Managment

Free
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Course Description

MAT 2017: Registration, Syllabus and Exam Pattern

Management Aptitude Test (MAT) is one of the most popular competitive exams among MBA aspirants as it gets them access to a large number of good B schools in India. Also, the other reason that attributes to the immense popularity of this exam is that the candidates can choose to take either Paper Based Test or Computer Based Test as per their convenience.  MAT is conducted by All India Management Association (AIMA) four times in a year i.e. in the month of MAY, September, December and February on the 1st Sunday of the Month. First MAT 2017 Test was conducted on May 7 (Paper Based) and May 13 (Computer Based). Next will be conducted in September.   MAT  is one of the most essential entrance tests for admission in PGDM. Students of all streams – arts, commerce, science, engineering, medicine and architecture can pursue a career in Management after clearing MAT entrance exam. Clearing MAT entrance exam is not at all effortless and you need to put in a lot of efforts. And for that you should be aware of the pattern and syllabus and make your strategy to manage your time and endeavor. Here is how you should prepare for it.

MAT Eligibility

The minimum qualification for appearing in MAT is graduation in any discipline from any recognized University or equivalent. A final year student in any undergraduate (i.e. B.A, B.Sc., B.Com, B.Tech., etc.) can also apply. Usually, there is a minimum percentage requirement in graduation which is different for different management institutes and universities.  However, there is no restriction regarding percentages for taking the MAT test, no age bar and no experience required.

Pattern/ Format of MAT Entrance Exam

Total number of Questions: 200
Total Time allocated: 150 minutes

Marks allocation
Correct attempt : 1 mark
Incorrect attempt : There will be negative marking for wrong answers.

Sections with Questions
MAT entrance exam covers five sections in all. Scores of first four sections compose the final scores. However, institutions might choose to consider the score of the General Awareness section.

Section No. Section No. of Questions Time Suggested(Minutes)
1. Language Comprehension 40 30
2. Mathematical Skills 40 40
3. Data Analysis and Sufficiency 40 35
4. Intelligence and Critical Reasoning 40 30
5. Indian and Global Environment 40 15
  Total 200 150

MAT is the test conducted by All India Management Testing Service for entering into MBA or equivalent post graduate programs. The five sections mentioned above are basically comprised of the following five papers:

  • Paper 1 : Language Comprehension
  • Paper 2 : Mathematical Skills
  • Paper 3 : Data Analysis
  • Paper 4 : Intelligence & Critical Reasoning
  • Paper 5 : Indian & Global Environment Section

 

Validity of MAT Score

MAT scores are valid for one year for most management institutes. It help students in getting admissions in various management programs such as Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) in Insurance Management, HR, Finance, Marketing, Operations, and International Business, Post Graduate Diploma in Information Technology & Management (PGDITM) in IT Marketing, E-Commerce, Information Systems Management etc.

Important Last Minute Tips

  • When you start the test use your experience of sample paper
  • Do keep track of time
  • Read directions very carefully
  • Don’t assume information not provided
  • Be cool during the test and don’t get bogged down by lengthy calculations
  • In case of guessing, do it intelligently
  • Pay attention to negative prefixes also, such as non-, un-, or dis-

 

MAT 2017 Syllabus

Quantitative Ability for MAT:

Geometry, (Lines, angles, Triangles, Spheres, Rectangles, Cube, Cone etc) Arithmetic progression, Installment Payments,
Ratios and Proportion, Arithmetic mean, Clocks,
Percentages, Geometric mean, Probability,
In-equations Quadratic and linear equations Harmonic mean, Permutations Combinations,
Algebra, Median, Trigonometry,
Profit & Loss, Mode, Vectors,
Averages, Number Base System, Binomial Expansion,
Partnership (Accounts), BODMAS, Co-ordinate geometry,
Time-Speed-Distance, Mensuration, Logarithm,
Work and time, Alligation & Mixtures, Calendar,
Number system, Work, Maxima & Minima Progression,
HCF & LCM, Pipes and Cisterns, Surds & Indices
Geometric Progression, Set Theory, Complex numbers
Vectors, Venn diagram, Etc.

