MBA Degree and a Political Career!

Suppose you were to go up to your parents and tell them that you want to study for a management degree and that it is your ambition to go into politics; can you guess what their reaction would be?

Yes, they are likely to hit the roof or at the very least, they will tell you that you would be wasting your education. When you come to think of it, ‘waste’ seems to be rather a strange word to use in connection with a political career because a politician does require all the things that are taught in a MBA class.MBA Degree and a Political Career!

It is a no-brainer that politics needs professionals – educated people who are dedicated to the cause of service to the nation (idealistic though that may sound). At present, we all know the state of politicians in the country. While we do not want to generalise or unnecessarily vilify them, it is an indisputable fact many of them go into it because either they belong to political families or because they think, it is the easiest way to power.

Politics is a very noble profession and I would say that it is a vocation on the lines of nursing, medicine or social service. Politics is about representing the people; politics is about development; politics is about able administration; politics is about raising awareness; politics is about advocacy.

It is unfortunate that what drives many people to politics are all for the wrong reasons – power, money, greed etc. But, that is not the fault of the profession; that is more to do with the people who go into it.

However, the purpose of this blog is not to promote politics as a profession but to dwell on the qualities needed to be an able politician and how they harmonise with your B-School curriculum.

Let us take the attributes one by one.

Leadership: When you join politics, you will probably join as a party worker at the grassroots level. What you do, how you do it, your ability to work your way up (much as in the corporate sector, here also there is a hierarchy to climb) and your influence within the party and the people among whom you work will all depend on your leadership skills and capacity to inspire. It is very important to impress your leadership talent on the citizens, because they are the ones who will ultimately choose you as their representative.

Managing People:  Politics is a rough game and as in any corporate set-up, everyone is trying to get ahead and push their way to the top. You have to be able to manage various sets of people – your co-workers, your peers, your party bosses and of course those whom you are serving (I mean the people and not your political masters).

Teamwork: As the recent elections have shown, for a party to succeed, it is necessary for the entire team to swing together. The BharatiyaJanata Party had only one star in its pack (NarendraModi) but the cadre worked together to impress upon the people that voting them to power would bring about change in the country. Using the same argument, we can say that it was lack of teamwork that led to the Congress party’s rout in the general elections.

Planning a Long-term Strategic Campaign: Politics is one of the few professions where you have to plan for the long-term. Unlike as in other vocations, a single act of brilliance will not get you anywhere. It has to be a sustained effort. You have to start your campaign strategy in advance, if you want to stand for elections and aim to be a legislator. The planning has to be meticulous, detailed and factor in unforeseen circumstances among others. You have to consider your rivals (both within the party and outside), your competitors, gauge the mood of the electorate and weave all that in your campaign strategy. It is like bringing a product to the market.

Having a Global Vision: Present-day politicians rarely have a vision, unless it is that of enriching themselves, cynical as that may sound. When you think of the older generation such as Jawaharlal Nehru, LalBahadurShastri, Sardar Patel etc., you know that they had a grand vision for India. Unless you have a vision your work will be meaningless and without any purpose. Think of Arvind Kejriwal when he started the AamAdmi Party – it was to rid India of corruption.

Using Statistics and Data Analysis to Predict Poll results and Outcome: We know that India is a land of demographic, cultural and religious diversity. This diversity, while enriching, is also a reason for confusion because nobody votes in a cohesive fashion. This will require you to track the voting patterns of the various segments over the years, create a trend analysis, extrapolate those results for the medium and long-term and then forecast your chances of victory or loss and the margins thereof. During elections, you will need all the data crunching at your disposal and on a real-time basis that will enable you to know where you stand.

MBA Degree and a Political Career!

Raising Funds: Your clout in the organisation/party is directly proportional to your ability to raise funds. Every party looks for a steady source of funding and if you can ensure that, your position in the party is assured.

Management of Funds: As you rise up the hierarchy in a party, you will be responsible for management of funds in the particular area where you work.  Later, if you are elected and become a Member of Parliament or that of a legislative assembly then the government will give you funds to use for the development of your constituency. How you use these funds and put them to work will test your funds management expertise.

Deploying Resources and Using them Efficiently:  People, money and your own reserves (of skills, assets etc.) are the resources that you have. You have to deploy them intelligently and efficiently if you want to see the returns that you seek. In the case of politics, returns are invariable measured in terms of your vote-catching abilities and whether you manage to retain the seat for your party.

As you can see, a political career is not much different from a corporate career and the skills and domain expertise that you will learn in a B-School can be equally used to further your career as a politician.

So, politics anyone?

