How to Sell Yourself

Do you Know how to sell yourselfSalespeople and sales organizations around the world face increasing pressure to achieve their company’s growth goals. Business leaders are asking their sales teams to sell larger, more profitable deals—and to sell them more productively. Experienced, successful salespeople in particular are expected to lead the way in growing sales results.
At the same time salespeople are facing customers, who are increasingly savvy in their buying decisions.

They seek higher, more reliable returns on their invested cash and energy while avoiding risks to their business. Markets are growing more volatile, complex, and uncertain. Competitors in every sector are constantly growing more numerous and more capable. All these factors create pressure on salespeople to differentiate themselves, add more value and reduce risks for customers, and sustain the pace of their selling cycles.

Selling is an important art which every MBA graduate should inculcate. If you research, the CEOs of most companies would have done business development at some point in their career. Business acquisition hits the top line of the organization which brings bread and butter for the employees. Organizations these days hire best of account manager/sales managers’ team to drive larger volumes.

People who thrive in business and organization are the ones who naturally market themselves to the right people in the right way. For some it doesn’t come naturally but they can develop skill and work on some areas to gain on it.

1. Articulate a story
People love stories, say story of rag to riches (Reliance) or how Tata has developed them as the most trusted brand in the world. So tell them a story. It also makes it easier for others to remember you later on. Our minds are essentially “associate machines,” which means we remember things better when there’s a story or association attached to the subject. In other words, if you want people to remember you, tell them a story and make sure it’s good. My advice to young entrepreneurs is not to accept defeat in the face of odds, and challenge negative forces with hope, self-confidence and conviction. If you’re trying to do multiple agendas, you’ll confuse yourself as a storyteller. If you have one purpose, everything else will fall into place.

2. Keep it simple
You need to put in all your effort to ensure you don’t behave like a fool. Perhaps this is an important life lesson. Most people think just to dissect words, by giving wrong reference, and to exchange peculiar examples, will help them crack a deal. You are absolutely clueless about how much the other person silently mock on your idiotism. The idea is to answer what is been asked, it’s good to back your statement with an example but the pattern should match. Say you are talking about after sales services and suddenly you jump to price this confuses the interviewer and put you at risk. You need to be able to explain what you do and who you are in a way that appeals to most people. This means avoiding acronyms or terminology that wouldn’t be understood by someone outside of your industry.

3. Keep an eye on time
Have your ever thought about elevator pitch i.e. say you meet an executive president in a lift and you have to explain what you do and who you are in a way that appeals to most people. This means avoiding acronyms or terminology that wouldn’t be understood by someone outside of your industry in 30 seconds. If you can’t, cut down the details and try again. Mostly all sales agents follow elevator pitch

How to Sell Yourself

whenever they meet a potential customer and successful one converts most of them. The secret to modern life is finding the measure in time management and is probably the biggest thing I’ve had to learn to deal with being on the corporate life

4. Bullet your thoughts
Keep out any irrelevant details that take away from your core message don’t be like a speeding bullet that never hit the target. Segregate your thoughts and speak from top to down approach i.e. most important points at the top followed by important and finally fill it with the background. Everyone find irritating to the core when you give a lengthy background and push your message across without knowing where to end. Bullets are often used in technical writing, reference checks, notes and presentation but if you are able to map it in your brain while you speak will help you greatly. Bullets points make life easier for you as a speaker and you don’t need to worry about how your sentences flow from one point to the next.

5. Self Confidence
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. Self-confidence is the biggest attribute and success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats. Prepare your mind to have positive attitude and trust yourself that you can do it. Know your strengths (may be good speaker, descent product knowledge etc.) but be willing to take risks and learn from your actions. Be realistic; see possibilities or opportunities rather than failure. Confidence comes from experience and experience comes from bad decisions.

Friends selling ourselves is the pretty much selling anything! Firstly, you need to believe in what you’re selling. That means believing in “you”. Successful people have a constructive and optimistic way of looking at themselves and their work. They have an attitude of calm, confident, positive self-expectation. They feel good about themselves and believe that everything they do will lead to their inevitable success.

If you’re in a sales job or may be in any job, you need to continually work on your attitude and talk positively. Don’t say – “Isn’t it a horrible day” or “Business is pretty tough at present” or anything else that pulls the conversation down. Say things like and speak only the truth – “I like the design of this office” or “I’ve heard some good reports about our new product.”


Contributed By : Vaibhav Chandra, Class of 2009, IBS Hyderabad

Overcoming fears of joining a B-School

MBA Aspirants

Every opportunity that knocks at our door brings out our passionate and hidden skills, immense thoughts, nervousness and fear. Any new journey will have its ways with highs and lows, positives and negatives and joys and fears. A similar fear emerged in me when I was about to join a B-school for pursuing my MBA degree. There was an innate passion to pursue MBA which would boost my knowledge in a more practical manner. A mind runs with numerous thoughts from all the entrance exams one has to give to choosing the best college to study.

