5 Things to Check Before Joining a B-School

 The clock is ticking fast!! You are about to hear “Time’s up, pens down” from your invigilator. This has been the most awaited moment. You have finally completed your UG degree!! What’s after that? – Get related and rest? Chill weekends? Stay away from books for a few weeks?

You may end up thinking the above ones yet it’s a crucial time to decide on your next step – getting admitted into one of the most desired B-Schools in the country. Even while relaxing a bit, you have to be smart enough to know everything about the B-School/s you prefer to join.

You have lots of things to do with less time in hand, especially with most premier MBA programs declaring earlier deadlines to apply.

 

Below are 5 key factors to consider while deciding your preferred B-School/s:

 

  1. Match the curriculum with your area of interest

 

Go through the course curriculum thoroughly and understand it to know if the course is exactly the same as you want. Never enter a B-School without knowing the curriculum, because you may lose interest and find it challenging to choose the right path ahead.

 

  1. Research thoroughly

 

‘Information is the key’ – set this in your mind before choosing a dream school. Research on the placement opportunities and reports, the companies that the institution is associated with, financial aid provided, institution’s accreditation, and extracurricular activities offered thoroughly. Also surf on the support and opportunities that the institution provides to enhance your ideas.

 

  1. Be informed

 

Review the social media accounts of the institutions, including LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Follow them and be updated regarding its latest happenings, the alumni network, the placements, and especially the things relevant for your 2 years of MBA journey.

 

  1. Networking is the essence

 

First create a LinkedIn ID if you don’t have one. You have a few months left before starting your MBA journey. Hence build a strong and catchy profile by acquiring skills that help you to develop in your B-School journey. Follow the B-School’s page and get to know more about the seniors in your field of interest and alumni from the School.

Converse with the alumni to know the insights and valuable information of your expectations and things to take care of.

 

  1. Join some webinars or masterclasses that the B-school conducts

 

Many top B-Schools are conducting industry interface sessions or outreach sessions virtually due to the ongoing pandemic. Check out these events to understand about the program you are interested in and clear your queries by asking questions. This also helps you gain deeper insights into the teaching-learning methodologies practiced at the institution.

 

What led to the diminishing of the B-school sparkle?

 

The education sector could not pursue classroom sessions due to the global pandemic. The faculty find it hard to deliver virtual lectures in most institutions. Starting from preparing unique content to delivering classes on an online platform, professors and tutors have got ready to face the impacts of online classes. They seem to be trying to pick up notes on online content preparation and execution of virtual classes.

 

Do B-schools continue to get admissions now?

 

Most of the students opt for an MBA without knowing the impact of the financial burden they have to face by joining a B-school and even without realizing the limitations of the degree. An education loan happens to come with an interest component and there can be a huge financial burden while repaying it.

Campus recruitment processes in many B-schools do not provide the expected package to withstand the monetary strain, thus leading to long periods of amortisation. Almost every student realizes this late and by then all the fees are paid. Hence you can do nothing about it. The time to repay the loan begins with a job that does not pay as expected.

 

Decide on the worth of a program

 

These are the few questions you need ask yourself before enrolling in a program:

  • What will I take home from the program? Is it academically worth the fees I pay? Is it just theory that is easily forgotten?
  • Does the program come with industry exposure? Are the faculty experienced to impart the subjects, or do they just teach something bookish? Is the B-school tied up with experienced people from the industry, even as visiting faculty?
  • How relevant to the field of study are the boot camps, workshops, and internships in the program?
  • Is the B-school tied up with the best of corporates in the industry? How many industry visits does the program provide, and how relevant are these to the program?
  • What is the campus recruitment scene? What is the average and median package the graduates here attract? (The maximum package is less relevant to your decision as only one person in the class gets the maximum pay)

 

If the parameters given above are met satisfactorily, you can opt for the program.

 

How have B-schools fared in fulfilling their responsibilities?

 

Reports on the performances of B-schools’ were not favourable. Many graduates did not secure job offers, and few of the companies that offered jobs have revoked them blaming the pandemic crisis. This led to the increase of the number of jobless MBA graduates.

On the other hand, the companies that had hired MBA graduates on campuses are not satisfied with them. They complain about their low skill sets, and little or no industry exposure. They also feel that B-schools aren’t good enough to make the graduates ready for working. They seem to focus a lot on glitz rather than the core principles and practices of business management.

 

What is the global scene?

Even the internationally top ranked B-schools have fared poorly.

Poets and Quants Rank Name of the school 2007 vs. 2009 MBA Job Rates at Graduation 2007-2009 Decline In Percentage Terms 2019 job rate at Graduation
1 Stanford 93.5 ↘ 69.1 26 % 68%
2 Chicago Booth 89.2 ↘ 73.2 18% 87%
3 Harvard 94.3 ↘ 76.8  19% 87%
4 Pennsylvania (Wharton) 85.6 ↘ 65.8 23% 81%
5 Northwestern (Kellogg) 91.9 ↘ 68.1 20% 79 %
6 MIT (Sloan) 86.9 ↘ 69.5 20% 79%
7 Columbia 81.6 ↘ 61.1 25% 78%
8 UC Berkeley (Haas) 82.5 ↘ 65.3 21% 76%
9 Dartmouth (Tuck) 90.1 ↘ 69.2 23% 85%
10 Yale SOM 77.4 ↘ 69.3 11% 76%
11 Virginia (Darden) 87.9 ↘ 72.4 18% 90%
12  Michigan (Ross) 86.1 ↘ 65.8 24% 88%
13 Cornell (Johnson) 87.1 ↘ 61.5 29% 86%
14  Duke (Fuqua) 80.5 ↘ 68.5 16% 83%
15 UCLA (Anderson) 79 ↘ 51.3 28% 76%

 

 

Are there any hopes to pursue MBA now?

 

Dropping the idea of studying for an MBA is needless. The premier and top institutes are doing a good job of churning out good, industry-ready graduates, that includes sufficient exposures too.

 

Is the recruitment process a dead end to fresh graduates?

 

Besides some sectors like hospitality and tourism that do not hire readily, there are others like IT, Healthcare, and Education who are still recruiting from campuses. One can get a lucrative offer depending on the institute and its specialty.

 

Where do B-schools fail?

 

It is impossible to pick out one element, but a combination of several factors have led to the current scenario. The following figure illustrates the situation:

Many are far removed from the real scene. While the industry expects graduates to fit like a glove, graduates themselves visualise themselves as the cream of the lot, and institutions project their graduates as the lion of the jungle; in reality, they are smaller than a bug, and are hardly prepared to face the corporate world.

 

Present scenario at B-schools

 

While people try to adapt to the pandemic crisis, they are anxious about seeping into a program that can lead them to a financial drain for two years. And the lucre of a good placement has dwindled too with companies shying from recruitments. Many B-schools, mostly the ones that aren’t in the top 20 ranks, face struggles in filling the seats.