For Japan-based IIT Bombay engineering graduate Manas Pawar, it was a dream come true when on March 4 this year, he received an email from IIM Bangalore following his MBA application. The mail stated that his Skype interview with IIMB was scheduled for March 21. Pawar cleared GMAT and IIMB worked best for him since it allowed Skype for candidates based outside India.
Unfortunately for Pawar, the date of the interview clashed with a business trip that he was assigned by his Japanese company. The IIMB appointment was at the same time as he would be in-flight.
Working as a product manager at NTT communications, which is the largest telecommunication company in Japan and one of the largest worldwide, Pawar knew it would be difficult to change his business travel plans and so, he sent in a request to IIMB for a re-schedule instead.
However, what seemed like a simple interview change request at first, became the most unpleasant 15 days for Pawar.
In the end, this MBA aspirant never got admission, but the experience prompted him to recently post about his experience with IIMB on a global website. He also spoke to PaGaLGuY about it.
“My initial Skype interview date was March 21 which IIMB duly informed me on March 4. However, when I realised a few days later that the travel dates clashed with my interview slot, I immediately sent an email requesting for a date change.”
There was no response from IIMB.
Pawar then dashed some more emails and made calls, but there was still no response from IIMB. One random call at the Admission Office got answered and he was asked to call again on March 13 to seek fresh dates. “But, March 13 was a public holiday due to Holi, so no one picked up then too. I e-mailed copies of my tickets to IIMB. Finally, I called and managed to get hold of another admission official who assured me a rescheduled date, since there is a ‘lot of time left before the interview’,” said Pawar.
On March 15, Pawar received an email from IIM Bangalore that the Skype interview could not be rescheduled. He had almost given up when another email from IIMB said the institute had fixed a personal interview for him on March 18 in Delhi. There was a ray of hope but that too ebbed, when Pawar found out that he could not get flights to make it to Delhi by March 18 and the flights that would work were forbiddingly expensive and totally beyond his reach.
However, For Pawar it was not about not being able to make it to the interview. What irked him was the institute’s attitude.
When PaGaLGuY called IIMB, this correspondent faced a similar situation. After being directed to various people on the IIMB landline, we were finally put on to the Admissions-in-Charge, Prof R Bandi. While first we were told that Prof Bandi is in a meeting and will call back, the next time we were told he has left town. Emails were sent to Prof Bandi too. We had marketing people telling us that they could not say anything and the communications team is best suited for this.
Finally, we got the Communications Team, which asked for a day to reply. It did reply, but not to PaGaLGuY – instead, they asked us to seek the answers from a response the institute had posted on the same website Pawar had written his account on originally.
While we at PaGaLGuY are not passing judgment whether IIMB should have rescheduled Pawar’s interview or not. Sometime rescheduling is easy, other times not.
We also note that at some point, Pawar made his priorities clear when choosing his official assignment over the interview.
However, sitting so many miles away from home, when a student aspires to come back to India and study for an MBA from a premier institute, the least he expects is timely response. Finally, that is what he expects to learn from his MBA course – a good deal of professionalism.