Do you want to be a Marketing Wizkid, a Finance superstar on Wall Street or an IT Geek? While you may want to defer this decision, you will get much more value from your MBA/PGDM, if you have given this question a good thought. Not only will you get more out of your studies during the 1st year of MBA, you will also land into better placements. After all, winners begin their journey early! That’s exactly the thinking behind the approach of SPJIMR Mumbai where they want every applicant to map career goals, and choose a specialization right at the application stage.
While IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Lucknow among other IIMs offer the choice of electives at the beginning of second year, SPJIMR Mumbai offers choice of two specializations at the application stage even before the students are offered admission. As a result, the clarity on the student’s management career path begins right from the first semester in the curriculum with case studies and various industry connect programs to hone the skills of future business leaders.
But before we dive into the process and the pros and cons of this unique specialization selection process, let’s find out which are the specialization areas offered and how this process helps students.
Two Specializations to Consider Right choice
SPJIMR offers specializations in Finance, Information Management, Marketing and Operations and Supply Chain. The participants are required to provide their first and second preference from the above four at the application stage itself. The process is now being considered by some of the top MBA colleges as it has proved a great success in deciding the management career goal for applicants.
Selecting two specialization preferences at the application stage means that the aspirants who are not short listed for the first preference will be considered for the second preference. The outcome of the first preference will have no bearing on the process for considering the applicant for the second preference.
Unique Approach defining the direction
Unlike many top MBA colleges who focus more on total batch size and think of electives later, SPJIMR brings clarity on career path at the outset. Explaining about the unique initiative, Prof. Bindu Kulkarni, Associate Program Head-PGDM at SPJIMR Mumbai, said “We expect aspirants to have a certain level of direction and clarity about what interests them and what they want to do in life. We think this is an integral indicator of an aspirant’s potential and development.”
A choice of specialization at the application stage at SPJIMR helps to achieve segmentation at the time of admission based on differentiated need of recruiting organizations.
Helpful to Students
Students develop a clear and sharp focus based on their academic background and skills after making a choice of specialization. Sharing about how the choice of two specializations at the application stage helps the students, Prof. Kulkarni said, “It provides a gentle nudge in the right direction for students to think deeper while applying to the program. It gets them to think about who they really are and what are they passionate about to make an informed decision. This brings in a new dimension of self-awareness which we think is something every future manager should possess.”
Flexibility to switch specialization
Taking yet another innovative step, SPJIMR provides the flexibility for students to switch specializations as well as opt for a minor specialization in the second year. It helps the student, for example, to combine a marketing major with an analytics minor. This has been well received by students and recruiters alike.
Explaining the process of how to switch the speciliazation, Prof. Kulkarni said, “It is possible to change your specialization if evidence suggests fit with the desired specialization. At the end of the first year, eligible students can apply for a switch. However they will be required to explain the reason behind this switch and justify it to a panel.”
How to Make Choice of Specialization? SPJIMR comes to help…
It is but natural for the students to get a bit confused while making a choice as they are yet to understand their strengths, potential and interest in a particular specialization.
To help the students arrive at a decision, Prof. Kulkarni says, “Each candidate is allowed to express two specialization choices, and there is fit assessment and counselling which is built into the admission process. Candidates are encouraged to read up more about topics related to their specializations. They can also think about what interests them, the initiatives they’ve taken in their professional lives and draw parallels to the various aspects of different specializations. They can also speak to people in the specific domains to get a better idea about their area of interest.”
Besides, SPJIMR offers open webinars which introduce the programs, offer guidelines on specialization fit and allow candidates to ask questions directly to senior area faculty. Adding further Prof. Kulkarni says, “We have a student admissions committee which is very active in terms of responding to queries on social media and we would encourage prospective candidates to leverage this channel. Further, if you look at aptitude tests, they will give you some sense of where your interests and proclivities lie.”
Apart from this, SPJIMR has shot a few videos to help candidates in arriving at the decision on selecting the specialization that could be of interest to them. The links for various specialization areas are –
These videos aim at helping aspirants obtain clarity about choosing specializations at SPJIMR, during the application process.
While there are many factors, the success can be attributed to three key areas at SPJIMR Mumbai: Unique teaching-learning methodology, Innovative placement approach and Profile-based student admissions. The Placements of 2018 in SPJIMR compare well with top Business Schools such as the premier IIMs and XLRI. .Read More about the innovative placement approach at SPJIMR
SPJIMR wishes to look at the candidates from a holistic perspective and not just focus on test scores. Noted for its pedagogic innovations, SPJIMR uses unique teaching-learning methodology and is moving ahead with its mission of influencing practice and promoting value-based growth.
The Profile-based student admission is a unique process that was pioneered at SPJIMR and is yielding good results.. Read More about the SPJIMR Science and Art of Attracting Bright Students
From this article, it will be clear to you that choice of two specializations at application stage at SPJIMR is an innovative approach leading to admission despite moderate CAT/XAT scores. Next few articles will discuss the academic rigor, student life at SPJIMR.
Stay tuned to MBAUniverse.com for more updates on SPJIMR Mumbai