7 Steps To Get Your Dream Job At A B-School | Explained By An IIM B Professor
What can you do to make your IIM campus placements better after getting admission and before you join the IIM? Apparently very little. But you can take some early steps to avoid making it worse.
First, if you are working do not quit your job in a hurry after getting an IIM offer. The minimum work experience requirement at IIMB to participate in the lateral placements is 22 months – it is different across IIMs. Many lose that option by quitting early and being short by a few days from the cut-off. If you are not working and have completed your course work, take up an internship till you join an IIM. Apart from the learning, undergraduate internships can add good value to your summer resume.
Second, collect documentary evidence that you may have about all items that will possibly go into your summer placement resume. Many have only a half-page resume when they join an IIM – such a resume will not work when compared against the full-page resumes of your classmates. Usually, this is because you have ignored some significant achievements at the school, college and work stages. You will be informed on how to get documentary proofs where formal certificates were not given.
Third, ensure that you attend the welcome event that is organized by the summer trainees at your IIM at all major cities in India. Learn as much as possible about the IIM you will join but do not listen to those who may strongly dissuade you from joining as it is typically to help their waitlisted friends.
Fourth, make special efforts to improve on your language and communication skills if they are weak – specifically if you have unclear speech. IIM is a multi-regional institution and its students represent India and therefore companies expect students to have neutral accents. You can join professional accent and speech training that is typically given to call centre workers – but avoid getting a false US accent!
Fifth, if language and communications is not an issue, then make efforts to improve on your basic quantitative skills if you have not been tested on them during graduation. The CAT exam does not cover all the quantitative skills required in the course work and getting familiar with it helps.
Sixth, if you have been called by the IIM to attend the two to three weeks preparatory program before the start of the course, do not skip it even if you must pay a salary penalty for the reduced notice period. Those who are called for the preparatory program are identified by the faculty who interviewed you based on a low score in some component (English or Math) of your academic record or by a low score in some component of your CAT score. So even if you were selected based on the total score, you are better off doing the preparatory program in communications and maths and getting used to studying before the course starts. Some IIMs also offer accounting and economics in the preparatory program that makes it easier to cope with these courses covered in the first term. IIMB also offered career and resume counselling workshop during the preparatory program.
Seventh, if you have not been called for the preparatory program, check with friends who were called and try to do the online courses that they have been advised to do. IIMB runs several basic management courses on IIMBX and EDX online course platforms that are useful for those joining IIMs. Many students joining the newer IIMs are required to do online courses before they join.
It is important to remember that the IIM courses have high academic load and progress very rapidly. A mid-course closed book quiz in the fourth week of the second term required reading 190 pages of text – unless you read the text during the four weeks, it is not possible to read it just before the quiz. Six exams are held in three days with just the weekend free to prepare. University system students are not used to such regular studies and may get into trouble when resume creation takes more time in term one and summer placement applications take time in the first half of the second term. Taking these steps before you join can help in coping with IIM academics and summer placements.
About the Author:
Ganesh N Prabhu is Professor of Strategy at IIM Bangalore. Since April 2015 he is Chairperson, Career Development Services at both IIM Bangalore and IIM Vishakhapatnam. An alumnus of IIMA and IRMA, he was earlier the Chairperson for Placements at IIMB for three years from 2001 to 2004 and was instrumental in starting the lateral placement process at IIMB. He jointly coordinates several executive programmes such as Strategy Consulting, Strategic Analysis for Competitive Advantage, Design Thinking, Competitor Analysis, Leading Strategic Change, Creative Business Models, Building Business Acumen, Managing International Business and Creating Successful New Products. He was nominated as a Top Writer on Quora in 2017 and 2018.