TRULY THE PLACE TO 'B'!
Overall, my 2 years at IIM Bangalore taught me much more than just imparting business education. I feel that it has helped me build an all-round personality - something that I have always craved for. It has helped me get my foot in doors which otherwise might not have opened for me at all. And lastly, it has given me a new lens to look at the world and reinforced the fact that IIM Bangalore is truly the place to 'B'!
After 18 months of on-and-off preparation, I was finally able to bell CAT 2012 and landed interviews with the then-cluster of 13 IIMs. The 'high' of a high CAT percentile was short-lived as GD/PI preparations were a different ballgame altogether. I had a window of around 2 months before I was to appear for the interviews and I spent most of that time making an effort to sound smart in front of eminent interview panelists! Going through the English dailies, looking up matters of national importance on the Internet, brushing up on undergraduate coursework (since I did not have prior work-experience) - were part of the routine. Having converted 9 of my 13 IIM calls, I realized that even though you are supposed to be aware of what is going on around you, interviewers are looking to hear about your views on such matters and not merely you reciting the facts as they are. Having an opinion and backing it up with logic, is essential. Of all my successful converts, IIM Bangalore was right up the pecking order and the flagship PGDM programme was the only one that I had applied to - hence, I was inducted into the hallowed coterie of 'IIM Bangalore PGP batch of 2013-2015'!
FEE STRUCTURE AND FACILITIES
Truth be told, education at IIM Bangalore does not come cheap and set me back by Rs 18 lacs (all inclusive) over the 2 years. But again, I need not re-iterate that the investment is worth every bit of its salt and the returns are enjoyed for perpetuity.
IIM Bangalore has 3 kinds of Placements happening in a year - Summer Internship Placements for 1st Year students, Lateral Placements for 2nd Year students with 22+ months of prior work-experience, and Final Placements for all 2nd Year students. Needless to say, all of them are highly successful every year, and other than the Lateral Placements which are rolling in nature, the others are completed in about flat 4 days. There is no question of students remaining unplaced. However, a few of them opt out to either start something on their own or join their family businesses. Another wonderful initiative of IIM Bangalore is its NSRCEL which an on-campus incubator for start-ups and provides strong support to budding entrepreneurs.
All PGP students (male & female) are allotted single rooms for both years at IIM Bangalore. There are a total of 16 Hostel Blocks - 6 of which are newer constructions with attached balconies! Every floor has around 16 rooms and 4 washrooms, along with washing machines and water coolers. The rooms are decently furnished with the basic necessities of a bed, a cupboard, a table, a chair, and shelves. The Mess food is cooked well, but might get monotonous after a while. However, there are plenty of other stalls and eateries on campus offering variety to one's taste buds. The Hostel and Mess charges are included in the Term fees - everything else has to be separately paid for.
Being a 40-year old B-school, IIM Bangalore boasts of a very strong alumni network with its ex-students now in commanding positions in corporates, in academia, and even in the public sector. Every year, in the month of May, there is an International Alumni Reunion called 'Anusmaran' that happens across 20+ cities in the world and is attended gleefully by students (past and present) and their families.
IIM Bangalore boasts of one of the most published faculties in the world. They have rich experience both in academia and in industry - all of which come into play during the 90-minute classroom sessions. The professors are very approachable and more often than not, students simply walk into their offices for doubt-clearing sessions and other discussions. A few of the younger faculty don't even mind sharing a cup of coffee with students in the Mess!
The tests and quizzes were a plenty on campus and preparing for them took its fair share of toll on one's mind. But on the other hand, they also taught us to work smart and try out the benefits of study groups.
COURSE CURRICULUM OVERVIEW
The PGP course truly and thoroughly lives up to its hype of being rigorous. 6 Terms, 30+ subjects, 100s of case studies, and innumerable tests - all of this crunched in a blink-and-you-miss period of 21 months! But what it also does is teach you how to handle all this. Students learn how to manage time, prioritize things to do, and yet manage to enjoy life on campus. IIM Bangalore advocates the case-method of teaching with text books and class notes serving as back-up material. Most professors give announced tests (phew!) - but there a few subjects with surprise quizzes too. One of the most fantastic things about my 2 years at IIM Bangalore was the rich peer learning that I was subject too. The diverse student pool ensures that each one contributes to learning from one another. All 3 Terms in the 2nd year at IIM Bangalore have only elective subjects being offered with the additional choice of either working on a Research Paper (Contemporary Concerns Study) or studying a Foreign Language or both. This is a wonderful initiative as it allows the students to take courses across business functions instead of placing them in pre-selected specialization buckets, which helps build their understanding of management in general.
As mentioned earlier, IIM Bangalore conducts Summer Internship Placements for all its 1st Year students. A plethora of global and Indian firm and start-ups visit the campus and offer both national and international roles to the students. The average salary (during my time) was close to Rs 50000/month with additional perks as well. Interviews happen in early November for the Summer Internships scheduled in April to June of the following year. The Student Placement Committee conducts the entire process with help from the Career Development Services team.
They don't call IIM Bangalore the 'Party Campus' for nothing! There are 3 fests every year - one in each term - and the footfalls are crazy! We start with 'Eximius' (Entrepreneurship Fest) in August, followed by 'Vista' (Business Fest) in November, and wrap up with 'Unmaad' (Cultural Fest) in January. All the fests are conceptualized, organized, and conducted by the student clubs on campus. There are sponsorship teams within these clubs which approach corporate houses for funds and given the brand equity of IIM Bangalore, the coffers were always full! Apart from these major events, the student clubs keep organizing something or the other in regular intervals to keep the community engaged.