The anticipation of getting into B-school of our choice is very joyous. We all get excited with just the mere thought of a whole new journey. The reason not just being that these will be the last years of our student life, but we will also find ourselves standing at the main gate to enter the enticing world of the corporate. It is true because the day we decide to pursue MBA, we start dreaming about the corporate life we would want to be in. But can we decide on which department would suit us the best and which one we ultimately want to be in? Like in this case, would Finance be better or HR?
When girls join B-school, they mostly hear from others that they should consider a specialization in HR. It is assumed that girls would make better Human Resource managers because of their innate qualities such as politeness, empathy, communication skills etc. However, there are some questions that girls need to address before making a final decision. Questions such as “Is that what I see myself doing in future?” Or “Is it right for me?”
Informed decisions are always better than following any advice blindly. Since MBA is a crucial step towards one’s professional life, all the decisions should be taken with utmost care. Especially since the professional life makes most part of the adult life.
‘What specialization should I opt for’ is a million dollar question. There is no scientific guide to decide which field is good for girls? The one and only solution to this dilemma is to find out the field of your own interest.
Let’s discuss some ways which can help you decide the specialization of your choice between MBA in Finance and an MBA in HR.
Consider Long Term Goals of Your Future
This golden rule should be considered irrespective of any specialization like Finance, HR, Marketing or IT and systems. Imagine yourself in the future and think, is this what you want? There can be many reasons for choosing one specialization over others, such as better companies, better salary packages or better opportunities. But at the end of it, all we want is to be happy. Will your decision of choosing one specialization over other be able to keep you happy in the future? If the answer is yes, you are making the right choice.
Choosing the right field this time is similar to choosing our elective subjects in high school. The only difference this time around is that it is probably the last time you would be choosing a field of your interest. Of course, there are options available for you to opt for a dual specialization or switching fields but isn’t it better if you decide beforehand? I am sure the answer is yes.
Favorite Choice of Subjects
There are always some subjects which we have enjoyed more in our school days. So the subjects that interest you the most need to be the focus here. In any business, there are majorly four functional departments, namely, Marketing and Sales, Human Resources, Operations and Finance.
Human resources and Finance are totally opposite functions. Both these functions consist of some sub functions. For e.g., in Finance there is Investment Banking, Mergers and Acquisition, Debts Market etc; whereas in Human resources there are sub functions like Learning and Development, Recruitment and Training etc. Once you decide the specialization, you will study these sub functions in your final year of MBA. However, before choosing any specialization you should do a thorough research regarding these sub functions, so that you have certain level of clarity about your area of interest.
You can talk to your seniors and professors and then decide upon what sounds more interesting to you and what will interest you more as a career.
Have you always loved playing with numbers? Or have you enjoyed solving people’s problems.
All of us have different personalities and traits that are enhanced as we grow. I remember my school days when I hated numbers and always avoided group studies because I knew I was not good at it. Instead, I took part in debates, plays and extracurricular activities where lots of creativity was involved. Today all those things are helping me shape my career in Marketing.
There are some things we do not enjoy doing at all. We all know what we like and as one wise man said, you should always do what you like. Before choosing and deciding what you want to pursue as a career, think wisely.
Never end up doing what you are not interested in or don’t have an affinity for. Otherwise, you will never be able to amalgamate your job and passion..
Actively Participate in Classroom Activities, College Fests and Case Studies
MBA is more about learning from experiences and events rather than gathering bookish knowledge. It is not surprising if an element of confusion still exists after weighing all the pros and cons and trying to reach a decision. In such cases, all you can do is put your best efforts to find out where your interest lies and one very interesting way to do that is by actively participating in college events.
Almost all the colleges have clubs specific to the functions, like Finance clubs, HR clubs, Marketing clubs etc. You should participate in different clubs and their activities to understand what you enjoy the most.
Case studies are one major part of any MBA curriculum and they should be, because they teach about critical events of companies and how to cope with them. Case studies are a part of daily classroom study material in B-schools and if you want to have a flourishing career for yourself, you should always take them seriously. They will not only imbibe problem solving skills in you but will also help find out your key interest areas.
Extracurricular activities are also a great way to understand your choices. You get an opportunity to interact with like-minded people who must be going through the same issues and it will benefit everyone by discussing it with each other. By talking to them and exchanging thoughts you may get clarity for yourself.
As I mentioned earlier there is no scientific guide to decide what to choose and what not to choose. Of course, there are many deciding factors but in the end, it should solely depend upon what interests you the most. You should back your decision with a rigorous research over your key interest areas to ensure a fruitful and satisfying career. One wrong decision taken today may create problems for you in the future.
MBA is a path deciding career for anyone and it is very essential for you to choose wisely. Never take any decision blindly. Of course, following your heart’s choice is recommended but if the decision involves the brain too, through sound knowledge and research, it will help you carve a dream career for yourself. After all, a decision that involves both heart and mind never goes wrong.
Contributed By : Leena Sonparate, Class of 2013, IBS Mumbai
Linkedin Profile of Leena Sonparate : http://in.linkedin.com/pub/leena-sonparate/4b/715/aa7