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There's more to life than fat salaries

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March 28, 2006 12:43 IST

The placement season at management schools got over recently and the media has been blazing stories of students being offered astronomical starting salaries. A high salary coupled with an overseas posting makes it seem that you have made it in life.

It seems that these students are now conditioned to think that they are successful only if they are able to land starting salaries in dollars and offers from the likes of Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. Management schools, too, use the ever-increasing salary offers to build their brands.

Clearly, the stakes are getting higher and the already-rare breed of people who strike out on their own is shrinking. Even management institutes do not seem to be encouraging students to take that risk. They don't realise that most students who go in for regular jobs become cogs in the wheel and don't end up creating a lot of wealth.

In fact, graduates from smaller B-schools, who do not have so many opportunities, are trying to do things differently.

Most B-school graduates make good consultants or equity researchers but these brilliant students shy away from the possibility of becoming entrepreneurs or joining start-ups.

What B-schools need to do is increase their industry interface. So many professors who teach the nuances of management have not been out in industry for several years! Of the 24 months of a management degree, why not have nine months of extensive industry interaction with different types of companies in different roles?

Also, the rat race coupled with herd mentality at B-schools sometimes pushes students to blindly take up the highest paying job they can get.

B-schools need to guide students a lot more in identifying what they are good at.

It's not as if students graduating out of these institutes cannot be groomed for start-ups. The start-up environment has, in fact, never been better. B-schools need to promote a culture of risk-taking and put programmes in place to better equip their graduates to find their way in a world that does not offer the regular support system of a multinational.

Hitesh Oberoi is a co-promoter, director and COO of He graduated from IIM, Bangalore, in 1996.

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