Fears are temporary when we take decision to remove it from our system. However they at times become a constraint for us to achieve things in a timely manner. The various fears that we face are:

  • Choosing a B-school based on our preferences like location, level of education, practical exposure, their selection process etc.
  • Facing a new campus with new people across the country scares most people wondering if they would be able to become one with all
  • A personal experience of having studied in a girl’s school and college I had a fear of studying in a co-ed college with the fear of thought that whether I would be as confident as speaking to the other gender as my own.
  • Fear of the level of study that I would be engaged in. Most people joining a B-school think they might not have a life of their own. We presume that about 10-12 hours of our day would just end up in studying.
  • One of the biggest fears in us is public speaking. Being exposed to various discussions and presentations the art of public speaking takes a back seat with the fear filled in our head.
  • Assuming that only theoretical marks will have helped us in landing with a great job and not concentrating on other co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Fears only lead us to take wrong decisions and become a hindrance in the steps of our success. Overcoming these fears is possible only when we remove assumptions and face these situations practically. It is important to relish the dream of pursuing MBA with passion and positive thoughts rather than being sceptical of things unknown to is

In order to overcome these fears, firstly we need to get in touch with anyone who has been a part of this journey. A friend, relative or anyone known could help us from his/her personal experience. In case, you know none, you could easily get help these days through social network sites where people would be more than willing to help us. In my case, I took help from Facebook looking into the group of students registered under my batch. Also I had known a senior in IBS who helped me understanding the process of study at IBS. Things heard provide more confidence than things just read.

Being in a new place, lot of thoughts in our mind of how the faculties are available in the campus, how the classes are constructed, the faculty etc. One solution to this would be visiting the campus before hand, in case it is not a far destination, so that one gets an idea of all those facilities available in there. B-schools engage in lot of activities other than just studies. They have group case discussions, events based on subjects and entertainment, inter college activities etc. Therefore there is equal importance given on exposure to co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

MBA GraduationOne of the ways of reducing the fear of public speaking is engaging into it in small parts. In other words, getting into discussions with friends over a topic and putting across your points in a confident manner helps us initially in overcoming the fear of speaking. You could start this being confidence within. Stand in front of a mirror and start talking on a topic. Being self confident gives more power to stand in front of a crowd and speak.

Be an avid reader and try to engage in research on various matters of day to day happenings and other topics of interest. This will make one a prime face when a discussion takes place. Being positive is another important aspect of public speaking. Standing in front of a group of people and being able to speak confidently is the art of a good speaker.

MBA is a platform which brings with it many opportunities and to seek out our talent. We are provided with various activities and events are organized so that we could showcase our talent. It is a place where you are not confined only to books, but given a chance to present your thoughts and talent on a particular subject etc through various forms. These include presentations, group discussions, role play, skits etc. Such activities help one in overcoming the fear of presenting their thoughts and learning.

People management is one of the key tasks in any organization. It involves a deal to maintain cordial relations with people around and whom one is working with. However, human asset is the biggest asset of a company as the cost of recruiting new members is always higher than maintaining the existing ones. MBA creates a scenario with people from various backgrounds around. It helps us a lot in understanding behavioural skills and characteristics of these people through various tasks we are put at.

Decision making is another fear that many of us face in our day to day lives. We become nervous when are placed in a challenging situation or under crisis. In any organization, decision making is an important aspect and taking it with confidence requires traits and experience. MBA is a course which helps us in building that confidence through various skilled based activities and presentations made.

Failing in a particular situation does not lead to a permanent failure. They are stepping stones leading to a career with utmost experience and persistence. Fears are like excuses and life does not accept excuses, it is the results that are rewarded. Enjoying the culture and environment set up around u, with compassion and knowledge will lead to a journey with reduced speed breakers.

Life will have no place for fear, if positivity and confidence are put on gear”


Contributed By : Anju Bafna, Class of 2010, IBS Bengaluru

Life After IBS

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Most of the times, when one is looking at a variety of B-schools to study in, different parameters like placements, campus life, faculty, programmes offered, etc are considered as judging factors. All these parameters tell you what you are going to go through while you’re in the campus. They tell you how your life will be, what you will experience and how, until you’re a part of the particular institution. But on a subconscious level, are those really the questions we’re trying to answer? Are we not more interested with how our life will be after we’ve graduated from that particular B-school? The parameters on which we judge a B-school are just a means to decide how our life will be after graduating B-school.

Many of your friends and family members must have already told you how your life will be in IBS. But when it comes to talking about the life after graduation, the conversation is limited to placements. Therefore, I am here to tell you that there’s more to life than placements and you will tremendously appreciate the way IBS nurtures you to become a manager for your professional endeavours. You will get the taste of some of these experiences after gradutaing IBS:

  • Nostalgia – This is the first thing you go through after you’ve stepped out of the main gate of the university for the very last time. You relive all the memories which make you want to relive your life at IBS. And the feeling is stronger now as you also realize that you’re stepping out in the real, scary world with nobody to hold your hand if you stumble. There are no teachers who would extend deadlines, no friends who would skip work just to go for a movie with you, no domestic help who would clean your room for free. Most importantly, there are no second chances.You miss the campus, the places you hung out with your friends at, the canteens which were your go-to destinations to quench that titillating taste for regional food, the classes and the benches from where you secretly dozed off in a boring lecture or made faces at your friends as he/she presented a presentation from the podium. Believe me, there won’t be a price you wouldn’t be willing to pay to become a student of IBS once again, even if for just a day.
  • Coming of age – You realise that you’ve been an adult since long but it’s time that you start acting like one too. Suddenly you have bills to pay, buy gifts for your younger siblings and nephews and nieces, you have to work 8 hours a day (no bunking), look for a girl to settle with (and not a temporary girlfriend), etc. There will be times when you will wonder why you weren’t surprised when a college going guy called you an uncle/aunty, indicating that you have indeed grown up. All in all you traverse from a stubble and t-shirt guy to a clean shaved ironed-shirt man.
  • Importance of important things – You go through all the gyan sessions imparted by your faculty and you just can’t understand what’s so important about learning the 4 Ps, time value of money or Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. We’re not really applying those principles in an organisation, are we? The company runs on practical approaches rather than the theoretical ideas. But as you start working, you realise that it’s not that easy to come up with new practical approaches to problems. All the more, most of the problems demand a simple solution which can only be provided by those theoretical ideas you studied in college. You then understand that, even though you don’t live under the ground, you have to dig it to build a strong foundation for constructing a strong structure to house and protect its inhabitants against all odds.