DI And Reasoning for MAT:
Data Interpretation based on text, Data Interpretation based on graphs and tables. Graphs can be Column graphs, Bar Graphs, Line charts, Pie Chart, Graphs representing Area, Venn diagram, etc. Critical reasoning, Visual reasoning, Assumption-Premise-Conclusion, Assertion and reasons, Statements and assumptions, identifying valid inferences , identifying Strong arguments and Weak arguments, Statements and conclusions, Cause and Effect, Identifying Probably true, Probably false, definitely true, definitely false kind of statement, Linear arrangements, Matrix arrangements. Puzzles, Syllogisms, Functions, Family tree – identifying relationship among group of people, Symbol Based problems, Coding and decoding , Sequencing , identifying next number in series, etc.
Verbal Ability for MAT:
Comprehension of passage (Poems can also come).
Verbal Reasoning, Syllogisms , Contextual usage, Analogies, Antonyms, Fill In the Blanks, Jumbled paragraphs with 4 or 5 sentences, Jumbled paragraphs (6 sentences with first and last fixed), Sentence Correction, Foreign language words used in English, Sentence completion, Sentence correction, odd man out, idioms, one word substitution, Different usage of same word etc.
General Awareness for MAT:
Current Affairs, Business, Punch line of companies, Top officials of big companies, Major corporate events
Famous award and prizes
World Records
Books and authors
Science, History, Geography, International organizations
Important quotations
Social issues, Sports, Finance, Automobiles, Entertainment, Politics, etc.
NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list of syllabus but an indicative list observed over the pattern of MAT entrance exam till date.
Few important reference books are:

R. S. Aggarwal – Math’s – XI & XII R.S. Agarwal – Reasoning R.S.Aggarwal – Quantitative Aptitude R.D Sharma – Quantitative Aptitude
S.L. Loni – Plane Trigonometry (Part I) S.L. Loni – Co-ordinate Geometry Hall & Knight – Higher Algebra Arihant Publication books for competitive exams
Master the Mat Mat Secrets 501 Word Analogy Questions Kaplan
Magical Book on Quicker Maths M. Tyra Practice Book on quicker Maths M. Tyra & K. Kundan Analytical Reasoning by M. K. Pendy Problem solving (Puzzles) by K. Kundan

As above, we tried to list the detailed syllabus for all the sections of MAT entrance exam. Be it Quantitative Aptitude or Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning or Comprehension, we attempted to spot and suggest reference books on each of them. But just buying the book or newspapers will not help. You will have to draft a complete strategy and implement it accordingly as well. Here, we will try to suggest some important tricks and techniques for preparation of MAT entrance exam.

Preparation for MAT 2017

MAT being a knowledge-based test with objective-type test pattern, will examine your general aptitude across varied parameters such as Language Comprehension, Mathematical Skills, Data Analysis & Sufficiency, Intelligence & Critical Reasoning, Indian & Global Environment etc. Hence, MAT preparation calls for carefully devised strategy, which helps you cover maximum topics and score high to get call from good management institutes across the country.

To get a better result, it is good and advisable to start preparing as early as possible. By reading daily newspapers and magazines you can improve your vocabulary in English. Also by watching English news channels, various usage of a particular word can be noted down.

For the other sections, it is important that you practice as many problems as you can. But it is also important that you don’t repeat the mistakes time and again. Once you identify a mistake, you must certainly ensure that you understand the concept thoroughly. In addition to this, you must prepare a timetable to help you allocate your time in the best way possible.
The best method is to be systematic in studies. It would help you make fruitful use of time. Too much of study, at the same time, will lead to tiredness which will make it difficult for you to cover all the portions but, a small break will help to freshen up your mind. If you start your preparation early, you will get the better result.
It is strictly advisable to follow a step-by-step process:

  1. Clear you basic Math’s Concepts
    The best way shall be to start practicing from the text books of Class 10 or from the study material provided by the institute who also provide classes for clearing entrance tests. Learn as many formulas as possible and try to develop your own shortcuts.
  2. Work on your vocabulary
    Reading a lot and observing how words are used in different contexts will be of great help.
  3. Develop the habit of reading
    Newspapers, Magazines and TV can be a great help here as well. Magazines, not necessarily should be on politics, business or anything like that. You can also read a fashion-magazine or sports-magazine or general current affairs magazine for that matter. The basic idea is to develop a reading and comprehending habit.
  4. Reasoning skills can be improved by solving puzzles
    Practice a lot. Solving sets of questions within a time frame with concentration could be miraculous. Devoting equal time on each question and section will be of great help as well.
  5. Know your Strength and Weakness
    Once you know your strengths and weaknesses go for some full-length tests. Observe how you could improve your score with each passing test.
  6. Revise
    This is the mantra which most of the students miss out on.

