There’s More To IIMs Than Placements And Brand Name

When you hear the word ‘IIM’, all that comes into one’s mind is the coveted degree, sky-high pay packages & the enviable white-collared jobs. Very seldom would people associate IIMs with knowledge, world-class faculty & a rare opportunity to expand their horizon of cognition.

Many aspirants, if not all, aim just for an ‘IIM tag’ more than the education that comes with it. Scoring marks is considered just another stepping stone to securing that high-paying job in one of your ‘dream companies’. I wonder who is to be blamed for this sorry state of affairs. Has it been so since its very inception? Was this the purpose of the establishment in the first place? To put it bluntly, are students here just for the placements?

Well, I do not wish to delve into that through this piece of writeup. One of the reasons, I believe, why the education is not given its due importance is possibly because many find the pedagogy irrelevant to the industrial norms & standards. Some argue that teaching all subjects to all students irrespective of the specialisation they choose, does not prove to be fruitful. Here, I’d like to clarify that IIMs provide General Management degrees but students may opt for a majority of subjects of the stream they desire, which may be unofficially touted as ‘specialisation’.

I would try to address the above two concerns one-by-one. The first concern that whatever is taught is pretty much irrelevant in real life, may be true for some professionals, but if I go by my (& some of my friends’) personal experience during Summer Internship, I’d say that is not completely true. For people interning at Marketing firms (with no marketing background whatsoever), the classroom learning just find a ground to prove their mettle. There’s a possibility that you may not find a direct application of what is taught or you may learn an advanced version of the topics covered, but the building of foundation lies in the theory that your professor was blabbering in the classroom while you were busy checking your phone or dozing off! The market-research techniques, sampling and its analysis, are just a few concepts extensively utilized by summer interns. Some courses like Digital Marketing, Social Media marketing find wide usage in many firms.

The second concern students raise is that they are made to study subjects (in the first year), which they would never find applications of, due to their area of interest or job specifications they wish to apply for. Well, first of all, IIMs confer ‘General Management’ degrees. So, technically speaking you’re a General Manager who ought to know the basics of everything that is required to run a business. Secondly, for people aiming for leadership roles, even in a specialized firm, should equip themselves with the knowledge of all facets of business administration. Imagine the CEO of a Marketing firm unable to make the head & tail out of a balance sheet!

I am not trying to say that studies are the most important aspect in the life of an MBA graduate. But my only humble submission is that do not forget and/or ignore the whole idea of an educational institution. You may/may not find my arguments above, valid. But there is no harm in learning what the professors (with years of industrial and / or academic experience) bring to the table. So, the next time you are tempted to check your phones / sleep in your class, please remember what you’re here for.

May the force be with you!

Sambhavi Ganguly

Sambhavi Ganguly is a second-year student at IIM Lucknow. She is a Core Member of IIM Lucknow's Industry Interaction Cell. She has about 4 years of work-ex in Synopsys India as an R&D Engineer. She loves reading and dancing. She lives by the mantra of "Keep it simple, silly!" :)

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