But fear not my friend, for all these things are a little part of the bigger picture. There are thousands of MBA colleges in India but you’re amongst the top ones. You find people treating you in a more respectable manner as you tell them that you’ve graduated from ICFAI Business School. Job opportunities become more available as your resume glitters with the letters I-B-S.
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Having an MBA always gives you confidence but the reputation of the B-school matters a lot. The increasing number of business graduates has increased the competition even for jobs which a B-school graduate wouldn’t usually prefer. As a result, salaries have gone down and negotiation power has shifted from the candidate to the interviewer. During this competitive scenario, something that can give you an edge is your school of graduation. After graduating from IBS, you start to get that edge over other students. And this is coming from an alumnus. For example, in my company, the Sales and Marketing head is from IBS, Hyderabad. He’s worked with many reputed companies like Citibank but he resigned to join a start-up which has rocketed his career. Thus, IBS teaches you that it’s not about how much you earn or where you work. It’s about how you plan your career and make decisions that maybe unconventional but definitely fruitful. Moreover, that Sales and Marketing head has been hiring from various campuses of IBS ever since and he tells me that he’s never been disappointed.

I would summarize to say that your life after graduation is far more important than your life before or during graduation. During the course, you’ll make mistakes and it’s those mistakes which will be your ultimate teachers. You might have no idea about what you want to do after graduation but you’ll know what your interests are and eventually, you’ll find a track you want to follow. The grooming at IBS prepares you for these uncertainties everyone faces. Thus, you know how to overcome them with confidence and fearlessness. After graduating from IBS you understand that life is not all about money, power and work. You learn to work hard and party harder. You easily mingle with people and that’s what makes a good businessman. All in all, you’ll miss IBS a lot and start loving the things you didn’t as you’ll realise that it’s only because of IBS that you’ve learnt how to live life.

Contributed By : Sachin Jalan, Class of 2014, IBS Hyderabad

Life at Business School

DSC_0371With the recent surge in the books and movies having stories revolving around the lives of students at business schools there have been lot of assumptions that have been made with regard to the same.

It not only shows the pressure students are made to undergo in order to ensure a seat in leading business schools but it also highlights the pressure they are made to go further after their admission with reference to their studies.

In a way it wouldn’t be wrong to say that they have been painting a picture where the business schools are said to be torture chambers where the students are being made to work for 17-18 hours a day making them feel as if there is no life beyond it all.

While this is not true, the lives at business school have a lot of fun mixed with learning and growing with the experiences they gather there in terms of team spirit, bonding, becoming leaders, learning how to work on tight deadlines etc. Have you ever wondered what makes a student from a business school stand out amongst all the other candidates in the interview?

It is their ability to be able to strike a perfect balance between the bookish world and the real world in terms of knowledge and implementation. The next question is definitely going to be, where they manage to get that from. The answer is simple – their B schools.

I have always been a fan of B schools; a person who would be pro such an education however rigorous it is for I believe it leads to ultimate betterment of a human being as a professional. But the so called society around me wouldn’t believe in it. Basis all the hearsay they had began to believe that B schools are nothing less than torture chambers where students are roasted and fried like in hell for the only crime of having a desire to study here.

With my graduation on the verge of completion soon I was being dissuaded from even dreaming of joining one solely for the fear of facing hell. My family loved me a lot and they didn’t want me to go through for the sake of education. Day in and out I was fed a healthy diet of such horror stories making me believe in their words and finally one day I gave up my dream of studying MBA completely till one savior came to my rescue. As it is said if you want something from your entire being the whole Universe conspires for it to be yours. That ways maybe the desire to do an MBA in me was very high which finally led to all this.

I remember a distant relative of mine who was a very shy and reserved person all throughout his life. He was the butt of jokes at all family gatherings solely for one reason; he couldn’t speak in front of so many people. Crowds used to make him feel nervous. On the other hand he was an exceptionally bright student one who was brilliant at studies, studious, ranker, one that the teachers wouldn’t tire of praising. It was surprising to see someone like him be at loss of words when it came to talking or even looking eye into eye with the person he was currently conversing with.

This continued all through his school and college till he got admission into one of the premier B schools for his masters. We didn’t see him for quite a few months till one day when we saw him and believe me everyone’s jaws were touching the ground. Gone was the nervous, shaky, scared young guy… he had been replaced by a charming, smart and confident young man. He looked into everyone’s eyes as he shook hands with them confidently and conversed as if the old “he” never existed. It seemed as if he had a huge makeover and the curious cat in me couldn’t hold myself without asking him this question.

After the dinner and all formalities I took him aside and asked the inevitable curiously. That is when he explained the advantages of studying in a premier B school. He went on and on about all that he had learnt there in such a short while making him what he is today. He even added I want to cover up on all the lost time till now in life by making the most of it. One look at him and I could see it in his eyes, the joy of living a dream of having a desire fulfilled to the extent where one could witness the manifestation of dreams into reality. It is from there such confidence comes around.

