A time frame of approximately 2 years is a very long time when it comes to a person’s career keeping in mind that many MBA students take a break from their job to inculcate skills and knowledge pertaining to management. Thus, aspirants get petrified by the kind of subjects and variety of tasks they would have to undergo at a management institute. Some programs provide a full time course involving staying at campus or hostels while a few demand fixed hour visit.
Hence, with the increasing complexities, competition, plethora of activities to divert the mind and last few years of education in an individual’s life; it becomes crucial to make best of it in order to contribute massively to one’s personal and professional growth. As an MBA graduate, I would recommend a tool called ‘regime’ for aspirants as well as MBA students.
Now, I would like to take you through each semester of MBA, the ideal attention to be allotted and ideal time to be allotted by an MBA student over listed criterions, to make best of the experience, though one must remember that one size doesn’t fit all.
Good meals: First and for mostly, one must always remember to have a healthy diet plan throughout the program. Falling ill is an unaffordable luxury because illnesses and diseases make you lose your valuable preparation and studying time. Good meals should catch more of your attention over the three semesters and then become a high priority in the final semester. Now the question comes why? The higher concentration must be given in final semester because it is the time for placements when rejections, failures, falls happen and only and only good healthy favorite food helps you keep yourself active, healthy and in a good mood.
Plan Your Day: An unplanned day leaves scope for complaints pertaining to no time for oneself, any time for family or friends, social life or time for daily activities. Hence, time management through a time table or schedule is essential. Also, the planning must be short, precise and help you become organized. Being organized always leaves you with plenty of time for yourself. Planning must take less time but get higher attention. During last semester when there is more time for you to prepare for placements, thus one must plan judiciously. MBA program is meant to make you find solutions to all problems rather than cribbing over them.
Socialization Hours: My main agenda with socialization is to begin with making more friends, reduce to quality friends in the second semester because it is generally the harder semester. Socialization is good up to friendship and company, but harmful when there is waste of time in night-outs, gossips etc. Healthy time should be spent with contacts over dinners etc but must not become a part of your study, preparation or exam time. Teaching others is helpful to revise your lessons, don’t worry about competition because no one can snatch your knowledge, forget the competition.
General Awareness Reading: A lot of rejections come into picture due to lack of general awareness. Have knowledge about not just Bollywood, Hollywood or favorite bands but also the political scenario of the nation, economic state, financial issues, budgets and suggestive reforms for the country, social issues in hype, scams, mergers and acquisitions etc. Being aware takes a little time in the beginning but gradually becomes a habit building your competitive edge. As an MBA you are expected to have an opinion and view on everything. There must be no dieting in this area, over-eating can be dangerous too.
Personality Development Efforts: Confidence, self-assurance, self-awareness, smile, eye contact, clear speech, stress management, time management, pronunciation, perfect dressing, right grooming, body postures and language come with efforts. Nervousness goes with mirror work, practice and knowledge. Understand your weakness whether grammar, pronunciation, tone, grooming, understanding or comprehending etc and read a self help book on the same because this initial worry is better than worrying outside the interview room.
Number of Breaks: We all have brilliantly excelled over years to declare a five minutes break and extend the same for hours. Over time one must inculcate power naps and meditative naps during work to reduce stress and illnesses bearing with fatigue. Breaks are valuable because short breaks empower you to work with greater efficiency. A no break schedule saturates you faster by reducing your marginal effort minute by minute and deducting your efficiency.
Chapter and PPT preparation: Never ever under-estimate the reading of chapters from books. Detailed knowledge comes from books while a cursive brief comes from PPT’s. A lot of people stick to PPTs with limited knowledge, argue on their basis and prove a fool of them. PPT’s give an overview and hence are to revise what has been read. Chapter knowledge is really tested during interviews and placements as concepts and generally turns out as weakness of masses.
Reference Reading: Be a hunter, references give you in depth knowledge, ample to make you stand out of masses. As a personal experience, I would like to share that I always found videos and articles on related topics, watch and read the same for my favorite subject i.e. macroeconomics which always made me competent in the class and forced the professor to bring complex questions to me which became my competitive edge due to this heavy referencing and chapter preparation.
Family Time: In a full time residential program one is likely to face home sickness or loneliness which makes one want to stick to video chatting or long phone calls with parents. But as MBA students, one is expected to have certain balance over emotions. Family must not be given utmost importance because the goal here is to learn and not to spend time with family. Also, adequate gaps after each semester ensure ample time to visit one’s family.
Social Media and Entertainment: Social media includes networking sites such as Facebook, etc along with mobile applications like Whatsapp; must be replaced with focused attention in academics and physical play. One must reduce the hours of watching sports and television but not cut them altogether. If one has to do the same things, that one did at home, then what is the rationale of doing an MBA with stay in campus. One has to cultivate creativity at such campus rather than same old age haves.
Sleeping hours: The ideal hours of sleep being 5 and a lot of 5 to 10 minute breaks for power naps should be one’s way of resting. MBA is certainly not to laze around and sleep but a period of 2 years that demands active work and enthusiasm on one’s part. There must be a balance in the sleeping hours, it should neither be too less nor too much. Sleeping limited hours doesn’t mean to cultivate pale skin or dark circles, do take care of your sleeping hours. Dating and dating issues must be taken care of and must not affect your academics at any cost.
Contributed by Chayan Jain (Class of 2011-2013, IBS HYDERABAD)