IIM Calcutta offers a 1 year MBA Post Graduate Program for Executives (PGPex) that is meant for those with many years of work-experience. It competes with IIM Bangalore and IIM Ahmedabad that have similar programs.
Just like in the case of 2-year MBA programs offered by IIMA, IIMB and IIC, the shorter MBA programs (accepting GMAT as opposed to CAT scores) compete with each other for the best students from India. Ashish Rastogi explains why IIM Calcutta (IIMC PGPex) got his vote and scored over IIM Bangalore (IIM EPGP).
After spending almost a decade in the industry, I am now back to school pursuing a full-time residential one-year MBA program at Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. The MBA program, popularly known as PGPex – Post Graduate Program for Executives, offers a great platform for those with 5 or more years of professional experience targeting senior management positions in their professional careers.
It was almost two years back when I was looking for some guidance on which schools to apply in the US. I had been in the states for quite a long time and wanted to target top international schools for my MBA. MBACrystalBall was launched around that time and I got in touch with them to get the proprietary MBACrystalBall Mock Application Process (MBA MAP). It helped me gauge where I stood with respect to the overall competition. One of the significant advantages that I saw with such a report was that it recommended an array of MBA programs that I could target considering my personal profile, GMAT score, and past work experience. Sameer spent quite some time discussing with me the strong and weak points in my profile that really helped me understand what I could do to improve upon and perform better.
During that time, I also learned from one of my friends about the full-time one-year MBA programs offered by the IIMs in India. These one-year programs attracted me instantly because of the very fact that they offered the highest quality of management education in India, had a higher ROI compared to that of the two-year programs and focused on imparting general management education.
Moreover, the Indian and the Asian economy in general have been growing steadily and it made sense to pursue an MBA in India instead. Another important thing was that unlike the part-time executive MBA programs offered in the US, these IIM programs were offered full-time and had more-or-less the same academic curriculum as the regular two-year programs. I eventually decided to apply and submitted applications to schools in India. Though I did not apply to ISB as I was looking to apply for programs where the average batch experience was above 8 to 9 years of experience.
To be very honest, my profile wasn’t a rock star one. I belong to the ultra-common IIM (Indian IT Male) category and had a not-so-great GMAT score. But there were other elements in my profile – professional certifications, non-profit experience, extracurricular achievements, 6.5 years of international experience and a good career progression that gave me the confidence of targeting top schools.
The feedback received from MBACrystalBall really helped me here. Before joining PGPex, I was working as a Project Manager with Infosys and my purpose of doing an MBA was to get exposure to all facets of management, broaden my horizons and reinforce my leadership capabilities in the process. I did have a fair idea of my career goals.
But I also knew that I had to work hard on my applications and thus prepared diligently for my interviews. I spoke with current students and alums to understand how I could strengthen my candidacy. Finally, I received calls from everywhere I applied and eventually secured admits from IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta, while I was waitlisted at IIM Ahmedabad. Since then, there was no looking back.
Choosing between IIM Bangalore and IIM Calcutta was a tough decision, nonetheless. Like many others with multiple admits in my PGPex batch, I chose IIM Calcutta for my MBA. At least six of us made the same decision.
My reasons for the choice were many but smaller class size, an option to pursue international study tour or industry internship, on-campus accommodation, exceptional alumni network, and the highest ROI (fees for the PGPex is the lowest among the top three IIMs) were key factors in the decision making process.
The PGPex placements have also been great year after year with many diverse recruiters coming back to the campus every year. Though not a deciding factor, it was definitely assuring to learn that all students opting for placements were really happy with the job profiles being offered.
IIM Calcutta is famous for its academic rigor and PGPex is no exception to that. The course work is really demanding and requires a lot of perseverance and focus. With about 30 core courses and 18 elective courses to be completed in six terms, each term being of 6 weeks, students all always on their toes.
That said, PGPex students are also very actively involved in sporting activities and student clubs such as Consulting, Initiative for Community Action (INCA), Dramatics, Quizzing, Entrepreneurship Cell and many more. I have also joined INCA and wish to contribute to the community during my time here at PGPex. I intend to continue enjoying my time here at Joka and hope to find a job opportunity I am passionate about.