From all that he told me the fears that were there that B schools are cruel in terms of their schedules were all put to rest. His first hand experience reinstalled my gut feeling about this course giving me enough courage to go ahead and pursue this one. He explained to me how the curriculums of B schools though strenuous are ones that prepare the students for become future leaders. While working on projects together, they learn some very vital lessons of life needed to grow and sustain in this bad mad world outside.

They encourage the entrepreneur in each student pushing them to keep coming with innovative and creative ideas. They concentrate on the all around development of every student ensuring when they come out they are ready to face the world with all the challenges that come together with it.

The students learn a lot of important lessons of life during their time at the school, within the education system. The tough deadlines ensure they learn to work within strict timelines and deliver the optimum output.

The theoretical knowledge imparted to them at every step ensures they learn how to look at the base route of the problem and analysis it in detail before looking for its solution. This ensures that the problem is resolved once and for all with no more chances of the same erupting again. This not only becomes a time saver but also it saves a lot of money and energy.

Business schools are also largely responsible for teaching you how to face the losses in life. Everything that you get in life cannot be a victory nor can it be rosy as always. There will be times when you will take wrong decisions and bear the brunt of it. Business schools prepare you not only to face them but also to learn how to take decisions and make them right. Whatever you become in life, learning is something that never ceases and that is what you learn at the business school. For learning is an integral part of our lives. The day we cease learning we stop growing.

As you work in teams you understand that each one around you is blessed with some special ability which makes them stand out. Each one of us cannot master everything and hence the importance of having a team to work along with. It ensures that you get to deliver the best with so many differently capable people performing together. It is like the hand.

Each finger in its own is capable of doing something but they have their own limitations beyond a point. When all of them come together to make a fist, there is nothing that can stop them. Their energy is multiplied and the possibilities that lay before them are manifold. That is the power of working together in a team. The capacity gets multiplied and hence so does the performance and the delivery.

It is very fascinating to observe the way we learn some simple lessons like leadership while working in groups for some projects where you are entrusted the responsibility to lead. A good leader can do wonders for the team and the organization both as they ensure the goals are met both individually and at the organization’s level.

A good leader always ensures the individual’s goals are aligned with the team goals which in turn are aligned with the organization’s goals. In case any of these steps is missed the results can be disastrous, and hence it is imperative a good leader keeps all this into consideration and ensures it is adhered to without any lapses.

Every student learns some of the most important lessons of survival in their business school. It forms a base for them on which the strong building of their future can be constructed, one that will withstand any storm in future.

In a way it prepares them for almost everything that they might have to face in life. So much so that they even begin to solve personal problems the way they look at managerial issues, through SWOT analysis! It is a very unique yet effective way of solving problems, even ones that bother you in real life and not only limit it to your professional lives.

Many people believe that MBA makes students particular and finicky but the truth is it makes them more detail oriented leading to superior results. They not only see the solution they can also see many other things like ensuring the results have a long shelf life, there are shorter and quicker ways to achieve it and that the problem never reoccurs in future.

And this vision, the ability to foresee things not only forward but also do a backward analysis is not possible without the guidance of proper teachers and apt training which one gets only in business schools.

That’s How My B-School Journey Began…

vineet maniThe alarm clock in my cellphone roared 5 a.m. but as usual I slept through it. Suddenly I jumped in my bed at 5.30 a.m. as I had to board a Hyderabad-bound flight at 6.30 a.m. from Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi. My friends and I were busy celebrating till late night as I had cleared IBSAT examination of ICFAI Business School and had an interview call scheduled at IBS Hyderabad campus. The selection procedure right from the beginning was quite clear, organized and systematic and it left me and many others who I met later thoroughly impressed. The entire selection procedure kit was highly exhaustive and touched upon each and every possible point under the sun, moon and stars. We had a liberty to choose the date and slot of group discussion and interview as the interview process was spread across duration of a week (if I remember clearly). I was wondering how many students would have applied and got shortlisted which I got to know soon.

Anyways, I was still in Delhi and bleary –eyed. As I had got up late, it proved to be an eventful day when I actually begged the seemingly pretty ground crew member to let me board the flight. Indigo crew members were highly cooperative and with some hesitation issued me the boarding pass as I had reached the counter merely fifteen minutes before the flight was to take off. I still cannot forget the seething anger in the eyes of impatient co-fliers who had to wait for another half an hour due to my late arrival. My interview was scheduled for next day and I had the address of a place in Punjagutta. There were two options-either reach the main campus at the outskirts of the city on your own or board the buses organized for the aspirants. I chose the latter option. I was surprised to see huge caravan of buses and large number of aspirants as swarm of bees. The buses got filled in no time and the engines started in no time.

Here I would like to mention one of my attributes and seek to make a request. I carry lackadaisical attitude traces of which are still left in my cells and I was saved in nick of time that day. Majority of the fellow passengers were discussing something in an animated manner and some were simply looking at pages of open notebook and mumbling under their breath. I asked what they were doing out of ignorance. They looked bemused and some looked at me as if an alien has also been shortlisted. An exhaustive list of contemporary topics was given in one of the booklets of selection kit and we all had to prepare three minute content on any of the given topics. I have a

knack for reading and writing and I was prepared in no time. But here is a word of caution

Do not treat booklets in Selection kit as simply marketing collaterals as they contain pivotal information about the educational establishment/group, the entire selection procedure, do’s and don’ts , documents required to be produced, list of documents to be submitted and related useful and relevant information.

