Careers360 held an MBA Tour 2022 to help postgraduate management students choose the best B-School. As part of the Careers360 virtual ‘Best MBA Tour, directors, admission counselors, industry experts, and alumni of top B-schools in India answered all the queries and questions asked by students regarding admissions in right B-schools. Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM) was the “In focus” institute on the exclusive webinar held by Careers360 on February 1.
In the interaction with Careers360, Dr Manmohan Yadav (Dean IIFM), Mr Santosh Singh (Alumnus), and Dr Advait Edgaonkar (Assistant Professor, IIFM), addressed students' queries on Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal admission process, placements, selection criteria, cutoffs, scholarships, campus life and more. Read the entire article to know all about IIFM Bhopal and check the entire session here.
Talking about what kind of students should choose institutions like IIFM Bhopal as their B-School, Mr Santosh Singh said, "Graduates from IIFM have bagged jobs in fields like banking, activism and other non-traditional career paths. Students who can get the maximum out of the programmes at Indian Institute of Forest Management are the ones who think they want to look at the cutting edge solutions of emerging issues that are going to save the future. We are talking about businesses that not only produce money but also look at other dimensions too. Visionary students would benefit a lot from courses offered at the institute."
"This is the reason why a lot of IIFM graduates choose a non-traditional career path and become entrepreneurs because of their vision. As the institute provides them with a very unique set of skill sets and combination of empathy and interaction with very different states of society." he said.
"Students with intellectual curiosity can apply for admission to IIFM, as the discourse in the institute is diverse and students can position themselves as someone who is shaping the agenda," Mr Singh added.
Quick Link: IIFM Bhopal Courses and Fees
Regarding the job profiles offered to graduate students from the institute, Mr Singh said, "As a recruiter I know where IIFM graduates fit in. Any job that requires rural understanding, different kinds of nuances of society like social and environmental angles, IIFM graduates get straight entry. The job role can be of a manager, assistant manager, etc. For example - if we talk of rural banking, students from IIFM would be a better fit for this job role. Talking about other companies that recruit from the institute require skills which are more towards understanding the wider ecosystem better. So students can also be seen in positions like CSR role, community engagement role, consulting role, etc."
Dean of IIFM, Dr Manmohan Yadav said, "When students join a bank, they are not just going as a financial issues expert, they join that organization with more exposure in terms other things like how a rural customer is different from urban customer, etc. If they join a microfinance company they have an in-depth understanding of the rural economy and they understand the nitty gritty of what is required of them."
Also read: IIFM Bhopal Admission
Regarding project or a part of the course curriculum that makes students go to rural India, to understand empathy, Mr Santosh Singh said that as a part of the course curriculum there are three important components that help us to understand empathy and how to deal with situations.
2 summer training
"In the field work component students are made to spend 1 month on the ground to understand the problems faced by the people. And as part of their summer training they are made to spend time in an institution where they are first made to experience the problem and then solve it," he said.
Dr Manmohan Yadav said, "In the field work at KeyStone organization in Tamil Nadu students learn how NGOs work, tribals work, their lifestyle, the value chain that the NGO creates for their products. Students spend 2 to 3 weeks with these NGOs to learn how they work with people. They get exposure to socio-economic dependence of people on forests, agriculture and various other sectors of the rural economy. This gives the students a real interface between the planet, business and society."
Talking about the weightage of CAT/ XAT scores in the admission process, Dr Yadav said, "We use the CAT/ XAT entrance exam scores as one of the criteria for admission in our overall selection process. But we tend to focus more on the aptitude of the student for the programme they are applying for. So even if someone has a slightly lower score but has excellent aptitude for this sector we prefer that student."
Discussing about the Forest Management and the new Sustainable Management courses, the Dean said," The Sustainable Management course is a new programme at the institute. It is not well known among the potential aspirants. It also does not have the kind of alumni base the IIFM PGDFM course has i.e. 1650 alumni. The IIFM PGDSM program was started 3 years back. So initially students preferred the Forest Management course over the Sustainable Management course. But now students have started showing interest in the PGDSM program too because of the information out reach about it. In times to come we think Sustainable Management will also become a main steam programme."
