For most MBA colleges, admissions – filling those seats – takes as much effort and time, as running the program the rest of the year. Colleges spend crores on digital marketing; they offer commissions of 30-40% to channels.
The easiest way to reduce this effort and cost is, of course, working to make a better institute. The IIMs, FMS, JBIMS etc do not need to do this! If you care for your students, teach them well and improve placements, students will fight to get in; not the other way around. This will take 2-3 years to show results, but these will be sustainable, long term results.
S.P Jain and SCMHRD are sterling examples, of how a private institute, through relentless focus on quality, moved into the premier league.
For some reason, if you are not able to take that long-term step, here are some quick steps. Done effectively, they will help you improve admissions, almost immediately.
1. Employability & Quality Add-Ons:
The BIG reason students join you, is to enhance their careers. ‘PLACEMENTS’ is the goal. The glossy pics, showing MNC recruiters and fancy CTCs, need to be backed by facts and actual substance.
IMPORTANT: Showcase/Highlight these Add-Ons when you write to potential recruiters. That will be a differentiator and will catch their eye.
As the Head, Campus Recruitments of a leading bank says “The difference between a T1 and T2 B-school, isn’t always the academics – it’s the additional co-curriculars, that make the student much more employable”
In a T1 B-School, at least 60-70% of the students, have a good certification on their CV. In a T2 or below, it’s 5-10% at max. It’s a surprise that the lower Tier B Schools, take less effort, to improve their profiles – though they need it more!”
‘Good’, in the context of placement, means a certification program, which actually offers the functional skills needed for the job. It needs to be recognised or endorsed by Industry. In premier MBA college CVs, the certifications of choice for Marketing students are: Google Adwords, Google SEO, Hubspot Inbound Marketing certifications. For Finance oriented students, the best ones are a CFA or FLIP. Most premier B Schools do not look at an NCFM certification, because these are basic and do not offer any training – they do not add to the functional skills of your students.
Make at least one certification (basic) in the first year – ideally, the second term – and in the second year – the third term – mandatory.
A very effective structure is, for the college to pay for the training; and the students to pay for the certification exams.
This step, implemented now, will give you a strong add-on, to showcase.
2. Incorporate a course on Placement Prep:
This should start ideally, in the first year. The frequency can be once a week. In the second year, two hours a week. What should it cover? These key things:
First: An understanding of roles and recruiter options
Next: Focus – ask them to choose say 3 roles each. To help them, arrange talks with seniors. Remember, very senior people won’t help – they need to interact with people 3-5 years up, who can help them understand the specifics of each role, plus whether it is right for them.
Third: They prepare for the role: The functional skills, the possible recruiters for that role, and keeping up to date, on the recruiters.
Fourth: Invite Regional Heads/Zonal heads from potential recruiter organisations, for talks, starting from 2nd year. As a result of actions 1-3, they will find students are asking good questions, they will automatically put in a word to their HR.
There is a lot more which can be added to this – for example, in point [c] above, the certifications can come into the ‘functional skills’ – they can be made mandatory, to clear that part of the course.
3. A strong alumni network NOW:
Most B-Schools, even the premier ones, don’t leverage their alumni network well. Spend some time, get an intern if needed – to get a database of at least the alumni, for the last two years.
Great. Now you have the three pillars you need, to make a quick difference. You have incorporated good certifications, to help placements. You have a focused, placement prep course, with industry interaction. You have the alumni network.
Use this, to spread the word! Tell the world, about the unique work you’re doing, to boost your placements. Make sure you use Quora and Pagalguy. Now, write to all your alumni and ask them, to do so on their networks and through Quora, as well. And you will see, this year itself, a boost to your admissions.
To incorporate the only recruiter recommended, placement boosting BFS certifications in your curriculum, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org