Anyways we reached after about an hour-and-a-half and when I deboarded the bus, my jaws fell in awe. The campus was truly colossal like ones shown in Star Wars. It was really huge that anyone may get lost in the lanes reaching out in different directions. But I saw queues were formed and soon I was a part of one of them. The queues were as per the roll numbers. The aspirants with roll number from 1-100 in a queue which was supposed to go for group discussion first, 100-200 in another which had interview first followed by group discussion. There were many queues ( I honestly could not count) but I believe that around 3,000 students had come on that particular day to test their luck. Several groups had their interview and group discussions simultaneously in different blocks.

It was simply a pleasant surprise that all the proceedings were getting completed as per the assigned time. So meticulous and particular were the team members of IBS. We (a few who I had befriended) all have had sumptuous lunch in the canteen. There was no stampede, no anxiety, no rushing. It was truly amazing. At any given moment, I did not feel uncomfortable despite the fact that it proved to be a marathon walk as the positive vibrations all over and in every corner were simply contagious. I was thinking that Delhiites shall borrow some useful tips from this organized lot which they may implement in weddings where none reaches on time and nothing takes place as per the schedule.

It was a long, tiring yet inspiring day. The selection procedure itself suggested that the team involved knew how to manage and implement key principles of management. I was certain that if got selected, I will opt for it as it seemed a wise and prudent decision. Our heartbeats were increasing as I was able to hear thumping sound of hearts of many who were huddled beside me. The final result was about to be declared. Imagine final result of around 3,000 aspirants in a single day and that to by 5.00 p.m. I received my letter. My hands were somewhat trembling which has been a rare experience but I tore the envelope with due courage to check the contents. I had been assigned ICFAI Business School, Gurgaon campus and my heart danced with happiness and joy.

The flow of the entire day was smooth and so was the travelling to and fro the huge IBS Hyderabad campus. My face was beaming with a sense of achievement and I murmured- my journey towards true learning begins. The cold breeze fiddling with my air seemed to convey its message- Congratulations for taking right decision and Good Luck.

I extend same luck to all the aspirants.


Contributed By : Vineet Mani, Class of 2010, IBS Gurgaon

Life in 2 Years!!!

2-years at IBS“The 10 years of school are the ones that a person can never forget in his life”..

..“the graduation years give the best experience”…

these statements don’t seem true when you get to experience the life during MBA, especially if it is IBS Hyderabad. The vast campus and the infrastructure is the first thing which attracts students.

The second thing is the 100% case study methodology. The institute has a research center that develops its own case studies which are used as a source of reading material in various other colleges. The pedagogy involves case studies from Harvard as well.

Coming to the student’s point of view and the advantages they get out of this, this method of teaching may be challenging for few students. But the benefits weigh more. Cases, first of all, provide that practical knowledge which cannot be found in textbooks.

Apart from that, the challenge which is posed at the students helps them learn more than just finance or marketing. It is the time management that the student learns.

We keep hearing that management is not about hard work, it’s about smart work. This is what we learn here. Cases teach us to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant data. A student on an average studies around 500-600 cases, which analyzing companies from 500 to 600 different perspectives. Imagine the bulk of knowledge you gain every day.

But there’s much more apart from cases to look out for in the 2 years.

Every student holds a talent and IBS Hyderabad has got the means to showcase it through its clubs. There are clubs for every purpose, be it finance, marketing, arts, sports, movies or social service.

This is the part where students learn to develop their personalities, interact with others, work in a team and take decisions.

At IBS Hyderabad, it’s a complete package. There is so much to do that a mere 24 hr day seems so short. It’s a lifetime in just 2 years.

Contributed By : Harleen Kaur Sethi, Class of 2013, IBS Hyderabad

The career value of an MBA internship.

url copy“Knowledge is Power” and “Practice makes a man perfect” are the two valuable rules for a successful life. A sound knowledge and learning is incredibly important for any type of career in general. The progress of a person who stops learning comes to a standstill until he starts learning again. But theoretical knowledge is not just enough to give perfection to your work and there are some things which you can only learn through real performance and experiencing. Practical knowledge leads to the deeper understanding of the concept by the process of doing and experiencing. This is the reason why the career value of an MBA internship should never be ignored. Even if you earn an MBA degree from one of the most prestigious MBA institutes, it will be of little importance if you learnt skills only in the classroom and did not find application in the real business world!

Internship helps in improving the required job skills

An MBA internship is an introduction to the real world of business and provides an opportunity to the student to understand how the things work in the real commercial world. The internship shows why the certain things learned in the classroom are so important and how the business theories work when applied. It makes the student understand that the tedious study material used in the classrooms is not just for curriculum but actually is so important when we work in real business scenario.

An internship gives the MBA students a chance to shine and develop their skills. What they have been taught in the classroom, they can apply it beautifully to the real job world. The required job skills like interpersonal and team skills are also improved while doing the internship. The ability to work with others is an important trait required for succeeding in a job and that is well nurtured while doing an internship.

Internship increases the chances of getting a good job

No one can deny the added advantage of doing a quality MBA internship when sitting in job interviews. A recent survey showed that the 74 percent of the companies surveyed prefer those candidates who have done internship before considering other candidates. Some companies hire only the candidates who have done internships and reject those who have not done it. Moreover after undergoing a full internship period you develop a lot of self confidence and you are able to face the real time work scenario questions with full confidence.

