Life @ AIM - K


INFerNO 2006 - 07

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Placement 07: An articulated Report

3rd December came and passed silently and very few people knew it happened in the wake of examination starting next day and grand celebration held the other day (11 1C1C1). No, no, no, no, I am not talking about that certain date of the month. Grand celebration!!! Is it creating any echo in your head? Guess What? It was our much hyped, put into high energy jubilation when more than 2 dozen people celebrated their placement party together in the BBC court, at the same event it was made public that ‘eye-to-eye-contact-type-events’ do happen in AIM. Yeah! You guessed right I am talking about ‘THE BULLS DAY’. But, regrettably the anniversary of “Bulls Day” was not remembered at all. There are many legends in AIM; some forgotten some still in practice. The “eye-contact” was in everybody’s memory throughout the year but…The question is – “Was that really as forgettable as many people declared that Bull Day should be remembered as Black Day, Ask those who are still there, and ask those who are eager to recruit from this institution this year again.

Well that’s must be because of the whole placements this year is in a kind of Bulls mood at least if we see the story till now. So what’s I am going to show you in one or two paragraphs below is nothing but a revelation that something quite basic have changed in the students attitude towards placements. This could be observed by the way students rejected on of the leading insurance major at the campus. I mean look at the brand value, it was no 1 in its field; if you are rejecting no 1 what’s left.

Change started even before placement procedure was actually started (preparation of placement brochure etc.) our Placement coordinators announced publicly (In a batch meeting, LH2) that they will put demand in front of companies about certain package and will not entertain lower than a certain level. This was never happened in the AIMK history.

Now, they have advantageously handled the situation and the average salary is almost double than that at same date previous year; But, What Next? How much it’s possible to keep up with this. One thing is sure, student’s expectations are really high now and they are getting up to their expectations. So, why we will lay red carpet those who are not taking us as equal as others nonetheless quality is better: just because of brand name?

The next generation of the institute is also in get-up-and-go mood. One student from MBA10 opines, “With such a big brand of army we are in a better position to sell ourselves and do negotiations. We are getting anything less; be it package or profile; then only reason behind it is are underestimating ourselves.”

But is it so easy. Easy is to say it. Are we putting our effort to making it a big brand; as big as the army itself? Even Army is not considering AIMK in that sense. Example, VT courses have been closed and fresh alliances have been prepared with IIMs to train officers about tricks of management.

So who are the heroes? Who is taking it ahead?

Undoubtedly, Avinash Dubey and Shuchi Monga, ask their daily routine! It’s almost a full time job. No placement officer at the campus. Definitely, students themselves play a major role in the placement process at any B-School; but, they don’t operate as placement officers. Watch out for student’s partaking in various activities in and out site the institute; they are attracting VPs of a company in the midst of the crowd. Yeah it’s happening! They are creating brand.

Brand equity

Well known business schools are reinventing their brands to make themselves more attractive to students, reports Steve Coomber

If brands influence which car we choose, why not which MBA programme? In increasingly competitive times, business schools in the education market need to communicate the values that make them different. Branding is a fundamental way of doing so. A clearly defined brand can be the difference between a candidate considering a school’s programme or dismissing it.

“To maintain stature and grow without losing quality, the premium universities must distinguish their business offerings as brands whose values uniquely travel in elite global circles,” says Mark Linder, global client leader at WPP, the worldwide advertising and marketing services.

The Business of Branding 2005 report carried out by CarringtonCrisp and the Association of Business Schools, found that half the business schools studied had rebranded in the past five years. Linder, for example, is currently involved with a branding exercise at the Judge Business School at Cambridge.

Clint Evans, marketing director at Henley Management College, says: “Brand is about purpose, positioning, personality, perception management, and promise. It’s what you stand for and aspire to be at a given moment in time.”

But do prospective students notice the brand and does it affect their choice? Student surveys show that rankings are the critical factor when choosing an MBA programme.

At Cranfield School of Management, which is engaged in a programme redesign and branding rethink, a survey of students last year revealed that rankings were the most influential factor, followed by reputation and recommendation — no mention of brand.

There is, however, a strong connection between branding, reputation and rankings. Brand helps to build reputation — providing it is authentic. In the Branding 2005 report, of 9,000 UK business school alumni surveyed, 62 per cent chose their schools on reputation. And brand and reputation feed into the rankings.

At Esade, it is surely no coincidence that a strategic reshaping of the Spanish school’s internal programmes, coupled with a branding relaunch, was followed by a sharp climb up the various international rankings.

If students do not pay attention to brand when drawing up a business school shortlist, then they should. A business school’s brand can make a real difference where it counts — in the pocket.

“Think of it from the student’s point of view and what they are buying,” Evans says. “Yes, it’s a qualification but the value of that piece of paper and those initials is only as good as the continuing brand value and reputation of the business school. The students are investors in the school, and expect a return on their investment over many years.”

With so many schools reinventing their brands, students must be careful to look beneath the veneer. Rebranding must be coupled with strategic change. New logos should be accompanied by programme alterations that reflect a change in identity. There should not be a lack of connection between what the school does and how it presents itself.

Wally Olins, co-founder of Wolff Olins, the brand consultant, advises: “If you are going to change the brand, you have to have a change which is recognised internally so people can see that the external change represents an internal dynamic, and that it is not just superficial nonsense.”

©THE TIMES, LONDON



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