Tips Before Entering a B-School

 

Tips Before Entering a B-School

As most of the B-Schools would be beginning soon, you will find yourself amidst the hustle and bustle of placements and academics. There will be times when you will find yourself too full with tons of work in hand. However, here are a few things I have listed down from my experience of 2 years that you should do before your B-School starts or even in the first few weeks when you have inductions and workload is relatively low.

  1. Learning Excel - 
    For those of you who have seldom used Excel, it is the right time to get hands-on with this application. Not only it is useful in B-School, but for a whole lot of things including your summer internships and even carrying forward to your jobs.

    The important thing to note here is that many of you might be thinking I know how to use excel !!! But there is a difference between using it and using it smartly. Almost all the regular functions you do using clicks can be performed using keyboard shortcut keys. Know how these are done and in the long run, even these small savings in time will help you be ahead of your batchmates.

    Photo by Lukas from Pexels

  2. Creating PowerPoint Presentations - 
    Again PowerPoint is software that people have been using for ages. But in B-School it works differently. You need to learn how to create effective presentations. Only creating one would not suffice. And this is especially true when you create one for Corporate Competitions. The effective is your ppt (especially using every nook and corner of a slide without making it look clumsy) the greater are your chances of reaching to the higher levels !!!

  3. Building Network & Profile on LinkedIn - 
    LinkedIn is going to work as the official point for building up networks and knowing top-level people from your domains, connecting with peers, and a whole host of other professional activities. Hence, it is very important to build networks as well as your profile on the platform.

    However, there are few points to be noted. The creation of a network should be an increase in quality and not volume. Just don't start adding every other person or peer you see in the network. That would be of no use. Also, don't add every subject or everything you have done. Add only things such as certifications that would add value and especially those which you have done from your preferred domain.

    Remember many recruiters do go through your profiles as the first point of scrutiny apart from CV. So it should be attractive enough to them to think of you as an eligible candidate for the company.

  4. Maintaining Contacts with your Ex-Professors and Ex-Managers - 
    Once the process of CV preparation sets in the placement committees would be asking you for verification from the appropriate authorities for every single point you mention in the CV. Then be it any competition you have won in the undergrad or any award you might have received at your workplace.

    And the deadlines will be short (sometimes just a day or two !!!). Hence, you just cannot ask the said authorities at the end moment to verify your emails and if anything is left out you would be in trouble. For this reason, it is better to maintain good relations and also give them a heads up that you might send some emails asking for verification. 

    A better way to do would be to actually jot down everything you have done since 10th in word or excel and write the name of the person and contact details whom you would be sending the email for verification. This will help you at the nth hour when you actually need the same and would not be needing to find who was the person who would verify a particular point.
  5. Getting into preferred domain - 
    There are few important things that you should do to get into the domain of your choice. These include reading some books, completing few certifications, etc. This can not only help you tell a lot about your dream domain but also help you in cracking an interview for a company from the domain you wish to go into.
    [The books listed below could be read and in fact, recommended to be read by everyone since many times internship placements are random]

    • Consulting - 
      For Consulting I would highly recommend going for - 

             

      These are 2 excellent books and will give you a thorough understanding of how to crack case interviews for your summers as well as finals. (NOTE - All images are links you can click to directly be redirected to Amazon if you want to buy any of them)

    • Product Management - 
      Prod Man as it is generally called is currently a field that is one of the most demanded in the market. And let me also tell you unlike many who have a misconception - "There is no coding involved in this and neither is extensive knowledge of the same needed. And by no coding I mean you yourself won't be doing any coding."

      Following are a few of the books I would recommend for this field - 

            

      The first one gives an extensive overview of cracking PM interviews. Apart from this going through YouTube videos might also help you to know about this field. (NOTE - All images are links you can click to directly be redirected to Amazon if you want to buy any of them)

    • Finance (BFSI Sector) - 
      Finance is one role that is sought after in B-Schools. Especially profiles such as Investment Banking is one where there is a lot of competition to go into. For a person who wishes to get into this but has never read anything from the field, the following books might help - 

       

      However, in Finance Domain, merely going through these books would help you understand the basics. But to get shortlists you need to show credible evidence of your interest and knowledge in Finance which can be done through some of the certifications I have listed below - 

      1. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
      2. CMSA Certification (Get 10% Off With Coupon ADVANCEYOURCAREER) 
      3. CBCA Certification (Get 10% Off With Coupon ADVANCEYOURCAREER)
      4. FMVA Certification (Get 10% Off With Coupon ADVANCEYOURCAREER) 
      5. Financial Risk Manager (FRM)

      NOTE
      - Almost all of these certifications are costly. Hence, do plan properly before attempting. Also, it is not like you cannot get shortlists without these but these will be an asset on your CV if you are aiming for the finance domain.

