February 28, 2012

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics !!



Circa Jan 2011, after I had accepted the offer for admission in PGPEX, in the quest to know more about the program I tried reaching out few alums. Thanks to LinkedIn , I could get in touch with a handful of them. I'll post what they had to say about the program and will add my first-hand experience. 

Learning - Very Good. The cases are selected very meticulously. The books are of international standard. Believe me the kind of effort you need to put over here probably will exceed that of all four years of engineering. But sure enough you'll enjoy the learning and experience. There would many aha moments.

Faculty - Good. Not all but some of the faculty is exceptional. Many are highly dedicated. Some of them mix up very well with PGPEX. They respect our experience. They remain under pressure as PGPEX is usually very demanding. Many faculty admits that they enjoy teaching us more than our PGP folks.

Networking - Good. Depends upon you how you try to make out of this one year. 

Experimenting with career - Good. Try out some B Plans. That’s the best way to pick up things on business management and entrepreneurship. In fact, that’s the only way. Make 2-3 B Plans. Refine them. Learn. Regarding next job, it should be in some way a continuation of what you have done earlier. This is EXTREMELY important. There has to be some link. Total change doesn’t happen through job. 

Infrastructure - Bad. Location is equally pathetic. IIMC Joka is in extreme remote of Kolkata devoid of any fun element. Lakes don’t help much! However, this is the only IIM where entire campus is single and you get to enjoy all of it, whatever it is. Single accommodation is perhaps best among all IIMs, but married accommodation needs serious improvement. There are hostels coming up of pgpex but they will not be ready for occupation until late this year.

Placement Coordination from IIMC - Pathetic. IIMC and all other Indian institutes including IIMA, IIMB, IIML, ISB are still learning how to set up processes for exec-MBA placement. Their frame of reference is PGP which is full of freshers. PGPEX (and all other similar) need special placement process where every resume should be managed separately. It requires much more efforts from the institute. The institutes acknowledge this and are learning but have their own inertia. Maybe with some help from industry, hopefully things would move in the right direction soon. But as of now the internal process needs a complete overhauling. 

Placement - Not bad. Despite not so good placement process, placement happens. There may be tensions, stress etc. Focus on the right job. Going back to earlier organization is an equally good option provided you get some valid change there. Coming on sabbatical is another option. Let's face it, the Indian job market has not grown up to one year MBA for executives. I am not sure about how ISB is placed in this respect but all PGPEX equivalent at all IIMs are still at very nascent stage. Surely an MBA and 10 years of experience is not same as 10 years of experience and then an MBA. Lucky few may see a function/industry shift. But they are very few and far between. In the short term I am not really sure all of you will get benefit of the program. In the long term, anyway we are dead!!