Difference between MBA and PGDM.

MBA-VS-PGDM copyFew months back, one of the readers of my blog on this site had asked me about the difference between MBA degree and PGDM degree. I had then responded to him with a short, concise answer. I am sure students aspiring for MBA colleges must have encountered this question somewhere or other during their research. So, in this article, let me discuss this topic in more depth.

Purpose of both MBA and PGDM programs is to shape up your career in the field of management. PGDM or Post Graduate Diploma in Management, as the name says, offers a diploma in management unlike MBA, which gives a Master’s degree in Business Administration. Moment one sees the word ‘diploma’ attached, all hell breaks loose and confusion starts. Thoughts flash. I do not need a diploma degree after a successful Bachelor’s degree or after a corporate stint. A diploma is of lesser value to me. Right? Wrong. This is the most common myth associated in the debate of MBA vs. PGDM.

To give you a clear heads-up, top MBA institutes of India i.e. IIM, IMT, SP Jainand XLRI offer a PGDM degree. And then there are other top institutes like NMIMS, Symbiosis, FMS, and IBS which offer MBA degree. So, where is the difference?

Type of Affiliation – Only Major Difference

In India, a PGDM degree is offered by the autonomous bodies or institutions, which are not affiliated to any university.university is the flagship program across all 13 IIMs. Each IIM is run by an autonomous body and is independent to control its day-to-day operations. However the top management of all IIMs report of the Ministry of HRD in Indian government. XLRI, Jamshedpur is another example which offers the PGDM degree. It is not affiliated to any university but run by an independent board which comprises CXOs of the leading corporate.

Now let us look at MBA degree. MBA degree is offered by universities and its affiliated institutions, and these universities are controlled by University Grants Commission (UGC). For example, ICFAI Business School offers MBA degree and is affiliated to ICFAI University. According to the Indian laws, only a university can offer degrees such as MBA, BBA or BE. Any institution which is not affiliated to university cannot offer these degrees.

Hence, the major difference between MBA and PGDM degree is the type of affiliation of these colleges. Most of the differences between both degrees are in fact spin-offs of this very distinction.

Autonomy Scores Certain Advantages

Since PGDM colleges are autonomous institutions, they enjoy certain operational advantages over MBA colleges. One of the differences is in the kind of curriculum and its design. In PGDM, the curriculum is updated more regularly based on the changes in the environment and requirements of the industry. This makes the PGDM courses more competitive and industry oriented. PGDM courses from institutes like IIM, ISB, SP Jain or such top institutes reflect higher brand value and are readily accepted by the industry.

What about colleges like FMS, Symbiosis, NMIMS, or IBS? They all offer MBA degree. So, does this mean the syllabus of these colleges is outdated? Answer is No. Technically speaking, a university syllabus changes once every 3 to 5 years. This is because there are a number of institutions affiliated to a particular university. So, if there is more frequent change in the syllabus, there will be time and costs associated with the revision of books and upgrading the faculties. Hence, there is a lesser degree of flexibility involved in the curriculum design of an MBA program. Even though the syllabus of a university affiliate MBA college may not be outdated, chances are that their curriculum may not be in tune with the current needs of the industry. In other words, the syllabus is more technical (and not theoretical) in nature, developing better business knowledge and perspective. However, university affiliated colleges with their experienced faculty and better infrastructure can offer better learning experience to students.

This difference in terms of curriculum of both kinds of colleges is a very finer one. It should not be accredited much weightage while choosing a college for yourself.

According to the views of Mr. V. Venkataramana, former Dean, School of Management Studies, University of Hyderabad, published in The Hindu, “An MBA is for those who seek a university programme to get a holistic view while the PGDM is for those who seek specialization in the area of their interest.” Therefore, you may find more innovative programs in PGDM colleges. They may offer more choices of innovative electives purely based on a particular industry need.

Being more industry-centric, PGDM colleges have more collaboration with the corporate bodies. There is a greater stress on setting up of industry funded groups like incubation centers or entrepreneurship cells or innovation forums. This often leads to a better funding model for these colleges, resulting in better placement and higher average salaries. However, I believe the worth of a student is more dependent upon his skills, capabilities and experience than MBA or PGDM.

