Thursday, March 29, 2007

A to-be MICAn's queries - answered.

I'm reproducing a mail which I received this morning from someone who has received a final call from MICA. He has raised a few perninent questions, which I thought might interest more than a few people, so I'm reproducing it here. The coloured text has the answers to his questions।
I have got the offer letter from MICA and I have some queries which I know you will have answered million times but for me it is the 1st time so I hope you will get time to answer it.Here it goes:

Q 8 Lacs for the course. Is it worth it? I mean, will I be able to repay my loan or in other words what will be the salary range for 2009 batch?
- Since it's a money-money question, let's look it from a finance angle. Treat this 8 lakhs as any other investment - Supposing you had to put this money into an investment fund what Rate of Return would you have been happy with. What are the normal and good rates of return in the market?
When you pass out in 2009, unless the economy sinks into a 1930s kind of depression or even the 1988-90 kinds, you should at the very least make 4 lakhs p.a. Assuming that this 8 lakh is the principal which can never be gotten back, you have just bought a fund which gives you 50% interest in Year 1 and it's an expanding balloon where the returns will keep increasing for the next 30-35 years. And don't forget, 4 is the bare minimum we are talking about!!
Q. If you are creative you can rise to the top through this course. Is it true? If yes how?
- No, this course is not about "creativity". (PGPCM) You will be working as Brand Managers/Account Executives/ Research Associates/Media Planners etc after this programme - so while you may remain in close association with creatives, you will yourself not required to be one. Of course, a bit of creativity helps one everywhere - but the primary answer to your question is NO.

Q. For lateral placements what docs are needed?
- Certificate of Work Experience besides the regular documents. Nothing special, i guess.

Q. Since I am in the bond period my company can demand the huge compensation so is it advisable to pay them and get the work ex certificate or salary slip and bank statement will be sufficient docs for lateral recruitment?
- It's always advisable to remain on the right side of things, however for this question I'd suggest you take the advise of your friends and parents/relatives also.

Q. I have work ex of 21 months till April. Will it count for lateral placements?
- Yes, of course. Why did you doubt? ( Unless it's part-time or was done along with your studies or before your graduation)
( The advise and the answers given here are general in nature. They may not apply to every single case, so you would be advised to factor in your own peculiar circumstances and take a second opinion)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Next MAT on 6th May 2007: Notification released

AIMA has released the notification for the next Management Aptitude Test (MAT). One of India's more popular entrance exams for various MBA courses, the MAT will be held on Sunday, 6th May 2007 from 9:30 am to 12:00 noon. Over 400 B-schools/Management Institutes are participating in the May MAT.
How to obtain the MAT Bulletin, Prospectus & Application Form?
by post: Send a Demand Draft for Rs.690.00 drawn in favour of All India Management Association - CMS payable at New Delhi alongwith two self-addressed slips/adhesive stickers.
by hand: You can get the MAT Bulletin and Application Form by cash payment at AIMA counters in Delhi and some UTI Bank Branches. (Phone: 24653382, 41757046)
UTI Bank Branches with Phone No. for Sale of MAT form:
Ahmedabad: 66306102
Agra: 2850979
Allahabad: 2421845
Aurangabad: 5621969
Bangalore: 25370615
Bhagalpur: 2409444
Bhopal: 4273882
Chandigarh: 2621591
Chennai: 65295844
Delhi - Karolbagh: 51451175
Delhi - East Delhi / Vikas Marg: 22014245
Delhi - Shakti Nagar: 23843389
( for Delhi University North Campus students this will be the nearest UTI branch to collect their MAT forms)
Dhanbad: 2300667
Faridabad: 4039739
Guwahati: 2340522
Indore: 2436908
Jabalpur: 2375601
Jaipur: 2375601
Jamshedpur: 2422307
Kanpur: 2346210
Kochi: 2384270
Kolkata: 22829837
Kota: 2365511
Kozhikode: 2761359
Lucknow: 4009522
Ludhiana: 2402361
Meerut: 2664519
Mangalore: 2410981
Mumbai - Borivali (Suburb): 28903992
Mumbai - Fort (Town): 22835788
Muzaffarpur: 2244009
Mysore: 2512093
Nagpur: 2555647
Panipat: 4015001
Patna: 2206702
Pondicherry: 2227311
Pune: 56015723
Rajkot: 2455931
Ranchi: 2301039
Siliguri: 2642745
Surat: 2663109
Thiruvananthapuram: 2558470
Tiruchirapally: 2769790
Thiruvanantapuram: 2558470
Vadodara (Baroda): 2311313
Vijaywada: 2570672
Vishakapatnam: 2712806
AIMA Nodal centres for sale of MAT form:
Delhi - South - JIMS: 26462385, 26237887
Delhi - Central - DIMS: 23370989
Noida - Vishwa Bharti Institute of Management: 2455197
Faridabad - Faridabad Institute of Management Studies: 2278895
MAT Bulletins will be available till 18 April 2007 (last date)
Last date for submission of filled-up MAT application forms is 20 April 2007
Disclaimer: The above information may not be comprehensive. MAT bulletins also available at other places. We have tried our best to avoid any errors in providing this information. However, you may confirm the above with AIMA, New Delhi (located near the Sai Baba temple)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

