What candidates look for in a B-school?

B School in India


Part 2: What candidates look for in a  B-school?

With the augmenting tendency of Indian students to decide on pursuing a management program, has not only boosted the Indian Education Sector but has brought with it an urge among the B-schools to top the charts. 4000 of B-schools against 6,00,000 aspirants signifies a deadly combination where both fight for each other, but ultimately no-one wins. The total seats offered by B-Schools in total is more than no. of aspirants appearing each year and hence creating a perfect example of imbalance in supply and demand.  In this imbalance, aspirants have an upper hand while screening which one should they go for. Hence, we see the road taking an abrupt end with B-schools finding it difficult to convert the crowd.

mba collages and apsirantsWhat made it difficult for them to zero in on the aspirants? What exactly went wrong in their marketing strategies?
To point it out, such B-schools never accounted for an aspirant’s real consideration while he thinks of applying for them. B-schools have to understand that spending exorbitant funds, on luring these applicants through lucrative offers as free foreign tours and free laptops is simply not working.

The root of the problem

If we tend to ignore the top 50 MBA colleges being able to make their way to the Indian Rankings, then every other college struggles with the obstacles so created by themselves in this MBA Industry. Thanks to the false claims these B-schools make while advertising heavily. As a matter of the fact, innumerable B-schools, thriving each year in every nook and corner, claiming themselves as the “Renowned and Best Institutions for MBA”, and shutting down after a few years of opening, has become a common practice. Reasons being- aspirants have moved a step further on this, by selecting their B-schools after a much careful consideration. At present we see them pitting their wits against the existing B-schools until they make sure that they benefit much out of the deal.

We clearly infer from the present situation that- In order to lessen the complexities and deal with these hindrances, such B-schools need to entice the students with what they have been so far looking out for.

What all a student looks for while applying for a B-school?

The aspirants here are clearly in a better position while handpicking B-schools, screening them on more than 15 parameters, comparing them with a bucket of other more B-schools and at the end choosing the final one.

Still-A big question mark gets placed on what tends to influence their decision more?

To put it straight and make things more understandable, the set of key factors influencing the choice of selection of a B-school can be tested on 2 major divisions as:-

Internal Division:-

  1. a) Student profile
  2. b) Family income
  3. c) Support group recommendations
  4. d) Aspirations

External Division:-

  1. a) Location                                                      e) Student-Faculty Ratio
  2. b) Program offerings                                       f)  College Reputation
  3. c) Infrastructure                                              g)  Fee structure
  4. d) Placement Records                                   i) Faculty profile
  5. j) College Rankings

A research opens us to viewpoints of students and their inclination for the external division factors while making their final decision.

Ask from a candidate about the to-be-take away, he expects from his aspired B-school, and he would certainly talk about ROI. The sheer disappointment for the MBA aspirants on B-school’s part is- their repeated attempts to cover up the freebies offered from the fees they intend to charge. Clearly, B-schools have failed to leverage on aspirants changing expectations from them.

Someone said it right- “Ignorance is Bliss.”  But to mark here, not in this case.

A B-school indeed prospers well if it redoubles its marketing efforts in demonstrating what all a candidate has been searching. A study, done over the time, points out to the recent changing trends in the expectations of the aspirants:-

1) Placement Records: More than 70%  weight age gets assigned by the aspirants to placements, being a major factor years, in influencing their final decision. But in the years, we see applicants preferring a combination of relevant profiles along with a decent package.They want the B-schools to disclose much important information, as- the kind of companies visiting their campus along with some data for the type of profiles offered by them in the previous years.

2) Faculty Profile: Over the years, students have started giving much importance to the quality of the faculties while screening a B-school. Although we see many B-schools failing on their ends, to convert the students, on this note. Instead of promoting themselves, here, they can achieve great results by showcasing and promoting on how good their faculty members are.

3) College Rankings: Every college manages to top the charts in one list or the other, thus, raising doubts over the authenticity of such data in the minds of the aspirants. College Rankings have done none than contributing to the many ambiguities a student deal with when he/she applies for a college. No doubt, they still exist in the list of the factors affecting a student’s decision, but a B-School should not have, increasing the college rankings, as their prime focus.

4) Fee Structure: ROI still interests the aspirants the most. Applicants have over the years, disfavored the college fees as an important element affecting their decision making. They believe the B-schools having loan facilities interests them more. The proposed fee structure of a B-school should be such that the aspirant at least covers up the amount invested by him within 13-14 months of his placement.

Apart from the so-listed factors that everyone talks about, there is much more that needs to be given a thought at and hence a b-school should focus on catering to these as well:-

  • Aspirants now focus more on Quality learning experience to be gained from the B-school. Hence a combination of Research studies, assignment, and short term projects make it worth considering for them.
  • The number of aspirants wanting to become entrepreneurs has been augmented. Hence the chances of them favoring a B-school enhances if they get an assurance of all kind of facilities and support for their startups.
  • Aspirants have been looking out for joining a B-school that helps them make a global profile. B-schools need to show that they have been investing much to rebrand their students and not their institutes.

Amidst this Great Indian Rat Race for MBA Admissions, no-one prospers with a vision to subdue the other. No doubt, it would be a defining moment of glory for the MBA Industry when both develop an equal respect for each other. Such would be the moment when great managers would be born from every great institute.

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Shivangi Gupta
Marketing Associate, Admito.in

An admirer of nature’s exquisiteness and a true dancer at heart is what describes my character in 2 words. I am enthusiastic much about living my life to the core, doing fun-filled activities and traveling. I still show the true qualities of a laggard wherein my most of the time gets spent on thinking and relishing great food. These days, I have been trying my hands out at exploring marketing and opportunities for admito.in.

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