Tackling each Section
For cracking MAT, it is really essential for you attempt and score in each section. It should always be kept in mind that scoring very high in one section and very low in the other will affect your overall percentile. So, to have a balance is very essential.

 

Test taking tips and strategies

BEFORE THE TEST

  • Get adequate rest the night before
  • Wear comfortable clothes
  • Practice, Practice, Practice.

AS YOU START THE TEST

  • Be aware and use the sample questions experience
  • Keep careful track of time
  • Read the directions for each question
  • Read the questions carefully
  • Use the scratch or rough paper provided by the test center
  • Use your scrap paper for every calculation
  • Read every answer choice
  • NEVER assume or use any information that the question fails to give you

DURING THE TEST

  • Be very sure of your answer before proceeding
  • Do not get bogged down with complicated or lengthy calculations
  • Use guessing intelligently and deploy the Selection by elimination method
  • Learn how to work backwards, i.e., plugging the most attractive option in the question and see if it makes sense
  • Convert quantities freely like 1/4 is nothing but 25% of any given quantity.
  • In questions that ask you to select a valid conclusion, always choose the one conclusion that must definitely follow from the information you are given and vice-versa.
  • Pay special attention to words like “all,” “some,” or “none” when you read the factual information each question gives you
  • Pay attention to negative prefixes also, such as non-, un-, or dis-
  • Pay special attention to negative numbers when they are used in some questions
  • Pay close attention to the word “ONLY” and to the phrase “IF AND ONLY IF”
  • Don’t stick to one question for too long
  • Aim to answer as many questions as you can

FROM SECTION TO SECTION TO THE END OF THE TEST

  • Compose yourself between sections of the test and try to attempt maximum questions from each section.
  • Do not underestimate the role that endurance plays as half the battle is just making it through all of the sections without becoming overly stressed or fatigued. Condition yourself by taking practice tests.
  • Don’t rush – devote just the right amount of time to each question
  • Don’t panic – Keep your cool all the time, even when you don’t know the answer.

 

More About MAT Exam

MBA institutes offering recognized MBA programs and allied fields can participate in MAT. It is for the MBA aspirants to take MAT for admission into the Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM) and equivalent MBA programs offered by participating MBA institutes. All B schools that participate in MAT are either AICTE (All Indian Council for Technical Education) approved or affiliated to universities.

Besides having test centers all over India, MAT is also conducted in overseas location. Every year it is taken by a lot of MBA aspirants in India, as a good score in MAT is likely to put the candidate in a reputed and AICTE approved B schools.

In a ‘Computer Based Test’ the candidate sits in front of a computer and the questions are presented on the computer monitor. The candidate is expected to submit the answers through the use of keyboard or mouse. The questions are prepared by AIMA in form of a question bank and uploaded on a server. Each computer is connected to the server, which presents the question set from the already prepared question bank to the candidate on the computer.

‘Computer Based Test’ assumes that the candidate has basic familiarity with use of computers like use of keyboard and mouse operation. It is the responsibility of the candidate to acquire these skills before appearing in the test and AIMA cannot take responsibility for the same. Online MAT is offered over a period of time and the candidate can choose the center, the day and time of his/her convenience to take the test.

This is unlike the Paper Based Test, which is generally offered on a single day to all candidates. In traditional Paper Based Test, Candidate is supposed to bring Pen, HB-Pencils, Erasers and Sharper with him/her whereas the Question Paper & OMR Answer Sheet is provided at the Test Centre.

