Clearing a management entrance examination is a great feat and millions of students all over the world hope to achieve this. The competition is very tough and it really takes a lot of effort and preparation to make the cut for the leading business schools in India. A lot of students unfortunately believe that the entrance examination is the only crucial step in the selection process and just because they have secured a good rank, they will get admitted in the B school of their choice. This is not true at all and the students who slack off after their entrance exam results may jeopardize their good rank during the entrance examination. After clearing off the entrance examination, the next step in the selection process is usually the Personal Interview. With the Personal Interview, the students can congratulate themselves and be assured that they are moving forward their candidature towards admission in the business school of their choice.
The Personal Interview at a business school entrance is a very common practice by the business schools to gather more insights about their prospective students. With the Personal Interview the business schools measure the student’s fitment in the business school and determine if the student can proceed in the admission process. The interview is a terrific opportunity for the students to make a good impression and convince the B school of their ambition, determination, drive and confidence. There are many reasons for the business school to conduct an interview, such as:
- A useful screening process to determine the strengths of the candidates
- Gathering more information about the candidate
- Take a decision on borderline cases
- Set mutual expectations about the process forward
There are some specific steps that you can take to perform better in this crucial stage of the admission process. Read the below points to get a few ideas that can turn your interview into a success.
- Do the research: Look out to gather more information about the business school selection criteria. This will come in handy since every business school has a different identity and selection process. You would like to know if there are any other rounds that are likely to be conducted at the B-school. For example, it is often a widespread practice for the business schools to club exercises such as group discussion to the personal interview process as a method of evaluation and elimination. Some other methods of evaluating a candidate may include simulations, role plays, case studies and extempore. These methods get the B school additional information about the candidates so that they can make their decision.
- Prepare for the likely questions: The next thing to work upon in the interview preparation would be an extensive list of likely questions that are likely to spring out. Preparing for these questions help you gain the much-required confidence as well as give you clarity of thought during the interview. Frequent questions for the personal interview include:
- Tell me/us something about yourself?
- Why do you want to do an MBA?
- What are you expecting to gain in your tenure at this business school?
- What made you choose this business school instead of another one?
- What makes you a suitable candidate to be accepted in this management education?
- Tell me/us about your weaknesses/development areas?
- Dress and act professionally: Do take care in dressing up in a suit or a formal shirt and a trouser. This helps you in nailing your first impression and helping you put your best foot forward. You would like to portray yourself as confident, smart and in-control. Do not forget to polish your shoes and wear a mild perfume. Apart from dressing right, it is also imperative that you act in a professional way. Do try to reach the venue well in advance with at least 30 minutes at hand to give yourself time to settle down before you go in. Do maintain good eye contact and smile appropriately throughout the interview since it is a clear sign of confidence.
- Practice throughout: Once you have everything that you could think of written down on a piece of paper and the clothes ironed and ready, you need to bring yourself to be comfortable in your own skin. For this, the best technique is to practice and appear in mock interviews. The mock interviews can be conducted by your peers and family members but it does make a difference to have someone experienced interview you. This helps in getting the right kind of feedback which you can integrate to make your performance truly impressive. Go over the details mentioned in your CV minutely and try to anticipate the most relevant part that can give rise to challenges as well as winning points.
Keeping in mind these points, the students can prepare to get in the most prestigious and top business schools in India such as IIMs, XLRI, SPJIMR, IMT Ghaziabad, ICFAI Business School etc. Since this is something at which you only get one chance to succeed, prepare well and give it your best shot.
Management education has become a highly desirable field in the modern times, not only for the students who are fresh out of colleges, but also for professionals who are aiming to add value to their careers. The charm of management education relies in the fact that the management education does not apply to only one type of career once they have completed the course. Also, a wide variety of fresher’s and seasoned professionals from diverse backgrounds are welcome to the management education where they are upskilled on a variety of areas to create a set of well-rounded transferable skills.
Although many of the students who join the full-time management education are fresher’s, many professionals also join these courses to redefine their management careers. There are many reasons because of which a tenured professional may be pulled to pursue an MBA, a PGDM, a PGPM or any other course. Some of these reasons are listed below:
- Career stagnation with limited opportunity for growth: A lot of times, a professional realizes that he or she is being passed over for promotions and he is not considered to be able to handle a senior profile. This perception may be formed because the said professional does not possess the right qualification. This can cause a feeling of frustration and helplessness for the individual leading him or her to become dissatisfied from the current job and organization. This can easily be fixed by going for a management education course which can create movement in the career by broadening the person’s skillset and open new windows of opportunity. To make the most of it, the individual is advised to undergo a full-time, regular or executive management course of one or two years in a related or same field (such as Marketing, Operations, Human Resources Management etc.) Staying in the same or a related field helps the individual leverage the work experience accumulated before the management course.
- Moving into a field with better prospects, and alignment with interests and strengths: One of the major benefits of management education is the heightened awareness that the management course creates within the students. The management education is very much intertwined with the business world and therefore it helps the students get a greater understanding of the business world and organizations. The students also build powerful networks which can help him or her maneuver their career to a direction that he or she wants. For this purpose, it is recommended that he or she goes through a full time MBA course from a leading business school of India or abroad. There are many competitive examinations that they can prepare for such as CAT, XAT, GMAT, NMAT by GMAC, SNAP, IBSAT etc.
