What really is PGPIM at MDI, Gurgaon?

Everywhere I go, I have been asked this question - What the hell is PGPIM at MDI, Gurgaon?

How do you end up in ESCP after enrolling this course?
How do you get to work in HeadQuarters of Fortune 500 companies?
Why do you have so many pretty girls in your FB friend list?
Why are you so awesome?
How are you so awesome?

Well, this post will answer all the above questions, well, most of them anyway...

I have juniors, to-be juniors, their cousins, peers from other colleges ask me how does PGPIM work exactly? (IM stands for International Management, PGP stands for.. umm.. I dont remember :P). Well let me tell you how to get into this amazing program, the pros of getting in, the cons, the foreign trips etc.

I would like to mention that I am doing a great service to that zealous junior who handles all the posts on pagalguy.com (there is a humongous thread on PGPIM on PagalGuy, I dont think any other prog has been discussed in so much detail). I am also doing a great service to the Corp Communications cell in MDI, who have absolutely no idea on how to market this gem of a product.

So now coming to the main business of this post - What is PGPIM?

PGPIM is the International Management prog of MDI which is by miles, the toughest course in the country. Yeah, IIMs can take a hike... Compared to what we do, they are Alice in Wonderland.. (students are referred to as Alice, IIM being the wonderland)

The course is divided in two stages. The first stage is here in India at MDI's as-beautiful-as-a-French-girl campus. It lasts for 8 months. These 8 months will be the toughest in your life. These 8 months wont let you sleep for more than 5 hours per night, and that is NOT after watching 4 seasons of How I met your mother and 2 hours of gupshup with friends, this is after attending 9 hours of lectures, 4 hours of assignments and 3 hours of studying for surprise tests etc. There were days when I had to think if I should take a bath or sleep for 20 minutes. Invariably, sleep won. I apologize to all my classmates for the smell.

The course starts in June, along with the normal management PGPM (I make them sound so lowly, but if you spend some time in an IM class, you ll know what I am talking about) and the girly HR batch.

The firangs from the five ESCP campuses join us in July. The course in India, or stage 1 as I have called it ends in February with the firangs swearing that they wont take any course in India again just coz the competition is so damn fierce, but at the same time marveling at the amazing quality of the MDI professors. Indian students on the other hand look 5 years older than what they used to because of the strenous programme. IM students probably dont love MDI as much at PGPM or HR guys, and if you think about it, IM guys spend only 1/10th of the time other batches spend loitering in the mess or Nescafe or the dome, they fall in love with their batch-mates and not the college campus (in spite of its beauty and everything). I can tell you stories of when the Indian students stood up for the foreign kids and vice-versa and it will make you feel amazing, in spite of the fact that it had nothing to do with you. Thats how awesome the class unity was during our time.

After 8 months of learning in MDI, team work, stretching oneself to the limit, comes the easy part - Foreign study. For the lucky ones among you, you will get Paris or some other girly campus. For the unlucky ones, you will be thrown into the berlin campus - the only campus in ESCP which can talk of being tough.

ESCP has 5 campuses - Berlin, Paris, London, Madrid and Turin. London has been closed to Indian students due to visa issues and also coz their Government is freaking stupid! (How can you not allow Indians from among the best B schools in India!) In their defense, top Indians have taken away their jobs!

The degree you get from MDI is called PGPIM and the one from ESCP is called MEB. Yes, it is a dual degree course! MEB stands for Master of European Business. Berlin also offers MSc which is a govt. recognized degree. It was free during our time but now I guess they charge for it. So, you gotta check out whats the current stat on that.

You are done with your MEB by the end of July. If you choose to do the Msc then you are done by September. But after you have accumulated the degrees comes the best part of the whole course - Also the reason why I put PGPIM at MDI, Gurgaon above all other colleges in India, including the IIMs (they are more ordinary than you think) excluding ISB though, their prog sounds almost as strong as PGPIM.

And that reason is an international internship and by international I mean international in the real sense! I worked for Bayer, World Head Quarters. I was in a 3 member team that was responsibe for the #1 branded antibiotic in the world. There are bio companies in India which make less money as a company than we made with 1 brand!!!

My boss was Australian, my team mates, British and German. I was the youngest guy on the whole floor, that just goes to show how much one has to work till they made way on this floor! I got in through with just 3 master degrees in my kitty!

No other B-school in India could have given me this opportunity. The IIM kids who go to work in Investment banks in London usually end up making ppts and printing out copies. (I am suspecting an anti-defamation case by IIM, but even they know I am not lying).

My stay at Berlin, where I stayed for more than a year, also allowed to make friends with not only people who came from the same educational background as mine, but I also got to be friends with a German rapper, an ice-hockey player, a professional marathon runner, etc. There is something to learn from each of them. The learning just cant be compared to what I would have had I stayed in the MDI campus. Though, that wouldnt have been too bad either.