Importance of solving Mock Test Papers

Preparation for any entrance examination is incomplete without practicing mock tests. These are usually question papers which are similar to the pattern of the main exams. Management Aptitude Test is the entrance examination conducted by AIMA, which one must clear to gain admission in the participating B-schools of the country. Before you sit for the main examination, you must be well aware about what is coming your way and you know what’s in it for you. The importance of the mock tests can be understood with the help of the following points-
Enlightens you about the main exam
With mock tests, you are aware as to what kind of questions you would be facing in the main examination. The mock test papers contain questions of the previous years and the pattern is also same as the main MAT exams. This way you are well prepared for the main exam and you know what would be the level of difficulty and kind of questions in the main exams.
Helps you in time management
Since the mock tests are on the lines of the main MAT exam, you can judge your timing. You get a fair idea of how much time you would require completing a section and hence will be able to make your preparations accordingly. Simply solving questions from the workbook will never assist you to keep a check on your timing. Time is a crucial factor and several times a student is unable to complete the paper even though he knows the answers. There time management is an important criterion that you must keep a check on while preparing for the MAT.
You know where you stand 
Mock tests help you to analyze your accurate position. You get to know how well your preparation is going and where you need to put in more effort. Taking a mock test at least a couple of months before your exam can be of great help as you know where you exactly stand at that point of time and what should be your plan of action post the mock test. You need to judge your performance much before you sit for the main exam so that you can prepare for your exam knowing your strengths and area of concerns. Scoring high in MAT exam at one go is a very difficult task and a well planned approach can help you to achieve your target. In order to strengthen your exam preparation, a mock test is the best.
Mock test is a yardstick of your performance which gives you a true picture. It is designed in such a way that it gives you the feel of the real examination and you know what the main exams going to be like.

Choose the MBA that works for you

Weigh the pros and cons of the programme before deciding which one you want to pursue.

Jatin Bhandari

An IT professional with four years of work experience approached me with an aspiration to join INSEAD/IMD/Richard Ivey/ISB. I could gather from his choices that he is primarily exploring a one-year MBA programme and wants to save time. However, what was unsettling was that he had no clarity. He wanted to make more money and hold significant leadership positions in the Industry, but when I asked him what Industry or functions he saw himself working in after MBA, he had no idea. According to him, the strategy was to figure that out when you are on the campus.

Introspection

So, you have not had a chance to introspect in your life, speak with people, get in touch with them to find out more about different industries and functions, and, without knowing anything, you want to jump on the fastest treadmill — a one-year MBA programme which will come with a very rigorous curriculum in a far-from-home environment, with competitive peers and recruiters with high expectations. You think you will end up finding the love of your life? This strategy can be the source of supreme disappointment for the applicants at the end of the 11-12 month engagement — that disappointment coupled with a Rs. 70-lakh-loan can make it even more miserable. Many of the applicants with 3-4 years of work experience do not end up saving a year by joining a one-year MBA programme. They reach a stage in their MBA where they dread that the term is about to end and they did not get enough opportunities to find their plan A/plan B jobs. This was simply because those plan A and plan B options were constructed without any significant experience of research. They had just done what they had seen others do, and it did not work for them.

If you are not meant for a one-year MBA programme, you are simply not meant for it!

On the contrary, a woman applicant with 10 years of work experience in marketing was keen on programmes such as Tuck, Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton. She had this unchecked item on her list, and that item was to get a top tier U.S. MBA. She was also certain of the career choices she wanted to explore. However, what she did not realise was that some of the two-year MBA programmes will have strong reservations because of her work experience. Schools might fear that they will not be able to meet the expectations considering her seniority before MBA. Her target positions will be more prevalent in one-year MBA programmes, as the recruiters come to those campuses with different needs and expectations.

Two examples

What do you think is happening in the two examples above?

Both the applicants are making wrong choices. While the first guy is definitely a strong contender for a two-year MBA, the second applicant does not need to spend two years with the kind of understanding that she has about her future. The first one should try everything out, as extreme as Marketing and Finance. However, the woman is definitely a sharp shooter and can get recruited for significantly senior positions that will leverage her areas of expertise.

If your mindset is: “I have no idea of the industries or functions and will explore them once the MBA gets started,” you are at a stage of life where you cannot afford a one-year MBA.

One-year MBA programmes are meant for people who have some idea of the nature of the post-MBA jobs they will be recruiting for. They can afford confusion, but that confusion has to be an informed one. That is, they will have to know what factors to assess before jumping into any of the available alternatives.

