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Is the level of rigour and stress really necessary in IIMs (and other top B-Schools)?

Is the level of rigour and stress really necessary in IIMs (and other top B-Schools)?

Why are students subjected to sleepless nights and endless assignments? In what way does this benefit an MBA student in his/her corporate career?
(Not a rhetorical question. Genuine curiosity)

5 Answers
Apurva Sharma, IIM Trichy answered 5 months ago

Students who get into IIMs or any other top B-schools feel accustomed to the academic stringency since their CAT preparation days. The B-school curriculum definitely seems quite rigorous from the eyes of an outsider but once you are into the system, then you thrive to interlace Excellency in each second which you spend here. Be it academics or extra-curricular activities, you can find the best candidate of each domain in IIMs and you need to work endlessly to stand out of the crowd. The hard work and efforts put in by individuals also vary according to interests and priorities of a person but everyone has to cross an irrefragable limit of hard work. This culture teaches you to manage your time wisely, helps you to inculcate various new qualities and gives you opportunities to unearth the unexplored territory of skills.
And once you are habitual to this lifestyle, you find no hardship to step into corporate culture. As a manager, you have to deal with multifarious tasks at the same time. Deadlines are sacrosanct in corporate culture and if you are not able to cope up with it, then you are easily replaceable, my friend. You will have to manage your time mindfully with loads of work pressure while working in cross functional teams and your job will demand absolutely quick and credible outputs. That time you will feel grateful to these 2 rigorous years of the B-school which prepared you to prudently face real time challenges.  
I hope I was successful in shedding some light on the importance of the rigorous curriculum of the IIMs and top B-schools.

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I am a member of InsideIIM student team 4.0 and currently studying at IIM Trichy.

Piyush Punewar, NITIE Mumbai answered 5 months ago

Hey Chirag, not all Top B schools are subjected to this kind of rigour, especially in NITIE we have classes from 8:30 am to 1:15 pm and after that, you are free to pursue whatever you want to.

Usually, you make a group and try to study with them. At times there are assignments and you have to stay up late, but that happens rarely and actually won’t happen if you are diligent in doing the task assigned.

Now I asked one of my friends why they have such a rigorous course and are they enjoying it?

He said it is rigorous at the start, but then in some time you get habitual to it, and it is good because when you go for an internship in a company which makes you work for 14-16 hours and at that point of time you can’t cope up then it creates a bad impression of your college.
I wasn’t really impressed with the answer I got but I guess it depends, I personally feel glad that I don’t have to go through that rigour and I can spend more time in extracurricular activities which I love. And also take part in lost of case study competitions and give my best shot to it. But yes it can also make you slack a bit. So you have to cope up, as you are competing with the best of best in India.

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I am currently studying in NITIE- God's own Campus.

Bro.. Expected a better writing ability from someone studying in nitie like you as I can clearly see some misspellings and wrong usage of words..

Anyway don’t mind… Just take it in a light note as someone criticizing you for your improvisation..

I myself am not that good and right now I am preparing for cat and you have already made through it.. So I don’t have any right to be a critique

@md Salim Nadeem, thank you. I was in a hurry that’s why did some rookie mistake of wrong spelling, I have corrected the same. Hope you are happy with it. And if there’s something by which I can learn something, I would be more than happy to learn it. I believe one can learn from anyone at any time, so yes I am going to take this criticism positively.

Parth Shekhar, MBA Aspirant answered 5 months ago

The level of rigour in most b-schools often tends to the sleepless nights for students who are not used to the highly competitive and deadline-oriented office culture. To be honest, the level of rigour after you graduate from the college may be (at least) 10x of what you get during the 1st year in most companies
In my opinion, this level of rigour, if nothing, teaches a student better time management. In return, ability to handle the pressure improves. If one doesn’t feels comfortable during their bschool days, then he/she is sure to feel the wrath of deadlines from superiors and clients during their professional careers.
Therefore, I think the level of rigour becomes stressful for a certain duration (probably during the 1st year) and once you learn to handle that stress and manage your time well, it doesn’t feels too bad.

Kabir Jain, IIM Indore (Since 1996) answered 5 months ago

That is a really interesting question Chirag and very relevant to B-School life. 
At a B-school, ruthless prioritization of different spheres of life including deadlines, events etc. is the need of the hour. So as long as readings and classes are taken care there is ample time for other activities.Sometimes the situation may require a bit of stretching but sometimes it just could be the amazing campus life that absorbs one in its exciting and ever-happening activities.
Rigour is much needed not only in academics but extra-curricular endeavours , but stress not sure to what extent that helps!
That being said, it definitely prepares you for the life ahead, in terms of juggling even multiple tasks (all deadlines seem to miraculously clash sometimes , working within cross-cultural teams (the group assignments), performing despite pressure and being headstrong during the tough times. It also is a lesson in taking time out for the things that matter, one’s health; friends & family without disrupting the academic sphere.
Life is full of trade-offs and choices. B-school life further reinstates the same. 
To sum up in my own words, life can be fast, hectic, frantic, fun, awesome at Planet-I [IIM Indore] but it never can a moment be dull or boring here at Prabandh Shikhar [management hillock, even the address says it loud and proud :P].
There are many student run ventures such as Pi-shop (general provision shop), Juices & More (JAM) , X-Pressomat (Laundry), Humsafar Travels (travel start-up) etc. 
Everyone finds their own appropriate pace on campus.
The campus life is well captured in some of these articles:
https://insideiim.com/an-ode-to-planet-i/
https://insideiim.com/iim-indore-amazing-campus-life/
Hope this answers it !
Best,
Kabir 

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I am currently living the B-School life at IIM Indore

In Economics, there is a concept by the name “Job signalling”, wherein one party (the agent) conveys credible information about another party (the participant). The B-school here being the agent conveying and showcasing the skills and qualities every participant of the B-school already has (since they got an admission in the first place). This is the reason there is a stark difference in the career opportunities available for an undergraduate and an MBA. So, what is special about a top B-school, which contributes to making this difference? It is not the entrance criteria, it is not the Percentile you scored in the Entrance Exam (CAT/XAT etc.) but it is the course structure which is designed in a way which increases the efficiency and output of a person multi-fold. This rigour is introduced in the B-school curriculum with a purpose, to make you ready for what lies ahead. The opportunities available at a B-school contribute towards the holistic development of an individual, from regular presentations (to make a person analyse, prepare and present a case), corporate competitions (to push your limits of working continuously day and night while managing your daily schedule), Intra/Inter-college management and sports fests and a lot more. As far as stress is concerned, it is highly subjective. I know people who felt that their B-school experience although was very challenging and demanding, yet there never was a time wherein they felt stressed. It is all about how an individual approaches a task at hand and majorly depends on the working-capacity of the individual. My point being, stress is not a common/regular feature at any B-school and is highly subjective.

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