There could be some differences in the duration of course as well. Many PGDM courses follow a trimester system. A year is split in two to four terms, each term of 2-4 months. For an example, in IMT Ghaziabad which offers PGDM program has four terms in its first year and three terms in its second year. On the other hand, a traditional MBA course consists of two terms or semester in a year, each ranging from 4-6 months. IBS Hyderabad has four semesters in its two-year MBA program, each ranging from 4-5 months.

So, Which Carries More Value?

Most points of distinction between MBA and PGDM program discussed above are fast getting obliterated in the race to attract best talent and top recruiters. Today most of them are even inconsequential to think about. What matters ultimately is the brand of the business school which enhances your skills, knowledge and career.

Next time, when you are deciding between MBA and PGDM, focus more on the ranking of the institute, accreditation, alumni network, reviews of college from its students, exposure, industry collaboration and your choices of subjects and electives. Remember, even the best institutes have its share of worst performing students, and even lower ranked colleges have best performing students in life and corporate. So, it’s your passion, hard work and performance which will eventually decide your future. And least MBA or PGDM.

Contributed by Suyash Chopra ( Class of 2010, IBS Hyderabad ) can be contacted atwww.suyashchopra.wordpress.com and twitter: @suyashchopra1

“Your Mom is the best manager!”

You would have read hundreds of lessons in management and would have studied hundreds of case studies on management. But did you ever think that the best manager in the world is at your home only? Yes, she is none other than your sweet Mom! She may not hold an MBA degree from a well reputed university and may not have worked as a manager of a corporate but she knows well how to manage your family!

"Your Mom is the best manager!"

Let me define first who is a real manager according to me. A manager is the one who is able to manage a number of things in a given frame of time and handles each and everything well, completing all things within the stipulated time. “Manager” word does not apply only to those people who are sitting in the air conditioned offices, well dressed and managing their sub-ordinates. But it applies to anyone who manages well! Well, a good manager has the qualities of proper planning, leading, organizing and controlling. A mother exhibits all these virtues in her day to day responsibilities and manages everything in her day to day life without any expectations or rewards.

Management at all the levels of the family

A mother has to handle all the tiers of the house which are in-laws, husbands and the kids. In-laws come under the top management, husband is the chief managing director, children are the executives and maids are the employees. There is hardly any dispute and she manages all the members of the family as an efficient manager. She has to manage the expectations at all the levels and if there is any conflict, she is the first one who has to listen and provide a solution. When the kids are growing and lots of turbulences and happenings are going with them, it is the mother only who manages all their resistances to change and ensure a smooth transition. Whenever things go wrong and there is a possibility of corrective action from her side, she willingly accepts it and takes necessary corrective action. She is the best reviewer of everything in the family and always works to bring improvement and effectiveness in the family. Do you really feel that a company manager can do better than this?

Effective Management of resources

A mother manages all the Finance like household expenses, income from your father and other external expenses. She is efficient in making the budget of the family, she forecast well and she always keeps a surplus and makes proper planning for the future requirements. At the time of financial crisis or instability in the family, it is the mother only who manages and handles all the incomes and expenses and runs the family smoothly. She manages stores, raw materials and each and every resource at home with full perfection. For all these management skills, she was never taught by anyone or she never took any degree. She developed everything after she took the responsibility of your family. Even, the managers at office get at least one day off in a week, but a mother never gets any off and she has to be in operation throughout the week!

An invaluable service with no expectation of rewards

If someone ever thinks to evaluate the services of a mother in terms of money, then I don’t think that her work, services and her love and concern can ever be paid in return. No amount is ever more than her sincere works and many times her works and services remain unnoticed and unacknowledged. Whenever someone asks about her occupation, the label of just a ‘house-wife’ is answered. But if this housewife is to be paid for her services to her family, then she deserves a number of times more than what her husband is paid in his company or occupation.