Two-year MBA programmes are meant for people who are open to experimenting and are willing to spend another year in learning about other alternatives that are available in various industries and functions. People with work experience of less than five years should normally look for a two-year MBA. The ones with 5-7 years of work experience should consider both the alternatives based on the stage of their careers.

Internship

If someone is looking at making a significant switch in their career (industry/function), they need to take up an internship. For example, barriers to entry are the lowest in investment banking only when you go through the internship route. Most of the bulge bracket banks would like to meet you several times before taking you for full-time positions. Full-time conversions without an internship are tough given the competitive nature of certain industries.

If, for example, you are working with Infosys or any other IT firm and are keen on moving over to products (working for product management positions with Microsoft), you should take the two-year MBA route. You should look at building the concepts in the first year, try out an internship, assess various alternatives after the internships, and do the full-time recruiting in the second year along with building your base in product management and marketing-related courses.

If you are already working in the product development teams and work with the product managers on a daily basis, and are now keen on making a switch from the development side to the management side of the products, I think you can do that with a one-year MBA too. The U.S. will not offer many one-year MBA programmes with strong placement support, and you will have to explore Canada, Europe and other global destinations. For someone willing to make a career in India, ISB is a good alternative too.

In a nutshell, create a future that you are trying to capture through an MBA programme. An MBA is a means to an end and not an end in itself.

(The writer is Founder and CEO, Pythagurus Education.)

 

What is missing in new IIMs?

Anshika Raman, name changed on request, scored a 98.3 percentile in the Common Admission Test (CAT) 2014, but despite being shortlisted for five new Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), namely Visakhapatnam, Bodh Gaya, Sirmaur, Nagpur and Sambalpur, she refused to appear for the admissions process. “The older IIMs are known for their alumni, a crucial component that is missing in the new IIMs, as is infrastructure and full-time faculty. Even though the new IIMs are being mentored by older IIMs, it does not make them institutes in which I would invest a high fees and two years of study. Eventually, recruiters do not ask you about the faculty members who taught you. They will only want to know which IIM we graduated from,” she says.

She also rejected offers from IIM Indore and Kozhikode as “speaking with alumni from these two older institutes, I gathered that many students don’t get to do summer internships there and felt that my chances of landing a summer placement at the institutes being mentored by them were nil.” She now plans to take CAT 2015 and bag a seat in one of the older IIMs – Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta or Lucknow.

A Press Information Bureau release dated June 24, 2015, on the Centre’s approval for setting up new IIMs, stated that “It is intended that these six new IIMs will commence their first academic session from 2015-16. Each institute will start with an intake of 140 students in the postgraduate programme (PGP) courses. It is expected that the annual intake will increase to reach a level of 560 students each year by the end of seven years.” The batch sizes of the newly set up IIMs are very small as of now. While IIM Bodh Gaya has 30 students in its first batch, Sambalpur has 49 students, Amritsar has 50 students, Visakhapatnam 54 students, Nagpur 55 and Sirmaur 22 students.

The IIM brand has failed to convince students to join the new IIMs for a diploma. A cursory glance at the low placement figures last year at some of the relatively newer IIMs (Raipur, Rohtak, Ranchi, Kashipur and Udaipur) when compared to their older counterparts, too, tells its own story. “Students now talk about short-term and long-term goals, profiles offered post an MBA, peer interaction, student-faculty ratio and so on. The latest IIMs are bound to fall short of expectations on most of these fronts and so students would not (join) them as readily as they would the older IIMs. I have advised a fair number of students to think about their current situation with regard to their jobs, expectations from an MBA and the overall opportunity cost before joining the latest IIMs and most of them have decided to prepare and re-appear for CAT even if it means getting into a decent non-IIM post a year of preparation,” says Shashank Prabhu, a CAT expert, who was also an All India CAT 2011 topper.

Another important issue for management aspirants is that even if they are okay with the lack of infrastructure, full time faculty members and alumni, they cannot ignore the delayed start to the sessions at the new IIMs. While faculty members think that this time gap in starting operations can be bridged easily, students feel that they might lose out on their summer internships.