A positive impact on the graduate’s salary

The addition in the value by MBA internship can also be seen by the fact that the salary offered are higher in the case of candidates with MBA internships. Even if you got an unpaid internship, you should consider its impact on your future salary. The graduates with internships applying for jobs are offered a better salary package than those MBA graduates without an internship. Recent surveys have shown that those MBA graduates who have undergone internships got 84% salary increase over pre-degree earnings whereas those without internship got a 70% hike only over previous earnings. This really confirms the fact that an MBA internship has a positive impact on the graduate’s salary.

An MBA internship provides a great chance to turn your internship into a job!

A number of surveys have shown that employers convert more than 1/3rd of their interns into a full time hires. Employers are happy to absorb the interns as regular employees because they already had the opportunity to observe the strengths and skills of the intern and they are able to see the real performance of the candidate in the real time work scenario. Many employers accept the fact that the performance of the interns in the full time job is superior to those recent college graduates who just started with the company. With a positive approach and full sincerity it is really possible to earn a job offer in the same company where you do your internship and this is a great opportunity for both the employer as well as the intern. Employer has the idea of the working of the employee and the employee (intern) is already familiar with the working conditions and culture of the company.

A great way to connect with the professionals

During your internship you are exposed to excellent professional connections within the company as well as outside the company. Your company may be working with other financial institutions, consulting firms and service providers. During your internship assignment you may get a chance to visit these institutions and that will prove beneficial for you in the long run. Make sure you invite the people you meet during the internship to join you on LinkedIn and other social networks and ask for other professional references. Do not make connections only for the sake of getting a job but also make contacts which can help you as coaches and mentors.

An MBA internship helps you to choose a career path

If you are wandering that which industry or field you would like to choose as a career in, then an internship is a great way to help you find the position you feel comfortable with. Make sure you collect all the information you need in this context during your internship. Talk to your supervisors or peers and ask all the questions you require to evaluate the positives and negatives of your decision.

Thus an MBA internship is a great fulfilling experience and you should take it very seriously and perform it with your sincere efforts and full devotion. Internship is not only a key to add experience to your MBA resume but it can also help you to jumpstart your career in multiple ways. During my MBA days I have seen a number of students performing their internship just for the sake of getting a good grade. But this should not be the only aim of your internship as the real benefit of an MBA internship lies far beyond than that. By reading this article you would have certainly got glimpses of some of the major benefits of doing an MBA internship and the career value of it. An internship done honestly and sincerely will help you to get the most out of your MBA graduation and will definitely help you to practically apply all that you learn inside your classroom lectures.

Contributed By : Ashish Singh Parihar (Class of 2008, IBS Pune)

Management Education for an Upward Career Graph

canstockphoto18593550Management Education for an Upward Career Graph, I am sure the blog title reads like a cliché which almost every management school and university is talking about. Despite knowing the fact, I decided to write on this title as it keeps it simple and make most sense. A management degree certainly provides the required push to your career, the only matter of difference is this – how sure you are about this decision and how you tread on the career path.

MBA program is truly a phase of self-reflection.

To reach out where one wants to reach in life – one needs to be sure of what makes them happy and provides with the best of opportunities for a successful career. A management program certainly deals as the best resources for an individual to self reflect and assess the capabilities and interest levels.

The Program Design is such that it puts the students into real life business situations, the practices like case studies, competitions; team functioning etc puts one into a situation where lot of self-reflection happens.  Through this design, a student gets ample of opportunities to take up different kinds of assignments, work with various kinds of team, and explore the various career opportunities. Some gain the business intent and start working towards their entrepreneurial ventures.

General Management as a Resource for Career Development

The first year in a management program is about the basics in any career move. This covers the essentials in management and the focus is on basic grooming of a college pass-out, a fresher and sometimes a business person to experience and lead the career path more confidently.

Basics work as the significant ingredients of a career development resource. It is the beginning of an era of life-long networking, where an aspirant learns to work with cross-functional, cross-cultural teams and also leads towards realization of her the leadership potential. During the general management education phase – an aspirant gets a chance to investigate the interests, skill-set required and those which needs to be further acquired or polished to work efficiently on the personal plan of the program candidates.

Electives Empowering the Career Goals

The electives in MBA education add required power to the careers. The choice of an elective is the starting point for an upward growth movement. It opens the avenues further and hence marks the beginning of a new era – be it career, business or a self employment. You know what you want out of it and you are all geared to explore the chosen world. Choosing the electives also mean that a candidate will be taking up the internships and research project from the relevant industry, which would mean more exposure in the chosen area of work. These projects and sometimes On the Job trainings help when we jump into the real world and it is because of these lessons – we are ready to face the world from day one. Unlike other B-schools where the internships are of 3-4 week, IBS offers 3.5 months of Internship Projects which changes the mindset of the candidates and put them into real life corporate situations ranging from achievement, learning, peer pressure etc. More importantly, it is part of curriculum at IBS and for regular students the placements in the top-notch companies is offered free of cost.

Similar to these Internship Projects there are Management Research Projects at the end of the program which teach more about the research and documentation. Similarly, though there are limitations in terms of attendance but a student is allowed to take up industry projects during the class curriculum for almost 14 hours a week.

This industry experience place the students a step higher in the corporate hierarchy and they lead the fresher teams as they have the technical know-how and also share better relationships in the job area.

