IIMs vs. Non-IIMs

 When someone asks me, “What do you miss the most about MBA?” My reply is, “I miss the campus life, I miss my college.”

We are in unprecedented times. COVID-19 has not only made us sit back at home; it has also thwarted all our plans for the future. I can totally relate to the plight of MBA aspirants, who were looking forward to experiencing the MBA campus life. We all have our dream college; some dreams get fulfilled, while others don’t. But that doesn’t mean we shy away from the world and sit back with heavy hearts. Remember, you are destined to always achieve the best. It does not matter where you go, it’s you who can change your life, in unimaginable ways.

The IIMs vs. Non-IIMs debate has been a hot topic ever since. Let’s not deny; we all have had the dream to join an IIM, but sadly, not everyone makes it till there.

I’m myself an MBA graduate, but a non-IIM MBA graduate. I think my journey as an MBA student has been full of opportunities and endless experiences.

So, let’s get there. What makes IIMs the way we see them? Here are a few pointers from my bucket –

1.    Exposure – The best thing about being in an IIM is the kind of exposure you get – be it the professors, the students, the campus life, and the placements. Everything is no doubt, world-class.

2.    Opportunities – IIMs are known for ‘everything under the umbrella’ colleges. The kind of exposure you get puts you in the right places and helps you grab the best opportunities to accelerate your career.

3.    Extra-curricular – IIMs are known for their outstanding extra-curricular stints. They have some of the best events being hosted and committees that harness the real talent of the students.

4.    Campus life – Needless to say, IIMs have an amazing on and off-campus life; they have beautiful architecture that supports students dreams and ambitions and allows them to have a wonderful stay filled with fun and knowledge.

Yes, IIMs are definitely ‘The Dream.’ But, what about those who don’t get to experience this? Are they really missing out on anything? Here’s my take on the life of non-IIM students –

Most of us have pictured to become the best version of ourselves, when in a b-school. It’s a tough path to choose, but everything you do is worth it. You have to put in ‘the little extra’ at every step you take because you’re in competition with some of the best minds in the country. It’s no ball game. It’s all about the 3Ds I always talk about – Discipline, Determination, and Dedication. If that’s your motto in life, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals.

Here are a few things that worked out for me while I was in a b-school –

1.    Stay focused on academics, but have your fun too – Be it an internship or placement opportunity, you have to stay focused on your academics. Since there are fewer opportunities available, you have to stay on your toes, always.

2.    Take part in extra-curricular – This could be anything ranging from taking part in research paper competitions, events, seminars, join committees in your college, and stay in the front line always.

3.    Make time for focused learning – Being in a b-school, you will come across all kinds of distractions, but it is also imperative to make room for yourself and your learning. Spend two hours daily to learn something new, reading newspapers and researching subjects taught in class. This will keep you informed and ahead of others in the game.

4.    Seize international opportunities and immersions – You will have lots of international immersions coming your way. A little compromise from your side could actually end up taking you to places and provide you with an edge over others. An interviewer once told me, “Your international experience is differentiating you from others.” Love to hear that, right?

5.    Stay confident and dress well – You’re in a b-school to create a difference and leave your mark. Carry yourself with confidence, greet everyone well, and stay positive. Also, dressing well brings out your confidence and makes you shine. Nice to hear when people call you different, right?

6.    Stay true to your dreams – Yes, we all look for our dream job. But not everything turns out to be as per our plans. We cannot let our hopes sink because of temporary situations. Keep your dream and goals always alive. Strive to become the best version of yourselves and work towards it daily.

The IIMs vs. non-IIMs is a never-ending debate. But according to me, it hardly matters where you come from and where you can go. It all depends on where you really want yourself to go. I think the question that often comes up in interviews about, “Where do you see yourself, 5 years from now?” totally makes sense. Is it about crying over failures or basking in the glory of future triumphs? You decide.

About the Author:-

Ashi Bhargava (Welingkar Institute of Management, Bangalore (PGDM 2018-2020))



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