Dr Ajay Garg, a senior official at IIM Sirmaur, says, “The academic input at our institute is the same as IIM Lucknow. The institute spends a considerable amount of time on campus fests, about 10 days each on summer internships and final placements. However, IIM Sirmaur will not have such events so save on days. With a reduced term break span and a smaller batch size to be placed as summer interns, IIM Sirmaur will make up for the three-month delay in operations, and reduce it to just about a month. By the time the second year starts, we will be at par with the rest of the IIMs.”

Students, however, do not agree. For Anshika Raman, “It will not be easy getting good summer placement offers. By the time we start approaching companies for summer placements, they would have already completed the process at other B-schools. So, they might not show interest in us as we will be approaching them late. Moreover, being the first batch from the institute might not work in our favour as most recruiters judge the worth of an institute by the alumni clout of the institute.”

Talking about his experience as a placement committee member, Prabhu, who is an alumni of FMS Delhi, says, “Most of the popular campus recruiters have intern requirements and projects listed around the end of the second quarter and the beginning of the third quarter. So, we need to start contacting them right from May-June to be able to attract good companies on campus. The summer months are important as a lot of companies rely on pre-placement offers and inter-B-school competitions to hire students.” (Rozelle Laha)

Time to improve

New IIMs have started sessions late, have faculty shortage and internship problems

No full-time faculty

Average performance of IIM Ranchi, Rohtak, Trichy, Udaipur and Kashipur in placements

Delay in starting the session

Fear of not getting summer internship offers

Batch size at IIMs

Intakes in new IIMs were initially estimated at 140

Sirmaur 22

Bodh Gaya 30

Sambalpur 49

Amritsar 50

Vishakapatnam 54

Nagpur 55

15% increase in CAT registration

The Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted for admission in IIM and Business Schools witnessed more than 15 per cent increase this year. It is largest number during the last five years. Till the last year the registration figure for the CAT remained below 2 lakh, but this year 2,18,664 candidates registered. Last year this figure was 1.95 lakh. Only in 2009 did the IIMs see a larger pool of students who wrote the competitive test – 2.42 lakh. Before that, till CAT 2008, the test was a paper pencil based test which suddenly switched over to computer-based test (CBT) in 2009. The institute had registered 1.83 lakh candidates till September 20, which was earlier the last day for registration. Women candidates’ count too has increased with 69,176 — from 55,000 last year — who are likely to take CAT. The prime reason for this increase is better placement in IIMs this year and also the CAT exam will be conducted this time in 136 cities. There will be 650 centres. Last year the exam was conducted in 99 cities. This year the number of IIMs too has increased. Insiders said the newer IIMs, in Srinagar and Odisha, may have generated interest among candidates of those regions. The CAT exam will be conducted on November 29.

80 transgenders too appear for exam

This year 80 transgender students also signed up to take the Common Admission Test (CAT).IIM-Ahmedabad, which is in charge of conducting the entrance test, said it is the first time so many transgender candidates have evinced interest in taking the competitive exam. The numbers are based on the forms that aspirants have filled and the IIMs have not verified whether all these candidates fall in the transgender category.

Single-day exam

The format for the CAT will see major changes. The test, which has been conducted on multiple days over two sessions since 2009, when it became online, will now be conducted in as many sessions in a single day. Introduction of non-multiple choice questions along with an on-screen calculator are the other changes made to this year’s CAT. The test duration would be longer with each section lasting 60 minutes. There will be three sections—Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension; Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Ability. Earlier, there was no sectional time limit and candidates could move between sections. There will be no negative marks for non-multiple choice type questions which will carry equal marks.

 

Rising number of aspirants signals return of 2-yr MBA

On the academic floor, the MBA is once again gaining ground as applications to management schools are rising and the demand to study business has gone up significantly. A survey by the Graduate Management Admission Council, the providers of the GMAT examination, found that more than half of all two-year MBA programmes reported an increase in applications.

In the Asia-Pacific region, the full-time two-year MBA programmes were performing exceedingly well in 2015, with 90% of them reporting increased application volume, compared with 55% of programmes in the previous year. On the other hand, a majority (60%) of full-time oneyear MBA programmes in the Asia-Pacific region reported declining volume. The fulltime MBA market in this part of the world sees the majority of applicants coming from within the region.

