The impact and quality of the learning experience of any education institute do not just rest on its curriculum design and apt delivery by faculty and industry. But, it also largely depends on its admissions process. This process must align well with the philosophy and learning outcomes of the institute, since the right quality of intake decides the right quality of output.
It is therefore critical to design the admission process very carefully. It must depend on the principles of the institute. Also, it must be able to feed into the learning process of the institute and align seamlessly with it.
At SOIL, therefore, this admission process is crafted in such a manner that it helps to assess the holistic personality of the candidate. It focusses on multiple intelligence and tries to assess the attitude along with the competence levels of the student. Being a management program with some advanced technical courses, it is of course important for student to have the requisite IQ and ability to absorb these concepts. However, it is also important to have other forms of intelligence displayed through EQ, SQ, CQ, etc. to be a well-rounded personality and lead a successful life, which is the true purpose of education.
Further, being a one year program with a curriculum more intense than a two year one, it is quite fast paced and the student should be able to take the rigour and be able to put in hard work at all times. And finally, the attitude must align with SOIL value system, and students must have the ability and willingness to explore their leadership potential.
Thus, the admission process has multiple stages and assessments, as depicted in the visual flowchart below:
It involves both science and art. So while scientific tools like a psychometric analysis tool, scoring sheets with weighted average scores of various parameters, case study analysis, etc. are used, an attempt is also made to mine the strengths and understand the personality of a student through a series of conversations with him by senior panelists (faculty and industry) This is in line with the spirit of appreciative inquiry in our “Talent Appreciation Process”. As we believe, it is important to focus and harness the strengths of an individual rather than their weaknesses. This also builds confidence and self-esteem which is the foundation of “Self-Leadership”. And leadership to us, is all about leading and knowing your own self better in a positive confident manner.
Detailed analysis of each candidate is done through each of these assessments, quantitative and qualitative. A final call is then taken on their suitability for the SOIL programs.
The report generated from this comprehensive admission process forms the basis for creating an “Individual Development Plan (IDP)” as a developmental tool for each student, once he is inducted into SOIL. This is done through the mentoring process where each student is assigned an internal and an external mentor. The IDP defines his strengths, areas of improvement, career goals and action plan to leverage his strengths to achieve these goals. The progress is constantly monitored during the year so that the objectives of the program are achieved, and students are able to develop and transform themselves into inspired leaders.
This is objectively captured through a “Transformation Index” where students rate themselves at the end of the year through a survey, on various parameters like self-confidence, innovation, courage for ethics, handling teams, global exposure, etc. They specify how they rate themselves in beginning of the year vs. at end of the year on each of these parameters, thereby reporting their development during the year.
It has been extremely gratifying to see this difference being reported as positive every year on all the parameters, signifying considerable achievement of program objectives.
Along with a positive alumni feedback on how they perceive the SOIL learning journey to have helped them excel in their professional lives, it seems that SOIL has managed to offer a significant value proposition to its students ever since it was founded eleven years back and has managed to remain true to its vision of creating “Inspired Leaders with Character, Competence and Enthusiasm”.
And it is all starts with a well thought through rigorous admission process!