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How can one procure the application form for the various
programs offered by your institute? What are the application
The reply is with specific reference to PGDM (Equivalent to MBA)
course. The application forms are available from select branches
of SBI all over the country. These are also available from the
institute counter at Mumbai (Andheri campus). Application forms
can also be downloaded from the website. The details for the
current year are as under:
1. Sale of forms from 30/8/01 to 15/12/01
2. Last date of submission: 21/12/01
3. CAT examination: 9/12/01
Please explain the various stages in
admission process for each of the programs offered by you. (e.g.
test, interview, group discussions etc).
The various stages are as under:
1. The form is to be filled in & submitted to the institute
along with CAT Registration number.
2. The candidate is to write the CAT examination.
3. There is a shortlisting process at the institute that
comprises various parameters including past academic records,
CAT score, the qualitative evaluation of the SPJIMR form
submitted & the work experience.
4. The shortlisted candidates are called for a process of
group-interview at select centers all over the country.
5. Depending on the performance in the interview as well as the
parameters mentioned at item 3 above the merit list is drawn and
1st merit list is brought out.
6. Depending on withdrawal situation the second merit list is
What is the most important stage /
aspect of the entire process (with maximum weightage)?
All stages are equally important. The weightages vary from year
to year and also across specializations.
What are the skills /qualities you want
to test during exam, interview and GD?
Written Test: The CAT examination normally looks
at the analytical ability & speed of the candidate for problem
Interview: At SPJIMR we do not have a separate GD. This
is included in the process of group interview where a panel
member comprising of 5-6 experts interview 5-6 candidates at a
time. This is unique to SPJIMR. Normally the aspects that are
looked into are maturity, character (including value-system),
and communication skills.
How do you ensure the diversity of the
As the admission is purely merit-based, by itself, it ensures
diversity in terms of geographical dispersion, gender,
educational qualification (engineer vs non-engineer, arts &
commerce vs science, different professional qualifications like
architecture, CA, ICWA, etc.). Every year the class composition
is highly diversified in nature & its composition.
Are engineers more preferred over
Is there a separate cut-off for
engineers and non-engineers? Do you evaluate the two types of
No. There is no separate evaluation norm based on any specific
qualification including the engineers.
How important are grades in the
The past academic records play some role in the selection
process. But as stated earlier, the composite index comprises
several parameters & therefore, any shortcoming in any respect
may be compensated by better performance in other areas. We have
several such instances at the institute.
How do you take an applicant's
undergraduate alma mater into consideration?
The credibility of the alma mater is an important issue. But it
is integrated in the academic performance & hence constitutes a
portion of the overall index.
How important is work experience for
Work experience is a part of the overall index. There is no
special preference for the same. For last 3 years the overall
composition of the class has been almost an equal mix of
population that has experience and those without having any
What kind of work experience is
The work experience should be relevant to the specialization
sought by the candidate. For instance, for admission to
Information Management specialization, software experience may
be considered as relevant, and so on.
What is the school's ideal amount of
There is nothing called "ideal" work experience. As sated
earlier, work experience is not insisted and is one of the
Are applicants with one year of work
experience evaluated differently than candidates with five years
under their belts?
Yes. Weightages could be different. The parameters could vary
even according to the area of specialization. For example, for
FMCG or Bank, experience is not needed. On the contrary, for
consulting companies experience does matter. All these issues /
factors are taken into consideration while factoring in
experience as criteria.
How much professional experience is too
much? Is a candidate, say, with 12 years of work experience
going to fit into the program?
There is nothing called "too much" or "too less" experience. It
varies from case to case. We decide the cases of admission on
What kinds of questions can an
interviewee expect to hear during an interview?
Mostly personal, experiential, or situational
What attributes are you looking for
when you interview candidates?
As stated earlier, in interview process normally the aspects
that are looked into are maturity, character (including
value-system), and communication skills.
How long do your interviews last?
40-45 minutes for the group interview
Is a long interview better than a short
There can not be any optimum timing for an interview process.
There should be adequate time both for the interviewer /
interviewee to understand each other.
As stated earlier, at SPJIMR we do not have the concept of group
discussion. The methodology we follow is what is known as "group
interview" wherein the panel of interviewers looks at 5-6
candidates at a time. This may be called an alternative
mechanism of group discussion as the participants are often
asked to give their views on the same topic.
How many applicants are placed on wait
list? And how many eventually make it off?
It depends from year to year.
Ultimately, what is it that separates
accepted applicants from the wait listed and denied folks?
As described earlier, the merit list once drawn is final.
Depending on the dropouts the persons from the waitlist are
given offers. There is no other differentiating factor between
the two groups.
How can applicants show you and your
staff that they're a good match for the program?
The system at SPJIMR is open, transparent & merit-based. The
system has also been described earlier. There is nothing more to
What's the worst thing an applicant can
do during the selection process?
No specific comments. We do not think there is anything like
doing worst. Students always try to put in their best efforts.
However, it is a matter of competitive situation and merit is
always a relative concept. One should try to project one's true
Applicants should apply to your program if they're interested
in... becoming good managers with practical relevance, change
agents in their respective companies, and finally good corporate
And on the other side of the coin?
MBA candidates should not apply to your program if they're
interested...in pursuing MBA for the sake of it.
Well, what characteristics is the
B-school looking for?
We are looking for good, bright young persons with good
value-system & initiative having potential to become leaders in
Which aspect of the application should an
applicant be most concerned with to make himself / herself a
Attitude towards life with particular reference to value system