MBA from Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay
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Krishna Prasad aced CAT 2014 with a score of 99.6 percentile and he is currently pursuing his MBA from Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay. He was elected as the representative for 2014-16 batch and is also serving as part of the student council known as SOMA. Krishna did his BTech from NITTE university, Mangalore and has worked in Industrial management domain for 20 months prior to his MBA stint.
The 1st question any student studying MBA at an IIT gets from confused friends and relatives is “MBA from IIT? Are you sure it’s not an MTech or is it an IIM rather than an IIT?” Contrary to popular opinion, MBA program does exist in IITs and they are extremely successful with one of the best ROI’s in the country. IIT Bombay (SJMSOM), IIT Kharagpur (VGSOM), IIT Delhi (DOMS), IIT Kanpur &IIT Madras regularly feature in the top 25 rankings of Indian B-schools. My experience at Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay over the past couple of years has been exhilarating to say the least.
The academic curriculum at SJMSOM consists of 8 terms / 4 semesters, so 2 terms in each semester. The 1st semester is from July – November & the 2nd semester is from January – April. There are around 20 core faculty with many more visiting faculty including Jerry Rao (founder of MPhasis & VBHC), Swaminathan Gurumurthy (renowned journalist who was the inspiration for Madhavan’s role in the Hindi movie Guru) and other prominent personalities in the industry. In the 1st year all subjects are mandatory. In the 2nd year students get to choose among different electives from all domains such as HR, analytics, IT, operations, finance, marketing etc.
Apart from the regular lectures from our faculty, we have special lectures called Dikshas, where industry professionals come to the college and talk about the recent trends in the industry and sometimes they conduct workshops as well. Students also participate in numerous corporate competitions as is the case in any other B school and have managed to win competitions organized by Mahindra, L’oreal, Asian Paints, Marico just to name a few. Also students, especially in the 2nd year, work with various organizations for their live projects and this kind of project work is also part of the curriculum in the last semester.
The 1st year students go on their summer internships during April – June and it is mandatory for every student to go on an internship since they are part of the curriculum. There is also winter internships that the students can do during month of December with various NGOs.
Placement reports can be found here
Extra-curricular & Sports
The best thing about the MBA at IIT Bombay is without a doubt the campus itself. There are various activities, cultural fests (Mood Indigo – one of Asia’s biggest cultural fest), lectures and appearances by celebrities (Sachin Tendulkar, Uber CEO - Travis Kalanick, Smriti Irani, Sonam Kapoor just to name a few). The student activity centre (SAC) is the place to be in campus. With its Olympic sized swimming pool, excellent gym facilities, music room equipped with all the instruments possible, tennis courts, squash courts, martial arts facilities, a person would never get bored inside campus.
I can’t say enough about the awesome hostel life with its various inter hostel rivalries in various cultural events, sports. The only thing annoying about the campus is the horrible food we are served in the hostel mess. But this minor inconvenience is more than compensated by the various eateries inside the campus, some of which stay open till 3 am.
SJMSOM also has various exchange programs with colleges from London, Paris & Zurich. The length of the program varies from month long (summer school & winter school) to a full-fledged 6 month semester exchange.
My life @ SOM
Like any new B school student, I came to SOM in July 2014 with lot of hopes and dreams and some very unrealistic expectations on what my MBA life would be. As in any other B-school, the first week was more of an induction and orientation program conducted by the seniors which was mainly done to break the ice and get to know your batch mates as well as your seniors better. To make us accustomed to the rigour ahead, they made sure we were involved in one or the other activity from morning 7 am to late night 1 am every day. I barely got 30 hours of sleep in my 1st week but didn’t mind it much since it involved fun stuff such as dance, movie making, sports, treasure hunt, drama and even yoga. We also got brief intro about the various courses and lots of advice on how to handle the 1st 3 months which is supposed to be the most challenging time of our entire MBA.
After the induction week, our regular classes started and things started to get really stressful. Although we had just 4-5 hours of class each day, professors expected us to prepare 2 hours for every hour they taught. The endless assignments, surprise quizzes, group tasks were taking a toll on lot of students and the IIT B hospital staff were accustomed to see a bunch of MBA students coming in every day in search of the holy grail – “the pink slip”. A pink slip is kind of a medical certificate from the doctors in campus which allowed the students to skip classes since they were deemed unfit. Needless to say the feeling a student experiences when he gets a pink slip for even half a day is profound happiness.
Being the class representative, I could not miss any classes and was expected to do CP (class participation). I cursed my decision to stand for the post and also my fellow classmates for voting for me. Anyway as they say, all good things (or bad things) must come to an end, this trying ordeal also came to an end. No, it wasn’t because the work load decreased. It’s just that we started to understand the most important part of an MBA – Team work. Few selected people would prepare for the upcoming lecture and circulate the notes to the entire batch. The chosen ones would be rotated regularly to make sure they were not overburdened and would stay fresh. In return the others would help them in their assignments and tests. This way we finally found the going easier and life became better.
During the 2nd term we had our summer placements and preparation for the same was in full swing. The dreaded GDs were coming back. Various clubs and teams from the senior batch helped us in this endeavour. The stress and anxiety one experiences during placement day is not something we look forward to. After the 2-3 days of process, it was back to regular classes. Now that the burden of summers had gone, it was time to enjoy the amazing facilities IITB offered.
During the winter vacation in December, students either opted to do an internship with NGOs or live projects or in my case, Study tour. Almost one month of travelling across Europe with your friends was once in a lifetime experience for me. And yeah, I did attend classes as well and got a feel about the MBA program in Europe.
The 2nd semester was a bit relaxed one as we didn’t have a lot of stress in terms of academics and most of us focussed on learning new sports, languages or playing a musical instrument. I took French language lessons and also managed to learn swimming as well. Apart from this, we started preparing in earnest for our summer internships hoping to do well and bag the coveted PPO (pre placement offer). This was also a time we got lot of KT (knowledge transfer) from our seniors regarding the various club and team activities and also tips on how to crack corporate competitions.
After coming back from our summer internships in July, we started our new life as seniors. We eagerly looked forward to interacting with the junior batch and the induction week for the incoming batch was conducted. This semester, typically students try to participate and win in various B-school and corporate competitions. Not to mention, the various live projects we took up, so that we can have the perfect CV, come placement time. The experience of participating in various competitions in groups and hoping to at least go to the national finals is something that every MBA student has to go through. The joy when you achieve success and similarly the disappointment when you are so close yet fall just short in winning a competition, in a nut shell is what an MBA is all about.
Finally after so much of preparation, its placement time in December. For many this is what their MBA finally boils down to. Get a good placement with a reputed brand, your MBA was a success, else it was a waste of resource. After the placement process is finally completed, it’s time to let our hair down and enjoy Mood Indigo – the biggest cultural fest in South Asia. Loads of fun, enthusiastic crowds, amazing music performances and best of all great friends to enjoy all these with, Mood Indigo is definitely one of the best moments of my MBA life.
In my final semester, it’s more about thinking about the future, nostalgia regarding the past 2 years and awesome trips to different parts of the country. For some lucky people, it’s also a chance to roam around Europe for almost 6 months. MBA at an IIT may not be that well known but the experience rivals that of any other top B-school in India.