Why should you do an MBA?
It is crucial on two counts: 1. If you do qualify for a course and find yourself a complete misfit for the curriculum it would mean you are actually not cut out for the management cadre in the corporate world. So you are likely to saddle yourself with a career that makes you unhappy. 2. An MBA course is an investment both in terms of time and money hence wasting it is an offence. Moving on, let’s look at a few caricatures wherein an MBA degree can be handy: 4 The Anointed Heir who wants to hold the keys to his/her kingdom. This guy is someone like an industrialist’s son, who will have to take over the running of an existing corporate empire. 4 The Shop Floor Enthusiast who wants to sit in the gilded corporate office This guy is typically someone who has devoted many years on the shop floor (it could also be in a lab..or in sales..or in data collection), mostly a technical person who executes rather than strategises. This guy now wants to be a part of the strategic team. 4 The Intrepid Entrepreneur who wants to create an empire. This guy is someone who is all set to start his or her own business and wants to know the tools of how to do so. 4 The P o w e r S e e k e r who wants to crack the management ceiling he/she has hit because of a lack of an MBA degree. This person is typically someone who is a part of management perceived perspective. but of sees many promotions pass by him/ her due to a lack managerial of the top Most
This is an invariable question in any MBA entrance-interview. Getting this answer pat right is critically important because it shows how clear you are about your expectations from the course. It is imperative that you answer this question to yourself before you rush to fill up forms to various MBA colleges.
economics is offered say Rs. 7000 per month as a starting salary, an MBA graduate is typically offered at least Rs. 10000 to 12000 per month. 4 The Reluctant Graduate who believes that he/she has learnt nothing at all that can get him/her a job. The non-professional graduate courses available today are not perceived to have any marketable value by the corporate world. These therefore need to be augmented to make the graduate ‘market worthy’. The underlying advantage in all the six caricatures is that an MBA degree immediately flags you off as someone who can be trained to take up positions of authority. Apart from the positive boost that a person’s career gets, an MBA degree also offers three side benefits. Some may argue that these are the main benefits .. 1. An MBA course is a hothouse where you are pushed to deliver. You are introduced to fierce competition. The conditions work on you in such a way that either you breakdown and leave the course half way or you end up becoming a tough professional. 2. An MBA programme exposes you to a very wide area of experience in terms of subjects and people. You get exposed to varied subjects like macroeconomics, consumer behaviour, psychology, marketing, cultural heritage, communication theory, operations research, quantitative techniques, finance, HR, etc. Most programmes cover over 30 subjects! Apart from exposure to subjects, you meet people from various backgrounds and places. This really broadens your outlook! 3. And last but not the least, an MBA course brings together impressionable young men and women and you may just catch your soul mate while slogging over case studies! - Jaya Deshmukh Visiting Faculty, IMDR and SIMS (Pune) Ex Associate Brand Manager, AT&T Corp. Asia Pacific
Advanc'edge MBA / April 2003
management believe that a person with a management degree has managerial perspective. 4 The Money Player who would like to increase his/her pay packet. An MBA degree immediately increases your market value. If a postgraduate in
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- Dhiraj Malhotra As you stand at one of the most critical crossroads of your life, there would be a million questions in your mind. During the last few years of your student life, you would have looked at a number of career options and tried to gauge what it is that you would like to become. Eventually, what is the kind of work that you want to do for the rest of your life? While most of you, by now, would have an idea about your dream job, some of the more focused among you would also have an idea about your dream companies. Some professional qualified folks would have by now figured whether to continue in your technical field or take off on a management career. As you are all set to become serious about your careers, lets talk about MBA as a career option, if it is what you want to do in life.
What does MBA have to offer you?
