IFIM Business School has observed that “targeting the real career should be a perfect blend of the aspirations of an individual in terms of what s/he wants ‘to do’ along with what s/he wants ‘to be’”.
Generally, preference is accorded to what somebody wants “to do” in life - Eg.to become a stockbroker, or an entrepreneur etc. However, the real career target should also aim to dream about what somebody wants “to be” in life. These choices can be influenced by factors such as financial security, social status, fulfilment, power, family, happiness, peace etc.
Therefore, to reach a more holistic career fulfilment and to prepare management graduates for this, a new systematic mentoring approach has been introduced at IFIM. The following diagram depicts the overall road map which consists of a set of interventions.
The Road Map of OLL, Mentoring and Career Targeting
These changing times need flexible and adaptive measures which are responsive to the growing needs of the society. The existing models of Management Education in India are often deemed out-dated, rigid and out of sync with a rapidly changing world.
IFIM Business School’s integrated approach to Outbound Leadership Lab, Purposing and Mentoring is one of these steps towards the direction of tackling the quality of education as a new age management institution in India
The process of mentoring is integrated with various sub-activities and specified learning outcomes. Outcomes for each phase are designed in line with the two-year PGDM program goals. The entire program is spread over two years of continuous learning, grooming and mentoring of students, eventually leading to better career choices and placements as well as a mature transition into with the corporate world.
This stage is conducted as an out bound leadership lab in an off-campus destination.
The experiential stage aims to help students develop an ‘Individual Development Plan’ through experiential outbound activities and psychometric diagnosis leading to developing of self-transformational initiatives.
Students are encouraged to conceptualize a clear self-concept of ‘WHO AM I’ and ‘AM I A LEADER’ in the context of required behavioural skills. Students with a set of experts will identify their individual developmental needs and create a leadership plan for themselves.
This has two stages:
This stage results in
During this stage students are encouraged to create a Statement of Purpose (SOP). By answering the “to do” and “to be” question they are guided to choose the right career track.
Developing a career path to achieve one’s purpose helps in (1) Identifying constraints and hurdles in the path (2) Discovering ways to work around such constraints and hurdles (3) Aligning expectations with the ultimate purpose (4) Building an organic/inorganic path to achieve one’s purpose. During the creation of the SOP, students will be assigned group wise mentors to guide them through the process.
World economic dynamics make it imperative for the institutions to keep pace with the changes to produce capable and readily deployable professionals. The Indian management education system faces multiple challenges on this account. There is still a large gap between graduates' skill set and industry requirements as experts feel that many students lack important skills like analytical thinking, creative problem solving, decision making, and team performance.
Therefore, companies are not able to efficiently utilize their resources as significant time and effort are spent in training fresh recruits. The need of the hour is to bridge the gap between corporate expectations and student expectations as well as skill sets.
The effectiveness of mentoring is recognized across the globe as a powerful tool of human resource development. IFIM Business School's corporate mentoring approach is a step towards this direction. The objective of the Mentoring Program at IFIM is to enable mentors to prepare their mentees for professional careers and assist them with their workplace skills development.
The focus of the mentorship is to help students develop a vision and mission for themselves for their personal and career achievements that they wish to target and also to lay down a clear path as to how they are going to achieve the same.
Mentoring is a unique and effective tool for personal and leadership development. Therefore, group wise mentors would be assigned to a team of 10 with mentoring sessions at specific intervals. During this process Leadership learning lab may offer formal training based on identified behavioural gaps in Stage 2.
The focus of the mentorship is to help students develop a vision and mission for themselves for their personal and career achievements that they wish to target and also to lay down a clear path as to how they are going to achieve the same. In brief, the mentorship program should help lay down:
While the Career Target could be long term, the immediate goals should focus on what type of industry the mentee wants to start with and what achievements one should look for in a 3-5 years’ timeframe.
Building a career path to achieve one’s purpose helps in:
Students will have the option to participate in detail, special/short-term assignments, projects, and other creative activities to expose themselves to challenges or otherwise expand their capacity to serve.
This stage results in:
For the first time ever, the Outbound Leadership Lab successfully completed the OLL in a distant place (VBU Campus).
For the 2019- 21 Batch it was held at Karjat. Students in 5 batches participated in the outbound leadership program. All batches travelled from Bangalore to Karjat, and underwent a three - day program including Leadership and Team building activities carried out by trainers.
The batch was taken to the Kothaligad Fort for a monsoon trek. In the evening, a talent hunt was organized followed by a Bonfire and musical night. This leadership program also included a psychometric test for the students followed by sports competition.
