Why IIM Shillong! - Siddarth Chowdhary
Siddarth Chowdhary graduated from IIM Shillong and is all set to work as a management consultant in end-to-end sales and marketing solutions. Siddarth is a serial CAT cracker and has mentored many CAT aspirants especially in QA and DILR sections. Prior to his MBA stint, Siddarth did his BTech (CS) from NIT Durgapur and worked with ITC as an IT Consultant. He scored in 99+ %le in Mensa IQ Test.
Having been in this industry for close to 7 years and been a part of the budding institute for 2 years I feel I have a duty to give a holistic view about what IIM Shillong stands for and why should students go there to build a career. Here are a few pointers which I think make IIM Shillong a unique B-school and the place to be in order to gain management education!
Location: Situated in the abode of clouds, Meghalaya, IIM Shillong is blessed with awesome weather and even more awesome locales. How does this help facilitate learning? Well one doesn’t have to worry about the heat or the frustration that not-so-good weather brings in. Also, Trekking locations are aplenty and there are a number of weekend getaways nearby which might help you relax.
Innovation: Yes, IIM Shillong is a B-School which is growing rapidly which means lots of new initiatives are being taken up every day but at the same time some amount of experience is there (we started off in 2008 ). That means we have a framework but we are still building which leaves a lot of scope for intelligent and innovative thinking. Who takes up these initiatives? The students. One can see bright examples of Frugal Innovation & unique initiatives everywhere one looks i.e. hostel rooms, classrooms, etc. For specifics one needs to be there as I am not going to spoil it by revealing them :)
Small batch Size: Many feel this is a disadvantage but imo it is a big advantage. This facilitates more interaction and networking. We have a very tightly knit group & all the students staying in the campus know each pretty well.
Diversity (Student profile): This, I guess is a very visible aspect. IIM Shillong has people from history, economics, commerce, agriculture, business, etc. backgrounds, people from IITs, BITs, NITs, LSRs, Stephens, etc. Everyone knows that IIM S goes an extra mile to get good people in when it comes to non-engineers (not that engineers taken are not up to the mark… for once I too am one :) ) but what stands out is the fact that the people who come in even at low percentiles do very well & many a times get into top notch firms. Also this helps facilitate some awesome classroom discussions apart from all-night hostel chit chats.
Outside classroom learning: Yes. Another advantage of being in the north east is that students are exposed to a totally different culture. In some of the courses students are taken/sent to places where they learn a lot about the mind-set of the people. Also, the awesome weather ensures that people can study outside the classrooms beneath the stars or under shades enjoying the wonderful cool breeze irrespective of the time of the day.
Chance to redeem yourself: Do you have average acads? If yes IIM Shillong provides an awesome platform for you to redeem yourself. Given that the criteria is very close to that of IIM Calcutta one can expect that IIM Shillong seeks to admit people who have the spark to prove themselves in the face of not so good acads. So, one can easily say IIM Shillong may provide you with the best opportunity to do the same with a relatively relaxed admission criteria, small batch size and good companies which come in for recruitment.
Brand IIM: Many people will say it doesn’t matter in the long run, it is not required, etc but the reality is that it does. There’s a reason why we are up here in 8 years. There’s a reason why people with 99%ile are coming here year after year and there’s a reason why the companies which are coming here are coming here to recruit. As they say “You don’t need running shoes to run but they do help”.
Awesome Faculty: IIM Shillong has 28 permanent in house faculties who are all very qualified and experienced. Also, they are always ready to help when it comes to B-School competitions and never shy from sharing a joke or two when the going gets tough. Apart from the internal faculties IIM Shillong students have the privilege from learning from some of the best independent consultants, industry experts and faculties who are the best in their business in the 2nd year when they take up their electives.
Vibrant culture & socially aware citizens: This is something we are all very proud of. Again, having small batch strengths has its own benefits and one of them is that we are tightly knit. We eat together, we stay together, we play together and we celebrate together which gives way to a milieu which is vibrant and full of life. The values & practices also make the students socially aware which encourages them to give back to the society in whatever small ways they can.
Also, this can only be felt once a person goes and sees the same for himself/herself as this is something highly intangible!
Placements: This is something no B-School can do without and so we are up there, here too. In a short span of 8 years I can proudly say that we do have an enviable placement record which can be seen in our placement reports. Again, we are growing every year, every year faster than the previous years and one can easily expect that in the future we will grow at even a faster pace.
B-School/Corporate competitions: IIM Shillong manages to win some very big ones everywhere with aplomb. Be it in the field of marketing, be it in the field of finance or be it any other field we are up there. Again these competitions are very important as they serve as a stimuli to the corporate world reminding them of the potential that the B-School has. Some of the competitions we have won in the last couple of years include (but not obviously limited to) the ones organized by Loreal, Nomura, HSBC, Crisil, Deloitte, CFA Research Institute amongst others. Big names right. What goes without say is the fact that we also do very well in many Inter B-school competitions as well. This is all possible because of the emphasis laid on the same right from the word go. The practical pedgagy, focus on experiential learning and the always-ready-to-help attitude of peers and professors alike are also the reasons for the same.
Yes, we are a relatively new B-School but we are proud of who we are and have the zeal to grow really fast. In a short span of time we have come really far and hope to continue this journey of growth at a greater pace in the future. For me personally the 2 years at IIM Shillong were the 2 best years of my life where I gained a lot in terms of knowledge, friends, experience and fitness. In my opinion IIM Shillong facilitates overall growth of its students in both the academic and personal facets which helps its students to have a well-rounded personality which gives them the edge in the corporate world.