MBA Experience Interview: Gayatri Pandey shares glimpses on IIFM Bhopal Campus Life
Ranjini Basu, 21 Jan 2019, #IIFM
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Gayatri Pandey, a Zoology graduate chose to broaden her career scope by joining Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, and opting for Forestry Management as her PGD programme. A vocalist and merit scholarship holder at IIFM, Gayatri states that the academic programme at IIFM has been designed to keep a good mix of theory and practical exposure of the concepts. The unique industry-academia sync comprising visits to some of the renowned industries ar regular intervals have helped learn about the practical implementations of the regulations and standards of environment management. Gayatri has been placed with a global financial inclusion consultancy with an annual package of 9.96 LPA.


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In this interview with Careers360, Gayatri provides a virtual tour about the institute’s ambiance, campus life, student engagement activities, and other related details. She suggests all her juniors to engage themselves in events and clubs within the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), Bhopal campus. She suggests all to have clarity on their objectives; be flexible and adaptive in the learning process to attain the desired success.

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Read the excerpts below to know about Gayatri Pandey’s IIFM experience-

Careers360: What are the factors that led you to join IIFM Bhopal and pursue PGD in Forestry Management?

Gayatri Pandey: At IIFM, we are taught all important courses of general management, along with the expertise in niche sectors of wildlife, natural resource management, CSR and rural development. The idea of sustainable development always grabbed my attention especially the convergence of Profits and the Planet. Therefore, I chose to pursue my specialisation in Environment Management from IIFM as it suitably aligns with my idea of exploring the concept of “sustainable” business.

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Careers360: How is the campus and campus life at IIFM? Is it all packed up in a routine or equally divided between fun and study? What is the best thing about the campus, something that differentiates it from the rest?
Gayatri Pandey:  Indian Institute of Forest Management is located on a lush-green hill-top covering 230 acres of land. The campus has a huge patch of grassland and is surrounded by water-bodies on three sides.The sighting of different birds, snakes and other wild animals makes the campus life even more exciting. The campus life at IIFM strikes a good balance between fun and studies. The academic schedule has been prepared in such a way that each one of us gets substantial time to spend on our hobbies or to explore new things. 

I have regularly contributed in cultural events, be it dancing, singing or rangoli-making. Being a vocalist, I enrolled my name in Dhwani, the music band of IIFM. While exploring our talents, academic rigour is never compromised. A typical day at IIFM begins with a run to the mess for breakfast, a hurried bite and a jog to class. The best of this lot is that IIFM has always emphasised on enriching the learning experience through responsibilities and that is why the students of IIFM run the mess, ideate and implement the plans to organise events. 

Careers360: Along with the theories or studying inside the classroom, what are the practical aspects that are included in the curriculum? Share some insights.
Gayatri Pandey: The course plan is a perfect blend of theory and practical learning! The assignments given during the programme as a part of academic evaluation are based on practical implementation of the theoretical concepts. For an assignment in the course of Project Management, my group chose to plan for a solid waste disposal system project based on the Logical Framework Analysis (LFA). We used this tool to prepare the logical flow of our activities and also used the Workbench software to decide on our Work Breakdown Structure and to meet the deadlines. In courses like Basic Computing & Data Handling, Quantitative Techniques, Data Analytics and Geo-informatics, a major part of the learning process is lab-based. Besides this, the field work components are also executed in the two-year programme. 

Careers360: How is the industry-academia sync maintained at your institute? Are you taken to field visits etc.? Share your experience of the same.
Gayatri Pandey: The programme includes two field immersion components. In first year, there is 21 days of extensive exposure to the areas of rural development, environment, forestry and wildlife management. The second field work is of 12 days specially designed on the basis of the students’ specialisation. As a student of EM, I got the opportunity not only to know about the present technological innovations in the field of environment, but also to visit some of the renowned industries and learn about the practical implementations of the regulations and standards of environment management including health and safety issues of employees.

