It is not necessary that students need to be from premier colleges. You get into a B-school on the basis of your performance in the entrance exams conducted by the B-schools themselves.
There are over a thousand B-schools in India, and about half a dozen rankings. In such a scenario, finding the right B-school becomes quite a task. What matters is not obtaining an MBA, but doing a program that is respected and recognized. Once you identify your dream B-school, go all out to make sure that you get in.
What Makes a Good B-school: Parameters for Selection
To get you started, here is a list of a few aspects you need to look at while selecting B-schools and make sure that you are on the right track. If it does not throw up the best choice, it will at least help you shortlist those that you need to apply to.
Where do you want to study?
First and foremost, you need to decide where do you want to do an MBA from. This can be a choice between doing an MBA from India or abroad. You need to realize that the admission process, eligibility criteria and screening process for both may differ.
For pursuing an MBA in India, there are several locational factors you will have to consider, such as the proximity of the B-school to business hubs. The location of a B-school greatly influences the level of interaction between a B-school and industry, thus affecting the quality of education and visiting faculty, if any.
What does the B-school offer?
You need to take a look at the school, its learning environment and the programs offered, whether approved and certified by 'All India Council for Technical Eduction' (AICTE) - the official governing body responsible for regulation of higher education in India; curriculum, full-time faculty, campus services and the student body. A good infrastructure assures sound technical and logistical support.
What is the balance between faculty and research?
It is a top B-school's ability to attract and retain top-class faculty and its emphasis on the quality of research that separates it from others. Most business schools strive for a balance of both. All top B-schools have a strong focus on research and provide extensive, contextual and relevant study material.
What is the placement record?
Find out the program’s acceptability from the point of view of the list of potential recruiters you have in mind, analyze this through the B-school’s placement statistics of the last three years, the number of students that were picked by top-notch companies and the differential placements of the various B-schools. In this regard, also find out how active is the placement cell and/or the alumni network.
How is a B-school ranked?
In the last few years, there have been various surveys conducted every year that evaluate and compare B-schools using a consistent criteria. The results of these surveys could help you target some of the top B-Schools. Remember to take all of these surveys with a pinch of salt though and not to bother about the exact ranking of 'a' survey, but with the general opinion of a few put together.
Read more about the top B-schools
Does a B-school provide affiliations and exchange?
B-schools have collaborations with acclaimed international B-schools. For example ISB, Hyderabad offers an International Student Exchange Program, which gives students the opportunity to study for 1-2 terms at leading business schools such as the London Business School (UK) and Kellogg School of Management (USA). IIM Kozikode encourages international student exchange with B-schools such as the European School of Management (ESCP-EAP) in Paris and the European Business School in Frankfurt.
Exchange programs and affiliations encourage a healthy, cosmopolitan learning environment and promote global standards of education. Such programs are optional, even if you do not participate in a program yourself, the experience of interacting with visiting students will also benefit you alot.
Does a B-school offer financial aid?
MBA programs do not come cheap. However, it is quite easy to obtain financial aid for pursuing an MBA, especially if you are doing the MBA from one of the top ten B-schools. Most Indian B-schools do not offer scholarships till you reach the 2nd year and most of these are merit based. However, most banks are willing to give students a loan to pay for their education at extremely nominal rates and these are not required to be repaid till you start working. It is highly recommended that you do not allow financial constraints to stop you from joining a good B-school and to go in for loans. In fact, these loans actually reduce your tax burden once you start drawing those 6-7 figure salaries.
Who features in the B-school alumni?
If the alumni of the school are in well-respected positions in various industries, it automatically ensures a good standing for the school in the corporate world, which, in turn, implies better placement opportunities.
What is your need?
Today an MBA is no longer limited to marketing, finance and other traditional specializations. Applicants now have various options to choose from. For example specializations like rural management (IRMA), foreign trade (IIFT), retail (KJ Somaiya, Welingkar's & SP Jain), supply chain management (NITIE), systems management (IIMC, IIT-Bombay) among others. So, if you are interested in a specific filed of study, find out which B-school offers the relevant course and apply to them. There are certain B-schools which are reputed for their specializations; for example MICA is known for its Advertising, IRMA is known for their rural management course, etc.
Read more about how to choose specializations
Do your own research
You can acquire information about B-schools by doing some basic research. It will help you ensure your decision about your B-school of choice, which you might have derived following the above-mentioned parameters. Here are a few media that will help you in your research:
A quick, vast and updated resource. Websites of the B-schools provide you with detailed information about the faculty, programs offered, facilities they offer and alumni forums that might interest you and help you take your decision.
They are updated and trained to offer career guidance. They are aware and in constant touch with the latest happenings in B-schools and the programs that they offer. Once the counselors gauge your aspirations and your level of readiness, they can assist and provide you with proper career guidance. But be sure to meet trained and professional counselors.
Do you want us to help you find a counselor?
Get it from the horse’s mouth. Speaking to the alumni gives you a student's perspective into the B-school. Talk to them for information regarding the kind of work you plan to pursue. It will provide you with a very different and highly personalized perspective