OLL was integrated with Purposing and Mentoring. Profiling of students were done based on the inputs.
The feedback of the OLL program was excellent ( Ranging from 3.75 to 4.5 out of 5).
Mentoring progressing as per schedule with active involvement of corporate and academic mentors. Most of the group completed, 6 mentoring sessions.
The Committee prepared a template to add to the student profile inputs from the mentoring sessions. Students created their story lines about the I will statements and these are being updated on social platforms.
Mock Group Discussion and Personal Interview (GDPI) is another touchpoint with industry that helps our students make the transition of campus to corporate. All students are mandated to go through four rounds of GDPI over a period of two to three months, as a part of their preparation for internship and final placement.
During the GDPI process senior leaders from corporates are invited. Corporate leaders and our own faculty members form panels to conduct GDPI for a set of 16 students each. A real life GDPI environment is simulated during this exercise.
These are occasions when institute gets to evaluate job readiness of our students and to assess how much the students have progressed in their ability to understand a topic, articulate it, and make their presence felt in a group. There are also tests of their basic understanding of core subjects.
Students too look forward to this process to reflect on their preparation and identify the gaps they need to work on. Tips from corporate leadership helps them to understand the contemporary best practices in business management and refresh their basic knowledge of the environment we live in.
An internal study of IFIM reveals a significantly high positive correlation between the performance in mock GDPI process and the candidates’ actual performance in real interview for internship and final placement. Students are found to make gradual improvement in their GDPI performance as they progress through various rounds of mock GDPI.
Highly appreciated by the industry as well as our own students for the impact it creates, the IIP program of IFIM won the silver award under the category ‘Effective Industry-Institute Engagement’ at Indian Management Conclave (IMC), 2013.
IFIM continuously connects its students with the corporate world throughout their lifecycle in the institute till they enter the corporate portal.
At IFIM, corporate connect is an integral part of the learning pedagogy. This is enabled through a number of interventions during the full term of the students as described in the figure below.
This is where IFIM has brought a paradigm shift in addressing corporate connect initiatives. As opposed to the usually prevalent ‘mela-model’, industry internship model at IFIM is deeply rooted in continuous engagement that guarantees the best fit of candidates and job aspirations, contributing to greater stakeholder satisfaction.
IFIM enjoys 100% IIP placement year on year within a quarter of starting the process, with all the marquee brands visiting the campus.
Prominent recruiters include: Oracle, Infosys, Biocon, Cognizant, Salesforce, HGS, Thompson Reuters, Wipro, Dell, Schindler, Schneider Electric, Deloitte, Bosch, Nestle, PwC, Amazon, HDFC, Federal Bank, Morgan Stanley, EXL, Philips, Kellogg’s, DHL, GSK, FEDEX, Honeywell, ITC Infotech, Mindtree, Colgate Palmolive, Edelweiss, Reliance Industries, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Moody’s Analytics, LinkedIn, amongst others.
IFIM has taken a few path breaking initiatives to reach out to new technology companies to build deep engagement with them through collaborative solution building for complex problem in shared economy and platform business domains.
The IIP is an integral part of the academic curriculum of the PGDM programme, facilitates a calibrated graduation of students into professionals while offering a superior JD-Candidate fit.
The overall objective of the IIP is to provide a ‘transitioning bridge’ between theory and practice for students by enabling them to ‘learn by doing’. The IIP is also a Capstone Program aligned to the Mission of the School. The GLGs and their specific learning objectives (LOs) are inbuilt into the evaluation process as measurable goals to track the students’ performance over the tenor of internship.
IIP Bridge Course with Corporates
IIP is a carefully crafted work-based learning initiative, to bridge the gap between the skilled manpower requirements in corporates and knowledge and skills of students, through a series of structured interventions that enable students gain invaluable insights and exposure to the industry. This four-and-a-half month long IIP is placed in the last term of the program. Each student works in an organization for a duration of 4.5 months, under the guidance of a corporate mentor and a faculty mentor. Student get to understand the real work environment and corporate expectations.
Mentorship Orientation Program
Many IFIM students are offered pre-placement offers by the companies they interned with, for their performance during the Internship. This program has been extremely successful with 50% of our students converting the Industry internship into Pre-placement offers as against the existing industry norm of 5 – 10% in India. This program is also dual mentored by the institute faculty and industry mentor resulting in an engagement at the intersection of academics and practice.
Fig: Process Flow of IIP Program