IIM Calcutta Placements - Better than ever before

Two students of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (now Kolkata), IIM-C have bagged the highest paying placement offer in IIM history, worth $250,000. In rupee terms, that works out to Rs.1,12,50,000 per annum. ( One crore twelve lakhs+) . These salaries have been offered by an investment bank for a job in its New York branch. In 2006, the highest salary offered was $152,000.

In sheer percentage terms, domestic salaries have recorded an increase of 100% this year. Again, the highest offer is by an investment bank - Rs. 43 lakhs.

Besides fat pay checks, the IIM-C students this year have also been offered great positions - for the first time in history, Indian b-school students have been offered the post of associates. This brings the IIM students at par with graduates from Harvard, Stanford and Wharton.

Companies which visited the IIM-C campus for placement this year included:

Mc Kinsey, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), AT Kearney, Optiver, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, UBS, CIC, Value Partners, JP Morgan Chase, BNP Paribas and the Sun Group.

(source: Hindustan Times)

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Best Schools under MAT (Management Aptitude Test)

The Management Aptitude Test, generally referred to by its abbreviated name MAT has become one of the most popular MBA entrance tests in India. It has now been approved by the Government of India as a National Entrance Test and a wide number of AICTE approved institutions and some University departments now use the MAT as their entry level test. Conducted by the All India Management Association (AIMA), the MAT is held 4 times in a year.

B-schools affiliated to the MAT are by no means comparable to the ones under the Common Admission Test (CAT) or the XAT conducted by XLRI, but there are a few good ones which can be considered by those who have for some reason or the other not been able to make it to the top b-schools.

The MAT is an 800 marks test, similar to the GMAT, though the level of difficulty is lower than either GMAT or CAT.

This is a list of the top institutes under MAT. Not in any particular order though Amity & Alliance are the most preferred ones.

Alliance Business Academy, Bangalore
( from the Alliance website: Alliance is the first B-School in India to be accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), USA, one of the 3 premier accrediting bodies for management education.)
Outlook C-Fore survey in 2006 ranked it at no. 9 amongst India’s top private b-schools. In another survey carried out by AIMA, Alliance was ranked as an A+ institute.

Amity Busines School, Noida
(Though it has been ranked as the no.1 private b-school, I am not too sure about that. There are too many b-school surveys happening in India, and the results of most of them are pretty suspect. I won’t be surprised if some of the b-schools they include amongst their top ten are sometimes paid for)
Amity also has a campus each in Delhi, Lucknow, Manesar, Gurgaon and Jaipur.

Indian Institute of Modern Management, Pune (IIMM)
( Though it also conducts another test called BAT (Balaji Admission Test) for the institutes in the Balaji Society, IIMM being one of them. It also accepts CAT, XAT and SNAP scores.)

Christ College Institute of Management, Bangalore
Ranked as an A grade institute by AIMA b-school survey. Christ College accepts the February MAT scores. Minimum requirement: 600

Jagan Institute of Management Studies, Delhi (JIMS)
A comparatively new institute, JIMS has been able to create a name for itself, at least in Delhi and its neighbourhood. Its BBA programme is widely rated as the best under the IP University.
Also accepts CAT scores. Ranked at B+ in the AIMA survey

Institute of Rural Management, Jaipur
Needs a MAT score of 600. You can also apply through ATMA. Ranked as an A grade institute in the AIMA survey.

