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Here’s news of something that may have far-reaching consequences for the thousands of freshers who aspire to join the Indian Institutes of Management every year. A committee set up at the prestigious IIM-Bangalore to suggest improvements in the flagship two-year MBA program apparently has placed far greater emphasis on work experience. It appears the committee has suggested that candidates should have at least 22 months of work experience.

The ratio of freshers to experienced candidates in India’s graduate business schools tends to be much higher than that of top US business schools. In the US , for example, getting an admit as a fresher is very rare. Most candidates seem to have something like 5 years work experience before signing on for a MBA program.

I admit that work experience does makes a big difference in the student’s relating to the courses taught as they can tie it up with their own experiences wherever they worked. However, in my opinion work experience should not be made compulsory. The ratio of freshers to experienced candidates can be cut down but please don’t put an end to taking in freshers.  They bring to the table boundless, youthful energy and fresh thinking to the MBA class.

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