Globally, the full-time one year MBA programmes witnessed a turnaround in 2015, with 51% of programmes reporting increased application volume compared with last year, when 60% of these programmes reported decreased volume over 2013. Clearly, the part-time MBA–whether the ones that let candidates work or take the course at their convenience–is growing in popularity.Flexible MBA programmes, which blend the full-time and part-time options, have seen a rise in application count. Not only are more than half (54%) of these courses reporting increased application volume in 2015 compared with last year, but there has also been continued growth over the past two years in the share of programmes reporting an uptick in applications.

Application volume for executive MBA programmes in 2015 is stabilising. There is nearly an even split between executive MBA programmes reporting increased (43%) and decreased (41%) application volumes; 16% reported no change in volume. The declining volume for some part-time MBA and executive MBA programmes may be related to shifts in availability of employer tuition assistance, the report suggested. Respondents for both of these programme types anticipate decreases rather than increases this year in the number of applicants they expect to receive employer funding. Online MBA programmes, on the other hand, expect a growing number of applicants to receive such funding.

 

Choose the MBA that works for you

Weigh the pros and cons of the programme before deciding which one you want to pursue.

Jatin Bhandari

An IT professional with four years of work experience approached me with an aspiration to join INSEAD/IMD/Richard Ivey/ISB. I could gather from his choices that he is primarily exploring a one-year MBA programme and wants to save time. However, what was unsettling was that he had no clarity. He wanted to make more money and hold significant leadership positions in the Industry, but when I asked him what Industry or functions he saw himself working in after MBA, he had no idea. According to him, the strategy was to figure that out when you are on the campus.

Introspection

So, you have not had a chance to introspect in your life, speak with people, get in touch with them to find out more about different industries and functions, and, without knowing anything, you want to jump on the fastest treadmill — a one-year MBA programme which will come with a very rigorous curriculum in a far-from-home environment, with competitive peers and recruiters with high expectations. You think you will end up finding the love of your life? This strategy can be the source of supreme disappointment for the applicants at the end of the 11-12 month engagement — that disappointment coupled with a Rs. 70-lakh-loan can make it even more miserable. Many of the applicants with 3-4 years of work experience do not end up saving a year by joining a one-year MBA programme. They reach a stage in their MBA where they dread that the term is about to end and they did not get enough opportunities to find their plan A/plan B jobs. This was simply because those plan A and plan B options were constructed without any significant experience of research. They had just done what they had seen others do, and it did not work for them.

If you are not meant for a one-year MBA programme, you are simply not meant for it!

On the contrary, a woman applicant with 10 years of work experience in marketing was keen on programmes such as Tuck, Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, and Wharton. She had this unchecked item on her list, and that item was to get a top tier U.S. MBA. She was also certain of the career choices she wanted to explore. However, what she did not realise was that some of the two-year MBA programmes will have strong reservations because of her work experience. Schools might fear that they will not be able to meet the expectations considering her seniority before MBA. Her target positions will be more prevalent in one-year MBA programmes, as the recruiters come to those campuses with different needs and expectations.

Examples

What do you think is happening in the two examples above?

Both the applicants are making wrong choices. While the first guy is definitely a strong contender for a two-year MBA, the second applicant does not need to spend two years with the kind of understanding that she has about her future. The first one should try everything out, as extreme as Marketing and Finance. However, the woman is definitely a sharp shooter and can get recruited for significantly senior positions that will leverage her areas of expertise.

If your mindset is: “I have no idea of the industries or functions and will explore them once the MBA gets started,” you are at a stage of life where you cannot afford a one-year MBA.

One-year MBA programmes are meant for people who have some idea of the nature of the post-MBA jobs they will be recruiting for. They can afford confusion, but that confusion has to be an informed one. That is, they will have to know what factors to assess before jumping into any of the available alternatives.

Two-year MBA programmes are meant for people who are open to experimenting and are willing to spend another year in learning about other alternatives that are available in various industries and functions. People with work experience of less than five years should normally look for a two-year MBA. The ones with 5-7 years of work experience should consider both the alternatives based on the stage of their careers.

Internship

If someone is looking at making a significant switch in their career (industry/function), they need to take up an internship. For example, barriers to entry are the lowest in investment banking only when you go through the internship route. Most of the bulge bracket banks would like to meet you several times before taking you for full-time positions. Full-time conversions without an internship are tough given the competitive nature of certain industries.

