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Monday, June 25, 2012

Practical ways to rank an IIM by yourself

For Bschool aspirants especially with multiple calls, it is quite difficult to narrow down to one school. The usual sources of information are either outdated(magazine rankings have a lag time), biased(forum boards, alumni, bschool ads) or irrelevant(using weird criteria of no interest to the aspirant). Instead, I suggest the following framework which I developed virtually on the back of a napkin, while speaking with some juniors at IIM Bangalore
  1. Recruiters perception:-Here, the placement reports(audited or otherwise reliable) released by a college is important(though it comes with 1yr lag generally). See the roles, pay and profile not just the recruiter name as the same company may offer different roles at difference campuses. For example, Goldman Sachs offers front office roles at IIM A, B, C and XLRI, but for colleges like MDI Gurgaon, only back office/middle office roles are offered. 
  2. Students perception:-On whatever basis formed, the student perception is something good to know especially if you believe in the wisdom of crowds(that many independent people usually converge to the correct result). For this, check at what number the waitlist cleared, and also which college those with multiple admits decided to accept. Of course, like in this year, colleges like IIM-A gave buffer admits to ensure seats getting full to avoid losses due to students paying the Rs 1500 admission fee(measly na?) but not turning up on final day due to job offers, admissions for MS or other reasons. So that makes such comparisons difficult.
  3. Coaching classes perception/Academics perception:-Both of these are hopefully based on more rigorous criteria like teaching,research, infrastructure and so on. So these would add the scientific element in the entire mix.
  4. The fit for YOU:-For those with special requirements(like focus on niche areas like supply chain, private equity, non-finance international roles etc), they should probe deeper into the above aspects. For instance, IIM-Indore gets offers for supply chain/logistics roles owing to the experienced students and the star faculty like Prof Ravichandram. IIM_Bangalore gets VC/PE offers due to location and alumni mix, while IIM Ahmedabad gets great consulting offers due to alumni mix and other factors. In addition, some campuses are more friendly towards different learning styles(c.f weightage on mid term/end term exams) and students from different backgrounds(as the non engineer/gender diversity ratios show). So even see those factors.
The above 4 data  points can help you differentiate the top 3-4 IIMs among which otherwise there is very little to choose. 

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