a. Not all students get placed (happily, at least): To scratch that obvious bit out, not everyone gets placed even at top b-schools (so if some college that you have not heard of boasts about 100% placements, you know what to do). There sometimes exists a gap between the expectation and the actual placement that someone is offered. So technically, an offer has been made but it is not exactly up to the mark with regard to what one might have thought of before joining the institute. In these cases, the students look for opportunities on their own or the placecom assists them in case there are fresh companies who are interested even after the formal process is done. To be brutally honest though, not getting placed has got a lot to do with the profile of a candidate and the amount of effort s/he puts into improving it while at the said b-school. Companies coming to the campus have high expectations when it comes to the quality of the candidates. Of course if someone is below average when it comes to the CV (past academics, work experience, positions of responsibility, extra curriculars), there needs to be something to make up for it
b. The academic rigour is insane: A lot of students dream about getting into an IIM. To be honest, many of these don’t make it. The ones that do will probably be shocked on the very first day looking at the quality of their peers (at least I was, and I knew a thing or two about b-schools when I joined FMS). Although peer learning is a real thing, the sheer brilliance of at least a few people is enough to blow one away or even bring an inferiority complex. Competing with these people for a GPA/quiz/competition/PORs is insanely exhilarating. As one my friends from IIM A used to say, if you are even thinking about calling it a day and sleeping at night before a quiz/exam, you have simply walk up to your window and count the number of lights that are on
c. Placement figures are inflated though they are on technically solid ground: Not all companies give out official offer letters with CTC/designation/joining date mentioned in bold type. While auditing (internal/external), you cannot show/account for something that you haven’t received. Invariably, the companies that come at the fag end of the placements are the ones that do not have formal processes in place and so, the lower salaries are generally missing while calculating the average placement figures. Hence the inflated average. Plus the CTC is bound to be inflated by components/allowances/joining bonus/one time education assistance/taxes/other payables and so, your actual in hand will generally be around 2/3rd of what your CTC says
d. B-school politics: As the popular quote goes: ‘Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely’. Well, it is notthatbad and is generally used as an excuse by people who don’t do well at their institute but it does exist a bit. Committee heads, placecoms, student body heads are all powerful enough to take autonomous decisions and impact the way in which learning occurs in mild terms at the very least. Add to it the elections/selections for competitions/committees and so, you can’t exactly rub someone the wrong way. I am pretty sure that the student body structure at any of the top b-schools would be solid and won’t misuse their powers but the possibility still exists
e. Not everyone makes it to MBB and friends: Considering the batch size of the top institutes, hardly 5 - 10 % would make it to the big consults and roughly 20 - 30 % would get into the dream companies. If someone has a vanilla profile of sub 80 in 10th and 12th and sub 70 in graduation, the only solace that person might find in is the fact that s/hecan applyto the top few companies. There is a problem of plenty for the first few recruiters and if one has an average profile, one has to be probably lucky to even get an interview shortlist from the first few companies on campus
f. ROI is a grossly misunderstood concept: A lot of time, students feel the need to obsess about (average package) : (course fees) and call it ROI. The basic argument against this is: are you going to stop earning after one year? Are you going to spend money on fees every year now onwards? Nope, right? There is much that is added to your profile and personality in those 2 years that will not be tangible. You have stories to tell for life, are branded and gain general respect in the society. The day you make it to an IIM or any other top b-school, you cease to be ordinary (in most instances) in the eyes of your families/friends. So, if someone tells you that someone is not keen on the IIMs solely because of the fees, it is probably a case of sour grapes more than anything else. Plus, from what I know, IIMs aren’t exactly heartless when it comes to someone being unable to pay the course fees. They will assist one in every way they can and if it comes to that, one can always go for a student loan
g. Fun: I am sure people would have heard about the legendary parties and culture at the IIMs (the old ones at least). Almost every IIM grad I have interacted with has been an absolute riot and it is fun hanging out with these people. The entire process of getting into the institute is more about enjoying what you do and being able to speak out about yourself confidently and it shows. If you are expecting the serious, reserved type who won’t say much unless you prod him/her, you will probably be wrong most of the time
Having said that, almost all these things are fairly common at other tier - 2/tier - 3 b-schools and you don’t even get the opportunities to express yourself as you would at the top b-schools. So, the positives highly outweigh the negatives which makes the decision of taking up an IIM/equivalent b-school a no brainer.