– Prepare for CAT

– Score a coveted percentile

– Get calls from your dream colleges

– Convert the college of your choice

So you thought “That’s it?” Well, hold on, not yet. The series of miseries, tons of FOMOs, an abundance of self-doubt, heaps of nervousness, loads of peer pressure, and a plethora of sleepless nights are just around the corner.

Welcome to the elite fraternity of IIMs.

Here are the 25 untold secrets about IIMs. If you have ever fancied the hefty 7 figure paychecks that IIMs offer, read on to know the added cost or benefits that it comes with:

  1. Let’s address the elephant in the room, right at the outset, THE PLACEMENTS:
    The concept of a 3-day placement process is as illusionary as the Unicorn and Santa Claus. No B-School, except the top IIMs, concludes their placement in 3 days. Some take weeks, others months.
  2. MBA, simply put, is all about putting jargons to common sense. The biggest skill that you need to survive the MBA journey is THE ART OF GLOBING. Three things that you need to understand here:
    (a) Globing helps you get immediate attention, of peers, professors, and companies.
    (b) Everyone wants to globe. Yes, everyone!
    (c) Eventually, everyone becomes a Globe-Master.

    P.S: Globe refers to a bombastic verbiage laced with fancy business faff, usually making less or no sense.
  3. No, all IIMs are NOT EQUAL. The brand IIM is no more restricted to just three letters ‘IIM’, but is now defined by what follows these three letters. The holy triumvirate of Old IIMs is a league apart, not just with regard to the placement scenario but the general culture, pedagogy & peer mix. The older IIMs, XLRI, FMS, MDI swiftly catching up. The new IIMs and baby IIMs are nowhere close. The tag of being in an IIM (what if new or baby) might bloat them up with pride, but they know the grim truth of stark differences deep within. Not just them, but the recruiters know it too.
  4. A degree from an IIM does NOT make you an astute business thinker or analyst. It simply gives you the tools to become one. This is why not every IIM grad is equal in their business sense or insight.
  5. The DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ENGINEERS doesn’t end with you making it to a B-School. It continues. The courses, the shortlisting criteria, the entire process is crafted to give an edge to the non-engineers.
  6. CLUBS and COMMITTEES do have a role to play. Not just in defining your life within the campus but also helping you beyond it. Committee seniors and alums are notorious for pushing their juniors during the placement process. The older the committee, the more is its clout and the more will they push their members during placements.
  7. GOOD PROFESSORS are as rare in B-Schools as in undergrad colleges. Most of the professors are there just to add to the numbers. When it comes to globing, professors are no less Globemaster. Good profs are a genuine rarity, never miss their classes.
  8. PLAGIARISM, though condemnable, is rampant across B-Schools. Resorting to Scribd for case analysis and projects is commonplace even in top IIMs. Some professors can make you pay for plagiarism, so beware of the practice! 
  9. FOMO is inevitable in a B-School with a multitude of things happening all around, it is impossible to do everything. Doing some things and doing them right is the art that one needs to learn; as early as possible.
  10. We might call it the ‘INDIAN’ Institute of Management, but it is further divided by state groups and regional groups.
  11. The footfall in GUEST LECTURES is actually forced. No one by will wants to attend guest lectures. The speaker is made to believe that students are genuinely interested by PLANTING QUESTIONS in the audience.
  12. The most ACTIVE HOURS, when the campus comes to life, are between 12:00 pm to 2:00 am. Given most of the DEADLINES are scheduled at 23:59:59, it is only after this that people come out and enjoy carefreely.
  13. RELATIONSHIPS are as CASUAL in IIMs as on Tinder. Surprisingly, the intent of both is also similar. It starts with action, ends instantly for many, lasts for a few, and for a very few ends up in a marriage.
  14. RESERVATION’ is a tabooed word in IIMs. Everyone has an opinion on it but chooses to stay mum and hush about it.
  15. MESS FOOD is the most detested thing on campus, however, it is the first thing people miss while on their summer internship. The hot topic on college portals and WhatsApp groups is always mess food. Someone or the other will always keep cursing it.
  16. MASTERING PPT and EXCEL skills will make you RULE the B-School territory. It is the most valued and also the most essential skill in the life of an MBA student.
  17. CASE STUDIES and LIVE PROJECTS teach you much more than attending classes. Heard of PEER LEARNING? Here is where it comes to action.
  18. Life at a B-School is not as much about being BUSY as it is about PRETENDING TO BE BUSY. Not many people know what they want to do with their life, but everyone pretends to.
  19. NETWORKING is the biggest thing you can bag back from this two-year journey. Networking not just with your batchmates, but also your juniors, professors, alums and students across the b-school community, wherever possible.
  20. You will easily find people to socialize, hang out with, go on trips with, but it’s very tough to find a REAL FRIEND in the midst of these socializers. The place is inherently so competitive that it finding real friends is rare.
  21. INTER-IIM ACTIVITIES are a huge learning experience. Be it Sangharsh OR Sangram (The Inter-IIM sports meet), or any other inter-college event, never miss out on them. More than networking it’s about an exchange of culture, stories and also phone numbers (if you know what I mean).
  22. It is very difficult to conduct festivals and celebrations in a B-School alongside the academic rigor. Respect the people who do it. CULTURAL COMMITTEES of all IIMs, a grand salute to you.
  23. This probably is the last academic qualification for most of you. MAKE THE MOST OF IT. Do all that you ever wanted to, even more. Play a sport, go on trips, sit through courses, take up live projects, hit on your crush, pass out in parties, use three color pens in exams, dance with exchange students, among an endless list of things. Do them all, as many and as much as you can.
  24. Go on a STUDENT EXCHANGE, more so if you have a PPO. Never again will you get three months of free time to explore the world and wander freely, not until you retire.
  25. Smile, pat your back, respect yourself. YOU ARE LIVING THE DREAM of 99% of the people of your age. Make the most of it.

Call them secrets, warnings or a simple heads up, irrespective, these pointers will help you chart a well-planned trajectory for your B-School journey.

Good Luck!

*The writer of this article wishes to remain anonymous. If you wish to submit articles anonymously, please get in touch with Nidhi at nidhi.malkan@insideiim.com