IIM Calcutta – one of the top MBA colleges in India, offers One Year MBA Programme in addition to its flagship PGP programme. Prof. Amit Dhiman shares important information about the One Year MBA Programme at IIM Calcutta including eligibility, selection process and preparation strategy required to get into the PGPEX Programme. He also shares the career path of the opportunities that students will get after completing the One Year MBA Programme at IIM Calcutta.
Extracts from the Interview
PGPEX - One Year MBA Programme: Overview
The One Year MBA programme at IIM Calcutta i.e. PGPEX is Full Time Residential Programme meant for Executives with more than five years of professional experience. It provides mid-career professionals the ideal platform to augment their existing skill sets as they endeavour to armour themselves for senior and top management roles in the industry.
One Year MBA Programme – Eligibility Criteria
PGPEX or the One Year MBA Programme at IIM Calcutta is for participants who have worked in the industry for a significant amount of time. Typically, students, who on an average, have worked for a period of 9 years, join this course. Although, the eligibility to join the programme requires mere 5 years of work experience, the institute gets students who possess work experience of 14 to 15 years and sometimes even going beyond that.
One Year MBA Programme - Eligibility
IIM Calcutta has prescribed the following eligibility criteria for selection of students to the PGPEX or the One Year MBA Programme:
The institute screens candidates on the basis of their GMAT score to be part of the further selection process i.e. the Personal Interview for One Year MBA Programme.
Personal Interview Round
Candidates are shortlisted for the Personal Interview round on the basis of their GMAT score. The Interview for selection to PGPEX programme is conducted by the faculty members and industry professionals, typically alumnus who have completed this programme. The Personal Interview of the candidates is mostly based upon the ‘Statement of Purpose’ that they provide as part of their application for the PGPEX programme. Interview panellist, generally, ask questions in the interview on the basis of the information provided in the SOP.
Importance of Statement of Purpose
In the ‘Statement of Purpose’, what interview panellist are looking for is the clarity of thought with regards to the why do you want to do an MBA and what do you want to after an MBA. Candidates need to be very clear about these aspects while drafting their SOP and support their ideas through pragmatic and action oriented career paths. For instance, instead of merely mentioning that you want to shift from engineering to MBA, one needs to specify the career paths or areas which aligns with their past experience as well as meets their areas of interests and also mention how do they want to evolve in their professional careers.
In addition to this, candidates can also mention their other aspects that offer a glimpse into their personality such as hobbies and extracurricular activities. The selection process for PGPEX is competitive, and therefore, when candidates are matched evenly, panellists often look for that extra edge which can be provided through these personality traits. However, candidates must ensure that they only mention those hobbies or extracurricular activities which they actually do or are genuinely interested in. Panellists, typically look for candidates who have accomplished some level of expertise or achieved some level of achievement in these activities, as it showcases their seriousness about things which are beyond their formal work-life.
Similarly, panellists will also quiz you about your industry experience and assess your achievements at workplace. These will help them understand if you were really engaged at the work place and also give them a glimpse about the subject matter knowledge that you possess.
Preparing for the one-year MBA programme
IIM Calcutta considers GMAT score to screen students for the PGPEX or the One Year MBA programme. The GMAT exam consists of the following key sections or the type of questions i.e.
The knowledge aspect that is covered in the GMAT exam is not of high difficulty level, which means that candidates don’t need to study anything new to crack the entrance exam. However, what the test requires is regular and extensive practice and brushing up on the different concepts that students would have studied at elementary level. As a prospective candidate who is appearing for GMAT to secure admission to PGPEX programme, the prime emphasis should lay upon practice. Candidates should try and increase their speed and accuracy through regular practice in order to clear the GMAT exam. One advantage that candidates have with GMAT is that the exam is held more than once a year. This gives candidates an opportunity to improve their score by reappearing for the GMAT.
For Personal Interview, in addition to the aspects that we have discussed before, candidates can opt to do a few mock interviews with their peers or through a coaching institute. This will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and brush-up your weak areas. But in general, if candidates possess good antecedents and stay true to themselves, they can easily crack the interviews.
Opportunities after One Year MBA Programme
There are, typically, three kinds of career paths or career aspirations that participants can fulfil after completing the One Year MBA programme.
Career Advancement: This path is for candidates who want to continue on or in the same career path as they were prior to the programme. For such students, the PGPEX programme will help them to transition to senior management roles within the same industry.
Career Change: PGPEX or the One Year MBA programme also opens up several opportunities for candidates who want to change their industry after the completing the course. Candidates who are trying to change their careers will find it difficult to convince their recruiters that they are ready to join a senior management role in a completely new industry. However, PGPEX programme grooms, prepares and helps such candidates’ switchover to new industry and career roles. This is done by helping the participants undertake certain projects related to the industry they want to move to or by asking an institute alumnus to facilitate and mentor the career transition process.
Entrepreneurship: The One Year MBA programme also helps candidates who harbour entrepreneurship dreams to star their own venture. The thriving incubator and entrepreneurship centre at IIM Calcutta helps them not only to work with start-up firms but also helps them learn from other entrepreneurs. It also provides a very fertile networking ground for such participants.
About the Expert:
Prof. Amit Dhiman is part of the Faculty - Human Resource Management Group, IIM Calcutta. Currently, he also chairs the PGPEX or the One Year MBA Programme at the B-school. He teaches a variety of courses and programmes at the B-school including Human Resource Management; Human Resource Management and Labour Laws; Strategic Human Resource Management in Services. His research interests lie on topics such as Performance Appraisals – role of Politics, Strategic HRM, HR flexibility, Accountability in decision making and evolving challenges in management education.