Disclaimer: Although the author of this article is from IIM Lucknow, the points stated below are more or less true for all established or older MBA colleges in India. Would still love to hear divergent views in the comments section from students of other colleges.
To an outsider, the MBA world may seem like a black box. What happens there, stays there. Except of course the annual placement reports that come in the limelight. Apart from this, an aspirant has little knowledge of what goes inside a campus. The anecdotes that aspirants hear from their friends or teachers who have graduated from these colleges are often the only source of ‘insider’ information. All the stories about weekend classes, late night submissions, induction culture, etc. seem like an enigma. As a result of which even before you enter a college, you have already formed a lot of pre-conceived notions about the life inside. This article is an attempt to address a few of those misconceptions.
1. Life is Set: If you are currently preparing for CAT or other MBA entrance exams, you would surely have stumbled upon these golden words – “IIM mein ho jaaye, fir to life set hai.” Your friends, relatives, teachers at coaching centers or even you may have come to see IIMs as a ticket to quick success. Surely most people coming out from these colleges tend to do reasonably well in their lives but merely getting into an IIM does not ensure a ‘set life.' To keep it crisp, all I can say is MBA and even the life post that will be really tough if you want a ‘set life’.
2. Second year toh chill hota hai: These are the kind of rumours that do the round in all WhatsApp groups that are formed after the interview results are out and before the college begins. Yes, it’s chill, but only if you have a PPO. For others, it remains pretty much the same. You may have a couple of fewer courses but all the case competitions more than compensate for that.
3. Party all night: Ok kidding, this one’s true. Most MBA colleges do have a vibrant party culture where people enjoy until wee hours of the morning. But on most days you will have to attend the 9.30 am lecture the next morning.
4. Amazing Profs: Not really a misconception but does not hold true for all professors. Anyway, you shouldn’t be worried about this. After all, there’s a 99% chance that you decided to pursue MBA only for the money. Who cares about learning anyway?
Which brings me to the final and the biggest misconception that does the rounds (If you are currently pursuing MBA you may have already guessed it), the 1cr package. The probability of you being the one amongst all CAT aspirants to get this package will be probably less than 0.000001. Even after making it to the Holy Trinity of MBA colleges your chances will be slim. These numbers quoted in Business Standard and ET are good PR for the colleges and the MBA industry in general. But trust me just 3-4 people in a batch even get close to that figure. So while it’s good that you got motivation after reading such articles, I would strongly advise removing such notions before you enter a b-school.
An MBA from a top college is much more than the CTC you will get when you leave the institute. It’s something that is tough to elucidate through an article and will probably never be covered in the newspapers. It’s an experience; you’ll have to be here to embrace it and appreciate it.
Good luck for your preparations, may the force be with you.