High pay packages, lavish lifestyles, senior positions in organisations etc are some of the common reasons why people choose MBA as a career option. But if we were to give it a deeper thought, we would wonder, is this the real reason why MBA as a career option is so popular. There is definitely no denial in the above-mentioned factors but well, to base your decisions with only these objectives in mind, would seem a highly blinkered attitude, don’t you agree? According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, selfactualisation comes above social needs (don’t bother if you don’t know Maslow’s law, you shall soon learn about it in your MBA!) So in order to make this decision of a lifetime, you should be much more informed about the pros and cons (if any) of selecting MBA as a career option. This write-up, elucidating my strengths and weaknesses and most importantly my interests. I realised that I always appreciated a 3dimensional object more than scaled single or doubledimensioned objects. I realised at that time that I was a person inclined to research but still enjoyed visualisation and understanding the BIG picture of the task at hand. I would adopt a modular approach in handling the task at hand and drill down and zoom in on every related aspect in the context. I was not comfortable starting with something that I came across and complete it the way it is expected to be without thinking on the why’s and how’s and if’s of the subject under focus. Hence I concluded that I needed integrating skills in my personality as well as in the work I do. Being an engineer it was easy to find options where I could get involved in the technical aspect of the project without worrying much about the other issues. But this as I just mentioned would not satisfy me. Hence I looked at other options available and came across the concept of MBA. I made a well thought-out, well-reasoned decision of doing an MBA and have since then never looked back. I enjoy the job I do presently and have had all
how I made this decision of my life, is my attempt to help you do just that… In the third year of my engineering, I had started thinking seriously about the kind of career I wanted for myself. The first step I took was honestly analysing
Advanc'edge MBA April 2004
my needs fulfilled appropriately. Let me tell you about the kind of skills I developed during my MBA
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One of the most important skills that I developed during my MBA was integrating skills. I learned how to work on different areas and how to manage the corelations between different functions and verticals. I learned to appreciate how a change in one leads to many changes in other units, components, entities, and developed the technique of managing this dynamic equation. Well, some of you might be wondering what are these units, components etc that I am talking about. I have intentionally used these terms to make you appreciate how crucial it is for one to develop a knack of living with abstractness and unknowns and still make them work for you. By units, functions, components etc., I mean any work area or activity or sub process that gets modified due to some change in the other. For example, software engineers who work on a particular module will not be able to respond to a client’s changing needs midway during a project. The project may not be dependant on the fact that their client is shortly planning to implement SAP. Their job is to complete the application, they have set to develop. Of course, their project managers and people interacting with the client at higher level would be handling such issues while also supervising the technical robustness of the project. It would be wise to remember that those at managerial levels have reached there by experience. I however, chose to learn these skills on my way to becoming a manager. The skill to integrate various functions helps one develop a wider perspective and broadens considerably the overall outlook towards everything.
In order to work in teams and create powerful solutions, one needs to develop interpersonal sensitivity. Handling people and group dynamics in today’s competitive world is considered to be one of the most important challenges. I worked in multiple teams with and without the people I was comfortable with. There were instances where I came across a team comprising of people who had zero overlap with my perception, point of view etc. But the challenge of living and working with them and still getting a quality job done in time was a lesson I can never forget.
Apart from the “technical” knowledge about management, I was also exposed to a number of situations where my ability to think differently and “just get the work done” was tested. This in MBA jargon is called street smartness. So while the theories and rules of the book are all fine, when you get going, you should know how to make rules work for you rather than the other way round. I am sure that people with medical background will agree as they often say “The disease never follows the book!”
Confidence Macro and Micro Issues of Business
Strong business acumen is another skill set that I developed. The various real life cases handled during my MBA made me clinically compare and analyse all the exceptions to theory that practical life is embedded in and how processes and people learn to live with them and how these can be managed. For this, one needs to be aware of events happening in the business world around us. I studied various business models and came to appreciate how simple thought processes and innovation can be a firm foundation of some of the biggest organisations of the world.
Having had an exposure to a competitive, holistic and dynamic environment, one, needless to say, develops a deep-rooted confidence in one’s abilities. The feeling that come what may, I am ready to face the challenge and face it boldly comes uniquely with this career option. It might sound biased, but the fact is that hundreds of MBA’s I have interacted with have that “something different” in them as far as confidence is concerned. The author is an MBA in Finance and consulting with one of the leading multinational consultancies in Mumbai.