Contributed by Disha Parekh Mohanty

Coaching or Self-studies-MBA is complete basics game!

coaching 2

Now when you have persuaded yourself about the MBA being the right weapon in your armoury, knowing more about the functionality of this weapon plays a major role. MBA, a highly competitive course, has always attracted a high number of applicants. Each year lakhs of applicants try their luck in MBA entrance exams. Several Fortune 100 chieftains say that it was the MBA that opened the door to opportunities that otherwise may have been closed to them. But it was no cake walk. For, placing yourself above the crowd it is important to clear the entrance exam with flying colors. Knowing how to prepare for entrance exam of the MBA is the best way to ensure your success.

Whether you have decided to join a coaching institute or you are determined enough for self-studies, getting into MBA revolves completely around the basics. Having the understanding of basics of subjects, general knowledge and economy can be a cherry on top before appearing for MBA entrance. The best approach while preparing for MBA is to clear the basics of every subject combining with speed and accuracy. As per the MBA experts, there is nothing new in MBA entrance exams which were not taught in schools and graduation. However, the approach taken and time required in solving questions plays a major role. Proficiency in this field can only be achieved through continuous practice.

Rohan is a MBA aspirant and will be appearing for a B-school entrance exam this year. While preparing for the exam, Rohan faces a repeated problem. He has to solve a question 5-6 times before getting a right answer and every time the mistakes are very silly. Rohan sought a solution from his uncle, a MBA graduate and consultant in a top company. Respectively the reply was lack of understanding of the basics, approach towards question and practice of the subject.


As mentioned above, clearing an entrance exam is not difficult but requires practice and exposure to a variety of questions. Learning the approach is more essential than learning a problem. One of the key areas tested in MBA entrances is arithmetic situations. Having a sharp command and interest in arithmetic is a definite plus for preparing for MBA. In addition to it, mastering aptitude and basic business mathematics concepts like profit & loss, Interest calculations etc. is a great advantage. Another key area is Logical reasoning. In most of the entrance exams finding the best solution to a tricky situation is tested. These skills need to be polished for clearing the MBA entrances. English language and general knowledge is as always been crucial for the candidates looking for clearing the MBA entrances. A candidate is expected to be fully competent in English. Reading comprehension, questions in verbal ability, vocabulary and actual usage of words should be brushed while preparing for this section in the exam. Therefore, reading articles, books and newspapers helps a lot. Having the general awareness is also important while preparing for MBA entrance exams. Though, GK has not been included in most of the entrance exams, it is tested in interviews. One need not to be an expert but should be aware of basic day to day activities globally.

Furthermore, Next step is to evaluate one’s learning style. It can be easily done basis one’s personality and past experience. Do you understand better when you are alone or you can grasp the concepts better in a group? Analysing your mode before starting preparing for entrance exam will help to smooth sail through hurdles. This will indeed help you in deciding whether to join a coaching institute or doing self-studies?

Self study work best when one is determined and self disciplined to study on his own. Any B-school entrance exam requires 4-5 hours of preparation daily. Abhinav Mittal, a top B-school entrance exam topper says “dedication and focus is necessary for all those preparing by themselves. Mock tests should also be solved to analyse and work on one’s weak areas”. Having a self-critic eye to learn from mistakes is a vital part of self-studies. Utmost, staying self- motivated is crucial for self-study.

On the other hand, Coaching provides you a disciplined environment and expertise faculties where you can study with time management. Moreover, coaching helps you to assess your preparation by providing timely test series and mock preparation programs. Since In most of the entrance exams knowing the approach to solve any question is important, coaching helps one to develop the fundamental concepts. Nevertheless, coaching classes will not ensure success if you are not revising and analyzing the work taught. Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review are considered salient steps while preparing for MBA. Survey implies going through the study material and its sections then asking questions related to the material you just went through. In the next step reading the material and then reciting the answers of the questions that came into your mind. Reviewing means getting back to each chapter and making mental note of major points. This style can be cultivated for future as well for both self-studies or coaching.

So, finally you know how to enter a lion’s den but isn’t it essential to know how to survive there? In the conclusion, besides clearing the entrance exam having the basic knowledge of economy, team building, and entrepreneurship will be an advantage. One of Immelt’s classmates in Harvard’s Class of 1982, Jamie Dimon, now CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, said he never came to class unprepared. You will always find a competitive spirit as it is in business in a MBA class. Being well versed with everything will definitely help you place above the crowd. Additionally, learning from students already pursuing MBA can be a great rescue. A lot can be figured out by other’s experiences.

Hence, no matter if you are preparing under a mentor or mentoring your preparation, basic skills and knowledge contributes in MBA program. Indeed, everything from starting from preparation to classrooms revolves around basics.


