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Impact of Work-Experience on IIM Placements

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

Just a disclaimer that having or not having prior work experience does not outright reject you from any of the cohorts (fields like marketing, finance, consulting, etc.). Some companies set criteria of ‘X’ months of work experience without which an applicant cannot apply. But, such companies are very less in number.

Having said that, at IIM Ahmedabad, it is a generally observed trend that some cohorts weigh candidates with work experience more than others. Now, this may be a coincidence, if you like to call it so, but it has been observed over the years. Again, not meeting the generally observed trend doesn’t stop one from getting selected.

Consulting companies hire a mix of freshers and experienced students. It is one of the most balanced cohorts in that regard. There is a tendency to look for relevant experience that can be used by the company for their projects but that experience need not be after one’s graduation. Internships, projects, interests and extra-curricular participation counts as much.

Marketing companies tend to shortlist freshers. Again, a lot of students with work experience do get selected. It is probably the tendency of freshers to apply more for marketing roles which may be giving rise to this trend.

PM Tech companies prefer students with prior work experience, especially if that experience is related to technology. Having said that, some students also get shortlist without a work-ex but their candidature has training projects and internships to compensate for the same.

Finance companies prefer a mix of both. Generally, market roles are offered to freshers but PE/VC firms prefer students with work experience. Students with professional qualifications (like CA/CS/CFA) are also given a priority.

Please note that this is based on what is the common notion on campus. Each year, the students discuss during and after the placements how these cohorts shortlist candidates and the same information has been shared above. There is no reason to get disheartened if you don’t meet the generally thought of criteria of a particular cohort. There are turnarounds possible, always.


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