Mentoring

Mentoring may be a term which came into picture a little later but it certainly works in the benefit of the students. A mentor is your first career counselor who helps you through-out to make a distinct career path. A mentor helps you in taking some initial difficult decisions of the career. They not only track the candidate’s performance and help them in excelling as per the corporate guidelines but they also help in key decisions pertaining to people skills, role rotation, client servicing, working in team etc.

A mentor works on all the personality and performance aspects of a candidate. They teach them the basics of management in the corporate world. Mentors are the first guides of real career life and hence are considered as the first movers of your career graph. A good mentor can make or break the career slope – s/he enacts as the guiding light. At IBS, it is must for a student to have 2 guides – one from the faculty side and other from the company side during the internships. The candid conversation for 3.5 months help one builds a relationship of trust and the student can turn to their mentors for candid conversation, second opinions on career moves and also career advice.

An MBA offers numerous such opportunities to have lifetime mentors and in-fact, candidates can make the best of mentors from among the seniors, faculties, counselors or the industry guides. 

Alumni Strength

Alumni Base in an MBA college works as an asset in any career graph. A student can consult, follow, take guidance and use the alumni base network – in any choice of career.

A good alumni base helps in job change, gaining company information, connecting with the right people, discussion and advice on the entrepreneurial ventures, one can also look for co-founders in the large alumni base an MBA college offers.

The various reunions & meets helps keep one connected and these events also work as the possibility of brainstorming sessions with the like-minded people. An alumna can help in making right career choices – be it a job move or an industry switch. The huge network strengthens the career decision and sometimes raises alarm.

All the above points help MBA candidates to move their career upwards. By seeking possibility and constant industry updates – a management degree certainly helps in shaping the career graphs. Some of the colleges are now offering specialized streams which act as the add-ons to a candidate’s career goal. And a management degree certainly impacts the career outcome in a big way.

Contributed By : IBS India

The Final Frontier of admission to a B-School

The entire journey towards an entry in a B-School is nothing less than a battle where millions appear from every part of the country to prove their mettle and ensure their ticket to a career full of recognition and rewards. As the seats are limited and the number of candidates applying run in thousands per seat it is anyone’s guess that every stage has to be handled with utmost care. While the written format of any examination is given its due importance, the interview and subsequent panel discussions cannot be ignored by any stretch of imagination. For those who feel that clearing a written examination signifies the battle won, the truth being told it is only half the job done. There are several examinations that have different parameters and weightage attributed to the selection processes but few handy tips for interviews are more or less common across the board.

While we were preparing for our B-School selection process we were pushed day in and day out to do the simplest of things which we all are well versed with, that at times use to sound like something which even a child would know, but in effect the basics are what determines the end result of an interview. Few handy tips out of limited experience are:

Vision Statement:

We all carry our baggages from our childhood, it is something which we have stayed with and it is important at this stage of life to at least get a sense of direction in which one aims to move in. There is no denying the fact that sometimes people who have spent a decade or more in a profession, later realize that their true calling is somewhere else, but at the interview stage it is important to have a vision about your future. It should be true to who you are and what you want to do with your life in the present circumstances. One tip while creating such vision statement is that the individual concerned (i.e. YOU) should be convinced about the plan and rest can be taken care of.

General Awareness:

Yes this is something which all of us have dreaded for the longest time and even at this stage it will continue to haunt us. The aforementioned was stated in lighter vein but all B-Schools look at a well rounded candidate who is aware of his / her surroundings. Don’t worry there will be no questions on capitals or currencies (if you are lucky) but the questions will more or less revolve around the current socio/economic/political environment, and the panel will only be interested to test your basic awareness and opinion on the same.

Hobbies and Interests:

There are always conflicting reports on how important hobbies and interests are in an interview discussion, irrespective if it is for a College / Job interview, but to my mind this is the single most important way of demonstrating how an individual likes to spend spare time available at his / her disposal. As mentioned above there is massive challenge for positions and in a tiebreaker situation an individual with a noteworthy hobby or
interest might just make the cut.

Be a Decent Storyteller:

The first question invariably ends up being: Tell us something about yourself? While this is a generic question it is important for the candidate to be well prepared with the answer. There is no need of feigning facts, but put across anecdotes, share your failures, ones learning’s from the failures and moment of triumphs in a subtle yet effective manner. This shall display your communication skills and also show honesty in accepting mistakes and then showcasing the ability to quickly learn from mistakes.

Treat it like the be all and end all:

Yes an interview for B-School is as important, if not more important than your job interview. A candidate should be dressed immaculately, have the requisite credentials ready, and appear for the interview with a goal of clearing it with flying colors. While a candidate may have multiple B-School options at ones disposal, every interview should be approached with a willingness to convince the panel of one’s credentials.

While the above mentioned tips were suggested to us during our preparatory stages and it surely came in handy the experience of appearing at IBS Hyderabad for an interview was a seamless process. However that was only possible by preparing in advance for the D Day and guidance from the institute. As a starter I ensured that I reached Hyderabad 24 hours (minimum) in ahead of my scheduled interview and checked in at a hotel which was closest to the boarding point of the shuttle service, provided by the institute. A light dinner followed by an early morning wakeup call from the hotel staff ensured that I reached the shuttle boarding point in time. Once we boarded the bus, it was an auto pilot mode as the immaculate and detailed planning from the faculty and staff from IBS made our interview process smooth. We were shared a detailed plan and with the support from the friendly faculties and staff spread amply across the sprawling campus there was no chance of any slipup.