- Acquiring skills that are required for future leadership positions and assignments: It is not a secret that the business schools put a lot of emphasis on building the soft skills and leadership competencies in their students. This is especially true for the top B Schools in India such as IIMs, XLRI, S P Jain Institute, Symbiosis, IMT Ghaziabad, MDI Gurgaon, FMS Delhi and ICFAI Business School. These institutions have different focus areas and they approach the curriculum in a way that builds real life business skills. For example, the case based learning method used at the ICFAI Business School is very effective for the students to understand the pragmatic aspects of the real-life business situation. This is driven in the classroom through discussion and various facets of the case are exposed which puts the students in a decision-making situation, developing it in turn.
- Adding credibility to the resume due to unsteady existing career: A lot of times an individual has the skills and the intellect for the job, but his or her prospects there are limited since he or she lacks credibility. This usually happens when the highest qualification degree or diploma that the individual has is either too broad or generic and does not relate to the job that this person is applying for. The recruiters shy away from giving a call to this individual because the resume looks too shaky or does not inspire confidence. A full-time management education course can be a great testament to the knowledge and skills of the individual and can help him or her differentiate themselves in a competitive marketplace. The recommendation and advice here is to stick to the renowned business schools and pursue a course from there since the brand association can benefit the individual gain the confidence through association with these schools. The students will also be able to demonstrate a commitment towards self-development and a zeal for learning.
With the above points it is evident that the management education has got tremendous value for the professionals who are currently dissatisfied with their career choices or simply wish to broaden their horizons. The last tip here is to ensure that they associate themselves with well-established business schools and do plenty of research to choose the right business school, reaping the maximum benefit of their education.
It will not be far from truth to call business schools an epitome of modern education. Usage of cutting edge technology, plenty of highly competitive schools and students, experimental subjects and specializations, and an interesting variety of curriculum, all contribute to this. Although these factors contribute to make management education a rich field to experiment and learn, it also makes it increasingly challenging for the students to choose the right business school. The students must factor in a lot of things to choose a business school that is aligned to their interest and can support their aspirations. To be fair, most of top business schools in India such as IIMs, XLRI, IMT Ghaziabad, SP Jain, Symbiosis, ICFAI Business School etc. do a more than adequate job of accommodating the students’ aspirations while maintaining great standards of education.
To understand what makes a business school stand out from the crowd or in other words “special”, they need to understand the various aspects of the business school and what all things to look for when choosing a business school. All these things come together and must be weighed to understand the effect they have on the quality of B School experience. Here are a few things that can transform a B school from good to great.
- Curriculum: Curriculum is something which can vary a lot among business schools, due to the flexibility that most business schools can exercise. The academic experience revolves around it and a well-balanced curriculum is a big requirement for having a robust MBA, PGDM or PGPM course. There is also an increased need to have the curriculum calibrated to the industry requirements for the students to develop industry relevant skills and knowledge. The curriculum should also be flexible to accommodate associated learning as well as allow some breathing space for the extra-curricular activities. An integral part of curriculum is also the methodology applied by the business school to approach the learning based on the curriculum. A great business school will find more interactive and engaging methods to approach learning the curriculum instead of the boring lecture style approach. A good example of using interactive learning in classroom is the case based learning method of ICFAI Business School.
- Infrastructure: The infrastructure of the business school can be a pivotal point in facilitating learning. Although the infrastructure is not the direct part of the academics, it does affect the student experience a lot. The infrastructure can help create an environment in the business school campus that is conducive to learning. This is done through creating top notch facilities with collaboration of information technology to create spaces such as interactive classrooms, fully functional computer laboratories, a well-equipped library, spacious and clean classrooms, and comfortable living space at the hostels. The infrastructure also includes the shared spaces for extra-curricular activities such as auditorium for dramas and skits, courts and grounds for games, and greenery at the campus through well maintained lawns and gardens.
- Student Community: The student community is an important part of business school experience to consider. While this is not one of the things that someone can simply check from the outside, a fair idea is usually given about this on the website of the business schools. The future classmates as well as the culture of the business school can make your time in the business school amazing or awful. A few things to look for in this regard are the frequency of the student events, the type of discussions or behaviors around the campus, the attitude of the fellow students etc.
- Location: The location of the business school is also an important consideration to be given while determining if this is the right school for you or not. While it is important that the campus of the business school should be situated in an area which is open, spacious and free from noise, it is also desirable to be closer to the business hubs. As you would be spending the next few years on the campus, you can use this opportunity to make powerful networks and links with the local business community. These are only possible if the campuses are located around the business hubs of the country. This also enables a lot of interaction with visiting faculties, industry experts and business firms which may result in easier internships or even support in placements.
- Reputation: Reputation of a business school is not only related to the ranking of the school but it also extends to ‘how is the standing of that school in the business world’. The reputation of the school is a must check since the name of this business school would be associated with your name for a long time. To check about the reputation of the business school, detailed research needs to be carried out either firsthand or through internet. Independent sources must agree with the claims that the school makes about the standards.
Choosing a business school for yourself can be a daunting task but with careful and objective approach, it can be made easier. The business school experience can add some of the best years in a student’s life, but managing the expectations must be done beforehand to avoid any regrets later.