It was one of those regular days at the ISB Hyderabad Campus, with classes and activities going on in full gusto. After a lot of running here and there, The BootCamp Team finally caught up with Arijit Bansal, the President of the Marketing Club, ISB Co 2017, who has previously had Marketing Research experience for nearly six years, for a quick tete-a-tete. Here are some excerpts from the interview


Can you tell us a bit about the Marketing Club here at ISB

Each club has its set responsibilities, which can be broadly demarcated into Learning & Development and Careers. In terms of L&D, it is about the overall awareness in the marketing domain. Usually people come with a notion that marketing is advertising- because that’s the front facing idea. The idea of marketing club is to enlighten people about the various streams in marketing – sales, communication, research, Business Development, digital, social media etc. Keeping people abreast about the latest developments and trends in the industry is a major task. How do you do it? By bringing speakers from outside, sessions by batch mates with relevant work ex, preparing calendars and events for the same.
In terms of Career, the Club also helps in preparing students for interviews, conducting resume reviews and planning industry trips. A lot of industry interaction is assisted by students who hail from different companies. Contacts are utilized. And this helps in discovering a new untouched area. For example, this year our club has got Nielson to do the Marketing Research workshop. Facebook does the Social media analytics workshop.

What’s the Club Election Process like?

We have to send out our manifestos which will be converted to soapboxes. You will be given a chance to pitch. If you want to become a club core member, you need to have credentials. You need to prove your capability to make people understand that you can guide them and help them with the Marketing stuff. Consulting club has 400 people and Marketing and Business Technology have around 250. This year, there were just 2 nominations for President. Once the Vice President and President are elected, they send out invitations for roles. People send out Expression of Interest and then they are selected.

Generally, in a cut throat world  like ISB,  how much does holding club positions have the potential to impact academics?

Well it’s the case of you win some, you lose some. Academics do get impacted. While people would be doing their assignments, you would be preparing events or leading some other event. Once you become a president, you get a chance to create your team. Create a better team, so that there is no slack in the team efforts and you balance the academics. It is not a position of authority but a position of responsibility. So while there are chances of maintaining that fine balance betweeen academics and  extracurriculars, there is equally a chance that you might slack somewhere.

Can you throw some light on the Elective Process and the Study Groups at ISB?

Everyone gets 4500 points to select their elective. Marketing is the highest bid stream in electives.Consumer Behavior is bought for 1200 points. Students have to plan smartly. If they buy the most sought after bid, then to compensate for the rest of the electives, they either end up taking forgettable electives or 8 am classes. 2 pm classes are the most coveted classes with the highest bid. Electives are accommodated based on indicative bidding. Total 350 seats and 350 bidding. Some time people end up not doing Indicative bidding. That’s how the bid price gets increased. Marketing club does a lot of campaigning about the awareness related to bidding for Consumer Behavior especially. May be 2% people don’t get the course they want. Student exchange also carries bid points. You get to go to Wharton or IE or Kellog. It clashes with placements. If you go in term 6, you should get placed on Day 1. If you go in Term 8, you might have to miss the convocation.
Study Groups are created based on diversity, work ex etc. There will be a group of 5 students. And equal participation is vital. If you are not putting efforts, the group gets biased on a few people’s ideas and the outcome isn’t as expected. Group participation impacts every member. Everyone within a group gets the same grade for the assignments and projects. First two terms’ study groups become your family for the rest of the year.

What are the differences between the ISB Mohali and the ISB Hyderabad Campus?

Well, not much actually. Both campuses get awesome professors. If you get Mohali, it’s very difficult to change to Hyderabad. ISB doesn’t want to make the difference. Generally people from north prefer  to opt for the Mohali campus. Some companies do their presentations in both the campuses and some in one and Video conferencing in the other. 2017 and 2018 placements are going to mostly  happen in Mohali and all  Hyderabad students shall be flown to Mohali by chartered private planes. Also, students aren’t allowed to disclose their Campus Name during placements as it’s against our one school two campus philosophy.

And now the big question: What’s the placement and salary trend that is going on in ISB currently. We have all seen and read official reports. But a first person account is always reliable.

Oh it has been doing phenominal. The average salary intake for students before joining is around 9.2 LPA. And the outgoing average post ISB  was 22 LPA for the last batch. So in terms of pure salary hike, ISB is world’s second highest (as stated by the FT rankings of 2016 as well). People at ISB  get placed well in extremely respected companies. Within 3 months resume workshops happen. Infact, the lowest placement salary offered last year was around 16 lpa. Below that, ISB doesn’t allow companies to visit their campus. Having said that, negotiation of your placement package matters a lot. 18 lpa has gone up to 28 lpa. Once you get your offer, you can negotiate. There will be many opportunities for leadership roles. YLPs and EEOs do much better in academics. There are a lot more leadership and consulting roles. McKinsey takes 30+ people and BCG takes 15. McKinsey also does resume reviews. But generally for consulting roles, you will require a high GPA. The average GPA of last year’s batch was around 3.4 and only 5% of the batch score more than 3.8. So you’ll have to slog really hard.
Airtel, HUL, Philips, Siemens, and many other companies visit the ISB campus for many leadership roles. There are around 70 ISB alums working globally in Siemens. And you can find such a significant number in many other reputed firms as well. So we do have a pretty strong alum base. International placements also happen. Dubai, Singapore, Africa, Amsterdam, UK, Europe – to name a few.

Can you tell us a bit about the Experential Learning Program at ISB

If you take part in an ELP, then you are bound to have made a big impact. This time, 40 companies came for offering ELP. Pepsi, Amazon, Telangana Tourism to name a few. 25th May is the club results and 27th May is the ELP. ELP has 500 credits. You have to send in your proposal for the ELP. You have the option to study 2 subjects less if you take an ELP. But it calls for a huge time commitment and Real time company work. PPOs are also possible through ELP. Also, if you want to shift your industry/function – doing an ELP and writing related research papers will definitely help.

Finally, any last words for prospective students on things to do at ISB?

It’s important to enjoy the entire process. Everything depends on how you sell yourself. You will get a chance to build a lot of credentials – in leadership, industry, clubs, sports. Utilize the immense Networking opportunities that an environment like ISB provides. And also be prepared. Class participation is a must. ISB has tied up with coursera. The courses from MOOC, it will definitely help in class participation. There is a whole solid spouse network. On a lighter note, Wine and Breweries – that’s another level of network!

Note: This article originally appeared here