School of Communication & Management Studies, Cochin (SCMS)
Ranked at A grade by the AIMA survey. Also ranked as A+ by Business India. CAT scores also accpeted

Caution: This is only an indicative list, and by no means an exhaustive one. Please corroborate this information with atleast one more source before taking any decision.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Earn an Online Degree

Wouldn't you like to prefix a degree against your name, that too from the Kaplan University or the University of Phoenix? That too sitting at home!
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- Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, MBA, Doctoral, & Certification Programs
( Even within programmes you can choose from a long list of subjects - to name a few, Business, Criminal Justice, Legal, Nursing, Religious Studies, Science and Maths. You can further drill down on each subject area - say within Business, you may go for Marketing/E-business/Accoutning/Finance.)

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( This is a Sponsored Post)

Friday, March 02, 2007

MICA (Mudra) Interview Questions

MICA or Mudra Institute of Communications Ahmedabad, unlike most other schools you would have applied to, is not actually a b-school. The people behind MICA like referring to it as a C-School or a Communications School. It's a specialised b-school, with its area of competence being "marketing communications'. Even the degree you will be awarded at the end of your 2 yrs stint in Shela will not be an MBA or a PGDBM. You will hold in your hands a "Post Graduate Diploma in Communications Management".

Owing to its narrower scope, the MICA interview may include a few questions pertaining to the areas covered under "Marketing Communications". Of course, it's not necessary that you will be asked one such question - but if you include the entire pool of questions, there should be quite a few of them.

Let me enumerate a few to get you thinking along the right lines:

1. What is the difference between 'advertising' and 'p.r.'?

2. What is 'brand management'?

3. What is 'marketing'?

4. Do you know the difference between 'marketing' and 'sales'?

5. Do you think advertisements work? Why? Which one did you like? Do you think it worked? Why do you think so?

6. What's your favourite ad? Do you know who has created it? The agency? ( generally asked if you cite advertising as a career choice, which is true for quite a few people who apply to MICA)

7. What exactly is Maket Research? How is it done? Do you know what a sample is? Can you give the name of a famous market research agency? What's the full form of ORG-MARG?

8. Is there any difference between TV ads and Print ads? Are the products different? When should one go for a TV ad/Print ad/

9. What is your favourite brand? If you were the creative head, what kind of an ad would you have designed?

10. Tell us the name of India's top 10 ad agencies.

11. What is "Marketing Communications"?

12. Do you think you have the sensitivity required to work with highly creative people? Would you be able to handle such people? ( a strength/weakness question in a twisted format)

13. What is Media Planning/Account Management/Accout Planning?

14. Do celelbrity endorsements work? Tell us one.

This is definitely not an exhaustive list, but more so an indicative give you an idea to get started. Take it further from here...all the very best.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Common MBA Entrance Interview Questions..Contd.

q. what are your strengths?

While it's easy to give just any correct answer, it's far more difficult to give a correct yet imressive one. Lots of interviewees end up giving answers like - "I'm very hard working". Now, it's all very good to be hard-working but at this level, hard-work is almost a basic requirement and even if one is not, everyone claims to be one. Hence, the answer comes across as unimaginative and doesn't really add to the interviewers knowledge about you. Please remember that there is approximately 20% chance of selection, so you need to weed out about 80% of the competition through your answers, and in that scenario this answer is not sufficiently good.
If you had indeed been hard-working you should have worked on this question already - the first step would have been to try and categorize your strength areas:
1. Professional strength areas (displayed in case of those already working or in case of students this would be what you think are your potential strengths)
- You may be very good at "analysis" - try and give an example to buttress your point. You may also explain how it can help you be a good manager.
- A great "team player". - you can cite about your success in your college festivals or events.
- Technical strengths
- Any other.
2. Personal strengths
- "I am thorough, meaning you give attention to details and then explain how it wil help you in your professional areas"
- punctual, diligent
- patient, persevering
- flexible, open
3. Other skills & strenghts
- Communication Skills
- Good listener ( this may be a sub-set of the above)
- Friendly / easy to approach / sociable / easy to get along with
The above is only an indicative list, and by no means exhaustive. Please find your own and add and subtract from the list - but spend some time forming your answer. Your friends and family may be a good help here.
Next question we will deal with: "What are your weaknesses?". Keep watching this space.
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