Every year in India, more than two hundred thousand students appear for various MBA entrance exams; compete with each other to secure one seat out of few thousands availed by very good B-schools across India.
Preparing for the entrance exam: Check
Scoring high in the entrance exam: Check
Receiving a GD/PI call: Check
Preparing for PI:
When you start preparing for your personal interview, you begin with the most common questions which will be asked by the interviewers such as ‘tell us about yourself’, ‘tell us something which is not there in the form/ your resume’, ‘run me through your resume’, ‘tell me your three strengths and three weaknesses’, ‘where do you see yourself in after 5 years’, ‘why would you like to do MBA from our institute’ and one of the most common questions amongst others “WHY MBA?”
The true answer is well-known, but we choose not to be truthful. We reply, “I wish to learn”. The interviewers accept your reply with a smile, whereas even they know this answer is a cliché. The truth is we want to do an MBA because we have seen all the top notch executives who lead the successful companies, have done their MBAs from these elite B-schools and landed themselves in that position. And you feel only an MBA can give you better prospects, better opportunities and a better job.
Like many other things in the world, there are certain exceptions to this. For instance, a student from a very rich family will answer the “Why MBA” question in a completely different manner. S/he will say, “My family owns a certain business. And after certain number of years its responsibility will be on my shoulders and my duty would be to manage every little task in my firm. In order to be able to manage the tasks and people working for me, I would like to do an MBA”. These exceptions also hold true for the people, who wish to be entrepreneurs, people who are not satisfied with their current jobs and people who actuallywish to learn.
The main motto of establishing the first set of Indian B-schools was to build professionals who would manage the PSUs (Public Sector Units). Well, there is a shift from people applying to the secure and steady public sector posts, to the leading public sector firms and the startups. In fact, looking at the job market conditions prevailing in 2013, the motto might have slightly shifted to job creation. But the answer to the “Why MBA” question has always been the same i.e. to learn. If you happen to fall in the first category of the students who hide the truth by answering the question “I wish to learn” and at the end of all the turmoil, you make it to the premium B-school, then on the first day itself, you will realize, ‘Yes! It is all about learning.’
You meet various kinds of students, when you step into a B-school: Freshers, people with work experience, studious, all-rounders, people who are going-to inherit family business, people who want to startup their own business, people who already have a successful startup and the list never ends. The reason to join a B-school differs from student-to-student. But there is one thing in common among these students: These students are inspired to learn. These are the crème of the initial two hundred thousand students who appeared for the entrance exams, beat down the rest and secured a seat. These people may have their own reasons but these are the open-minded people with a broad lookout and are here in the B-school, to learn.
The curriculum of the B-schools is structured in such way that it facilitates learning. The most common are the class participation points and relative grading. Since you have come so far after facing such great competition from your peers, you won’t give up easily and will try to beat the heat. You will prepare for case studies, articles and presentations. You will try to be ahead of the class. In this process, the bi-products to facing competition are numerous.
First is, you gain knowledge of the subject. You may also develop keen interest in the subject and may choose it as specialization in the 2nd year. Second is Skills. Skills such as leadership, teamwork, fluency, listening ability, train of thoughts and clear thinking are tested when one appears for GD/PI, but if you happen to lack any of these skills, you have a real time chance to develop and harness these skills when in B-schools. Third is attitude. One’s attitude matters a lot. How does one perform in a team? How does one perform individually? One’s ability to spot minute intricacies in the case study, one’s ability to handle the pressure and the workload, one’s ability to multi-task, one’s lookout towards its group mates and classmates, one’s enthusiasm to participate, one’s enthusiasm to take up new things, one’s ability to balance study and play, one’s creativity and ability to think out of box. All these are the disguised bi-products of facing competition in a B-school.
The most eminent consequences will be a degree, a better job opportunity leading to a better pay and better lifestyle and most importantly, Networking!
What stands crucial is to learn. The ROI (Return on Investment)will be, surely, higher for the job opportunity which comes across after doing an MBA. However, it is important to keep the learning curve positive and the move must be exponential.
Article by Divyanka Gangurde