SCMHRD abolishes essays, re-introduces discussions on cartoon strips, videos in GE-PI

Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development (SCMHRD)

If you are attending the Group Exercise-Personal Interview (GE-PI) process at Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development (SCMHRD) this year, it would pay to know your cartoons as much as it would to know about the Syrian conflict! The institute, which has abolished essays for the first time this year, has re-introduced cartoon strips and videos in its admission process. SCMHRD had last used cartoon strips and videos in 2006.

Speaking to PaGaLGuY on abolishing the essay, Mr Sasmit Vasantgadkar, admissions officer, SCMHRD said, “Many students might have good leadership skills and other competencies but they might lose out due to lack of command on the written language. We want to make sure that this does not happen.”

Incidentally, b-schools such as Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai have introduced on-spot essays as part of their admission process this year. Mr MJ Xavier, director, IIM Ranchi who had introduced the essay component at the newer IIMs in 2011 had told PaGaLGuY in an earlier conversation that a written analysis helps you understand whether a person can think logically. Even Wall Street Journal, in a 2011 report, had stated that business-school graduates tend to ramble, use pretentious vocabulary or pen too-casual emails.

However, Mr. Vasantgadkar had a different take on the argument. He said, “We did not want aspirants with weak written English language skills to miss out on a chance of admission to the institute. Once they have been admitted, students weak in the language go through the Business English Certification (BEC) training from Cambrdige ESOL, a constituent of Cambridge University.” The training comprises of three levels, preliminary, vantage and higher. Depending on their skill, students can be jump to vantage or higher level. This helps those students who are weak in the language to polish their skills. The b-school seems to be following the Wharton model where students have to take a non-credit writing course to better their writing skills.

GE-PI Participants going through document verification

The GE-PI participants are also happy with the change. Gaurav Maheshwari, a working professional from Chennai, who was part of the process yesterday said, “Many people, like me, can speak very well on a subject, but cannot express it well through words. It is a very good step.”

On the re-introduction of cartoons and videos in the GE, Mr Vasantgadkar further added, “We used to have discussions on cartoons and videos 4-5 years ago. We like to experiment with various tools which bring out different competencies in a candidate. For the very same reason, this year in the GE, apart from one compulsory GD on a case study, there will be a discussion on a cartoon, video or case study on a rotational basis. “Cartoons of R K Laxman and Dilbert comic strips will be shown to the aspirants. Videos will comprise of movie clips, advertisements and some other interesting footage.

Surajit Mahapatra, a working professional from Pune who attended the GE-PI process yesterday, was happy with the experience at SCMHRD. He said, “The admissions team made us feel very comfortable and were ready to answer all our doubts. They showed us cartoons like Charlie Chaplin and Kung Fu Panda to keep the stress levels low.”

The process which started on February 2, 2013 will go on till February 10. Approximately, 1,800 aspirants have got calls and about 180 of them are attending the process every day.

In another development, SCMHRD has also increased its fees by Rs 30,300 per year. The fee for the two-year MBA course now is Rs 5,20,300 per annum.