50 Things You Must Know About IIM
(This article was published on 30th Jan 2011 on www.ankit9doshi.com)
1) If you think an IIM admit is your ticket to happiness, you’re already bracing yourself up for a lot of misery. Think ‘experience’ and you’ll just about get by
2) Unless you are dropping the idea of doing an Indian MBA or are going abroad (to a ‘better’ place) it is foolish to reject an offer from any of the IIMs(at least the top 6) for something better next year. Selection criteria of IIMs are as unpredictable as Sreesanth’s form with the ball. CAT has become a little like shooting in the dark and hoping for the best.
3) There is not necessarily any correlation between efforts and (at least short term) rewards… In fact more often than not it does not exist
4) It’s all about doing the right things rather than doing everything
5) Most people in an ‘Indian’ Institute of Management still feel they are representing their state here
6) No one likes attending guest talks. Somehow most speakers are made to believe that they are really wanted. Most young speakers promise not to bore by being short and ‘interactive’ and they do exactly the opposite
7) It is all still ‘Sarkari’. Very Sarkari
8) Fresher girls get placed fast and easily so. A boring engineer with IT work ex of over 3 years is a pain for the placement committee
9) Bigger the batch size, higher the free riding
10) Everyone ‘globes’. Even those who call others globers.
11) Facebook stalking of girls who could join your IIM is rampant. That guys in most IIMs are desperate is an understatement. Professors, Students and Recruiters – all are.
12) It is still ABC and the rest. But the good news is that L is almost there and I,K are catching up fast
13) Directors of all IIMs always want more girls in their incoming batch. Very few succeed
(Update 2nd August 2013 : Ah! Well! They have forced their way to diversity 😉 )
14) There are a lot of professors who are there just to make up the numbers. There is a severe crunch of quality faculty across IIMs
15) Everyone has a view on reservations but is too uncomfortable a topic to talk about openly
16) Everyone complains about mess food. No matter how many times you change the contractor, no matter which IIM you go to. Someone will always complain
17) Participate in B-school events. They are fun and an excellent opportunity to meet new people. About 50% of the batch goes/plans to go home or on a trip when their institute’s fest is on. Quite a shame
18) IIMs and ethics don’t really go hand in hand
19) Alumni play a bigger role than you can imagine. Follow them, network with them and make them happy.
20) Read cases. There are no rules to solve them and it is one place where you can combine creativity with intelligent analysis. If nothing they are nice stories to read.
21) Never miss a good professor’s class. They are a rarity and you may take back life’s lessons
22) Plagiarism is rampant and often excused. Good professors will make you pay for it
23) Teaching associates check your exam papers. With burgeoning batch sizes that’s the way ahead. There is always a question on how qualified they are.
24) Student exchange in Europe is really cool. 5th terms can get extremely boring, especially if you have a PPO or/and you are not part of the B-School festivals in your institute nor are you participating in some.
25) It takes courage to be different in a B-School. Being courageous also means sacrifice
26) Higher the degree of honesty, greater the chances of you being in trouble
27) 100% placements of QUALITY is a relic of the past. That concept doesn’t even make headlines anymore. It’s all about the big names, big money.
28) Big money can make a mockery of all your loyalty towards a particular profile or domain during placements. In desperate times, placement policies force such an effect.
29) Batches of 2009 and 2010 are 2 of the unluckiest batches since liberalization across IIMs but more specifically at L,I,K
(Update 2nd August 2013 : Sorry 2009/2010 guys, the crown now clearly lies with the Class of 2013)
30) There is little value addition in most classes. That time can be used so much better. However, it is professor dependent. A good professor can make attending lectures a delight. Even the laziest bums on campus will work when a good professor is around.
31) PPT styles and videos of a lot of professors are of an era gone by long ago.
32) Communication lectures are the most abused but no other course is as important as written and oral communication. Ask people who have just been placed.
33) Microsoft Office is more important than any other software in the life of an IIM grad. Mastery over MS-Excel and MS-PowerPoint can take you places.
34) The probability of you getting into Mckinsey and Co. when you’re taking the CAT is less than 0.02%.
35) Entrepreneurship is cool. Being an entrepreneur while being on campus is cooler.
36) Pagalguy.com is part of B-school folklore now. It’s already a case study in IIM Bangalore and IIM Indore. It’s a lot of fun to see real life personalities of people whom you have made an image about while interacting on pagalguy. Double thumbs up to pagalguy.
(Update 2nd August 2013 : Prof. Prabhu does not take New Product Development at IIM Indore anymore. So no pagalguy case study for Planet – I folks!)
37) It is a Post Graduate Programme in Management with a degree called PGDM and not a MBA.
38) Sports meets are awesome fun.
39) No one has a clue what they want to do with their life. Most just pretend that they know
40) Sometimes almost everyone seems better than you.
41) You will never get time for yourself. Trust me; it’s a good state to be in.
42) Do as many activities as possible on campus. It may be the last chance before you get back into the real world.
43) If you can avoid peer pressure on campus, you’re already on your way to becoming great.
44) No matter where you are, you will always feel something else is better.
45) It is not very easy to win B-school competitions. Respect the ones who do.
46) Generally it is clear from class participation/desperate class participation who has substance and who has the faff. Quality interactions between faculty and students are rare.
47) Never miss out on a rural stint. It can be life changing.
48) Never grudge anyone their success. Just know that if you’re working hard, your time too shall come.
49) Nothing is more important than networking. If you fail to know at least 70% of your batch and 50% of junior batch, then you have missed out on a golden opportunity. ( You can make adjustments to the stats if batch sizes are huge or/and if you’ve gone on an exchange programme :P)
50) Over 99% of the people in your age group in this country will happily swap places with you. No matter what the B-school communities say, you’re lucky to be in an IIM.
– Ankit Doshi
(The author is an alumnus of IIM Indore – Class of 2011 and Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics,Mumbai – Class of 2007. He is the founder of this website and his last bit of corporate slavery was with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He has interned with TATA Capital and has worked with WhatsonIndia.com in the past. He still believes that ‘Umang’ NM College’s festival was the best thing to have happened to him where he led a team of 500 students)
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