Indian School of Business (ISB), my alma mater, declared placement results for the recently graduated Class of 2007. Details can be found here. What pleases me more than the records that ISB continues to break every year is the following statement made by the Dean in the announcement: “We need to take a balanced view of international offers given by multinational companies. I urge everyone to use these figures in the proper context so that potential students may get the correct picture of what they can achieve in a management institution” and the fact that the report also stresses on students not just looking at money alone.
Let me try to expand on this and write quickly about what I think is important for every prospective B-School applicant to keep in mind. Placement information released by top Indian B-Schools gets splashed in the media every year and it won’t be long before this year’s ISB salary stats are the talk of the town. It is true that B-Schools try to and have to market themselves and media have to publish something sensational to grab public attention. In fact reports comparing ISB stats with IIMA stats have started to appear. What is important however is that prospective applicants, and the people who influence their decision to do an MBA and the school to do it from, read the placement information released by the institutes and associated media reports with the right perspective.
Decision to join a B-School should not be based only on the domestic/international highest salary, the average salary, the number of international placements etc. Agreed that these statistics show the respect a school has in the industry and to a great extent reflect the faith expressed by recruiters on the students of the school. What should be kept in mind however is that not all students can fit into all the job profiles offered in a B-School. This essentially means that just because someone got a salary greater than Rs. 1 crore this year doesn’t necessitate that you will be the one to get an equivalent or a higher amount next year.
Every person who joins a B-School (especially a B-School where people come in with good work experience backing them) has a particular background. Expecting that, just because one has joined a top B-school, one will be able to get any job he/she wants in any of the fields that companies come to recruit in is nothing but foolishness. It all depends on what is required to get that job and that position and whether one is qualified enough to get the same. Other things to be thought about are whether one would be happy in a job just because it pays him/her a lot of money. Is the job one that he/she would be happy doing for a long time? Money is important. But what is more important is a good role and by good role I mean a role that one considers good for oneself, not one that makes everyone feel good about him/her by virtue of the designation or the name of the organization.
- Evaluate a B-School not just by the financial metrics but using the non-financial ones as well
- Keep your expectations reasonable and in line with what you want to do. Do not just try to get into something only because that is what the world around you seems to be rushing into
- Most importantly, do not do an MBA just because the world seems to be doing it. That being said, not every B-School admit is clear why he/she wants to do an MBA. But the clearer one is, the better it is for him/her.