a B-school appears so insurmountable a task because there are
no universally accepted parameters that one can use to measure
the 'worth' of oneB-school
against another. But here's what you should be wary of!
This should be your biggest warning sign that there may not be
enough people applying to the institute. And with good reason,
too. Many of the newer and relatively unknown institutes may contact
you saying that you've been shortlisted for the GD/interview stage
-- this despite the fact that you may never even have applied
to the school. This is a marketing tactic used by schools that
find it difficult to "fill the seats".
"Everyone gets in"
Even if you missed the hint from the previous pointer, take a
good look at all the people who get final offers for admission.
If at the GD, six of 10 candidates did not speak at all, and despite
this, all 10 of them seem to have received offers of admission,
it is an indicator that you should at least reconsider your decision.
Which branch will you join?
Another signal that the school you are considering joining may
not be a good choice is when you get a feeling that your "selection"
depends on which branch you are willing to join. If the panel
"encourages" you to "consider" a certain branch
and suggests that admission in that branch is almost certain,
Schools that encourage you or your parents to "donate"
to the trust that runs it, or to contribute to the "expansion
efforts" of the school by suggesting that such an act of
philanthropy will "brighten your chances" of securing
admission, politely decline and withdraw your application.
Claims vs reality
With integrity being the watchword of the day, it is important
that the "guru" walks the talk. One of the most important
things to look at perhaps, is how close to reality the claims
of the B-school are. Most exaggerated are claims relating to infrastructure
A number of schools make hugely exaggerated claims regarding the
companies that visit them for placement. If you find that most
of the companies mentioned in the list have only "selected"
trainees for free, then the B-school's placement record and integrity
are both suspect. You probably should not join such a B-school.
It might be a good idea to visit the B-schools that have made
offers of final admission and verify that all that they claim
actually exists! After all, the nexttwo
years can make or break your life.
Another area that is successfully exploited by a lot of B-schools
for "window dressing" of the brochures is the Board
of Directors. Please remember that the constitution of the board
has nothing to do with the way a school is administered. A certain
school, for example, has some very senior people from some of
the top companies of this country the board. Not a single on of
those firms has ever recruited from the school!
It is important to remember that the points listed above are only
indictors. Please double and triple check your information before
parting with your hard-earned money. Be patient, dont' fall for
the glitter. Do keep in mind that only around half of the (approximately)
2,000 B-schools in the country are recognised, and even out of
that number, many do not manage to place a large majority of their
The author is founder-director, TIME.