    • Operations & Supply Chain -
      Most IITs and colleges such as NITIE are the place to be if you are aiming for this domain (IIMs also offer ample opportunities especially old IIMs). The companies working in Consumer products, FMCG, FMCD, etc generally pick candidates for this domain. However, an generally seen trend is that companies usually prefer candidates with work experience for supply chain roles and that makes it a disadvantage for freshers (of course there are exceptions to this as well !!!)

      For someone who is fresher or not much experienced in this domain, below are few certifications that you can do to show in CV as well as gain valuable knowledge for the same. Apart from this many colleges do a
      Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification. Do enroll and complete that.

      1. Global Procurement and Sourcing
      2. Supply Chain Planning 
      3. Supply Chain Management Strategy 
      4. Supply Chain Principles
      5. Operations Management: Analysis and Improvement Methods
      6. Introduction to Operations Management
      7. Operations Management: Strategy and Quality Management for the Digital Age

    • Sales & Marketing -
      Sales and Marketing as a domain has undergone several changes over the years. From traditional marketing, to going digital this has seen tons of changes with the rise in Internet users across the globe.

      From common roles such as Marketing Analytics, Digital Marketing, etc to even getting into niche roles such as a Brand Manager (of course over time with experience), the field offers tons of opportunities. And to people who love a front role (client-facing) sales is a field you will love to explore.


      Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash

      Now there are plenty of certifications and things that people would be doing. However, the most important learning occurs only when you actually start working in the domain. But since you need to have something in your CV, you can go in for few certifications I have listed online [These are different than the common digital marketing certifications and will help you stand out].

      1. Brand & Content Marketing
      2. Marketing Channel Functions
      3. Marketing Channel Strategy & B2B2C Routes to Market
      4. Marketing Strategy Capstone Project
      5. E-Marketing 
      6. Facebook Social Media Marketing Capstone 

      However, before these, you might need to know a few concepts in marketing and for that search and go through a crash course of Marketing Management by Kotler (this is a standard marketing book across colleges)

Lastly, I would say there might be time's especially until your summer placements when you might feel too overwhelmed due to the load of academic and placement activities. But don't worry it is common for everyone. If you feel something is too much don't hesitate to contact your seniors and ask for help. They have been through this and will definitely help you. 
 
Also, the certifications and books I have mentioned is according to my research and experiences. There might be many more beyond this and you can explore the internet for more always !!!! 
 
Wishing everyone successful 2 years at your  dream B-Schools !!!!!!!! 
 

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Comments

  1. Can you please elaborate the CV point part for someone with no work-ex...

    I can add internships, academic projects, master thesis work, PoRs, achievements, extra-curriculars, certifications, etc... (live projects if any)...
    Is there any other sort of proof required except my certificates and signed acknowledgement projects reports....? Can we add our achievements and activities from school level??

    Do you have any other suggestions to add or anything for someone without work-ex?

    Thank you so much for this post. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Subhadeep first of all apologies for the late reply. With work it becomes difficult to manage this as well.

      Coming to your CV points. I think the areas you have stated are well distributed and covered. Just ensure the points you put in are attractive and show out your versatility and uniqueness. Live projects should definitely be done by everyone. Not only do they add value to CV but also give you a much needed corporate exposure.

      Regarding proofs, every point from every section will need to be proved. This would be done by getting an email verification from the concerned authorities that whatever you have written is correct. The achievements and activities can generally be listed from your junior college i.e. 11th (at least this is what is followed at SJMSOM).

      One tip can be try adding a unique hobby if you have which can add an extra brownie point. For instance, I had added being a Level 8 local guide for Google maps with photo contributions crossing 8.5 million views. This no. became a catchy point. Try doing something like this !!

      Lastly, most welcome :) And just get inside the B-School and work really really hard to bag the top placements. The more you work hard and practice the better you will be !!!

      Delete

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