My MBA Journey

2-marEvery MBA graduate has a special story to tell about his journey as an MBA graduate and he or she never stops talking about it. Well, I too have a good story to tell about my life as an MBA graduate. The story of my pursuit of this most desired degree is really an interesting one and I got to learn a lot in my life during my MBA days.

After working as an IT trainee in a start-up, I decided to boost my career by getting a professional degree and take my career graph to a significant level where I always wished to.  The MBA was the best choice and I decided to go for MBA entrance tests. After one year of hard work and through a series of comprehensive tests, GD/PI, I managed to get a seat in the IBS, Pune. I learnt a lot from my life as an MBA graduate and would like to share some important things to be aware off before applying to an MBA entrance, my experiences and post MBA situation.

Time to pursue the MBA degree:

The most common trend in India to start an MBA degree is around 3-4 years of work experience and I also did the same. I discovered an MBA degree as a great way to change my career trajectory. Everyone has a different motive for pursuing an MBA and it is really important to know why you want to pursue an MBA degree. Some want to change their line of work, some want to build a strong business network to run their family/personal business and some want higher pay scale and want promotions out of it.

It is my advice to earn at least 3-4 years of experience before you apply for an MBA entrance because it is really important to formulate an MBA goal before you start thinking to pursue it. I experienced that the students who had a good experience of job before MBA were really confident attending the lectures and could relate the lessons to the real time work environment. Attending the MBA lectures with practically zero experience in the industry is like attending a French class without knowing a word of French!

While in group discussions and person meetings during MBA days, your practical job experience matters a lot and you will be able to have a very well educated conversation with your colleagues and understand their viewpoints well. So it is really advantageous to have at least 3 to 4 years of prior work experience before you apply for an MBA degree in professional colleges.

Right Selection of college is important:

Studying abroad in foreign universities requires a big sum of money and it can be anywhere around 80 lakhs to one crore of Indian rupees. Many students have common criteria for selecting B-schools which is based on the rankings and placement history. But based on my experiences during MBA, I found that the basis of selecting an MBA college should be quite different. It should be a well planned and rigorous curriculum, faculty interaction, chances of networking, a sense of community and the quality of the course work. These all things can be done only when you make the extensive research, meet alumni of the different schools and the education counselors.

At IBS Pune, I found that a lot of value addition can be done through pursuing an MBA program. There is a full opportunity to interact with faculty and students and alumni from a wide variety of cultures and industries. This helps you to build a strong industry network with the right people and you will able to develop insights to many things like problem solving, industry metrics and future business partnerships too.

The other criteria like placement records, type of companies/industries providing placements, average pay and rankings are also important but the core benefits for your personality improvement are judged on the basis of the measures  as explained earlier.

MBA myths:

After attending IBS Pune, I found that a number of misconceptions were there in my mind and they were actually the myths of MBA and they all were gone from my mind.

It is better to complete your MBA before you marry–  No, it is not a good belief and I found many students who enrolled into the IBS colleges were married already and quite a good number of students had kids too! This made me believe that marriage is not an obstacle in the path of an MBA program and anyone can pursue MBA after graduation who has willingness to do it!

MBA guys earn a lot of money– Doing MBA does not guarantee you a high earning job. It only creates a great way to enhance your skills and expertise through which you can make a good career. It can be a belief that MBA guys earn a lot of money with guarantee but the fact is that only those get full success who grasp the necessary skills and learn well during the MBA days.

All persons pursuing MBA are from the similar background and mindset– This is a misconception and the fact is that nearly all the MBA colleges across the country grant admissions to students coming from a wide variety of backgrounds. The aim is same which is to achieve a better job and career but the attitude, priorities, experiences and outlooks can be very different.

Post MBA life:

After completing my MBA graduation, I got a job as Quality Analyst in a multinational company. I got this job due to my IT skills and also because of the good communication which was required to be able to deal with the overseas clients. During the MBA days I got a number of opportunities to develop my communication skills and I got the benefit of it during my interviews and the job. I got to know what are the things expected during job interviews and I was able to crack interviews. So I can say that I understood well what I wanted out of the MBA program and was able to make the most out of it. In my opinion MBA is really useful for you if you can figure out what you want to use it for. The most coveted MBA degree is not to be taken as a simple add-on degree in the wallet of your qualifications but has to be well-grounded in order to achieve the best out of it.

Contributed by Ashish Singh Parihar ( Class of 2008, IBS Pune )

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