As I mentioned in my previous comments “MBA – More supply OR less demand“, I am eager to answer this question, “Aji, should I go for MBA?“. In last few years I had opportunity to work with various team members with and without MBA and from good B-school to average ones. I was a part of 2 year fully residential MBA from NIMC/AIMK. I have seen and worked with over 6 MBA batches myself. MBA is a course that can really fine tune but you need to do it REALLY RIGHT.
2 reasons why MBAs
are were preferred:
- Brilliant minds were entering it. People’s first choice was top MBA institutes. Companies visits such institute to get the top brains not the MBA students. All the students were brilliant and MBA is just collecting them at one place. Some of the best minds I worked owned a MBA degree from good B-schools.
- For their existing educational background: Every time a company visited us they preferred a combination like “BCom+MBA”, “Engg+MBA” or “BCA+MBA(HR)” etc. Same happened with MCA, “Maths+MCA” or “PHY+MCA” were preferred over all other combinations. The three or four years of your graduation/engg is where you build some strong and basic foundations (Your thinking process and analytical skills are developed during the graduation phase). I never preferred BCA+MCA or BBA+MBA combination for that reason.
What MBA is (in general)?
- It is not about piling knowledge but about actions and approaches. (For MBA knowledge you can read some 20 to 30 books and get everything better than what is taught. You can try these books as well.)
- It is not about efficiency but effectiveness. (It sharpens your mind to be quick and to focus. How to work and think in a systematic way. It increases the output with the same level of efficiency.)
- It is not about syllabus but about out of syllabus activities (Read the interview with NITISH JAIN, President, S.P. Jain Centre of Management, where he talks about exposure and other activities) .
- It is not about work (or Net work) but about network (You can do that outside/without the campus as well but the college network is vast and fast).
- It is not about degree but about confidence and attitude (Be aware of the thin line between confidence and arrogance, almost everyone complains about it.).
- It is not 2 years of daylight classes but about 2 years of sleepless but full of masti nights (It makes you really bold, you can’t achieve this outside.).
- It is not about books and semesters but about people (wearing almost nothing at night) and team (well dressed in borrowed tie, stolen trousers and proudly owned jockey). (Different team tasks with varied team members teaches you more.)
- It is not about the classes by management teachers/gurus but about classes by management student (who happens to own companies and still learning the latest). (I always liked entrepreneurs/industry people teaching us than qualified professors.)
- It is not about CV but about first placement (Trust me, first placement sets the benchmark for many and a good institute can give you the best start but later its upt o you).
- It is not about preparing a secure career but about preparing you for risky decisions. (Confidence in you helps you take bigger decisions)
When to do MBA?
I am running my hands really quick on the keyboard to summarize my thoughts.
- For a better job: Indian Industry works on degrees for promotions/jobs (Sometimes it helps in getting shortlisted). I have some of my friends doing MBA just to fulfill their criteria for further promotions. Still there is no mantra for success so there is nothing to follow except “Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite“. MBA can put you in a well planned career stream with a better cash flow.
- If you are not a self motivator: If you are a self motivator (with enough confidence) then you can read the books and understand most of it in less than an year. If you lack self motivation then it is good to read the needed subject forcefully (as the classes and exams will force you to learn atleast some part of it).
- If you donâ€™t know what MBAs actually study: What to study is 90% of the task. MBA curriculum are designed to give you (a quick) direction in a very systematic way.
- Not enough exposure/platforms: I been very lucky. When I was 19 I got a regional team of young people to lead. Even from very early I had opportunity to lead different sports team, school houses (school as vice-captain). It is not about your ability but about the opportunity that is available for you (There is another thought that you can make opportunity for yourself). If you donâ€™t have enough exposure to team work, public speaking, presentations, paper presentation, documentation etc then MBA can act as a great platform to start with. I got enough exposure at NIMC.
- Continuation of your studies: If you are continuing your student life, MBA can do wonders (giving you an initial break and a network to float).
When not to do MBA
- Everyone is doing it: Donâ€™t follow the crowd as most of them might not know what they do.
- When you want to learn something magical or at concrete/core level for success.
- When you don’t want a monotonous job.
- When you want to try something new.
- When you want to start a company of your own. (MBA is not needed to start a company, all you need is an attitude to fail and fight, MBA can just help you connect to a network of people with like minds..)