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)

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.


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

My Experience of Selection Process at IBS

Hasan Ali GumaniWith the formulas and fundas racing in my mind, I focused on the questions asked in the GD-PI eligibility test conducted by IBS, IBSAT. On 24th December, 2011, I nearly fell over in elation when I learned that I cleared the exam and now I was eligible to appear in the GD PI at IBS Hyderabad on 13th March, 2012.

In this approximately three months gap I left no stone unturned in preparing for the upcoming entrance level GD and PI. I browsed through the google and newspaper pages to learn about the new bills introduced in India, figures like GDP, import & export revenue, inflation and national & International current affairs. Any major new or current affairs running around the globe was no more in dark for me. If the above were the chores of the morning then the evenings became reserved for mock GDs at the IBS local office present in my city.

With my head bombarded with all the current happenings I reached Hyderabad on 12th of March, 2012. On 13th of the same month I woke up before the sun just to reach the campus on time. The solitude on the way to the campus helped in calming down the excitement and nervousness of the process. I learned that the process was of 100 marks. 40 Marks for the marks obtained in 10th, 12th and Graduation, 30 Marks for GD and last 30 Marks for the PI was the bifurcation.

I moved to Lecture Theatre A of the academic block along with nine more students who would soon be cutting each other to state their points. One look at the white board and a smile took a birth on my lips. The GD topic was “ In Today’s World, Government Jobs are at par with the Corporate Jobs”. One of the invigilator hit the buzzer when the one minute of ‘Thinking’ came to an edge and there started the discussion.

Though I could not initiate the discussion but soon started flowing in it. Four were speaking in the favor of it and five sat in the opposition of it. I wanted to stay on the neutral ground and thankfully the reading and the preparation part came for my rescue. I talked about PPP (Public Private Partnership) model and soon diverted the discussion. The invigilator hit the buzzer again. It was now the time to take one minute each and conclude the topic. We all did the same with alacrity and peacefully.

There was no elimination round and hence it was now the time to face two more professors for the personal interview round. I climbed the stairs and came on the first floor to the Finance wing to give the interview.

I handed my CV to one of the professor and stood there until another one nodded for me to sit.

‘Tell me something about yourself.’ Was the first question which was asked by one of them.

Since I had prepared for it during those three months I narrated to them about my schooling, my graduation stream, my purpose behind MBA, favorite stream in MBA, hobbies, likes, dislikes and interest.

Then came questions from accounts because of commerce as my grad. Stream. Being marketing as my favorite stream in MBA, one of them asked me to promote my hometown and convince them to “buy a ticket”. It was a hard nut to crack. They were expecting a proper description of the city on the basis of four Ps of marketing but the hotspots of my city was the only thing I was conversing about that time. Though I goofed up in that question but the professors boosted my moral by mentioning that they were checking my confidence and communication skills.Towards the end they talked about the pressure I would have to face in MBA and took my point of view in handling the same.

On 16th of April, 2012 I was floating on air when the result announced and I learned that all the IBS branch options were open for me. I selected IBS Hyderabad and started the MBA journey on 1st June 2012.

Takeaway: Keep your preparations tight. Be it about the current affairs or your academic concepts, make sure you know a major chunk of them. Practice for GD before turning up at the process place. For PI, sit in front of the mirror and answer some FAQs of PI. Keep your documents, especially CV, updated.  Trust yourself and all the very best.

Contributed By : Hasan Ali Gumani, Class of 2014, IBS Hyderabad

My IBS Life

I still remember the day when my flight touched the ground at Rajiv Gandhi International airport. It was May 28, 2011. I don’t remember the exact time but it was dark outside. I had mixed feelings in my mind. I was excited and scared at the same time. Excited because I was going to start a new journey of being in a B-school and scared because “I WAS GOING TO START A NEW JOURNEY OF BEING IN A B-SCHOOL”!!!!!

Let me tell you all one thing very honestly, when a student enters a college, the first thing he sees there is the infrastructure and very importantly “the hostel”. For me, being in IBS was a big relief. Coming from a college where I had to share my room with two other girls, getting a single sharing room at the same price was like getting an iPhone at the price of micro max. On top of that, WiFi enabled campus, two store libraries with almost all kinds of books, two canteens, two mess’, reading room and 68 acres huge campus away from the noise and pollution of city, were just like icing on the cake.

