Here are the 3 exact ways to prepare students for placement interviews

As the traditional “sage on the stage” education system gives way to modern education techniques such as flipped classrooms and simulation based training, management students today are indeed a whole new breed.

The focus of teaching has shifted from knowledge to skills. Knowledge is available for free on the internet, and hence faculty are now expected to impart skills that are a combination of soft skills and technical skills.

In my view, preparing students for career progression is a continuous process that happens throughout the year.

We understand that relevant and practice oriented curriculum, pedagogy, student learning and faculty research inputs are the backbone for good management education. However, at the end of the day the most important recognition for any B-School comes from the industry which recruits from the school.

In today’s era, corporations are very clear that the environment is becoming boundary less and what they aspire is for a Global Manager. The Global exposure and learning in three different geographies makes the student emerge as a Global Manager capable of handling the dynamic business environments across the globe.

Hence, three processes we follow are:

1. Dealing with ambiguity: Often, interviewers look for the thought process that the student applies in an ambiguous situation. They look for the ability to apply the learning to an unstructured situation and often students are selected in an interview based on their potential to perform and contribute to the organization. We anticipate this. Hence, the students are trained to identify and understand the problem statement, identify alternatives, process the relevant data from points that are available, apply the principles of decision making in an analytical and scientific manner. This is done through a series of case discussions across subjects, peer learning and discussions in classroom. The simulation exercises bring the classroom quite close to the real world.

2. Attitude over competence: Very often, we hear from recruiters that right attitude comprises; self discipline, resourcefulness, time management, etc. Recruiters place a higher emphasis on attitude, because competence is a matter of training. The right value system is the key. We also share with our students that low authority and high influence or in other words ability to influence without power is one quality that companies look for.

Attitude could often be summed up as the willingness to learn - discipline- flexibility - integrity and leadership.

3. Practical insights: Students are required to reflect upon their past experience and understand their fitment into the industry after their MBA program. This requires a lot of interaction with the mentors – faulty and Industry. There are a series of guest sessions planned to enlighten the participants with the various needs and challenges in the Industry. Once they understand the areas where they are interested/ can contribute they start working on the gaps through projects / assignments / working papers etc to equip themselves adequately before the interviews”.

Over and above all this, in each subject, the student is part of a group designed to maximise diversity along many dimensions –organization/ sectors/roles/domains and specialisation. They learn how to share ideas, to question, to challenge, to negotiate, to encourage, to support and above all, to listen to each other. Professors use these groups for class assignments and discussions to enhance the learning. Our students also have the natural ability to communicate effectively with multiple cultures and this increases their confidence dramatically.

(The article is authored by Indu Niranjan, Dean MBA (Global) & Associate Professor Finance, S P Jain School of Global Management)

(Image: Indiatimes)

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