ISB Hyderabad (Indian School of Business) placements have been pretty successful over the years, with alumni in all the top industries and companies. This post is for those who’ve been curious to find out more about how ISB graduates track these jobs, prepare for them and then move in for the kill .
For someone who’s been raised in Dubai, studied in India, worked in Libya, Germany and of course apna Bharat, Monil Ruparel chose to attend an Indian business school. He graduated from ISB Hyderabad and bagged a coveted role in a leading management consulting firm.
So we thought he’d be the best person to share some gyaan on how job hunting works at ISB and what prospective students can expect once you get in. Over to you, Monil-bhai.
The placements at ISB are led by a Student Placement Committee – PlaCom (student body) and Career Administrative Services – CAS (administrative body). CAS is the full-time staffed department at ISB.
It’s officials work throughout the year with companies to source in ELP consulting projects and finally pitch on behalf of the current batch to the recruiters. PlaCom is the interface between students and CAS that facilitates pre-recruitment activities such as understanding the aspirations of students, tabulating a list of target companies for CAS team to work on and eventually running the on-campus recruitment juggernaut as the placements commence.
The Placements at ISB are spread over a few months. The International companies start their process in September-October time-frame vis-a-vis Domestic recruitments that visit ISB from January. The International companies conduct their recruitment process on any day since September.
However, the domestic placement is divided into ‘Days’; companies are lumped into buckets based on priority ordering decided by the students. A placement ‘Day’ in ISB parlance does not refer to a calendar day but a weekend (Friday to Sunday or Saturday to Sunday) on which on-campus interviews happen.
The majority of the students at ISB get their jobs through the on-campus placements, as with all other B-schools in India. However, there are few others who resort to using the alumni network or their own network to land a job offer that’s more lucrative or offers a niche role that they has zeroed down to.
There are yet others who opt out of placement process because they are on a sabbatical or want to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. For those interested in pursuing entrepreneurship, ISB offers support through the EDI program.
However, should the entrepreneur fail in his idea, the student is allowed to sit through the placement process anytime during the next two placement cycles. This limits the risk for budding entrepreneurs and encourages them to take the path less travelled.
To give you a student’s perspective of the placement preparation, I’ll run you through the preparations that go into the pre-placement period. Students generally start their placement search with a confusing question, ‘What do I want to do after MBA?’
Although I was fairly clear which sector I wanted to go to, there were pangs of low confidence during my pre-placement preparation period when I asked the same question to myself.
This is when a diverse alumni network, easily accessible Alumni Database and forthcoming Alums come to rescue. I must have spoken to a couple of dozen alums from diverse backgrounds. All the alums I interacted over e-mails or telephone were very forthcoming in answering all my queries regarding their chosen career paths.
This was a crucial part of my job search exercise. However, it is generally the most neglected and I cannot emphasize enough how important this exercise is to if you are confused over your career choice.
Next step was to write a CV. For most ISB students, this happens around August, a couple of weeks before the first international opportunity is posted.
Alongside, the CAS team starts organizing multiple rounds of Alum CV review sessions on weekends. For these CV review sessions, when Alums from diverse background are flown in on a weekend to review CVs.
Alumni provide important tips on how to draft terse and impactful CVs. Following this, CV review sessions are also conducted by highly experienced members of CAS who interact daily with recruiters and know what to pitch to them in CVs.
Many students also prepare multiple CVs for openings from different sectors or functions. For example, a student may have a CV highlighting leadership qualities for a YLP (Young Leader Program – commonly known as Leadership Track offered by various companies such as Bharti Airtel or Aditya Birla Group) and have another CV highlighting analytical facet of his experience for Consulting job openings.
After the CV has been satisfactorily dealt with, comes the next bit – preparing for interviews. This can vary for students looking at different career options.
For example, for those interested in Consulting careers need to practice for case interviews while those interested in Finance need to get their Finance basics right.
Here I would like to draw attention to a very important but usually neglected component – Negotiations. It pays to be aware about the salary levels in the industry and those offered to MBA students on other campuses.
Negotiating well requires preparation and game plan on how to negotiate salary and other perks with recruiters. The extremely popular ‘Negotiation Analysis’ course at ISB helps students prepare on these aspects.
With this, I fast-forward to share with the pulse on campus about placements this year. Most students have been quite content with their offers.
Here, I would reiterate that for career-switchers, it will be easier and more prudent to change one of the two aspects, either industry or function. If you stick to one, you can pitch your case convincingly to a recruiter.
For those looking for change both, industry and function, it’s an uphill task, not impossible, but difficult. For detailed statistics of placements, kindly refer to Placement report on the ISB Hyderabad website.
Monil has a keen interest in career counseling, mentoring students and teaching. Here’s another little secret. He’s a foodie and a self-proclaimed connoisseur. So if you want to ask him a question about ISB (jobs, careers, admissions) or the energy sector (his area of expertise), a good way to get his attention is to make your queries look and sound delicious & appetizing.
To improve your odds of getting into ISB, send us an email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com