Regarding gender diversity at the institute, Dr Yadav said, "At Indian Institute of Forest Management we have students from more than 20 states from around the country. And there are around 35% female students in every course at the institute."
See also: IIFM Bhopal Placement
Discussing the scholarships, Dr Manmohan Yadav said, "The institute has one scholarship for reserved category students. We are also listed among the top 100 plus institutions of higher education, where SC/ ST students get scholarships from their respective ministries. So their complete tuition fee and hostel expenses are covered. They are also given digital devices also. For other students we have a monthly scholarship of Rs. 5000 and about 20% to 25% students qualify for this too. Earlier this was based on merit, but now its more merit-cum-means basis criteria."
Talking about the hostel facilities, he said, "The institute provides accommodation facilities to all students. Under residential courses in campus accommodation is compulsory, even for local students."
Other related information: IIFM Bhopal Facilities
Regarding the students life at the institute, Dr Yadav said, "As we know that a lot of learning goes on beyond the classes. We think that students really love the IIFM campus life."
Mr Santosh Singh said: "Campus is as vibrant as it can be. The IIFM campus is meant for all kinds of people. There are a lot of things to do on the college campus. As living on campus is compulsory so you can interact with all the other students. The college hostels are really spacious, well managed and have great views. Students can do bird watching, tracking photography inside the campus."
Also read: IIFM Bhopal Reviews
Regarding the alumni meetings, the Dean said: "We hold an alumni meet every year. In fact some of them drop an email and come visit the college apart from the meet. Now the IIFM Alumni Cell has a full-fledged office."
Talking about the international collaborations, Dr Yadav said that the institute have international collaborations with various organizations and institutes. We collaborate with these institutions in terms of joint training programs, joint research projects, etc. Some of the collaborating institutions are as follows.
University of Toronto
Yale University and more.
Regarding research help in learning outcomes, Professor Advait Edgaonkar said, "Research is a means of finding out the truth about something, which can then be applied to any problem whether it be business, social, or interdisciplinary. All the systemic stuff that one does to solve a problem is what research is all about. It does not necessarily have to lead to a scientific problem, it can be a business problem also that one is trying to solve."
Regarding the geographical diversity at the institute, Mr Santosh Singh said, "Students from SCAR countries come to study at IIFM Bhopal. Also students from different parts of India come to study at the institute."
Quick Link: IIFM Bhopal Q&A
Talking about his career path, Dr Advait Edgaonkar said, "I always had an interest in wildlife, so that is why I choose a career in wildlife research. After I did my masters in PGDFM from IIFM, I joined an NGO in Gujarat looking at forestry projects. After that I educated myself from Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun and then went to University of Florida for my Ph.D. On completion of my Ph.D, I returned to India, studied leopards for a while and then moved to academics and joined Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal."
Answering the queries of a student regarding the PGDSM program, the Professor Edgaonkar said, "If you have completed your graduation, you are eligible for the IIFM PGDSM programme."
"Now what we look for in an aspirant is the aptitude for these subjects. We look at the kind of experience they have, whether formal or informal. We check the knowledge of the aspirant about sustainability and the general environment. We pay more attention to these factors rather than what percentile the candidates have in their CAT exam." the professor informed.
Regarding the education loan facility, he said, "There is a bank inside the college campus from which students can avail the education loan facility or they can get a loan from any other bank."
On being asked, "The NBA accreditation is for PGDFM and not PGDSM. What is the reason for that?" Dr Manmohan Yadav informed that the NBA accreditation can happen only when the program has run for a minimum of five years. As only 3 years have passed since the PGDSM course was introduced. So we are not eligible to apply for NBA accreditation for that course.
Students can connect with Mr Santosh Singh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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