Careers360: Tell us something about IIFM’s cultural fests, business/sports competitions. 
Gayatri Pandey: We host a plethora of cultural, literary and sports activities throughout the year, but Kalpataru, the annual cultural fest of IIFM is the most awaited function for all IIFMites, right from students to all the teaching and non-teaching staff. Dance, music, drama, poetry, letter writing, fashion shows, multiple sports clubbed with fun is what Kalpataru is all about!  Along with this, we also have Reminiscence, the annual alumni meet of IIFM, where we host our alumni from different batches and to make it more special we celebrate the silver jubilee of graduation for a batch. Finally, Coalescence, the all-India business conclave of IIFM is another sought-after event. This year in 2018, under the theme of Triple Bottom Line and Beyond, we had a set of wonderful expert speakers working in the area of sustainability. Some of the eminent speakers were Padma Shri Dr. Janak Palta, Dr. Ravi Chopra, Dr. Rahul Banerjee, Dr. Raghu Chundawat to name a few. We also hosted participants from all over India in ABHIPSA- a case study competition, PRAKRUT- paper presentation and DAKSH- a B-Plan competition.

Careers360: What are the different committees or clubs at IIFM? Are you a part of any such club or committee?
Gayatri Pandey: Oh, yes! Overall, there are 12 clubs, cells, and committees at IIFM. We have cultural, literary, sports, adventure, drama & movie, nature & photography clubs. Three eminent cells of IIFM are Communication cell, Entrepreneurship Development cell and Climate Change & Environment Core Competency cell (C2EC3). Other than this we have three core committees- Mess committee, Alumni Network Committee (ANC) and Internship/Placement Committee.  
I was a member of the Internship Committee in first year and currently an active member of Umang- the cultural club, ANC and C2EC3. I am the coordinator of Literary Club at IIFM as well.

Careers360: What are some of the popular hangout spots of the IIFM students? What do you do when you are not studying or not attending the classes?

Gayatri Pandey: Bhopal being the city of lakes provides some beautiful and serene hangout spots like Upper Lake view point and Shahpura Lake side. The city and “chai” are so closely related that one cannot do without visiting Indian Tea House and the famous Raju tea stall. 
Moreover, specifically for IIFM students, the grassland in the campus when in its full green lush is the most popular hangout spot.

During the leisure hours,I either indulge in playing badminton or explore the non-academic literature in the library. Going down to Nehru Nagar for a cup of ‘kulhad’ chai is a ritual I follow almost every evening.

Careers360: Tell us something about the hostel life? What makes it special from other hostels?
Gayatri Pandey: The hostel life at IIFM is truly exciting. The wilderness of the campus is an added attribute and it is really beautiful to wake up to peacocks dancing outside the window. When I came to IIFM, I was not so dog-friendly, but now the times I have spent with Pinka, Chiku, Garry, Sheru would be one of the finest memories of IIFM. My hostel’s terrace provides a wonderful scenery of the city of hillocks and lakes. 
Being a small batch, the most wonderful thing here is that everyone knows everyone, right from batch mates, to seniors and juniors, to faculty and to staff members. It is like a small family which we make here at IIFM. 

Careers360: What is the placement process followed in your institute? How does IIFM prepare you for it? Which company and profile have you been placed?

Gayatri Pandey: It gives me immense pleasure to share that the placement process of IIFM is completely student driven. With commendable contribution of the whole batch, over 70 percent of the 2019 batch was already placed in the placement week itself. The director, the faculty chairperson of the Placement Committee and the Placement Officer were a constant support to all the students. A skill development session is organised a month before the placement season to prepare the students with CVs and for GDs and PIs through exposure to multiple mocks. Additionally, IIFM also provides counselling facilities to the students if needed. IIFM holds an expertise in the form of its faculty members and the practical exposures in field works prepare a student for practical implementation at workplace. 

I was placed on Day 0 of the placement week with a global financial inclusion consultancy called MicroSave as an Associate Consultant at 9.96 LPA. 

Careers360: What are your career plans after completing the programme? Which sector and function would you like to pursue? Do you have any dream company in mind?
Gayatri Pandey: Consulting as a career has always been an exciting thought for me and I really look forward to work in MicroSave for next few years. Developmental consultancy is the sector which I am looking forward to right now, but I have always kept myself flexible enough to explore different areas. 
As of now, working in one of the BIG 4 consulting firms is my dream, but I would like to give my best to the present organisation and learn the required professional skills before I take the leap.

