With globalization, industry’s demand of people who can handle cross-functional skills, shrinking economies and an increase of functional activities in day-to-day business over routine transactions the need for business ready managers is increasing day by day. In Indian scenario, the mushrooming of b-schools is an understandable reaction to the demand of business ready managers having above mentioned skills and background. So, after qualifying the basic question of ‘Why MBA’, a candidate looks for a convincing answer for ‘Which b-school I should finalize for pursuing my MBA.’ In this peace of text, I will try to help you by giving you various qualifying pointers on the basis of which you will get a better idea for answering ‘the’ question.
Now, to find out the health of a particular college, the candidate goes to web and types the name of the college in the search bar. He sees a rosy picture on the b-school’s website. He then turns up and ends up searching ‘top MBA colleges’ and gets 1000+ responses in less than 0.22 seconds, only to baffle him more about his approach to go about finding the health of the college in his options. So, to have a clearer picture, try to see the parameters on which a particular website has given your wish-list’s college a particular score. The most important parameters to look for are faculty to student ratio, accreditations from various reputed bodies, college’s age, the profiles of the important persons (deans, HODs etc.) and infrastructure.
Secondly, candidates try to have a view of RoI scenario. In this, they consider the fee +other expenses as a ‘cost’ to MBA which is fundamentally wrong. In my opinion, it is an ‘investment’ towards an exciting career which is very fulfilling and rewarding, if one will try to see the bigger picture. By bigger picture, the point which I am trying to stress is that one should not do the naïve calculations of RoI by the immediate benefit one gets after MBA be in terms of salary package or role. Rather, one must try to interact with the alumni of that particular b-school and then try to evaluate if what role (and CTC) they are into after 5 years, 10 years or 15 years.
As discussed above, the shrinking economy has made it a buyer’s market, so a candidate will not see a very pronounced effect on its career immediately but he will surely see the effect in a period of 3 to 4 years. But one thing will be for sure, an MBA from a good college will give wings to its career and will be deciding factor in the later stages of its career.
A candidate might want to get back to its current industry or might want to change industry after MBA. As perceived, a one year MBA is more mapped for the former candidate and a two year MBA for the later. Thus, if it boils down to honing one’s skill in a particular industry or a particular skill-set, then apart from choosing between one or two year, one must also see if there are institutes available to focus only on that particular skill-set. For example, there are institutes like MICA and NITIE which are there for specific skill set namely communications and manufacturing domain.
An MBA gives you various perspectives and to get an insight about how those perspectives actually help a candidate in its professional life in the words of various leaders, industry champions and visionaries is very critical. This can only be possible if there is a very efficient connection of the college in the industry. Guest lectures, good internship offers can only be possible if the b-school has great corporate connects. Firms like Deloitte, HUL and Hyundai organize various events year to give chances of b-schools to showcase their talent. Students can use this as a great launch-pad to impress one and all in the list of key stakeholders of that firm. So, candidate must also check about the laurels that students of their concerned b-school have brought in these kinds of competitions.
One can only get an idea about the faculty and the kind of activities that happen in a particular b-school by only getting in touch with the alumni of the b-school. Today, it is a lot easier via the utilization of various social networking sites. You can follow the page of that particular b-school and you will get all the updates about the activities happening in the college in your feed. These kinds of activities give a lot of exposure to the candidates to have overall development of their personalities.
Every b-school has various committees like marketing committee, finance committee, student council, operations club and various non-academic bodies like speaker’s club, sports committee. Though, the tight schedule of academic activities won’t spare much time for these activities but one must try and be a positively contributing part of these activities. Thus, a candidate must also check out the extent of these kinds of activities in the concerned because passing exams and attending lectures will make a candidate a run out of mill MBA.
Lastly, as I discussed earlier that MBA is an investment towards an exciting career. But after every investment one also thinks of the immediate monetary return primarily because of the heavyweight EMIs waiting to be paid in the case of MBA. So, it is important to check the placement record of the concerned b-school in the last 5 years. One most important thing to notice while checking this is the average work experience of the previous batches prior to joining MBA. This detail will help a candidate in viewing a clearer picture because the average CTC gets beefed up due to higher CTC of candidates with greater work-ex and the published figure on the website paints a wrong picture. Also, checking out the kind of companies visiting the campus will help a candidate streamlining its strategy for placements or internships.
Thus, I will emphasize again that an MBA is an experience and must be 100% sure before choosing the vehicle for this exciting, adventurous and fulfilling joy ride because a journey is as comfortable as a vehicle and this experience rubs on candidate’s personality for molding him into a better professional.
Contributed by Sthita Sahu