The Three Mistakes During And After An MBA

MBA CareerThe greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

 We as human beings are prone to make mistakes. More so, during the most important critical period of our student lives, and essentially while preparing for higher education.

An MBA is radically different from any of the undergraduate courses we in India would have pursued. And more importantly, it would also be vastly different from any of the post graduate courses.

A regular MBA course is exhaustive, requiring long hours, substantial amounts of self study and most importantly considerable up-gradation of knowledge and skill sets.

It is over this last point that most students trip up.

The first few months into an MBA course will make you feel jittery over time lines, projects and most importantly presentations.

An MBA course prepares you for the rough journey in the big bad corporate professional world which is a stickler for time lines and accuracy.

The MBA is a full dress rehearsal for all things to come, both good and bad.

Use every moment of it, in constantly learning and updating your knowledge bank.

The most common mistake which we as students make is to treat the MBA as just another regular Post graduate course- a course which one has to pursue for the sake of pursuing to add another degree to our resume’.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Using this degree in a resume’ to further one’s career will come later. The MBA offers you a whole two years to hone up on your time management skills, soft skills, communication.

Very few view this as an opportunity to learn and fill up the holes in ones personality. Most of us view he first six months see the course as dreary, full of presentations and impossible deadlines.

Our undergraduate courses hardly prepare us for the long haul and the bad patches which life will present us with.

The second fatal mistake we must not commit in an MBA program-is people. Yes people-till the time we enter an MBA program, our graduate courses are focused only on self study, requiring no interaction with other students-denying us of other viewpoints and experience.

MBA Program

The MBA is not an individual, solitary program-every project, every assignment, every marketing study requires to align ourselves in groups, sometimes possibly choosing our own team. Some of us make the mistake of not contributing anything in a team -the work will still be done nevertheless, but it robs the team of your inputs and robs you of honing your skills.

In your professional life, choosing to go it alone will rob you of growth amongst your peers- a habit you picked during your MBA can have disastrous consequences in your job.

We enter in to an MBA program with just one sole objective-to get a job. Failing to realize that getting a  job-is the end result of what all we do during these two years. The electives we choose, the assignments we complete, the presentations we give, even the spell checks we run on our reports are all preparing us for the interview and the job beyond the interview.

A job is simply an outcome, most of us make the mistake of undertaking every action with a view to gaining a job, or seeking a place at the interview table at the most.

To get to a job, and a company we must be prepared adequately-Sun Tzu says “Those sweat more during peace time will bleed less during war time”.

Every decision you take during the course of your working life, it will resonate with activities during your MBA years, the endless hours spent on presentations, the tips given by peers on how to scrape particularly brutal reviewers will come in handy in handling sticky situations.

Simply skimming through the two years of an MBA, trying to avoid work (though honestly that’s quite difficult to do!) and the n landing straight into an interview is recipe for disaster. The interviewer looks at your complete personality, what you have managed to learn post your graduation and what are the particular skill set you bring to the fore.

The worst mistake which we commit is thinking post landing a job at an interview, the struggle ends. I hate to be the one to break it you, but the real struggle only begins from here.

Starting from which particular company’s interview you decide to choose to appear for, your first job, its location and its job description will make or break our life.

Imagine being stuck in a role or job profile for the next possible three decades of your life.

Carefully choosing the particular industry/job profile is key to your career progressions. A wrong choice here will make you rue your decision for the rest of your life.

Choose a company and a job which will make complete use of your skill sets, your abilities and your strong points.

The other thing to realize very early on in your job is to realize quickly when things are not going according to plan.

If you are not able to get adequate growth and consistently and constantly upgrade yourself in your job, then its best to take an exit option instead of sticking around and trying to turn things around.  This is not quitting, but course correction and this is absolutely essential to survive and to learn.

Ultimately, life in all its stages is full of experiences and its mistakes and more importantly-learning.

We must make sure that we are constantly moving and learning, and acquiring new skills both during and post the MBA in our jobs as well.

The day we stop learning, is the day we truly die.

Frequently, during and post the MBA you will come across difficult situations and more importantly difficult people to deal and live with.

Learning to make peace with people who have a different opinion, yet asserting what you believe is right (both factually and otherwise) is a tact which will stand you in good stead throughout your life.

Contributed by sunil iyer ( Class of 2008, IBS GURGAON )

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