A saga of love, dedication and hard work

The world oYour Mom is the best managerf mother is confined in the four walls of the house but she always remains as a saga of love, dedication and hard work. She has an endless love and concern towards her family and

she is the only manager who does not have any designated working hours. She gets up early in the morning when everyone is sleeping and goes to bed so late that everyone has slept off till that time. When we enjoy watching different channels on the television, she is preparing yummy food for us in the kitchen. Whether she is busy or free, she is always smiling and concerned towards her work at home. She is never indifferent in her work and never has any grievances or complaints with anyone. In a company, if a manager is fed up of all the responsibilities and expectations, then he submits his resignation and starts planning to shift to another company, but a mother has one and only one place to stick to and that is her family only.

There are some valuable things in our lives which we learn practically and the lessons of management from our mother are one of those. She helps us to grow as a better person and while growing with her, we learn a lot of important aspects of management which no theoretical books can teach us. She teaches us that everything in this world can be managed by the art of love and dedication. She teaches us the virtues of honesty and sincerity towards our work and responsibilities. She never writes anything on a piece of paper but whatever she demonstrates by her acts are enough as the biggest practical lessons. Let us value our lovely mother for the excellent role of a home manager she has played so far and let us not complain for what she has been unable to provide us. The role of a home manager is really an unmatchable one with hundreds of difficulties and challenges on the way. We have seen that how beautifully our Moms perform this role without the expectation of any reward or compensation. Simply, she is the best manager in the world, even better than the managers passed from the IIMs and the Harvard.

Ashish Singh Parihar ( Class of 2008, IBS PUNE )

A view of Marketer’s WINDOW

MBAGraduatesMarketer’s view out of his window would be a view that will showcase future of marketing. Today we have witnessed the change that has brought startups to the zenith of success. Right marketing is just like fishing out the right fish in the sea. Once brands get right click then they become eternal.

Changing is called trending now.

The customer relationship with brand has evolved, now google is in their pockets and they can know things better than Marketer and that too at snap of fingers. We don’t call them customers we call them digi-ters. Marketers have realized, now customers are not loyal to product they are loyal to the approach of branding and connect with them. Value creation is in limelight. No push sales required create value it will pull out profits. Advent of social Media has brought a great platform for small startups to communicate and engage customers.

Witness the change or be the Change

Change is the only constant and Brands have proved it right. To keep pace with changing customer, companies are prioritizing to customer experience and connect. Companies have lot of data but data is in silos, they are converting data into big data. Companies are creating content that create impact and an image of what you should expect. Marketers are working on digital channel optimization. Each channel should have integrated communication. Brands are connecting people and engaging them through various campaigns which result in brand identity and loyal customers.

Companies like flip kart, LinkedIn, Facebook, WhatsApp have changed the view of marketing. They take a 360 view of market and then set their foot right. People create Brand like Steve job for apple. Great companies create market for their products. There is lot of things that’s happening around.

As a marketer we can either witness the change or be the change and drive sales.

Key Notes on Marketing

There is need of analysis in marketing, but it is moving into much more advanced realms with Big Data and Predictive marketing. The art of marketing is evolving to focus on bold platform ideas that work in any media and can be amplified by the customer. Trust is first as in the digital era all business practices are transparent. Companies can’t stay in field by only portraying values. Value creation is the need of an hour. Customers move in the moment, but corporate budgets and processes are quarterly and annually. Companies need to fundamentally correct systems to deliver betterand also different ways of working to react and move in real time with the customer.The digitization of the customer decision journey has made it so much easier for people to research and buy different products. At the same time, that trend has unlocked an extraordinary degree of insight into what people really want. Creating those relevant communications, truly personal connections, and messages that clearly convey a brand’s value is what will differentiate excellence in marketing for winners in the battlefield.

