Learning through challenges faced during MBA

mba graduatesMBA is a course where future leaders are created. There are challenges posed during the course which would enhance one in building their career with professionalism. Challenges which seem to pose as a threat initially, actually moulds us into a person we desire to become. Some of the challenges that we face during the course of MBA are:

  • Group Discussion
  • Gender Equality
  • Public Speaking
  • Presentation Skills
  • Interview Skills

Group discussion is a way by which one could assess about a person’s personality. It helps in understanding the technical capacity of a person and also how apt and ready he/she is for the job. MBA course organizes group discussion that helps in judging how a person will be in a corporate group under any given situation. Exchanging ideas and information among group of persons helps one to face a situation in a corporate office to engage in discussions to introduce newer policies and revolution into the company. Some of the ways by which we could excel in a group discussion are:

  • Being well prepared in advance on various topics like current affairs etc
  • Freedom of speech and confidence to be well built
  • Understanding the body language of other speakers
  • Enhancing listening skills, which will help us in not repeating the point already spoken and also speaking for/against a point
  • Personal attack should not take place
  • It is a platform to get recognized with effective language skills
  • Keep the group engaged in the discussion with relevant points rather than wandering alternatively

Working with the opposite gender could pose challenges for those who have not interacted much in their earlier lives. Based on a personal experience, it tends to get difficult as to how you would put across your ideas and thoughts to the opposite gender. We need to develop our body language and speaking skills in a manner which gets decoded in the same manner to both the genders. In order to achieve success in this arena, you could start with talking to people with opposite gender on smaller discussions. Next you could form a group consisting with both genders so that interaction is shared equally and there is lesser nervousness.

Sharing mind spaces with both the genders during MBA, helps in understanding the thought process on both sides. Equality and no gender discrimination are learnt through this scenario. Working in a corporate scenario with people from both genders leads to sharing a comfortable space and eases out on talks. A sense of culture is developed during MBA which helps in understanding the corporate culture and working with ethics and values bestowed.

Public speaking is one of the most essential qualities to be possessed for every person to succeed in presenting their thoughts in front of others. When a person speaks confidently, each word spoken by him or her will be appreciated by others. Similarly when a person gets nervous in speaking, his body language talks more than his/her words. People start losing interest in their talks.

MBA poses this challenge in the form of various activities like giving presentations, stage events etc. To overcome this challenge, start gathering knowledge on various events that take place around. Start discussing it with your friends and family. Sharing one’s thoughts and understanding the perspective of other person will help in shedding away the fears of speaking in front of a crowd. Once you are confident in talking in front of a smaller group, widen it with more friends, discuss it with professors, engage in public speaking events and join in presentation activities. Smaller steps towards public speaking will make you a more confident and knowledge enhanced person.

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The next challenge is presentation skills. When presentations are made, they require technical and intellectual skills to be reflected. For effective presentations it is important to

  • Thoroughly analyzing and researching on the topic
  • Referencing each fact and data
  • One sentence for each point
  • Adding extra information in the notes section
  • Make it attractive but not with too many colours
  • Arranging each slide according to the guidelines

In order to make effective presentations it is important to understand the subject well and to be thorough with its information around all dimensions. This will lead to effective tacking of all the questions that would be asked at the end of the presentation. Also if the presentation is well made and well presented, the audience will have a clearer picture on the case.

With each level of challenges being successfully handled, the last challenge faced during MBA is Interview session. All throughout the course we are surrounded by so many activities, that it helps in building our personality in and out. We enhance our language skills, body language, presentation and people skills. Similarly our sense of style in terms of clothing also changes. We understand the value of formal clothing and how important it is during an interview sessions.

Our learning for this challenge comes from mock interviews conducted. Our advantages and disadvantages are highlighted and we get to work on those skills, ahead of the actual interview. Once our intellectual skills, technical skills and people skills are built, we are ready to face the interviewer and answer to all those questions with confidence and greater ability. At this stage it appears as a learned stage rather than challenge.

Once these five major challenges of the MBA course are faced and learnt, it shapes the personality and career with a growing upscale graph. Motivation is one of the major requirements at each stage of challenge, to help us outgrow of it successfully. MBA gives a sense of responsibility which people carry ahead in the professional lives which outshines their career and scope of improvement. The challenges that one faces during this course are steps leading to a successful career with effective people management, enhancing talent and becoming a responsible citizen.

The road to success is difficult and filled with hindrances, motivation and willingness to reach the destination, will fulfil those desires”.

Contributed by Anju Bafna, (Class of 2010, IBS BANGLORE)