I do a bit of writing outside my blog too J For the last 1 year, I have been writing regularly for a magazine catering to aspiring MBA graduates. One of the topics I happened to write about was on whether students should prefer non-IIM institutes over the newer IIMs. If I were having this dilemma, I would personally prefer joining the newly-formed IIMs over other established management institutes any day. Here are my reasons for doing so:
1. Infrastructure: Most of the critics will say “The new IIMs lack the necessary infrastructure and adequate facilities”. But one can look at it in another way – “We can make the institute the way we want it to be!” Upgrading existing classrooms at the existing IIMs takes time and patience, but the classrooms at the new IIMs will start from scratch. News reports say that the new IIMs have adopted the concept of “smart classrooms” that would connect students across the new IIMs giving students the IIMs advantage of sharing of resources, learning from each other, and networking. With the backing of the Govt. funds are available to create necessary infrastructure at a good pace.
2. Mentorship: You are not alone, especially if you are in a new IIM. Each of the new IIMs is being mentored by one of the established IIMs (IIM Trichy by IIM Bangalore, IIM Ranchi by IIM Calcutta etc.), something no other new (or established) institutes can boast about. You will be taught the same subjects by the same professors – distance is never a criterion here as technology transcends borders J The new IIMs will have access to all the resources of the mentor IIM, including placement contacts.
3. Initiative: A new institute gives students a golden opportunity to take initiative and start things from scratch. New committees, new clubs, and new events – every student initiative would go a long way in building your institute – your IIM. Remember: Every IIM you know started as a new institute, without the necessary infrastructure or adequate facilities. But they are now the leading management institutions in the country, with their alumnus spread far and wide all across India. This is your moment to make a difference – seize it with both hands.
4. The Brand Name: IIM – these three letters carry a lot of brand equity in the industry. Using Govt. funding, the new IIMs will surely create a brand of their own in a short span of time. It makes much more sense to cash in on the brand name in the long run.
5. Student Numbers: Most of the new IIMs have a small intake (as these are early days), which brings with it many advantages. Every student would know every other student. Decision-making among the closely-knit students would be quicker, and everyone will get a chance to do something for the institute.
6. Exposure: The newer IIMs are located in smaller cities like Ranchi and Raipur. They would offer a different level of exposure to their students, and this would certainly benefit those who have lived in metros and other bigger cities all their lives. Students would be able to understand many of the local issues and can take initiative to develop their surroundings.
I know it would be a tough choice for most students to make, but keep in mind that a MBA degree takes two years to complete, but sticks with you for a lifetime. Think long term, and make a wise choice J
However, I would like to know the other side of this issue i.e. why one would prefer a non-IIM prestigious institute over a new-IIM. Any comments?
(The author is an alumnus of IIM Lucknow; Batch of 2009. You can view his detailed profile at http://about.me/varunreddy)