Life Cycle Strategy for successful MBA Experience.

Untitled-1Once you embark upon your MBA journey, you transform into a would-be manager who prepares for formal responsibilities and corporate entry which requires special learning to take up managerial tasks and decisions. Interestingly, the two years of MBA are like an extra life in the game which serves as a break from regular work for already working professionals whereas it serves as a boost for mere graduates and enables all to live another four days towards self improvement and development.

Management Gurus suggest 4 stages in a product’s life cycle that are extremely related to the life of an MBA graduate and have ample scope for application and learning. This very concept can help you to get feedback for modification, planning etc and help you find alternative routes to perform better and change your role in the corporate. During each semester you would be required to be consistent with the efforts and dedicated towards specific goals attached to it for an excellent result. Focused action and efforts towards your goals will make your MBA experience successful and worthy.

Pioneering or Introduction Stage
At the beginning of your journey, your competition is low and time is available in abundance for socializing etc. The schedule and habits you develop here will have a long lasting impact because right now you have lack of knowledge as to how the stream of management is, how things work, professors are and how grading is done etc. You might even face difficulties as to the methodology to be adopted for studying or understand the requirement of your professors in their interaction with you.

This is that part of MBA where everyone is trying to cope up; needs friends to interact with; grades tend to be average or low and there is an acute need to understand and adapt to the system, rules, policies, guidelines and the institution. Here you need to strengthen your basics. While your awareness is your goal, the introductory stage demands patience as return on effort seems to be negligible despite of low competition. The keys are: being innovative in your approach; learning time management and increasing your study-hours and study-nights. Remove all deficiencies in yourself by attaining extremely comprehensive knowledge while giving time to social life. Remember you can learn by sharing knowledge even with your competitor.

Growth Stage
By this stage you get a tentative idea as to what subjects you like; what are your strengths and weaknesses; people approach you for guidance in your strong subjects and you also help reciprocate; competition increases, resulting to the need to boost in your efforts. The focus should be on deep penetration into existing favorite subjects and improving on weaker subjects. Sometimes major improvements need to be made with respect to the methodology being followed regarding academics. Again, changes may take a toll on your time but benefits remain high. This initial investment reaps long lasting benefits. You need to explore newer channels of knowledge like existing PPTs and case reviews. A basic image of you is already created which may be required to be changed or maintained.
In the second semester the motive is to increase the grade point as well as secure an internship for oneself which is in line with your favorite subjects and passion. This growth stage is about maximizing ground knowledge increasing grades, investing considerable time in self study and countering increasing competition. Remember to attend all important lectures from industry experts; doing assignments and projects yourself and attending seminars.

Once you have your internship, realize it as a practical chance to learn in the real world corporate scenario in advance. The internship project you will make after this process, speaks volumes about your work, knowledge, understanding and contribution which is a better feedback than grades for your real worth and learning.

Maturity Stage
As the name suggests, in this stage you need to be mature enough to make your choices regarding correct electives and stream. What you choose today impacts the entire life. At this stage the academic competition will reduce and you will be comfortable with extended work hours. You would have realized your real potential with respect to grades and your focus now has to be on performing the best possible in the electives chosen by you. You can clearly choose between the beneficial and the futile.

You will be differentiated from the common lot of students as you would choose subjects that form a part of the requirement for your potential or dream job. Take up sales and distribution if you like selling. Since you have time for yourself here, you have opportunity to work on your soft skills and body language. You can earn credentials by participating in the inter college competitions in the field of your specialization and add your achievements to your resume as your strengths. Networking is crucial along with efforts to increase general awareness and having an idea and view on the state of the economy.

At this stage your interest will seem at its peak but you still would require learning the implementation of your attained knowledge. Reach out and gain maximum knowledge and don’t worry too much about grades.

Decline Stage
This is the second chance to choose electives when you can again add new knowledge tributaries to yourself. At this stage you have to plan for your placement and understand the market and company’s requirements. The competition in academics would shift to placement. You need to socialize; use your networks and reduce wastage of time. Think and direct your resources to better use. Brush up your basic concepts and make attempts to increase your general awareness.

Attend and learn from mock interviews and prepare well for group discussions. Remember no matter how tempted you get, never accept a job you don’t like. The decline stage is actually the beginning of a new cycle called corporate life which will make you financially independent. By the end of the fourth semester you must have your priorities on mind such as career plans, financial plans; growth plans etc and must work on them since you are no more a teenager but a well read person.

This is an idealistic route to MBA journey which may not be applicable in all cases because each person is different from another. Hence, I would sincerely suggest you to make your move wisely and benefit the most.

Contributed By : Chayan Jain (Class of 2011-2013, IBS Hyderabad)