Management Skills

Budding Marketer in you

From hashtag to likes on FB big brands are doing all to set their foot right to pitch in their target audience. Now this is new age marketing, old tips and tricks won’t work. With this sudden change companies don’t want to recruit the same old minds they are setting their eyes on creativity. How you can be a creative resource for them. Do you have the some domain knowledge and know-how of marketing tools. Are you socially connected and have deep dived into basics of what’s digital and how big brands reach their. Do you see a marketer in you?Do you really dream big like working for some sci-fi MNC and sitting in a cabin with a cup of coffee working on a launch of product? Or you have a plan of startup, why not to have a name in the list of people who are not just ordinary they are the icons of new age marketing. Plan an MBA and reach to your goal of being a marketer. See a world of opportunities for you and wear those marketing glasses and work on it.

Looking for a reliable shoulder

Getting hitched up with big brands is not easy; you need to create a profile they want. A good B-school, good grades and Foremost important an excellent set of skills.  Rome wasn’t built in a day so students need to gear up with their preparations and nail it. An MBA can do wonders for you it will teach you about

  • How to be a good team player big companies always look for fresh talent at management position wherein they will make you handle a team of people and you will churn out ideas for them.
  • You will comeout with perfection as you will get exposed to industry standards and benchmarks so you would know the level of work and expectations.
  • Deadlines and work pressure would be easy to deal with once you will get to know the right direction to look for data. MBA will open you the set of white papers, thought leadership articles and many more databases to dive and find useful insights for you.
  • You will be able to read and understand every company related document like annual report, balance sheets, marketing report or any other. You will be well versed with a true marketer’s knowledge.
  • How to sell ideas to a team, vendors and customers. Many entrepreneurs only want to develop products and don’t think about how to market, sell and distribute them. They are afraid of these other areas or think they are not responsible for them. Business school emphasizes their critical nature of all these areas and how they represent a key barrier to entry for competitors.
  • How to network. People do business with people they know, like and trust. Going to MBA School teaches students how to meet other people and determine who they can trust the most. Powerful networks for future work are always built at school.

After an MBA, you can actually look out and understand the catalyst of this change in marketing era is brains like you. Creativity is about ideas that got wings.  Choose the right direction and set foot towards it. Let there be light and enough guidance for you.

Written for: Beginners

Source: http://www.mckinseyonmarketingandsales.com/the-future-of-marketing



Contributed by Sonali Jain ( Class of 2014, IBS GURGAON )

Effective use of emotional intelligence in Leadership

IBS mba graduatesToday, effective use of emotional intelligence has become a necessary part of leadership excellence. The use of emotional intelligence in an effective manner can help the leaders at the highest levels of organizations in developing a competitive edge. They are able to lead the evermore difficult roles as leaders which only a few people can do and that is possible with the power of emotional intelligence.

A brief history of the evolution of the concept “Emotional Intelligence”

The term “Emotional Intelligence” was launched in the year 1990 when Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer coined this term. They described it as “Emotional Intelligence is a form of social intelligence which involves monitoring one’s own and other’s emotions and feelings thus making discrimination and finally using this discrimination in guiding one’s thought process and action. A valuable research program was also initiated by Salovey and Mayer to explore the importance and significance of emotional intelligence along with developing valid measures for E.I.

In the year 1995 Daniel Goleman released his bestseller book named “Emotional Intelligence” and this book became a landmark for spreading the popularity of the concept and the term “Emotional Intelligence”. With the rise of this concept, the importance of getting success in life as well as work was recognized. Organizations started recognizing how their leaders and managers need to grow their understanding of themselves and others.

Need for emotional intelligence in Leadership

The classical models of leadership do not involve the use of emotional intelligence in leadership and are usually associated with the great figures in history with a military style leadership. It presents a charismatic as well as ruling type of images of the leaders. Even today people use the same language for leadership which is a tough, bold and brave image with a strong urge to resolve a purpose. But the actual leadership needs today are different because of the following reasons-

  • The workforce today does not like the autocratic leadership style adopted by the leaders who followed classical models.
  • Leadership needs to match today’s growing sense of democracy and the freedom of workforce.
  • The employees today have more and more options to change the organizations because of the growing competitive environment.

For leaders to be successful in leading, emotional intelligence is essential. Well, you can easily judge who will succeed – A leader who often shouts at his team under stress or the leader who is always in control, calmly handling the situations?

