Mumbai: Leading business schools are making a beeline for internships and placements in advertising and media firms, long considered to be last on the checklist of B-school aspirants.
Publicis Groupe-owned media planning and buying agency Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) says that it received 900 applications from B-school students across India for 2010 summer internship, up from 350 last year.
Last year, the firm went to two campuses for placements—the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad, and Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi—while this year, it has been to six campuses, including Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies in Mumbai, IIM Bangalore, IIM Indore and IIM Lucknow.
Ravi Kiran, chief executive (South Asia) of SMG, said that there was increased interest among B-school students in integrated marketing communications and this was for diverse areas such as entertainment branding, outdoor, etc.
For GroupM India Pvt. Ltd, one of the largest media buying houses in the country, there’s been a 200% rise in the number of applicants from B-schools. The agency got very few applications in the last few years.
“We got very few enquiries from B-school applicants last year and today, I am getting three-four resumes a day from leading business schools in India such as IIM Calcutta and Symbiosis, as well as institutions based abroad,” said R. Gowthaman, leader, Mindshare (South Asia).
The number of applications were limited in the previous years because advertising and media buying were not top picks for B-school students who chose to be in areas such as corporate banking instead.
Another ad agency, Mudra Group, says that it has seen a 15% increase in the number of applications from B-schools. Ajit Menon, president (organizational development), said that this year along with reputed institutes such as Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies and Welingkar Institute of Management, his firm has had five-six relatively new institutes such as Fortune Institute of International Business enquiring about recruitments.
Mudra has also had applications from reputed institutes outside India from countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong, he said, without identifying them. Media agency Madison Group also reported a sizeable increase in the number of applicants.
M.G. (Ambi) Parameswaran, CEO of Draftfcb+Ulka Advertising Pvt. Ltd, said B-school students are looking at long-term growth and job security, rather than high-paying jobs in finance like they used to.
But he’s not sure whether advertising can give a new lease of life to B-school graduates because the firms are getting equally cautious when it comes to new recruitments because of the slowdown.
B-schools echo what the ad agencies are saying. Kalim Khan, director of Rizvi Institute of Management Studies and Research, said that he sees increased interest among students for positions in packaged goods companies, advertising and media companies, entertainment and production, which have not been significantly impacted by the downturn.
“To be honest, students are simply going for areas where it’s easier to get and retain a job,” he said.