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This article was first published 13 years ago

What many B-Schools do to fill up seats

Last updated on: January 13, 2011 10:27 IST

Photographs: Rediff Archives B Mahesh Sarma

The mushrooming of B-Schools has left many struggling to fill their seats. And the means they adopt are varied. Careers360 identifies top marketing strategies...

1. Agency sales/Discounted fees

An agent contacts you, promising admissions in a particular school. Jothsna, an MBA student from Delhi, was assured admission at a school in Meerut. When she refused the agent even ended up offering a 15% discount on fees. She later found out that the school shut shop midway since it could get only 28 students.

College seats are not consumer goods. If they are discounted there is something very fishy about the school.



What many B-Schools do to fill up seats

2. Pre-selected for GD/PI

Some schools contact you, saying that you have been pre-selected for a GD/PI process. Some times even relatively well known schools do this when they open a branch campus.

So if the school's reputation is fine, go for the GD/PI. See how many get selected. If 8/10 GD candidates move further, then be very careful. They actually may not have enough students.

3. Ever rolling admission cycles

Some schools do not have a wait list cycle. They begin the admission process six
months before the cycle, and they go on even months after the academic session begins. Here your loss is double.

First you lose out on the classes held so far, and second you are getting to be part of a batch wherein almost everybody gets in. The quality of the peer group is invariably poor in this case.

So preferably avoid schools which have an admission process with no deadlines.


What many B-Schools do to fill up seats

4. Multiple degree offerings

Some schools offer you a PGDM (or its variants) from its stable and say you shall get an AIU/UGC recognised degree from a State university. This is a double-edged sword.

Unless the institute says upfront it is a Distance Learning MBA that you are signing up for the college is lying
through its teeth. If they tell you the truth, then assess the colleges' offering and decide. If there is any attempt at obfuscation, run away (Read:

5. Admission through NRI/management quota

After GD/PI some schools might offer you seat on NRI or management quota. Be very careful before accepting the same. Invariably the cost of education goes up by at least 100% in this case, and for NRI quota may be 200% to 300%.

Verify if the school permits such quota students to sit for placements.


What many B-Schools do to fill up seats

6. Visits overlapping with placements

Verify the placement partners' listing in the brochure very carefully. Some schools provide you a list of all the companies that recruited students from them irrespective of the year. Some desperate ones give out the names of
even companies, whose executives have merely visited the campus.

Prefer only colleges that give out the list of companies that came during the last academic year, even if the list is smaller.

7. Merging core and visiting faculty

For schools which lack core faculty, the easiest way to mask it is to list different types of faculty (guest, permanent, visiting) in a single list. Many of them may even teach just one lecture on campus!

Another problem is with respect to schools that have recently opened multiple campuses. The brochure invariably
is common and the faculty list too would be common. So the list might have an impressive number, but when you divide it among four or five campuses, the absolute number would be very poor.

If you are choosing a school with multiple campuses, check out faculty exclusive to that campus.


What many B-Schools do to fill up seats

8. Agency-led placements

Some schools outsource their placement activities to a consultant. Even with an in-house placement consultant, it is quite a challenge for schools to place most students. The outside consultant invariably would be paid for the number of positions filled, irrespective of the quality of placements.

You might actually end up being a sales executive. There is absolutely nothing wrong being in sales. But for that even a Distance Learning MBA would do.

9. Specialised MBA

Some schools might offer a named MBA. So in addition to regular MBA students specialised in marketing, the school might also have an additional batch doing an MBA only in marketing. Many others offer specialisation in retail, services, hospitality, health etc.

Be very conscious of why you join a specialised MBA. A vertical specialisation would work only if you have a long-term interest in the same.

In many schools which offer both MBA and MBA (HR) or MBA (IB), invariably the specilised MBA students get lesser pay and lesser opportunities. In fact Faculty of Management studies (FMS) Delhi has recently merged its speicalised programme to avoid such hassles.

So go for a general MBA. It is a safer bet.

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