At Stage 1:
After clearing stage 1, the candidate moves to stage 2 of the admission process, where the weights are rearranged as follows based on other parameters added.
At Stage 2:
Since the profile shortlisting is divided across many parameters, and the weights assigned differ, it is challenging but not impossible to crack IIM with low academics score. A student can get into the IIMs with low academic if he has a strong overall profile. This can be done if the candidate has worked to improve other aspects of his resume which includes:
Certifications – If a candidate has done a certification, especially in the field that is relevant to his PGDM major preference, that will give him an edge over other candidates. That will also give him relevant content to speak about in the PI round with the interviewers. At the same time, the candidate should keep in mind the relevance of the certification to the field of PGDM otherwise the candidate may appear as confused
Below are the few certifications that a candidate can take up if he is interested in taking up the field of finance:
1. Certified financial planner certification
2. Financial markets
3. Security markets
Internship – We are reiterating the relevance of the internship here as it is of prime importance. If your internship is in a field that is not relevant to the field you aspire to do PGDM in, it might be less beneficial. Internshala is a platform that might help a student to find the internship
Start-up internship – Interning with a start-up holds several benefits that are up for grabs. Start-ups provide hands-on experience and inculcate values like responsibility for your actions. The candidate gets to own the work that he does, and implementation of ideas usually takes up less time in a start-up
Internship at a big firm or an MNC – Having interned at an MNC will hold many advantages as the brand name adds value to your resume. Also, working in an MNC helps you learn values like professionalism, time management amongst many others
Community Work – Having worked at a Non-governmental organisation gives the candidate an upper age as apart from providing work experience it also provides a good reputation to the student’s profile. If in your experience with the NGO, you worked on certain campaigns and that made a significant difference in the society, it will be well received in the PI rounds and will give you an added benefit that will separate you from the different candidates. If the candidate is thinking of taking a gap year before giving the CAT exam, they can opt for working with an NGO
Work Experience in the Same Profile – Some people have done under graduation in engineering or economics honours or a course that might not relate directly to PGDM and now want to pursue PGDM. The questions posed to them in the interview rounds are mostly surrounding the change that they are seeking in the role through PGDM. To answer this, try and wrap the description of your key responsibilities at the workplace around the degree that you are trying to get
Make the profile interesting – Standing out in the crowd is what will help you nail the personal interview. The best way to build an interesting profile taking up relevant activities that you are interested in and bringing them up in an interview. For example: If you are a movie buff, you can bring up the recent superhit movie you watched in current events and talk about the revenue it earned at the box office, production cost, promotion cost, divisional structure, profit made etc. This be helpful for students, who want to crack IIM with low academics.
Ranks in Sports – We have come across people who have converted the calls through their merits earned in different sports. This can turn things around for you as well. If you hold such a rank, do highlight
Know the latest happenings – Lookout for trends in the industries that you are interested in. Reading Business news and business magazines for this purpose might help you more than you can imagine
When compared to the older IIMs, the newer IIMs give some relaxation in the academic background. While one may require moderate academics to get into old IIMs, having low scores in 10TH and 12TH standard may not be a cause to worry if the candidates want to get into IIM Kozhikode, IIM Shillong and the new IIMs. Most of the new IIMs consider work experience along with profile traits like Gender diversity.
A student from IIM-B writes that despite scoring low in his academics (below 70% in 12th and mere 80% in his 10th), he was able to crack CAT exam and get a call from IIMs. The student did not score well in Graduation as well. He completed his graduation from a regional college (got in through JEE mains). He managed to score an average of 60% marks in all semesters but volunteered at every event and took part in every possible competition. This mixed with a gazillion mocks that he gave, which strengthened his CAT score, helped him get a call from IIM with low academics. He was able to convert the IIM-B call based on his strong resume. He pursued his PGDM from IIM-B in a batch of 2018-2020. This success story is proof that with determination and the right planning anyone can crack IIM with low academics.