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Going Managerially bananas!

Many people are still skeptical about the BMS degree which gives you, or is at least supposed to give you, a headstart into the coveted management field. Aaishwari Chouhan finds out if this is a worthwhile option for all you junior management buffs.

Bachelor of Management Studies (BMS), offered by Mumbai University, is a three-year degree program with 6 semesters. The course comprises 40 modules and in all a BMS student has to give 38 theory papers and also do projects.

BMS vs B.Com:
The career options after B.Com are CA/ICWA/CS/MBA. These options are also open during or after BMS. But as Anupam Joshi of NM College of Commerce and Economics puts it, “BMS is more pragmatic and industry oriented than B.Com. The focus in BMS is not on acquiring the highest possible marks like in B.Com; instead it’s on acquiring as much exposure as possible on the way the industry works.” A student pursuing BMS gains a lot of practical knowledge, besides the usual theoretical basics, through case studies, group activities, project writing, presentations and summer internships. This also helps students when they prepare for MBA entrance exams.

Some like Ketan Bokadia from Lajpat Rai College went for BMS because it is something different. “I preferred BMS over B.Com as it is a rigid programme for those inclined to management. Why do something usual like B.Com? Add to this, the teaching faculty and curriculum for B.Com isn’t all that attractive either”, he says.

Who should opt for it?
If you are sure that MBA is THE course you want to pursue in future, then go ahead and pick BMS. But if you are opting for BMS just to escape Accounts, then think again; managerial accounts are an integral part of the BMS curriculum also. The course is open for students from any stream, be it Science, Commerce or Arts. “I was waiting for the admission process of my engineering exams when I joined BMS as a back-up option, and by the time I got a seat in engineering, I was done with the first semester at BMS. Since I found the course very interesting, I decided to continue with it”, adds Anupam.

Entrance Exam:
Students have to give the Centralized Common Entrance Examination (CCEE ) where 100 questions have to be solved in 75 minutes. The subjects include Math, English, Logical Reasoning and Visual reasoning. You’ll need at least 75%+ HSC score and a CCEE rank within 300 is required to get into one of the top colleges. The entrance exam may consist of around 35-40 questions based on Elementary Mathematics, around 35 questions based on Verbal Ability, 25-30 based on Logical Reasoning and 10 questions on Visual Reasoning. There are various private classes that provide proper guidance and training for the entrance tests. Opting for any of these reputed classes is worth your money. Some colleges have their in-house admission priority for which students have to undertake a college in-house entrance test.

During the Course:
There are a new set of subjects each semester. The field work and group discussions give a wider angle to the practicality of the business world to the students. In exh subject, 60 marks are for the written exams while 40 marks depend on your classroom behavior, class participation, project presentations, group dynamics and, of course, attendance. Students have to make a presentation in every subject, where they have to research on topics, and also note down views of various company executives. Thus, BMS students get an opportunity to meet eminent personalities from the management field and take some gyaan from them too. The course also has a compulsory Industrial Visit (I.V.) where students are taken to various companies’ production houses outside Mumbai to study their production process, material handling, etc.,

Internships:
The big drawback of BMS is that not many corporates are aware of this course and hence getting internships in good companies through not-so-reputed colleges is difficult.

Students who maintain a good rapport with company executives from whom they receive guidance for their projects and presentations have a good chance of getting an internship in the very same company. The most preferred destination for working as an intern is the bank. Internships often help a student get a permanent placement in the same company.

Shrinjoy Roy, a BMS student from SIES says, “BMS graduates are given a better pay packet than a regular B.Com graduate. BMS has an edge over B.Com since it is a professional course and the curriculum covers a wide range of subjects right from production, marketing, finance to export. The pay packet further improvesif you opt for MBA after BMS and hence, students usually go for it. When it comes to internships, you will find every student with a big question mark, but ultimately everyone makes it up somewhere.”

After BMS:
After BMS, one can pursue further studies at Post Graduate level. Students generally opt for an MBA either in India or abroad, although it is possible to also go for non-management oriented studies such as CA/CS/Law or even take the UPSC exam.

As far as jobs go, BMS students generally land a job in sales or marketing. ‘Directi’, an global Internet marketing firm recruits BMS students from several colleges. The starting pay package is in the Rs. 12 – 15 thousand p.m. range. Similarly, Citi Financial, J P Morgan, India Bulls and many other finance companies recruit BMS grads with a pay pack of around Rs 10,000 a month. Most of these ‘finance’ jobs, however, involve the marketing of finance products.

BMS graduates are also recruited by advertising agencies and market research companies. Jobs in areas like HR, consulting, corporate finance and investment banking are almost impossible to come by – for that, MBAs from premier institutes are preferred. McKinsey Knowledge Centre however, does pick up students from some premier BMS colleges such as Sydenham for its support operations.

Divesh Ramawat from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavans adds, “A job experience for 2-3 years before pursuing MBA or MMS is a good option, and that is what majority of the students do. ” And really, that makes the most sense. Jumping from BMS directly into an MBA program hardly results in a ‘value add’.

The MBA course covers pretty much the same range of subjects. It is only after gaining valuable real life work experience that a BMS student can apply what he/ she has learnt in the classrooom and then go for a master’s degree, to gain further exposure and improve one’s prospects.

On the other hand, it’s not like BMS students really have an ‘edge’ when it comes to MBA. They aren’t entering the IIMs/ Bajaj/ XLRI in droves. Plenty of smart BCom, BA, BSc grads make it to good MBA schools. So you should not fele pressured to take up BMS. It’s not an expressway to ‘success’. It’s just one of the many routes available!

Eligibility
You must have passed your XII Std examination with a minimum of 45% or a diploma in any branch of engineering. Although your HSC score holds no importance for the entrance, the SSC score breaks a tie between two students with the same score at CCEE.

College Selection:
A better-ranked BMS college arranges Campus Placements for its students. The best colleges are: HR, NM, Jai Hind, Sydenham, St. Xavier’s, SIES (Sion), Mithibai, Vivekanand, SIES (Nerul), and Mulund college of Commerce.

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