If, for example, you are working with Infosys or any other IT firm and are keen on moving over to products (working for product management positions with Microsoft), you should take the two-year MBA route. You should look at building the concepts in the first year, try out an internship, assess various alternatives after the internships, and do the full-time recruiting in the second year along with building your base in product management and marketing-related courses.

If you are already working in the product development teams and work with the product managers on a daily basis, and are now keen on making a switch from the development side to the management side of the products, I think you can do that with a one-year MBA too. The U.S. will not offer many one-year MBA programmes with strong placement support, and you will have to explore Canada, Europe and other global destinations. For someone willing to make a career in India, ISB is a good alternative too.

In a nutshell, create a future that you are trying to capture through an MBA programme. An MBA is a means to an end and not an end in itself.

(The writer is Founder and CEO, Pythagurus Education)

FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT STUDIES SEES 22% JUMP IN AVERAGE STIPEND

Delhi University’s Faculty of Management Studies (FMS) has recorded a 100% internship placement for students in the first year of post graduate course. There has been a jump of 22% from last year in monthly average stipend. Out of the total 217 students, 207 applied for internships and all of them got placement offers with the highest
stipend being Rs two lakh per month.

Students have to go through a two month internship as part of their Master in Business Management (MBA) course at FMS. Companies from sectors including ecommerce, consulting and general management, sales and marketing, made placement offers to students.

All 207 students received internship offers with the average stipend rising to Rs 72,051 per month, a 22% increase from last year. The median stipend was Rs 75,000 per month with top 50% students receiving an average stipend of Rs 93,823. “There are 51 students who received offers of above Rs 1,00,000 per month,:

said Fahad from the media relation cell of FMS. Last year, the highest package was Rs 2,00,000 per month while the median stipend was Rs 80,000 per month and average stipend was Rs 59,000 per month. For the first time social and to development sector organisations made an entry FMS and hired students in addition to sales and marketing companies.

We had Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Tech for India coming for placements. They hired students for
strategy and consulting roles. Also there was an increase of 20% in offers from top firms in FMCD/G domain,” he said. Companies which came for hiring include The Boston Consulting Group, Accenture Strategy and Deloitte USI,
Amazon, Snapdeal, Delotte USI S&O, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

Majority of the offers were made by companies for young leadership development roles to freshers and students with about one year work experience,” FMS internship placement report said.

JOIN IIM-B, TAKE LESSONS FROM YALE, BERKELEY, LSE

Bengaluru’s Indian Institute of Management (IIM-B) students would be given an option of taking courses at Yale, Berkeley, London School of Economics and other top global business schools. The Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM), which has 28 top global management schools as its members, has begun virtual classroom sessions, known as small network open courses (SNOC), for students of its member institutions.
IIM-B hosted a GNAM meet, which concluded on Tuesday.

IIM-B is the only Indian business school that is a member of GNAM. Sourav Mukherji, deanprogrammes, IIM-B, gave the example of a course on inclusive business models, which IIM-B will host on this network, to explain how it will work.
Students from any of the 28 institutes can register for the course and Mukherji teaches it through videoconferencing at fixed times. Similarly, faculty from other top management institutes that are members of GNAM will offer different courses and students in any corner of the world can sign up.

The courses will be conducted in 20 sessions of 90 minutes each. “The advantage of SNOC is that students can learn courses, which are not offered in their own schools and can interact live with people from around the world during the sessions,” said Mukherji. GNAM launched SNOC last year and has conducted around 20 courses.

The courses can be taken as an elective as part of the MBA programme. GNAM also holds GNAM Week for students to visit member B-schools for a week and learn different courses for free. Edward A Snyder, dean of Yale School of Management, said, “The beauty of the network is that no money changes hands.

There is no bureaucracy. We operate on mutual respect.” He said 4,100 students from 28 management schools had done a survey on the importance of environment in business, the results of which would be released in two days.
“From this network IIM-B can get more faculties from top schools. We can have special courses to create connections, which provide more opportunities for our students,” said Sushil Vachani, director,
IIM-B.

Course Curriculum

  • Rising number of aspirants signals return of 2-yr MBA