Monday, April 23, 2012

Have work experience, get easy admission to B-schools

Students with prior work experience have an edge in B-school admissions. An improved “class-room experience” and perceived ease of placements, are primary reasons behind the trend. Official sources in Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) in Kolkata, Lucknow and Rohtak and, XLRI-Jamshedpur confirm that the share of such students has increased to 60-70 per cent of the batch size. The ratio was as low as 30-40 per cent till about two-to-three years ago.

According to Prof. Amit Dhiman, Chairperson, Placement, IIM-Calcutta, the 2010 batch, which was just placed, had 34 per cent freshers and 66 per cent students with work experience. “There has been a rise in the number of students joining IIM-C with prior experience. While a majority of these students have an average experience of 10 months-to-two years, close to 15 per cent of them had work-experience of more than 36 months,” he said.

Apart from an increase in students with work experience, there has also been a rise in the average tenure of such professional experience. According to Prof. Soumendranath Bagchi, Chairperson, Admissions, XLRI, the average experience tenure has increased from 10 months to 2-3 years. Only five per cent of the institute's students are freshers.

Quality of Class
According to Mr Pranit Upadhyay, Student Placement Co-ordinator, IIM-Rohtak, students with diverse work experience enrich the class experience. “A majority of the learning at B-schools happen through peer learning and it helps to have a batch of experienced people as that opens up scope for debate and discussions,” he said.

Close to 60 per cent of IIM-Rohtak's first batch (2010-12) had students with prior experience, which has gone up to 70 per cent for the 2011-13 batch. “People with experience have clear aspiration and better communication skills. Internationally, freshers cannot get into a B-school. We are trying to move towards that,” Professor Rajesh Aithal, Chairman, Placement, IIM-Lucknow, said.

Lateral placement, Better Salary
With the increase in share of students with work experience, management schools are placing more stress on lateral placement, where candidates are offered roles depending upon the nature and duration of their experience. The average pay package for students with experience is comparatively higher than that of a fresher, Mr Upadhyay said.

Source: The Hindu Business Line, April 23, 2012

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