How To Read B-School Placement Reports

A personal cabin with the laptop throwing light on to the face, discussing the key company figures with the team and making critical decisions to drive the company towards glory!!

Just hold on your imagination.

If you are an MBA aspirant looking into this picture every time you score the 89th percentile in CAT, XAT, SNAP or your current appraisal, then you should aim getting better percentile in the next appraisal cycle from your manager. Because investment decisions that MBA teaches would make you wiser if you had learnt it before getting into the top B-Schools (as they are called).

“Eye to detail” is a standard resume punchline used by many of us and the least utilized skill when it comes to making decisions in our personal life.

Let us start with this line extracted from the most recent placement report of a leading B-School.

Overall 128 offers were made to eligible students during the entire placement process by 59 companies.”

What is your inference from the above statement? Given 120 students appeared for the placements, choose the most suitable option.

a. It means everyone had an offer and some had more than one

b. Each company has made more than 2 offers

c. Candidates who were not eligible made it to top B-School

d. Data Inadequate

Obviously, the answer is yours to understand but the detailing done using the words might well be ignored by most of us when we read such reports.

If you are not a Law student or if your Verbal score is 100 %tile, please carefully look for words that might flabbergast you when you will end up reading your placement reports two years later.

Every MBA aspirant learns statistics, which they, unfortunately, apply only in the entrance exams they attempt. A strong analysis on the Mean, Median and (not the Mode! Caz they will be in trouble) Range of the CTCs the Institutions claim can add to your insight on the consistency of the data provided.

Let`s consider this data which is quite astonishing statistically.  (Again the hint is, total students were 120)

Average CTC – 10 LPA

Median CTC – 8.50 LPA 

Maximum CTC – 15.00 LPA 

Minimum CTC – 6.50 LPA

This data has a distribution which is positively skewed with X-axis as CTC and Y Axis as frequency. So, it is clear that the frequency is higher at Mode which is left to Median suggesting the highest number of offers were given at less than Median CTC.

That was one out many inferences and for a fact, with lesser eligible candidates they should have had a negative skew if the salary distribution was better on the other side of the median and the mean should be lesser than the median.

Never mind the jargons and math. There is an easier way to know the facts. Just connect with some alumni of the institution who are not part of the Public/ Media relationship club. (Or just remember the first example about “words” when you enquire with such clubs).

Finally, one last missing piece that never fits into most of our lives! The remuneration that is net of the CTC quoted. The fact to be understood is that CTC or the Compensation offered might carry One-time/joining bonuses, variable pay/performance-based pay, annual bonus, ESOPs (with lock-in period) and contingent bonuses. In reality, companies paying the division of CTC by 12 as the net remuneration every month, are as rare as spotting the difference in the amount of black money before and after demonetization.

Now that you have become a bit wiser, continue with your imagination in a closed cubicle with ‘Two eyes always looking for every detail’!

Sikkandar Gary A

MBA grad currently working with Oracle India.