Careers360: The batch of 2019-21 will join soon. What would be your message for your juniors?
Gayatri Pandey: Any management degree is not only about the academic lessons you learn, but also about the way you spend the two years of your life exploring new arenas. IIFM in its green-setting provides one of the most sustainable ways of learning by being sensitive to the other parts of the nature while studying business. The cultural diversity is unmatchable as students come from over 23 Indian states which itself becomes a great source of learning. IIFM has subject experts as faculty members and the huge library is always an add-on. The only message I want to leave for my juniors who would be joining IIFM is that keep your objectives clear and yourself flexible and adaptive in the learning process. IIFM gives you ample of opportunities to explore your hidden potential and to develop yourself into a responsible green manager!

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Questions related to IIFM

Showing 23 out of 23 Questions

Which is better for future growth and opportunities, MBA from IIFM bhopal Or NIT trichy? Im a BBA graduate

Jesin J 8th May, 2019
Hello Kush. Your question is like,  Which is better, apples or oranges??  Both Iifm and NIT Trichy have been decent colleges for MBA grads over the years. Both the colleges have good faculties, and the career growth and development is almost same for both the colleges. The placement figures are also quite similar. So, it boils down to your individual perspective regarding the college. The cat cutoff for either colleges have been around 80-82.

There is nothing much to differentiate between the two, but there even better colleges available than these two colleges, which are better in terms of placement and other facilities.

All the best.

Ssim Mysore vs iifm roi and placement is mainly concern

Shashank Negi 30th Mar, 2019

Hi Shivansh,

Siva Sivani Institute of Management, Mysore: According to the last year placement reports, the highest package offered was Rs 10 lakhs, the avereage package offered was Rs 4 lakhs and the minimum package offered was Rs 2.5 lakhs.

Recruiters: Deloitte, Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail, BYJU’s, OYO Rooms, HDFC Bank, ICICI Prudential, ITC, ICICI Securities, Kotak Life Insurance, Bajaj Allianz, Aditya Birla Sunlife Insurance, ICICI Lombard etc.

Course, Fees Structure & Seats: The institute provides courses like PGDM General, PGDM Markrting, PGDM Triple Specialization and PGDM in Banking, Insurance, Finance and Allied Services. The total fees for the course is Rs 6.50 lakhs. The intake for PGDM General is 120 and for the rest of the courses it is 60.

IIFM, Bhopal: According to the latest placement reports, the highest pacakge offered is Rs 11.15 lakhs and the average package offered is Rs 6.97 lakhs.

Recruiters: IDFC, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Spandana Sphoorty, Samasta Microfinance, Bharat Financial Inclusion Ltd., Svatantra Microfinance, BASIX Sub-KMPSRLM, Jeevika, Odisha Livelihood Mission, Pradan, CARE India, Swades Foundation and Dr. Reddy’s Foundation, Ernst and Young etc.

Course, Fees Structure & Seats: The institute provides specialization in Conservation and Livelihood, Environmental Management, Developmental Management. The total fees for the course is Rs 6.24 lakhs. The intake for the course is 120.

Therefore, according to the ROI and placement, IIFM, Bhopal is better.  


Which is a better college in Bangalore for PGDM in HRM - IIFM, ISBR, IBA or RIMS?

Vaishnavi Raghavan 8th Mar, 2019

Hello Mannat

Postgraduate diploma in management (PGDM) in Human Resource Management (HRM) is a 2-year (in some, 1 or 1 and a half) course which equips the students with the knowledge and skills required for managing the human resource in a way that it contributes to the development of individuals and society. 

It is difficult to judge a college from a single course, so, this answer is written in a generic manner. Choosing the right college is difficult, more so when you're comparing four of the renowned B-schools of the country.

Since we're comparing B-schools, there are few things that are more important than anything and one should pay attention to since management institutions cost fortunes. Any B-school is only worth if it has great: placement cell, infrastructure, and faculty/curriculum; so let's only focus on these features.

  • RIMS

Ramaiah Institute Of Management Studies/Sciences, Affiliated to Gokula Educational Trust, is a private business school that was established in 1995.

Fees: 6.4L

Placements: Famous for its great placement cell, placement at Ramaiah is good considering that almost 100+ companies come for placement year on year. Many companies like Deloitte, Honeywell, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Aon Global, ACT Fibernet, etc, visit the institution, and packages can go from 3LPA to 7LPA on average. In 2018, the highest package was 16LPA, and in 2017, 9LPA.

Infrastructure: The school is equipped with decent classroom facilities, and as the institution has recently gotten remodeled, there are even more facilities provided now. Computer lab, 24/7 library, campus wifi, out-campus hostel, and AC classrooms. However, medical facilities and sports may not be up to the mark according to many reviews. Food outlets are available plenty inside the campus. Good parking facility.