It will be wrong to say that the two years that I spent in IBS only changed my personality. What I am today is completely different from what I was two years back. A lot of credit for this goes to the teaching methodology at IBS. Being a shy girl from engineering background, usually sitting at the back corner bench of my classroom, the first two days at IBS were horrifying. As soon as the teacher entered the class I came to know that forty percent of total marks come from class participation. I still remember his words when he distributed marketing cases. “We are not here to spoon feed you. You are going to be future managers. Understand and analyze the case and then we will have class discussion”. What horrified me that time became a blessing in disguise for me. The case method not only improved my confidence, my communication skills but also made me understand the concepts in the practical scenario. Needless to say that reading the real life stories of failures and successes of big corporate houses actually improved my general awareness which helped me a lot during placement interviews.

One important lesson you can really learn in IBS is how to complete your work within a given deadline. Trust me this is very helpful for your future. Here in IBS if you are late at submitting, be prepared to get a “D” or “E”. At times it becomes frustrating but then we are preparing ourselves to be the future managers. This doesn’t mean that the faculties are not cooperative. They are always there to help you and give you right direction

One thing that I really liked about my college was its extracurricular activities. I mean it is not easy to find more than twenty clubs in one college. A club for marketing, finance, hr, debates, investments, gaming, movie, cultural activities, advertising, adventure and the list goes on. Working for my club actually gave me a snapshot of what my life would be in the corporate world, because I learnt how to work in a team, how to be a leader and of course how to do some healthy politics. You get to learn and enjoy at the same time. All India sports meet like Aaveg and cultural fest Trishna also gave me an opportunity to compete at national level.

I dint even realize when those two years in IBS passed. Now while writing this article it feels like it was yesterday only, when I used to attend college from nine to six, read and analyze cases for next day at evening along with my friends, attend my club meeting to discuss next day activities at 8, have dinner at 9:30, take a walk at 10 and finally come back to room and sleep by 12. Those were the best two years of my life and I thank IBS for making my life in a b-school such a memorable one.

Contributed By : Prachi Tewari, Batch 2013, IBS Hyderabad

Objectives behind Group Projects.

objectives copyWe celebrate the highs with friends and look for a group of people in our lows. It is good to share every walk of life with a bunch of people close to us. On the same premise, professors teaching the MBA course came with something called “Group Projects”. If you think that working in a group is division of work to achieve the ultimate goal before deadlines, then Hold On! There are lot many objectives behind grouping people together to carry out work. Let’s discuss some of them.

1.Develop Leadership Skills: You definitely get a chance to be a team leader at least once for any assignment or project. As a leader, you have to take on the role to delegate responsibilities to team members, to make sure that they don’t miss deadlines, if they are facing any issues in completing the task assigned to them etc. If they are facing any difficulty, you should be the point of contact; if there is any clash between group members, it is you who should solve it. So you see, it is just like a team in any corporate where you get an opportunity to make your leadership skills stronger.

2.Idea Sharing: The More the Minds, the Merrier it is. There comes a bump in the smooth ride of project making when you run out of ideas to carry the project any further. You reach a deadlock situation, which is exactly when group work proves advantageous. If one exhausts all ideas and goes blank, there is always another group member to pour ideas for developing and carrying the project ahead.

3.Less chance of failure: Well this one is for the ‘free riders’. Professors along with developing the team spirit try to knot few free riders along with other back breakers. They know that in case the free rider cannot perform in the last minute then there are always other members in the group to back them up by completing the work on time and hence save them from failure.

4.Continuous Learning: When different minds are involved in completion of a task then are very high chances of learning something new from everyone. Different people come with different set of skills; for instance, if one is good in preparing presentation then other might be good in presenting them. There is always some learning imparted from every member of the group.

5.Networking and Socializing Opportunities: There are more than 20 subjects throughout the entire course of MBA at IBS. Each one of them has around two to three group projects. Do the math and imaging meeting new people in every project, networking with them and being a part of this enormous social troop. This prepares you for a corporate life where every project is done in groups.

