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How to choose the right college for MBA courses

Panning to pursue an MBA in a college in India? This article is an attempt at discussing the most important points to be considered when selecting the institution for MBA courses.


The choice to take up the MBA in a good college becomes that much easy for candidates who do not get an admission into any one of the IIMs and the next best colleges. If you have multiple offers from many B schools, wait. Do not take a hasty decision, which can prove very costly, if you find that realities do not match promises made. There are too many offers by many B schools that accept the MAT and CAT scores. Hence, it is essential to take a very good, and informed decision.

Since the supply exceeds demand, it is very much essential that one talks to the Alumni, talks to existing students, makes an assessment of the infrastructure and so on, before taking up any decision.

Know the Best

In Mumbai, and Pune, which are two very good centers for quality MBA, a huge number of new PGDM colleges have sprung up, and these colleges offer a viable alternative to the MBA course. Most of them are recognized by the AICTE, Government of India. The Wellinger's Institute of Management, the H L Dalmia Institute of Management Studies, and the Narsi Monjee Institute of Management Studies (now a deemed University). The S.P. Jain Institute of Management is rated on par with the IIMs and it is essential that the student has a very high CAT score, to make it here.

Down South, the University of Madras itself runs a fairly good MBA at very reasonable prices at its own, prestigious campus at Chepauk. Since the campus overlooks the sea, the climate is pleasant, and the faculty members, have big research backgrounds. The standard is quite good, but one also needs to take the entrance examination conducted by the University. The other notable ones, in South India, are the Bharathidasan Institute of Management, Tiruchirapalli, the School of Management, Pondicherry University, the Institute of Management, under the National Institute of Management, Tiruchirapalli, and the Thiagarajar School of Management, Madurai. In Karnataka, the most famous one is the TA Manipal Management Institute and the Acharya Institute of Management, Bangalore, and the Christ University, Bangalore. The ones in Andhra Pradesh are the GITAM University, and the Institute of Public Enterprise, Hyderabad.

If you do not get an admission into any of these B grade colleges, you may as well take the CAT/MAT examination the next year, and take up any job that will keep you busy too.

Do the Research Thoroughly

Students should do a reality check on the quality of faculty, interact with existing students or alumini and consult industry veterans before joining any MBA course. For, all the tall claims may vanish into thin air, and the quality of faculty may also not be the same as advertised. Many claim their faculty and teaching methods are "world-class". In real terms, it is not so.

Another way of looking at an institute is to find out where the institute stands in comparison to the best in one area. For example, the TA Manipal Institute, is perhaps the best branded college, among the best twenty five in India, if we forget IIM, Bangalore. So, where does Christ University, Bangalore fit in? Or say, the New College of Management, Chennai? Or the SRM University MBA?

These questions have to be thoroughly researched in the background of a huge number of variables. The best solution is to find out the Alumini of the particular institute, who would have settled in some job in the nearby town, or even in the same city. It is also a wise decision to find out the quality of research done by the Faculty Members. This research should be industry oriented, and not merely academic oriented. It is also important to find out the methodology of teaching. If the case studies run into at least sixty pages, you can rest assured that there is quite a bit of merit in the institute. Also check on whether the students speak very good English, and whether they are knowledge extends to all the recent major changes in the Corporate world. If you cannot do this assessment yourself, take a good professional manager, who can see through any game in this regard.

Functional Courses: the best

There are a number of institutions that offer Functional courses, in terms of a full time, Master's Degree in say, Foreign Trade, or Human Resources Management, Financial Management, Banking Management and the like. If you have a real liking for these courses, choose that particular course that will really interest you.

The best in this regard the Mudra Institute of Communicaiton, Ahmedabad, that offers a superb industry-oriented Advertising course, the Xavier's Institute of Labour Relations, Jamshedpur, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Both XLRI and the TISS have superb courses in Human Resources Management, with assured placement. The XIM Bhubaneshwar, which is now a deemed University, runs many such courses.

Do not believe placement records blindly

Do a thorough research of the placement record claimed, by directly contacting the Human Resources Managers of the concerned organization. Such first hand information, will stand you in good stead, when you apply to any Management Institute. If you find big names, some of these companies might have recruited the MBAs, through campus placement, only for their BPO companies. So, please be very careful and do your own original, first-hand information gathering.

For instance, if the company claims that it has placed forty students with the Big Bazaar group, it is wise to contact the Corporate HR department to know full details. The companies normally do not hesitate to share such information.

If you go through the rankings of the Institutes as per many recent surveys, please do give a huge amount of importance to the quality of research work done by the Faculty Members. Only this will help you to choose the right institution.

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