Faculty: It has faculty members from varied industries and CEOs of prominent business organizations. Faculty members from IIMs is a common sight. There are good and experienced professors in each and every domain, but the best faculty are those from the finance domain. Industrial visit is done once every tenure.

Why this: Placements.

  • IIFM

Institute of Finance and International Management School is an autonomous private institution, established in 1995.

Fees: 12L

Placements: It has an average placement of 7LPA. Placement committee is good and seems to have the placement record of 60-70%. Placement isn't the highlight of the college. There are more start ups than big brands. Many of the students don't get placed but almost all get enrolled in various internship offers. Companies like Oracle, Nestle, Morgan Stanley, etc are some of the recruiters.

Faculty: All the faculties are highly experienced and accomplished in their respective fields; most of them Ph.D. holders. Very good place for networking. Great industrial connect. The learning environment is perfect. The faculties are interactive and helpful to students. Focuses on practical learning for case studies. The best domain is finance education.

Infrastructure: A little on the remote side of the city, hence transportation is uncomfortable for day scholars. However, closer to the IT hub so advantages for the course. The hostel is decent enough, but the mess is not up to mark. Decent classrooms and has all basic facilities.

Why this: Teaching

  • IBA

Indus Business Academy, formerly known as Indian Business Academy, is a business school that was established in 2001.

Fees: 7.51L

Placement: Top recruiters like Deloitte, Bata, HDFC, Mcnore, Lifestyle, etc, visit the school, but otherwise there are lots of startups as well. Placement cell is fine, overall, with the average package of 5.5LPA. The highest package offered for batch 16-18 was 7 Lacs and the lowest was 2.6 Lacs. The institution has seen a lot of industrial visits, so there's good exposure for students. Has met the placement record of 95%.

Faculty: Faculty is good and cooperative and have rich experience of academic as well as cooperate experience. For every 15 students, they have one mentor who holds meetings and talks regularly for interactive sessions. The case studies are used to clear out students how to implement theories when a situation arises. 24-hour security is there on the campus to make the students manage unexpected tasks during the night which is a common occurance. Busy classroom life and strict faculty members. The course curriculum is trimester based, wherein each subject has 11 sessions.

Infrastructure: The institution follows more of corporate spiritual theories to enlighten students. 3D, KMC, Rosegarden, Success steps, IBA Flag, and MBA philosophy are some of the majorly used concepts just to clear out how corporate life could be. The campus is surrounded by lush greenary which it is famous for. The infrastructure is decent in terms of classrooms, auditorium, amphitheater, etc. More than 13000+ books and ebooks are availiable in the library,availiable most times. The food is veg and quality is average. Wifi service is poor. Why this: Good learning atmosphere.

  • ISBR

Founded in 1990, ISBR Business School is autonomous management institute, first established under the aegis of Bangalore Education Trust.

Fees: 8L

Placements: 180+ companies on board for placements and internships, placement opportunities at ISBR are appreciative. The recruiters include Byju's, Jaro Education, Square Yards, etc. Getting placed into a company is assured, but depends heavily on skills. Highest package: 20LPA (2017)

Faculty: Great. All the faculty members are well-educated, experienced and have one-to-one contact with every student. Cleverly designed curriculum. Interactive and Efficient.

Infrastructure: Sufficient, well-maintained with auditoriums, library, and AC classrooms. Hence, just


When is the shortlist of Iifm PGDSM declared?

Vishakha Khandelwal 29th Mar, 2019

Hello Shweta,

The Shortlist for candidates selected for the interview rounds is already out. You can download the list by following the link below. All details of interview dates and venue are mentioned in it.

The final shortlist of selected candidates for admission in their 2019-21 program is expected to be out by late April or early May.

All the best!


What is the lowest percentile for an agri grad to fetch a call from IIFM?

Manisha Gupta Expert 25th Feb, 2019

IIFM takes the admission on the basis of CAT/XAT score, The Shortlisted candidates will be called for Written Aptitude Test (WAT) / Interview at Bhopal, New Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata.

In order to get a call from IIFM Bhopal you should have more than 80-85 percentile in CAT Entrance Exam. You can also refer the below given article for the admission related information.


Good Luck!


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