People come here hoping to make a career shift(mostly into Fin/Consult thogh that trend is changing). But ontrary to what many people may think, this battle is often won even before you step into the institute. What I'm stating below holds true only for IIM-A but may apply to other institutes. Without much ado, I'll delve deep into the points an MBA aspirant should consider during his/her prep for MBA, to ensure good placements.
- Stellar undergraduation scores : Think of it as a hygiene factor. When a recruiter is faced with 400 CV's, s(he) would take the easy way out of setting a GPA filter. Not all companies do so, but the ones who do so often overlook all other stellar achievements and reject the CV. I've seen many friends with GPA of even 7-9 getting overlooked due to this factor despite their all round excellence.
- Undergrad college: Again this is not in your control. For that rare person who's reading this 4 yrs ahead of time, remember that a brand like St Stephens, IIT, few NIT's, St Xaviers, Poddar, BITS etc carry that much more weight with recruiters. By chance or otherwise, the shortlists of top Consults/Fin cos often contain exclusively students with those brands. If you are from a college considered as second rung, do make that extra effort to shine in GATE, GMAT, GRE, inter-college festivals etc, to display your excellence.
- Extra Curriculars/ Student Clubs: Involvement in these things indicates your ability to multitask well, and so is viewed favorably, specially by Consulting firms who view this as pre requisites. And merely writing about a bit role does not count unless you can substantiate it via examples, incidents etc.
- Academic excellence/understanding: -Do not confuse this with high GPA's. Often the interviews test merely the basics and not rote learning(actually true for IIM interviews also). So be prepared to be grilled on your logic, rationale and what not. The first year portion(taught from July-Oct) is generally not tested unless you are applying for a Finance role.
- High quality work experience: For candidates with work experience, do not burn your bridges at work. Never. It may sound tempting to resign from your job before CAT, do badly at work on grounds of CAT/GD prep but that would back fire when you need substantiation of your work experience, letters of referral and the like. And in this small world, it just takes a call for the recruiters to check you out. And do not take shortcuts like early offs etc. The more variety of work exp you gain, the more valuable you become to recruiters. Think of whether you are working 100 days or 1 day 100 times over..do not let it become mechanical/ routine