Broadly, for an IIM (err...Indian IT Male) the realization point for the need of a higher education normally kicks in after entering the plateau phase of career i.e around 5-8 years of work-ex. Those who plan their career path well in advance, pardon my generalization.
The most sought after option at that point is an "MBA". But the dilemma is to choose the right program. Talking to peers, aspirants following are few of the common questions I've come across:
1. Opportunity cost: have a car loan, housing loan, recently married (or getting there soon) etc etc..which program offers a lower opportunity cost to cover for there?
2. Am I too Old: How would I feel like when I get into a program where all my classmates are at least 5-6 yrs younger than me? Will I have the necessary peer-learning benefits?
3. Post-MBA Location: I am looking for a brighter career in India Or I want to get back to a India after my stint abroad. Which program offers the best opportunities for the same?
4. Alumni network: I want a thriving Alumni community which I can bank on for my career moves (apart from seeking matrimonial help or selling my cat).
5.ROI: How fast can I recover every penny I am going to put into the program? How lucrative are the placement options?
6. Learning: How good is the pedagogy and how relevant is it to the current economy. Will I learn more real world stuff and about cutting edge research done around the world?
Indian School of Business scores a perfect 10 in all of the above questions. It offers a 1 yr Full time program which means lower opportunity cost and faster post-MBA earning prospects. While many prestigious B-schools in India have started offering 1Yr MBAs off late, ISB has been running this flagship program for over a decade now. The mix of resident faculty and visiting professors provide you an unparalleled learning experience with strong technical foundation as well as deep research insights.
The class also offers a highly competitive atmosphere due to the bright minds sitting next to you. So if you are someone who flourishes under stress, you will be in the right mix.
Every admitted class is a diverse mix of students from various experience ranges. On one hand around 20% of the class is below 3Yrs of work experience and on the other early 10% of class is having more than 8 years of work experience. This makes your study groups, class rooms and project teams diverse from an experience perspective. The school needs to improve a lot in terms of attracting students of other nationalities though. However it’s the same problem with rest of the MBA programs run in India.
With the ever rising Rupee-Dollar gap the fee structure of ISB is at the sweet spot offering you an international quality MBA at half the cost. Nevertheless about a quarter of the class can choose to go on an international exchange to any of the 40 odd partner schools around the world.
The placement avenues at the school are one of the best in India. ISB is the most preferred recruitment hub alongside the top IIMs for corporates in India. At times the focus on placement takes a toll on the focus on learning - something which can be managed by the student herself.
Tie ups with local government and technical institutes have opened up startup opportunities for those with an entrepreneurial mindset.
About professors, classes and curriculum
The curriculum is pretty intensive and you need to hit the ground running from day 1.
ISB provides option to choose from a wide list of electives through a bidding system and competition is stiff when it comes to most sought after courses and professors.
It is better to brush up basics as the school suggests in its admission kit. This would save you a lot of teething problem during transition from corporate to college life.
Most of the professors are amazing and you can extract more from them by engaging with them to learn about their research areas.
Overall BSchool experience
Strengths of the program:
Curriculum, Classes, Professors
Career opportunities provided by school
Best fit at this program:
Can be improved:
Student body, diversity
Specialization in a particular area (e.g. Finance, Consulting, Healthcare, etc)
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