Five main elements of Leadership

Daniel Goleman describes five main characteristics of emotionally intelligent people which are described below:

  • Self awareness
  • Self Regulation
  • Self Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social Skills

MBA graduates

Let us look at all these elements in more detail and understand how to grow as a leader using them.

Self Awareness:

Self awareness means that you know well about your feelings and you well understand how your actions can affect the people around you. Being self aware when you are in leadership role signifies that you have a clear idea of your strength and weaknesses and you always behave with humility.

How can you improve your self-awareness?

Self awareness can be improved by keeping notes of your thoughts and feelings and writing them down on a paper. This will take just a few minutes and with the help of it you can move to a higher degree of self awareness.

Self awareness can be improved by choosing how you react on situations. Whenever you face anger or other strong emotions, slow down to examine why? Remember whatever the situation is, you can choose how to react on it.

Self Regulation:

Self regulation is important in the field of emotional intelligence and leaders who regulate them effectively rarely attack others verbally. They do not make rushed emotional decisions or compromise values or stereotype people. Self regulation is all about staying in control and not doing anything emotionally.

How can you improve self regulation in yourself?

  • Understand your values. If you really know what you can compromise or what not and what is important to you, then it will not be hard for you to make moral or ethical decisions. You will always make the right choice.
  • Do not blame others and make commitment to admit your mistakes and face the consequences.
  • Be calm and practice it. In challenging situations it is always desired by the leaders to be Do not shout on others to relieve the stress. Do deep breathing to make you calm. Write down all negative things on a piece of paper and throw it away. These all help you to challenge your reactions to ensure they are fair.

Self Motivation:

Self motivated leaders are highly motivated towards their goals and they set really high standards for the quality of their work. Improving self motivation can be achieved by the following things:

  • As a leader think what is your purpose of doing the job- Take some time to understand or remember what you loved in this job and what you want from this job. If you are unhappy in your role and you are struggling to find the purpose then try to understand the problem. Reaching the root of the problem can help to solve it positively.
  • Know how motivated you are. Assess yourself to know how motivated you are to lead. If you are less motivated then find resources which will help you in getting more and more motivated.
  • Be optimistic as the motivated leaders are always motivated. It does not matter what the problems they face.


Leaders should have empathy to manage a team or organization successfully. The leaders who have empathy and compassion are able to put themselves in someone else’s situation and work accordingly. They help others grow, stop those who are unfair and provide right feedback for those who need it.

Ways to improve empathy in yourself:

  • Take the time to look at situations from other point of view also. Look with other people’s perspectives also. It is ok to support your own point of view but think from other point also.
  • Show a positive body language. When you listen to others, be attentive to your body language. Do not cross your arms or bite lip which shows a negative body language. Learn a positive body language and show it to your employees when you listen them.
  • Respond to the feelings of your employees. If you find any employee working late, then tell him that you also do not like it and you are also frustrated with that. Provide compensation with paid time offs to the employee who is working extra hours.

Social skills:

Leaders who are good in this element of Emotional Intelligence have excellent communication skills. They are really good in gaining the support of their team with the help of social skills and communications and always encourage their team to do well in new projects and assignments. Leaders with good social skills are always best at resolving conflicts and change management.

How to improve social skills in yourself?

  • Learn how to resolve the conflicts well. If you want to succeed well as a leader then it is really important to resolve the conflicts between team members, customers and vendors.
  • It is really needed to have good communications skills to succeed in the art of social skills as a leader. You have to be a great speaker as well as a good listener.
  • Praise others- Without the art of praising others it is really difficult to succeed as a leader. Learning how to praise others is an art but gives good returns in your favor and also helps in gaining the loyalty of your members.

Thus it is clear that the ability to tune yourself with your emotions and having a good situational awareness are the powerful tools for a successful leadership. If you are leading a team and want to use the art of emotional intelligence successfully in Leadership then give some time to improve the 5 elements of emotional intelligence explained in this article. This will surely help you to excel in the future!