Now coming to the cost aspect - If I take into consideration what I spent and what I earned in my internship, I ended up spending 2 lakh more than my PGPM peers. However for the ones who ended up doing a exchange prog for 3 months, spent almost as much I did, without the same level of learning of course!

Now, the most important part - The reason why you are doing an MBA in the first place - the money, honey! Yes, foreign placements are possible. Rare, but possible. But it just depends if you wanna stay in Europe or not. If you come from one of the awesome cities in India (there is just one, and we all know what city I am talking about), Europe can be a little tough to adjust. But if you have burnt your boats back home, and are ready to slog it out, European dream can turn into a reality.

Lets say you dont get to work in Europe, you can always come back to India and sit for placements along with PGPM guys. Now here lies a small problem. The guys in MDI dont push PGPIM as much as they push PGPM (and I dont care if placecomm sues me, they know what I am saying is true) and the trouble with that is, the companies just dont know what we are all about.

The day I signed up for placements, I knew all I had to do was attend one interview and I couldnt be rejected. My CV is quite a gold mine! The problem with that is though, unlike Europe, here you have to clear horrible GDs and you are up against PGPM guys who have quite a way with them as they have given 10 GDs each during their summers while we got internships in Europe through pure interviews only. Anyway, once you clear even one GD, you get through the first interview you give. It happened with 90% of the IM batch, yours truly included.

Hmm... I think I have said all that I wanted to. For some reason I think I have made more enemies than friends with this post.. But then, what good is all this education if it doesnt make you a little more courageous than you were!

P.S. - I might not answer all the questions you direct at me, but if I have forgotten to mention something about the course or you would like to know more, drop a question in the comments...

P.P.S. - If you have got in, dont even think about any other course -There is just no other like this one. Come with a Arshat Chaudhary seal of quality man!

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11 letters to the editor:

    On May 11, 2011 at 10:48 PM     
    Appy said...

    good one arshat! maybe you should post it on PGPIM community on fb too..

    On May 12, 2011 at 4:08 AM     
    Anonymous said...

    Nicely written. You can be a good marketer.

    Toughest course in India. LOL.Sleep of 5 hours per night & Indian students look 5 years older than what they used to because of the strenuous programme. ROFL.ISB's program sounds almost as strong as PGPIM. LMAO. Lets not get into all this.

    Firangs from the five ESCP campuses. Check your junior batch, Sir. The total number of firangs were LESS than number of ESCP campuses.

    Class unity has nothing to do an MBA program, Sir.I don't know why did you even write it. But I must accept you are a good writer ;-)

    The MEB course, in Paris or some girly campus, is no less than a JOKE. Yes, JOKE. The lesser I write about that, the better its for the so called "reputation" or "curiosity", if any, of PGPIM.

    On May 18, 2011 at 2:48 PM     
    Anonymous said...

    whoa!!!y din u come up with this earlier?!? makes me look a total...wateva.. awesome post.. the exp says it all..BAYER..whoa!!i think another book on these lines wud satiate our MBA-geek-ki-kahani needs.. ;)

    I think most students in PGPM at MDI themselves don't understand what PGPIM provides (unless one of your best buds if from that programme and you have seen life with them while on exchange).

    I think there is more you must mention vis-a-vis the international exposure beyond the four walls of office and the many perks/hardships that go with it, may be not a blog though.

    On June 6, 2011 at 3:33 PM     
    Anonymous said...

    nice post :) i will be joining the girly HR prog in mdi this year :D

    Chintan Shah here.
    i got in IMT-G and MDI IM.
    which one is more preferable?
    p.s. i want to go in marketing filed.related to event management or something like that..

    On May 24, 2012 at 2:25 AM     
    Abhinav said...

    I am definitely coming in :D

    So badly want to get in....

    On April 25, 2013 at 2:23 PM     
    Sachin Musaddi said...

    Hi arshat. I know its been quite a while since you have written the blog but would appreciate your help. What does PGPIM have to offer to freshers like me? For freshers(engineer) will it be difficult to land an internship in a company abroad? Even otherwise how difficult/easy it is to get an internship abroad and what help does the ESCP career cell offer in landing internships? Please reply ASAP as i am at this juncture wherein I will have to make quite a few crucial descisions.

    Hi Sachin,
    I dont think it matter too much whether you have experience or not. While finding a internshipo is difficult most of us do manage to get internship, finding a job however was extremely difficult during our days, now I guess things might have become better. Europe doesnt have the culture of Campus placements. They see education as value add by itself.

    On May 16, 2013 at 9:56 PM     
    prateek said...

    I am working for an Automobile company with a pay of 6.5 . I have got an admit to PGP_IM at MDI. Do you think it is worth going for this course quitting my job for this course? Moreover, the placement is not that good compared to PGPM. Can i get ur e-mail id as I have couple of more questions.

    arshat[dot]chaudhary at gmail