Management Education Is An Investment Of Money And Time As Well

YK Bhushan, senior adviser and Campus Head, IBS - ICFAI Business School, Mumbai talks on why parents play an important role even at postgraduate education level

If one looks back at the life of a student say three decades ago, we will find that the journey undertaken by these young adults was quite different from what students face today. A current day scenario offers a lot of opportunities for the student, but it’s also more challenging than ever before.

Right from kindergarten to postgraduate studies, students are expected to perform their utmost best both by the parents and the institution alike. Marks, grades, percentage is the only criteria that matters. However, even as a majority of institutions continue this practise, IBS (ICFAI Business School) believes in doing things differently.

YK Bhushan, senior advisor and Campus Head, IBS Mumbai spoke to BW Education about the different selection process the B-school follows. Here are the excerpts of the interaction.

Do you feel that the approach to MBA by management industry aspirants is frivolous? 

Not all students come with that mind-set. What is common among all of them, irrespective of what specialisation/ campus they are assigned is that they look to a better life and good job and a professional career. But when they come to IBS campus, we make sure to let them know that pursuing an MBA is not a joke. They go through a tough selection process. They understand that the approach of IBS is very action oriented. We want the students to go through cases, current material, and we also assign them to organisations for live projects. We have the summer internship programmes which gets the faculty out to establish contact with industry so that students get a variety of experience.

How do you select your students to be sure that this child will be a brand ambassador for IBS?

We have two major tools –interview and GD. One focuses on team work, as they have to learn to work together - to collaborate! They need to have domain skills and soft skills. We gauge if the students are able to communicate with sensitivity. With some regard for feelings of the others or is he/ she just steamrolling others. Articulation of their views. As a representative of their organisation, when they take up jobs they will have to convey/ persuade others is also observed. Ability to articulate the views of the whole group. In the interviews we try to see, what kind of a person he is. Whether he is extrovert/ introvert. Management requires a lot of extroversion, so that is observed. Attitude is another, given anything that is happening in the society, what is their opinion, how can they articulate their view, how far can they stick to what they believe, is the aspirant willing to change his point of view. In general, we look at if the candidate is predisposed to being negative about things around him/ her – the society, the country, etc. Is the candidate dismissive? Is he diligent – to gauge his knowledge/ understanding about the subject.

Out of 100% what weightage does IBS give to academics vs the qualities that IBS looks for in a student?

Academic performance at HSC, graduation accounts for about 30-40 per cent. The rest will be in terms of the selection criteria as decided by the institution.

Tell us about the unique selection process. At IBS, prospective students are accompanied by their parents for the selection process. What is the idea behind it?  

Beyond 3 or 4 years or even in the 5th year the child goes to school, the child doesn’t like it. It feels forced. As far as post graduate education is concerned, one doesn’t expect parents to be to be a part of it, the candidate is expected to take charge, be responsible for themselves. But we must remember that this is a major investment phase for parents. It is an opportunity for the parent to make the student understand that it is not just the money they are investing for their (students) future, but they are there with them at every step, investing time, helping students become a responsible adult.

This process has been in place ever since the inception of the institute, for the last 24 years.

Do you have regular interaction with parents?

Not as a prerequisite, but informal interactions do happen. Our expert faculty is available to answer any concerns expressed by the parents. We believe in including parents even after the selection is over. Our website has a parents corner they can access their child’s progress etc. So, yes in that manner we are interacting with them.

How do you arrive at the final list of students pursing management education at your institution? How much parents influence?          

Parents do have an influence on the student. Their evaluation of the situation does impact the student. However, that may not necessarily determine the choice of the subjects. The student understands what the parent’s evaluation is, evaluation of his peers, his own thoughts and then makes a decision.

As far as the final list is concerned, we have the following process.

Students rank their choice of school venue – IBS Mumbai, Bangalore etc. These are matched with their performance during the selection – like for instance, written test, rating during GD/PI, etc. It has to match with what they are choosing from.

Admission is to the management programme and the specialisations like Finance-HR-Marketing comes later. Once the student is admitted, he or she is aligned to different schools and the selection of which elective they will finally choose comes later in the second year. 

Students undergo intensive counselling at the end of the first year to help them choose their major in the second year.

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