6.Decrease decision making time: Taking decisions, regardless of whether they are big or small, can be time-consuming when done alone. It can be anything from finalizing some section of the project, what should the project title be or dividing the deadlines for different stages of the project, it takes time when one is thinking alone. But when the entire group sits together and brainstorms on the same, the time is significantly reduced.

7.Working Out of Comfort Zone: While dividing project responsibilities, you sometimes get assigned some task in which you have no prior experience. For example you may be extremely good at reporting work but this time around you are entrusted with the task of making the presentation. You might be a little uncomfortable initially but since the group relies on you and expects you to accomplish the task at hand, you figure out a way to do it. So group work helps you in taking baby steps out of your comfort zone, which is beneficial in the long run. 

8.Create a Working Environment: When working individually you take more breaks than required and manage to get distracted by something or the other, thus taking longer to finish the project. In case of a group project if you are sitting with a group and working then the chitter chatter with the group itself act as a break and keep you glued to your seat.

9.Sharing of the resources: Be it monetary resources or non-monetary ones, once involved in a group, each member shares their resources for completing the project successfully. It completely eliminates the pressure from one’s head to contribute something from his or her side entirely.

10.Access to more Information: If the topic of given project is completely new for the group then proper research needs to be conducted to comprehend the project and complete it. With information search done by the group members, everyone can pool in the intelligence they have on the project and attain a deeper understanding of it. In that way if someone didn’t know about a certain aspect of the title of the project can get to know about it from the shared pool of information.

11.Growth in Individual’s Overall Performance: Majority of assignments in MBA is conducted in groups. With other people to shoulder the burden of work, you have an equal eye on each and every discipline. You can devote equal time to other subjects as well. In such a case you can observe a raise in your overall performance.

12.Identify and strengthen the weak spot: Amongst all the group projects that you are a part of, you get to be a leader somewhere and a follower elsewhere. You get your favorite section to work on in one project and other time you are a novice working on a new section. In the middle of these projects you can easily identify the area where your performance is relatively lacking. You can pin point your weak area and get to improve the same.

13.Improved Relationships: When people come together to accomplish something they become an emotional and moral support to each other. As a member of a group, it is important for one to cultivate ties with every group member. It is not only for the benefit of completion of task in a co-operative manner but it might also gainful for the career advantages.

Interpersonal learning or Group Learning is a beneficial learning strategy provided that one takes an active part in a group without taking undue advantage of the same. Lastly, it is always fruitful to come together for a common cause and learn from a plethora of things and help others with your skill set.

Contributed By : Hasan Ali Gumani (Class of 2014, IBS Hyderabad).

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Same Curriculum, Same MBA Degree, Different Salary Packages – What makes the difference?

10177517_866634106681033_2005180142173549129_nIf you get admission into MBA programme at a good institute, you may think that by virtue of your obtaining the MBA degree you will automatically get a job with good salary package. However, this is far from truth and you would be grossly mistaken. When you pass out from a good institution, you have few things with you as follows,

  1. A degree certificate, which is nothing but a piece of paper indicating “Mr ABC passed MBA examination of XYZ Institution in 1st Division with distinction and his specialization was in Finance” etc.
  2. A superior you who is heavily loaded with knowledge and information which can be readily recalled and used when required.
  3. High degree of skills in problem solving, use of computers and other techniques.
  4. Good habits of dedication, hard work and determination.
  5. Sense of owning responsibility and meeting deadlines i.e. target dates set by the organization.
  6. People skills of team working, leadership, synergy of working, effective business communication and conflict resolution etc.
  7. Strength of character, honesty, integrity and ethics etc.
  8. Ability to function with right attitude at different times especially under difficult and trying conditions.
  9. Ability to adopt an approach making learning and growth as life long process.

The fact is that all these things together determine what your starting salary package would be and how far high you would rise in your professional career. Knowledge and skills are very important but ability to own responsibility and deliver results is far more important. It requires a complete package of qualities like attitude, feelings and emotions, enthusiasm, ability to rise from setbacks, imagination, vision and foresight, and most of all ability to function effectively amongst people of all types.

