Basking in the glory of an MBA degree

It’s 3 a.m. and Rahul is feeling snoozy while talking to Riya about the plan for the next morning. On Christmas, he has to reach the airport at 6 in the morning and has to attend 100 calls in the first half to keep the business live! Life is never easy and more so if you are the VP-Sales at Citibank.

Life at a B-school was exciting and challenging, but there is no suitable adjective that can describe the job experiences of a banker like Rahul. While the entire team runs for a kill every single day to keep the cash chest healthy, Rahul has his own challenges, business expansion and productivity maximization being the perennial ones. Targets, as they say, was more than a word for the team – which actually meant something  like the event horizon of a black-hole – there is no looking back and there is an undetectable upper limit or shall I say no upper limit.

No management text or case had given Rahul a better perspective on business strategy than what he had learned the hard way on the job. ‘Sales’ as a course in management was more like listening to stories of successful people.

Coming to the point – There are a lot of MBA aspirants I see around coming and asking for an ROI from an MBA degree from an ‘X’ college. While a lot of students are more interested in knowing the monetary benefit in short term, a handful think about the way an MBA degree will improve their overall profile and then a very smaller number of students who consider a combination of these two. I have personally not met anybody so far in my career span of 4 -5 years of being a mentor, anybody who asked me about the value addition from an MBA, which I believe, is the single-most important thing and leads to higher monetary gains and a good profile over the long term.

Then comes the question whether one should do an MBA or go for a job/course/business. This is a question asked by most of the people. Here again, most people consider short term gains and think of an MBA degree as a lottery ticket, which can give them windfall gains. Having a long term perspective on why one wants to do an MBA is as important as MBA itself – MBA is more than a course or a degree.

There can be many Rahuls who are doing well after passing out from a prestigious B-School. Yes, quality management education does leave an overall positive impact on a person. But, the management quotient or management fit of a person is more a function of his real life experiences along with his management education. One should know the reason for doing an MBA and how it is going to help one in achieving both short and long term goals.

I understand that different people might have different reasons to do an MBA. It can be spouse hunting 🙂 , professional networking, enabling career change etc. Some of them are overwhelmed with the idea of doing an MBA and others surprisingly nonchalant. No exposition, howsoever artful, can truly describe the journey from an MBA to a manager. When Henry Ford said, “The customer can have a car painted in any color as long as it’s black,” he was not joking. I would like to say that in the world around us, people don’t mind doing an MBA as long as there is a buzz about high pay packages.

It’s easy to understand our strengths by tracking our results. Yet, most of us underestimate our own strengths. We take them for granted. What we are good at comes easy, and we believe that unless it comes hard, it can’t be very good. As a result, we don’t know our strengths, and we don’t know how we can build on them. We also seldom know what gifts we are not endowed with. We will have to learn where we belong, what we have to learn to get the full benefit from our strengths, where our weaknesses lie, what our values are

We also have to know ourselves temperamentally: ‘Do I work well with people, or am I a loner? What am I committed to? And what is my contribution?’ Unfortunately, nobody teaches us these things.” A B-school might be a good place to learn management, but at times, we need to have a lot of experience in life to realize that real learning requires some unlearning.

So, continuous hard work, grit, and hunger to learn are some of the important factors to succeed in life. As far as the need to do an MBA is concerned, go ahead, realize your passion, and come out competent enough to survive unless you think that you can sit back and pull money like a magnet by virtue of having a good MBA degree.

This wonderful piece is written by an MBAGuru b-school expert who is a Physics Honors graduate from KMC and a Software Engineer from USIT and has been teaching QA and DA at MBAGuru for the last 3 years. With an interest and experience in acing all the competitions, he continues to mentor so well and so relentlessly and remains ever so accessible to students. He manages all kinds of pressures and uncertainties, is always game for a challenge, and is known for the spirit and spark that never diminishes – it is by exhibiting these qualities that he is able to inspire so many students.

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MBAGuru has been immensely helpful in preparing me to face the CAT and other exams. The interactive classrooms, brainstorms in class, home sheets, and the supportive faculty helped me in my comprehensive development. Guidance, support and individual attention are always the top priority here. Every student gets time and focus from faculty to administrative department. I really wish to thank MBAGuru for working so hard with me on improving my weak areas and enhancing strong areas.

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