LIFE AT RED BRICKS: A CONSTANT INSPIRATION TO GROW!
The 2 years at IIMA are unparalleled in terms of learning and developing a well-rounded personality. Working beside and learning from some of the best brains and talents around, not only teaches you the importance of humility and remaining grounded but enlivens a constant pursuit to grow and get better at what you do. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.
The first step was to bell the CAT 2012. Amidst job responsibilities, most of the preparation happened in the last one month before CAT. But, the greater challenge is converting a call – especially since all shortlisted candidates are most certainly smart, well-read, and with great career profiles. Most of the IIM interviews are a two-stage process with GD/Written, followed by PI. Some might even ask to submit an SOP beforehand. An honest answer to the basic HRQs and clarity on why one wants to pursue an MBA is a must. Being updated on the latest news, and having a personal point of view on major events is appreciated. I had calls from all 13 IIMs and managed to convert them. IIMA was my preferred option and have wanted to do a full-time MBA course, I enrolled in the 2-year PGDM program.
FEE STRUCTURE AND FACILITIES
The fee structure is most certainly on the higher end. However, loan options are easily available at reasonable rates, which most students opt for. The fee was 17 lakhs (in 2015), which covered tuition and hostel expenses (excluding food). This can further go up if one chooses to take up the student exchange program. There are also a few scholarship options available.
The placement process is driven by a student placement committee- that is a liaison between the industry, students, and the institute administration. There are numerous companies offering a variety of roles across multiple verticals. The final placement process is in 2 phases - laterals (for students with ~22months of work-ex) and final placements (open to all). Amidst the intense competitive landscape, placements happen in clusters of companies (where each cluster offers similar roles) and are completed over a span of 3 -4 days. Besides, some students take up internship PPOs or even opt-out of the placement process for their individual ventures.
It is mandatory for all students to reside in the hostel – dorms (dormitories) as called at IIMA. Each dorm consists about 40 single rooms, well-equipped with basic necessities. The dorms have a washing machine refrigerator and a microwave for shared-use. There is a flamboyant dorm culture with each dorm having its own special set of traditions to upload. The campus has 2 parts – the iconic old campus consisting of solely the red-brick buildings and the new campus - connected by an underground subway. The rooms in the new campus are relatively new and slightly bigger. The mess food story is the same as in any other institute, rates are reasonable. While some prefer to stick to it, there are also Dabba services that one could opt for. The campus also flaunts many eateries, that are open almost 24x7.
The faculty is highly-qualified with decorated career profiles, both academically and with industry experience in their respective areas of study. They are very approachable and helpful when it comes to doubt-clearing sessions, assistance with respect to projects/course-work, career-guidance, etc.
Case preps, exams, and quizzes abound amidst the hectic course work. And this is what teaches students to stretch themselves out, and learn to balance the multiple tasks in a limited time. At a personal level, this sense of time management while ensuring maximum productivity - is the biggest learning from my 2 years at IIMA. The second-year can become relatively lighter since one has the option to select their electives.
COURSE CURRICULUM OVERVIEW
The PGP course is a full-time 2year course, primarily designed through a case study methodology. Class discussions are primarily case-based. Students are expected to go through the concepts/theory and cover the pre-read prior to the class discussion, to make the most of any course. To top it up, all courses have surprise quizzes post the regular class hours, which are impossible to predict. Amidst this, students are expected to prepare for summer internships and there is a plethora of industry-competitions that one could participate in. Qualifying the first-year as rigorous and demanding would be a sheer understatement. This is what teaches us to push our limits, work efficiently and effectively within time constraints, and yet find time for leisure activities and enjoy campus life. The PGP office forms study-groups of 5-6 members- that helps learn from one another and collaborate towards class presentations/submissions, etc. The diverse student pool adds to the rich peer learning, both academically and towards a well-rounded personality development as well. The second-year primarily consists of a wide range of elective courses, there is an option to take up research projects in the department one is interested in. There is also an option to take up the student exchange program- which is an excellent opportunity for diverse social and cultural exposure. In parallel, there are multiple case study competitions and live industry projects that one could choose to take up as a team. There are enough and more learning opportunities, and it is up to an individual to make the most of it.
Industry internships during the summer break (Apr-June) are mandatory. It is a very crucial step towards gaining an understanding of the vertical/sector that one wishes to be associated with. The average stipend amount would be about ~50-60k per month.
Campus life offers a chance to witness and participate in multiple events like Confluence – annual management symposium, Chaos – the annual cultural festival, Insight – marker research event, Amaethon – agro-business summit, sporting events like Shaurya and Sangharsh. Besides this, there are multiple inter-dorm and inter-section events like T-Nite, sports events, etc. that keep the tempo and spirits in the campus high.