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Something…to think about!

March 27, 06 by Bharani

There has been quite a few cribs that went around about the ‘information asymmetry’ or ‘informational advantage’ exploited by some of my colleagues in ISB.

First and foremost is the Academics. Thought I don’t want to name any particular person or any particular incident, I would like to make a point on the “Transition of notes” from previous batch students to current batch. The academic curriculum in ISB is more or less same every year (It’s the same case with every institute/university in the world). So, Possessing the notes/solutions from previous batch in fact provides the person with ‘unfair’ advantage. Though this definitely hampers the learning, this serve the purpose of getting good grades! (Yes, incentives for getting good grades is high for some career-aspirants). The onus is largely on the outgoing batch to maintain the decorum. When there is no supply, demand will be automatically curbed!…But given the fact that there are some close friends who enjoy the alum-student relationship, this cannot be completely curbed…In my opinion, incoming students who will be future business leaders, should keep out of this definitely….The pressure and stakes are so high that some students go to any extent for getting good grades. Though, we have a strict ‘Honour code committee’ in ISB [wherein the punishments/penalties are very severe], it has not completely eliminated the trend…Keep in mind though that such cases are very few…but have significant impact!

Second is about placements. The general opinion is that the ex-professional relationships help in placements. For example, if a person is coming from big FMCG company, and is aiming at big 5 consulting company, then chances are that there will be alums from FMCG company who hold key positions in consulting companies. This relationships or ‘bonding’ opens the back-door for few. I don’t quite agree that this is ‘unfair’. In this case, the personal relationship is helping the student to gain a foot-hold in to the destination company. Moreover the kind of ‘acquaintance’ or ‘past relationship’ helps only as far as getting to know the insider information. There is no way a person can pass through just by ‘knowing’. Now this ‘insider information’ is extremely important [Resume tips, interview tips, job-related-info, positive word-of-mouth etc.,]. This is where the ‘networking’ ability of students play a role! But from what I have seen, this kind of pro-active networking/contacts helps big time…

This kind of bonding is strong among IITians, some top FMCG Companies, etc., For many students, who don’t have either of the above background, that ‘bondage’ does not exist. ISB will provide them with such a ‘bondage’ which they can exploit later…!

Third is about ‘insider information’ within ISB. For example, there has been stories that some people enjoy preferential treatment from CAS [Career Services wing in ISB]. The information about the arrival of some key companies or job postings circulate among the select few much in advance, where as the majority of students will know the news only one-two weeks before the deadline! This ‘lead time’ helps in getting a head-start in preparation! Here, the personal rapport with relevant personal helps…again, it can be argued that it is the initiative of the students, which is paying off!…but I wouldn’t buy that argument, as the information asymmetry shouldn’t have existed in this case atleast…

The purpose is not to take a swipe against anyone. The purpose is to convey that such situations might occur and to be prepared to handle such ‘information asymmetries’. I hope people are smart enough to handle the situations….! As far as the outgoing batch is concerned, this is what we will be dealing day-in and day-out in real life! Life…please be kind on us :)

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