The SP Jain PGPM is one of the most prestigious MBA programs in India. Offered by the SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) in its Mumbai campus, the program has acquired a strong reputation over the last few years, very much in vogue with that of other prestigious one-year MBA programs for experienced professionals in India, such as the ISB PGP, IIMA PGPX, IIMB EPGP, and IIMC PGPEX. The program has one of the highest returns on investment for any similar MBA program in India, with program fee of INR 1.65 million (16.5 lakhs), and an average outgoing salary of INR 1.75 million (17.5 lakhs, including bonuses). This is much higher than the ROI offered by even the IIMs and ISB, and this is why the SP Jain application is seeing rising numbers every year.
Once you apply, your application is reviewed and examined for eligibility, leading to the selection of candidates for shortlisting. Based on the composite score derived from the complete evaluation of your profile verdict is given and the selected candidates are intimated via emails/admission portal. The rolling interview process is followed by the confirmation of admission. What students must be aware of is that the admissions are strictly on a merit basis.
Placements for the SP Jain PGPM have been robust, with top recruiters across the domains of Marketing, IT, Finance, and Operations recruiting students well before they even graduate. The SP Jain PGPM also has a strong international component, and tie-ups with prestigious global schools such as Cornell Johnson and Texas McCombs for the international component. With these elements, the program is gaining popularity every passing day, and more and more aspirants with work experience are looking at it as an option.
Through this post, we cover briefly the elements of the SP Jain PGPM application.
Application – Stage 1
In the first stage, applicants are required to submit 2 essays, of 250 words each, covering briefly their key achievements, leadership experiences, and growth points. The exact essays prompts for the SP Jain PGPM Application in Stage 1 are:
1. Please discuss the factors that have influenced the choice of your specialization at SPJIMR. [250 words]
(We are interested in understanding what your goals are and how you plan to utilize your specialization to achieve your goals. It helps us in getting to know you better)*
2. How have your education, work experience and other life experiences contributed towards your growth as an individual? [250 words]
(We want to know who you are going to be in the classroom, on campus, and as a member of the community. Apart from the factors mentioned in the question, you may want to discuss: What topics and events interest you? How will your previous experiences influence your journey at SPJIMR? What’s your personal working style and what role do you play in the groups you’re a part of? Are you the fire starter? The doer? The facilitator?)
While these essays are short and to the point, they are your opportunity to differentiate yourself in this stage. Do not simply list down myriad points without contextualizing. As SPJIMR has explained in its notes on the essay topics (in brackets above), it is interested not just in your answers, but in your underlying motivations for those answers too. The choice of specialization is an important aspect of the SPJIMR admissions process (in fact, much more than the choice of specialization in the admissions process of any other school), so showing SPJIMR your true motivation for seeking a specialization is critical. It is possible that you are changing tracks through the PGPM. It is also possible that you wish to continue on the same track. Dig deep, and find your real motivations, in 250 words!
For the second essay, it is important to focus on who you are as an individual. Go beyond awards and achievements here, and highlight truly important aspects that have shaped you. It is important to first prepare a list/matrix of events that have influenced you, and select the most important ones first. Only then put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard).
Overall, shorter word limits only put more pressure on applicants to come up with stronger responses. Give the SP Jain PGPM Application Stage 1 essays the thought and attention they deserve. After you submit your application to the SP Jain PGPM program admissions at this stage, you will be notified in 1-2 weeks on your progress to the next stage of the process, if you have been selected.
Application Stage 2
The second stage of the SP Jain PGPM Application is much more rigorous than the first. In this phase, applicants are asked to prepare an organizational chart, and then participate in an admissions interview process. This interview process focuses closely on the applicant’s education, career progression, post-MBA goals, key work responsibilities, and international experience.
The SP Jain Interview
The final aspect of the process is the interview. Please note that there is no further shortlisting for the interview. All applicants who clear Stage 1 of the SP Jain PGPM admissions process are required to first submit the organizational chart, and then take the interview around a week after the last date of submission for the organizational chart. Click here to read more about the SP Jain PGPM interview, including common questions that are asked.
The are two components of SP Jain Interview process. One, the case study round. This can be a group discussion or personal round. The candidate is given 15 minutes to analyse a case study emailed to them, and then 5 minutes to present their analysis. These case studies can be on varied topics, ranging from market entry, manufacturing process optimization, product diversification, finance and funding and IT infrastructure enhancement.
The same day is your personal interview round, with questions on your profile, achievements, career goals, fitment with SP Jain and more. They sometimes test your knowledge in current affairs too. So, be ready for anything!
Some advice on how to tackle the interview:
– SP Jain PGPM is a highly competitive program. It is looking for achievers (both academic and professional) and so it highly values any achievements you can show from your projects or your college life. For this reason, you should steer clear of mentioning minor work wins as achievements. Dig deep, go through appraisals, projects, and professional accomplishments, and select only the best points to highlight.
– International experience is an important consideration for SP Jain, as around a third of the incoming class every year has it.
– Competencies and skills that your work has given you are very important for SP Jain. These are mapped to your stated post-MBA goals. Expect a lot of questions around these in the SP Jain PGPM interview.
– The interview is your opportunity to show leadership, maturity, and strong problem solving. Remember – SP Jain PGPM values students who are not just individual contributors, but also team players. The program also values leadership in a social context (this is one of the major planks highlighted by the school itself), so ensure that you can cover leadership in this context in detail, and by showing impact.
– Finally, remember that it is not just the examples you choose that matter, but also how you portray those examples, keeping facts as well as achievements and impact in mind.
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