Drop outs! Worry for IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow: Plan to focus more on stress management

Stress management in IIMs
Saturday, August 12 2017, 09:26 AM
IIMs have started availing service of good counselors who can help in minimizing the drop out rate of students at the campus in the very 1st year
There were 37 IIM dropouts earlier but this number has gone up to 104 during the 2 years period from 2014 to 2016

IIMs are desperate about the good student counselors who can help in minimizing the drop out rate of students at the campus in the very 1st year.  Not only this, many students of final year PGP who accept job offers during campus placements at IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta and Lucknow do not join the work place, causing embarrassment to the IIMs.

IIMs have now started availing the services of student counselors on contract basis to fight this menace. The recent advertisement of IIM Lucknow requiring the services of a well experienced student counselor to reduce the stress reveals this fact. 

Top IIMs following Wharton model to reduce stress
Although IIMs have no such position like Dean of Student Life fondly known as Dean of Happiness as exists at Wharton U.S.A., the top IIMs of India are consistently making an attempt to minimize the stress faced by their 1st year students of PGP batch through student counseling. 

This is despite the fact that candidates get admission after rigorous admission  process. MBA aspirants make all out efforts to prepare for the IIM entrance exam CAT and then groom themselves for writing skill and personal interview session to get admission in the top B-schools and in a few days of session commencement, many of them disappear due to stress of tough study schedule.   

While IIM Lucknow wants to fill up the vacuum with a student counselor, IIM Bangalore already has Ms. Sugami Ramesh of Apollo hospital as a part-time Counsellor. How important has become the role of counselor at IIMs can be understood by the fact that Ms. Sugami  has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology, Masters in Human Resource Management and a Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy alongwith a B.Ed. She is trained in holistic approach to Stress management and  has conducted several stress management workshops for company executives

Alarming rate of IIM drop outs
The fact lies in the increasing number of drop outs during last 2 years. There were 37 IIM dropouts earlier but this number has gone up to 104 during the 2 years period from 2014 to 2016. Most of the dropouts happen in the 1styear itself as students find it difficult to bear the stress at IIMs.  IIMs, although take you high on management education and offer the best placement seasons, but before that they stress you to the fullest of your elasticity level and offer no counseling of happiness.

IIM Alumni find 1st year stressful 
Most IIM Alumni agree to the fact that it is not the stress that would limit itself but it is you who will have to limit according to the unlimited stressful times which may encounter you now and then during the 1st year at IIMs.

Dr Raghuram Rajan, himself an IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, before joining as Governor RBI, and working as Economic Counselor and Director of Research at IMF emphasized it while delivering Convocation Address at IIM Ahmedabad, “If you survived the first term at Ahmedabad, you can survive almost anything.”

Emphasizing how stressful is the 1st year at IIM Ahmedabad than at any other top B-school in the world, Sanjeev Bhikchandani,founder and executive vice chairman of Info Edge (India) that owns Naukri.com says “Batchmates who subsequently went overseas and did a second MBA and others who did their PhD and are now teaching at business schools overseas tell me that nothing that they experienced or witnessed elsewhere compared with the intensity of competition, the work load, the effort and the sheer terror of the first term at IIM-A.”

You arrive at your dream campus full of confidence and ambition. All the 400 of your peers have the same mindset. Think of the competition that is all set to begin. Now you are isolated from your family, friends, relatives and need to face the unanticipated surprises. Sometimes you are a little relaxed and most of the times you are overloaded with work. Case Presentations come to you at the shortest notice when you are planning to have your evening out or go to movies.

IIMs need to keep their students cheerful like Wharton
There is no doubt that students will learn less if they are under stress. If Wharton can do it, IIMs can also do it.  To help its students overcome the stress and pressure of learning in MBA programme, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has appointed Dean of Student Life whose job is to keep the students happy and cheerful all through their MBA education and beyond..

University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has appointed Kembrel Jones as Dean of Happiness (Dean of Student Life), with some dofications IIMs can also make such appointments. Jones helps students according to their temperament. The result! More contributions and appreciations from happy alumni are received at Wharton.

Probably this is what is needed at IIMs in India. If a student has an exam, or has 5 different interviews on a single day with 5 different consulting firms, these are Champagne problems according to Jones and he specifically points to the bottle to find the solution. One of the many lessons that Dean of Happiness imparts to the almost 1,700 students at Wharton is to lighten things up at the historically serious B school.

According to Jones “At Wharton, when you get up in the morning and you think you’re going to have a bad day, think about why”. Sure the thought could turn the bad day into not such a bad day if not a very good day. The elite business schools like IIMs need ‘a Jones on staff’ and should devote administrative resources to cultivate loyalty among MBAs.

IIMs have to find out the appropriate faculty who can become the biggest fan of their MBA students and the Faculty of Student Happiness at IIMs should be capable to create the interactive learning environment conducive for the students and the IIM alike to carve a place in the hearts of the students and a hole in their wallets once they become alumni.

Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more updates on IIMs

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