Need Assurance? Here Are Seven Reasons for Pursuing MBA


If you have been brainstorming with your banker friend, Business analyst neighbor, discussion forums or a consultant uncle about appropriate reasons for pursuing MBA, you probably have made up half your mind about taking up an MBA degree. Assuring completely before going for an MBA degree plays a significant role in your career. Recent Graduate or a working professional, MBA can be a transformational experience for both. Reasons for pursuing MBA also revolve around an individual perspective. For most of them, it is the fastest way towards high earnings, for many it is for starting their own business, for some, it is an urge to change their present career. Others might need it because of lack of jobs, growth and bigger opportunities.

If you are recent graduate and MBA seems interesting to you, you can always climb up the ladder. Some colleges also provide + MBA courses where you get both the graduation and masters at one place. It helps you to finish your studies at one go and later concentrate on your job. On the other hand, being experienced is an advantage in MBA as it works perfect for career advancement or change. Many companies look for the candidates having prior work experience and an MBA degree. Indeed, MBA has emerged as the most widely chosen option in India.

Here are some potential reasons to go for MBA

  •  MBA for Career Advancement

In today’s world, most of the roles are performance driven. You will find your counterparts with same credentials and qualities as you have. Being hardworking, result-oriented and smart worker will give you a work-experience and few promotions but what next then? The time to reach this sluggish stage depends on individual to individual. It may take 2 to 8 years to realise that you need career advancement. An MBA degree from a premier B school can be your rescuer. It will definitely help you to make a shift from your role to a management position. MBA has been the preferred degree in most of the roles across industries. Not all who pursue MBA land at the senior positions but it can help you to receive promotion and marketability. Hence, accelerating your career.

  • Career Shift

 You have just realised that your true calling is marketing. But all you have is 4 years experience as a software developer or a degree in bachelors of technology, Electronics. What can be the best steps to make a shift? Pursuing an online/part-time course or taking up small projects. If you are successful in doing the same, all you can get is entry –level job in marketing. Therefore, most of the professionals choose MBA to shift their career smoothly and efficiently. MBA is not only the change catalyst but a self-awareness program. It is a positive experience which can teach you a lot about self assessment and career transition opportunities. Certainly it is subjected to interest, knowledge and passion to pursue a completely different field. MBA teaches you general as well as business management skills which can be applied in variety of jobs including hospitality, banking, consultancy etc.

  • For Building professional Network             Build-International-Network

MBA definitely helps one to build professional relationships which may prove to be essential mentors and contacts. This networking includes fellow students, faculties and internship opportunities. This well combined network stays with you for the entire career and provides you with relevant information and better opportunities. Also, it is shown by studies that many entrepreneurs choose their team from peers in business schools.

  • For developing Leadership/ Entrepreneurial Skills

 The aim of the MBA program is to engage one in the study of entrepreneurial individuals and organizations. This throws light on the connection between entrepreneurship, management practice and external factors. This results in developing awareness and entrepreneurial skills which can be well applied practically. Also, most of the MBA preferring companies offer leadership positions. MBA also helps one to effectively build their leadership qualities by practical experiences. Though every business leader doesn’t necessarily have an MBA, but having one increases your chances of getting considered for leadership positions.

  • Relatively Higher packages

 Studies shows that on an average, a person with an MBA degree will start with 12 % more package that a basic graduate. Since MBA is an investment, returns must be calculated before spending time and money .Research on B-schools and their placement rates is advisable. MBA exposes one to various industries and therefore chances of getting a better job increases

  • Personal Growth

Most importantly, confidence is the key to success. If you are professionally confident about your growth, you will definitely succeed. MBA helps one to develop their knowledge, experience and personality all together. Studying an MBA pushes one to come out of the comfort zone, deal with latest situations, apply management techniques practically and each day challenge yourself. This Indeed will help you to improve and grow professionally as well as personally.

  • For starting your own business

It is not necessary to get an MBA before having your start-up. The only thing you need is know-how, basic finance planning and a dream. Bill gates and Steve Jobs are the best examples of entrepreneurs without MBA degree. An MBA degree only provides skills useful for running a business like accounting, marketing, sales, and human resources which are all basics to make work a business. The more relevant knowledge you have for running a business, the better are chances for profits.However, everything is not hunky dory. Spending or taking break of 2 years from job is indeed difficult. Proper research and knowledge is needed while going for a B-school for MBA. To know the returns on investment is critical. Consequently, it is advisable to study the other side of the coin as well. Despite all the criticisms, popularity of MBA remains high which makes it reasonably important.

Any degree cannot magically create opportunities but if all the necessary efforts are applied, sky is the limit for a career with an MBA degree in hand. Can you think of any other reason for pursuing a degree in MBA?

Why MBA: The Real Reason (Placements or Learning)

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