As the extempore round got over we were sent in batches to our interview panels and it went through like breeze and in no time we got our results and the rest as they say is history. So while we prepared thoroughly for our interview and discussions round the institute ensured that with its immaculate and detailed planning the experience was made even more memorable. It could have easily gone awry with any minor slipup but the comfortable process ensured that that we were in safe hands and gave a brief insight to how the affairs are managed at this institute of higher learning.

Contributed By : Gaurav Sharga, Class of 2010, IBS Gurgaon

Mistakes I Made Applying To Business School.

mistakes

What did I do wrong?

As I ramp up my efforts for applying to top MBA programs in 2008, I look back at my application season in . I applied to one school (XYZ at QRT) and was put on the waiting list for more than seven months (which I am still on). What did I do wrong? What mistakes created this temporary roadblock in my journey for a top MBA? What could I have done differently?

I have spent a lot of time, contemplating my 2013 application season. I have read countless articles and spoken with consultants, elite b-school alumni, and various ad-com etc..

These mistakes are the result of a lot of self-introspection and external research. 

  1. I didn’t start early enough. Speaking with MANY individuals that have gotten in ICFAI, NM, IIM, etc., I have learned they all have one aspect in common: they started really early (some even two years earlier). Researching school cultures, understanding job opportunities, building the proper networks, taking the IBSAT, all take an immense amount of time. Can you do all of that in 4 months? Barely. Is it immensely easier to do it over 12-18 months? ABSOLUTELY!
  2. I didn’t take the IBSAT early enough.This goes hand-in-hand with #1. The IBSAT is a beast of a test, hands down. There is no way around it. If you want a top MBA, you need a top score to maximize your chances. The best proven way to get a high score is to put in the time (100-200 hours of studying). IF I had taken the IBSAT earlier, I wouldn’t have had to split my attention, and I would have had the opportunity to retake before my application was due.
  3. I didn’t get a free admission consultation.Don’t get me wrong; I’m not advocating getting an admission consultant. That is a personal decision every applicant should make. However, speaking with an admission consultant would have given me a valuable outside perspective of my profile and story. What are my weak areas? What makes sense or doesn’t make sense? It is absolutely critical to get an outside opinion of your profile. I really wish I had last year.
  4. I didn’t take a step back and look at my application overall.Is there a common theme running through my application? I wish I asked that question. Instead, I just “vomited” all my goals, skills, and achievements onto the application. What I should have done is examine my application in its entirety and understand if it was a cohesive, concise statement of who I am and where I want to go. Your whole application should sell a particular story and theme, instead of just relying on your essays to do that.
  5. I didn’t reveal “who I am” in my essays.Did I list my goals and accomplishments? Yes. Did I share who I am as a person and HOW I achieved those goals. No. This is so vitally important to your essays. It would have helped me differentiate myself among all the other applicants. Many people will have similar accomplishments, but they probably didn’t operate the same way you did to achieve them.
  6. I didn’t have a person with MBA experience read my essays. This is so critical. I absolutely needed an experienced person to read my essays. Those individuals understand what b-school’s are looking for and HOW they want it communicated. I know this one aspect would have produced different results for me.
  1. I didn’t prepare correctly for my interview.Even if you are a great job interviewer, you may not be the best MBA applicant interviewer. The interviews are not the same at all (in my opinion). My answers were disjointed and didn’t flow in one coherent direction. I wish I spent time developing how I was going to communicate my examples, my vision and my goals in a coherent way.

Anyone who has ever been through a tough job interview knows the feeling – trying to hide your nerves and answer every question with the eloquence of a thousand PR representatives. I learned that the only way to pull this off is to A. Have a lot of experience interviewing, or B. PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.

Well, I don’t have a lot of experience interviewing, and I didn’t practice enough either. I made flashcards of all of the common questions I had read from the forums and reviewed them nightly, even going so far as to read them out loud and videotape myself in front of my iPad. A humbling experience for sure – “Do I really sound like that???” I had formulated some decent answers for most of the questions, and felt prepared. Where I failed and where the practice would have helped was to know the answers so well that you can delivery them while making them SEEM like they are rolling free form off your tongue.

At ICFAI, the interview was very straightforward and I had answers prepared for every question. But again, the practice would have helped because I would have been more confident in the interview. If I had practiced my answers more, I would have been able to deliver them more conversationally. If you have ever read anything about preparing for interviews, then you know how important it is to establish a personal rapport with your interview. This is FAR more important than the actual content you are delivering. Your demeanor and presentation say so much more about you than bullet points from your resume that you are now verbalizing.

In a conversational interview like this, you cannot rely on memorized and scripted answers. Instead, you have to rely on your salesmanship and have a solid belief in your “story”.

TAKEAWAY: Practice your interview questions like your life depends on it

  1. Going for big names in letters of recommendation, rather than big value. A lot of applicants – particularly those from reputable financial and/or consulting firms – neglect the possible recommenders who have had genuine and profound exposure to the applicant. Instead, these applicants think that if their recommendations are coming from the head honcho, they are better off. This is a common, and sometimes fatal error. It is abundantly clear when someone is writing a letter of recommendation based on a tired, old, overused template which could describe any of 1,000 young associates. Make sure your recommenders actually know who you are, have seen you perform at your best, and who can credible attest to how you generate success, and overcome failure.

In conclusion, I want to encourage everyone to take advantage of my mistakes. By understanding how I came up short, hopefully you can create a flight plan that will lead you to success.

Contributed By : Suchin Kulshrestha, Class of 2008, IBS Hyderabad