Can I get admission in IIMs without work experience?

'Is work experience compulsory for admission into IIMs?' If you too are plagued by this question then read the article to find out the relevance of work experience during MBA admission process.

Updated: Apr 24, 2019 10:45 IST
MBA college (IIM)
MBA college (IIM)

'Is work experience necessary for seeking admission in IIMs?' is a question that plagues the mind of MBA aspirants. Master of Business Administration or MBA is a post-graduate level program that is meant to train students into becoming better managers. If we are to look at the MBA programs at  the international level than a majority of universities require the MBA aspirants to have a work experience of some kind (duration of which differs based on both institute and the course). However, in India the trend hasn't caught up that much. In our country both parents and students are of the mindset that a person must first complete his education and then start working. Thus, majority of students in India opt to pursue MBA straight after completing their graduation.

And the answer to the question above is that, 'No, work experience is not compulsory for seeking admission into IIMs.' However, there is no denying the fact that work experience adds a lot to a candidates profile when applying for admission to a B-school. It surely gives the candidates an edge over their fellow students. But, there is no need to fret if you are an MBA aspirant with no prior experience. You still have a pretty good chance at getting yourself enrolled at an IIM.


As per the latest selection criteria of IIMs, there is no specific weightage allotted to the ‘Work Ex’ part in the IIM selection process. You can see the weightage provided to the ‘Work Ex.’ by top IIMs as given below:


Weightage to Work Experience

IIM: Ahmedabad

In final selection

IIM Bangalore


IIM: Calcutta

In Final selection

IIM: Lucknow


IIM: Indore


The statistics for top 3 IIMs is more than enough to show that selection process is not at all about work experience, but your overall performance in academics and CAT entrance exam. This is more about how well you justify your answer for ‘why MBA?’ Students generally consider this as a general and casual questions but it is not. Some of the parameters that the questioner check you on through this question are your

  • Communication skills
  • Attitude
  • Professionalism
  • How you lead your life
  • And it also gives you an opportunity to drive your interview in the direction you want.

As per the selection criteria of various IIMs, a candidate’s overall profile including candidates 10th, 12th and graduation marks are taken into consideration. They also check the academic background apart from CAT score. GDPIs and Essay Writing (WAT) also hold a lot of weightage in final selection.

Also Read: CAT 2018: Meet the Exam Toppers

One should be confident and able to justify his profile in from of the panel during PI session. This is most important requirement along with a good CAT score and academic background that gives you an edge over many other candidates.

Can An Average Student Get Into IIMs?

Just having a good profile and good scores throughout your academic and by good (70% above) will help you get into IIMs, if you possess an exceptionally good CAT score. But make sure to work hard and improve your skills because at the end during your placements you will be competing with the best of the bests. And you don’t want to be one of the last few who become headache for any placement teams.

Therefore, performing exceptionally well after getting into the college and giving your best at D-day of placement is more important than having working experience or being a fresher.


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