest Lectures
I attended guest lectures by many CEOs, social workers, movie actors/producers and lot more! The people who get to meet and interact with are superb. You get to know their perspectives about things in life. I really enjoyed most of these lectures; my favorites being:
a. Marketing Gyaan by Prof. Sharad Sarin, XLRI
b. Talk by R. Madhavan
c. Talk by Selco Solar founder
5. Independent Projects under professors
You could pitch for projects under professors. I had the great opportunity to do two IPs at IIM A. First one was Corporate Communications under Prof. Asha Kaul and the second one was Private Label Brands under Prof. Piyush Kumar Sinha. Working with two elite professors in the country for 3 months each was one of the best private moments for me on campus :-) I mean everyone did classes, had fun - I did two IPs which I am still happy about and proud of! Was immense learning for sure!
6. Events - Competitions - Clubs
I was a member of 5 clubs/committees on campus. Was one of the rare guys to be in so many committees. I guess must be in the top 2-3% of batch in this aspect! Loved being active and loved learning lots of things. Won P&G marketing event at A and NDTV young gun at K. All in all, there were so many activities that made me learn and grow as a professional. Two years and I was a professional from being a fresher not so long back!
Participated in sports too! Played in inter dorm and inter section cricket tournaments. Won the men's double badminton title in the intersection meet. It was all fun!
7. Summer and Final placement
Did my summers at Cadbury India Limited and took the final offer at Colgate Palmolive India Limited. Was interested in marketing and got roles both in summers and in finals. A gives you many options!
8. Rich peer group and faculty
You learn partly from classes, partly from projects and lots from people around. Beyond doubt, the environment is encouraging and that of mutual respect. You learn a lot from your friends and teachers who are experts and quite skillful in their own ways.
So, aspirants must understand that PLACEMENTS is just a part of what you get from IIM Ahmedabad. What you get is a changed lifestyle, a different thinking and a fighter attitude in life. You become so worthy that companies come after you on campus and forever in life. It is this pedigree that you carry with your brand for life!
One should work hard to get into IIM Ahmedabad because you should look forward to the enriching opportunity that the campus provides. Placement and brand value come along!
Many B schools(specially after top 50) do not have the proper rigour, exposure and faculty/peer level to make you grow the way a top college like IIM Ahmedabad can do. If you miss to board this IIM Train, you might have to settle for less. The next two years at an ordinary college will most probably make you mediocre in life. There are many exceptions to this no doubt, but only exceptions.
Try to crack CAT well and get into a top B school!
Find me at: http://www.bfactory.in/di-lr-cat-prep-with-iim-a-alumni.html