IIM-A follows the case-study pedagogy and I felt that for me to be able to contribute to the discussion, I should at least have some real-life experiences to draw analogies.
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I also looked at the cons, what if I lose the zeal and enthusiasm over the year? As a fresher, I’d be able to bring a raw perspective to the table. Whereas, as someone with work experience, I might think in some restricted and conventional patterns. But the crucial factor was seeking clarity around my career goals, and I wanted to try things out rather than theoretically deciding for myself. So finally, I decided to defer my admission by one year. Hence, I am joining IIM-Ahmedabad in 2021 instead of 2020 (The title wasn’t a clickbait :p)
How I spent my year of deferment?
To be honest, I was all over the place and that was the plan. I tried my hands on a start-up venture, interned at a few places in different roles, attended multiple webinars and masterclasses to understand career options post M.B.A. I even talked to some professionals in those fields to get an insight into their roles and everyday responsibilities. I started working full-time at a financial corporation. I also travelled a bit (in between lockdowns), tried learning a sport, created memories, simply went beyond my risk appetite and tried all sorts of things that I usually wouldn’t have. I also failed at some of them, but the year of deferment allowed me to experiment and understand my likings and interests like nothing else.
I didn’t have any fixed idea of what I would want to pursue during/post M.B.A. Hence the year of deferment helped me eliminate some options and further narrow them down. Now, as I enter IIM- Ahmedabad, I have some work experience in a financial services company, some internships, and much better clarity on my goals.
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More about the provision of deferment in India
Deferment of admission is a common practice in foreign universities, in various fields of studies but majorly in management studies. 2+2 M.B.A. programs offered by some renowned universities are famous amongst aspirants. But this isn’t a popular provision in India, primarily because not many universities provide this option.
Among the top Indian B-schools, IIM-A and I.S.B. are two institutes that offer deferred admissions to their flagship programs.
Indian School of Business (I.S.B.) Early Entry Option is similar to the 2+2 program. It provides a deferred admission offer to their Post Graduate Programme in Management. It allows recent graduates with less than 24 months of full-time work experience to secure their admission to the ISB PGP. The candidates are eligible to join the P.G.P. upon completing at least 24 months of full-time work experience.
Whereas at IIM-Ahmedabad, post securing an admission, freshers and candidates with work experience of less than 1 year are given an option to defer their admission by one/two years. 10% of the batch i.e. approximately 39 students can avail this provision. There is an application process where one needs to justify their intent and how they plan to utilise their deferment period.