Some of these aspects are described below to highlight their significance;

  1. Deadlines and Prioritization: Ability to meet deadlines and prioritization are important across any industry. A successful manager is one who can achieve a series of deadlines i.e., target dates for important milestones. For this purpose he would prioritize all his actions to fall in line with the goals. Without proper prioritization hard work will go waste.
  2. A Clear Objective Statement: The most difficult question to answer during a job interview is, “What is your professional objective?” This is so because we don’t introspect and think regarding what we want to be in life. Those who engage in deep thinking would have crystallized their thoughts and ideas and be able to frame the objective statement as they require.
  3. Leadership: It is a key quality which cannot be easily taught. It can be learnt by the individual through constant endeavour and well planned experiential learning. However, all students exposed to same experiential learning modules will not develop leadership quality to the same extent. MBA programs teach graduates core business skills, but cannot ensure equally developing their leadership skills.
  4. Honesty, Integrity and Ethics: Ethics is about being guided by your innermost values and to connect the concept of ethics with your own inner beliefs. Depend on your basic grooming and on doing more than your normal call of duty. Developing a sense of achievement at the school will give you an inner confidence to steer you move through life. Corporate world and host of politics that exist there should not baffle you or derail you from your core values. Moral dilemmas do not hurt you if your basics are clearly grounded.10422377_867779766607974_8445243397739238149_n
  5. Networking: An MBA institute provides best ways to network. The program gets you access to top professors at business schools and give graduates opportunity to network with other professionals.Today, a lot of networking is done through online channels, and it’s becoming increasingly crucial to have networks across a range of sectors, in order to spot new opportunities and possibilities for interconnection. MBAs may have the skills to deal with this new world of networking, but we cannot assume that they will automatically be able to network efficiently just because they are MBA.
  6. Teachable: A person’s attitude towards new learning at all times in life is far more important than his track record of earlier learning. Willingness to learn and speed of learning both are crucial for faster rise in professional life.
  7. Communication: Effective business communication is one basic quality required for success in professional career. It includes ability to articulate ideas orally and in writing and also to listen attentively to discern key ideas of other speakers.
  8. Teamwork: Ability to work with other people is important. It involves ability to motivate and guide people. The business world requires that we work with people and use every opportunity to strengthen their relationships. Though professors are responsible for inducing and encouraging teamwork, it is the individual student’s approach and attitude that makes the difference. In the real world you cannot choose who you work with. You may be working with people with different attitudes and values. You must learn to adapt and embrace. Look for opportunities to engage with different people. Understand group dynamics and how people react and interact to each other.
  9. Critical Thinking: Thinking is hardest job on earth and it is said that men will take lot of pains to avoid thinking. In these days of Google searching it is easy to look to internet for every possible information and idea, but it really does not give us the information as we require. Critical thinking is a step further i.e., it is creative and innovative thinking. To develop this faculty the MBA students must understand the significance of thinking and put in prolonged thinking sessions in order to develop the habit of thinking. Meditation is a powerful technique which clears the mental cobwebs and the mind’s vision becomes un-blurred.
  10. Potential to Fit into a Role and Grow: No two corporate jobs are identical. It is necessary for the aspirant to align his thinking to the approach practised in any given organization.
  11. Attitude: Many MBA graduates have reasonable expectations for salary and responsibilities in line with their experience, but may have the wrong attitude towards the company. Individual’s future goals and expectations must be aligned to company’s promotion policy and salary structures?
  12. Contemporary Issues: Organizations today seek skills such as innovation, creativity, fundraising, marketing, entrepreneurship and flexibility to respond to an ever-changing world. A successful manager is a focused person, has a clear goal and it shows in his performance during the career.
  13. Decided and Impacting: You need to be decision-maker. Use high focus, clarity of mind, analyse and decide. Looking for support, but ‘you’ decide. When you make a positive impact in your workplace it will not go unrewarded.
  14. Agent of Change: Become an agent of change for the organization and society. Change towards improving processes is the only thing which enables organizations to sustain and grow. Innovation and change for the better is the key. Learn and apply Japanese techniques of total quality management (TQM), Lean thinking and Kaizen continually.

Contributed By : Sumit Gulati, Batch 2007-2009, IBS Hyderabad

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