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

Five Management Lessons from Mahabharata for MBA Grads

MahabharathaUndoubtedly, Mahabharata is one of the greatest epics mankind has ever heard or read. With so many possible interpretations of its characters’ behavior and the plot, it becomes much more engrossing for the audience. Similar to Bhagvad Gita, which contains meanings to life, and the various facets and nuances to way of life, even Mahabharata should not be just considered as a religious scripture.

According to me, the saga of Mahabharata is a great testament to the management lessons one can derive out of it. Not only for the proficient managers in an organization, but also for the aspiring managers and wannabe MBA grads, this mythology holds lot of relevance and value in terms of parallels that can be drawn from it. Be it in the area of marketing or leadership skills or people management or any other management related aspect, Mahabharata holds key to several work life management problems.

In this article, I have discussed few of the lessons which every MBA grad can derive from Mahabharata by analyzing its events and characters.

  1. Importance of Networking and Relationship Management

Much before the war was fought, Pandavas were hugely outnumbered by Kauravas in terms of the military might. But they built their network with the like-minded kings.  They maintained good relationship with their existing friends and developed new alliances. In professional life too, an MBA grad must build his network and manage relationship with them. After the MBA, most of you will be focused on building your career path in the organization. But you must never lose sight of the role played by your peers of b-school and alumni network. In workplace, you should reach out to as many people as possible. You never know when your network might come to your rescue when need arises. In the function of sales and marketing, bigger your network is and better your relationships are, you stand a better chance to strike good deals. In today’s world, social media platforms like LinkedIn must be leveraged to build your network.

  1. Nurture a pool of Leaders in your Team

Either today or tomorrow, you will be entrusted with greater responsibilities in an organization. This means that as a good manager and leader, you must assume the role of a mentor. It is always good to have a pool of leaders in your team who can take up diverse responsibilities when time comes. A good leader or manager always provides direction to his team members, and is a source of constant motivation to others. Only then the team functions effectively. Being a manager, you must build this culture in your team, irrespective of leading a smaller big team.

In the Mahabharata, army of Kauravas was led by just one general – Bhisma. This followed one-man leadership hierarchy pattern. On the other hand, Pandavas were led by multiple leaders, owning up different battalions of the army and its operations at different periods of the war. This multi-leader strategy proved more effective in winning the war. Similarly, in an organization context, every function or department must develop second line of leaders, which is often termed as succession planning.

  1. It’s about Team Play with Common Objectives

An aspiring MBA grad must understand that he alone cannot shoulder the complete responsibilities of the team, forget achieving the goal. It is the team spirit which wins the war or competition. Kauravas lacked team spirit completely. Every important member in their team had his own personal motives and aspirations with no common objective as a team. Only Duryodhana was in favor of war. Most of the warriors were against the war. But Pandavas were knitted together with one common goal – to win the war and earn back their kingdom – rather than just showcasing their individual prowess.

When a team is confronted with a bigger objective or target, everyone in the team must share the responsibility, and be accountable. Rather than having a centralized decision-making process, the manager must consult peers and other leaders in his team and allocate responsibilities to them. This allows others also to showcase their skills, which is good for the organization in long-term. This leads to maximum contribution from every team member.

MBA Graduates

  1. Seek Mentors in your Career

Even the best managers need mentors who can guide them in time of crisis. Why only crisis, these mentors from their own experience can provide words of wisdom to MBA grads while taking everyday decisions in the workplace. An MBA grad must always look for a mentor in the workplace. It could be a senior manager from within the same organization or another organization. In the b-school, his or her teacher and professor can play this role.

In the great war of Mahabharata, even though Krishna never fought the war, he was the key strategist for the Pandavas, who guided them at each important step of the war. In the workplace, a mentor shows the path, which itself is sufficient for a good manager to understand and make a decision. Having a good mentor is important to grow up professionally. No matter how talented you are, one must seek mentorship. Arjuna, the best warrior in the epic with all kinds of weaponry in his arsenal, also required a mentor in the form of Krishna.

  1. Choose your Resources Wisely

This is so true for HR students and in the case of recruiting managers in an organization. As a manager, irrespective of whether you are in the recruiting team or not, at some point of work life, you will have the opportunity to recruit new team members. At the top level in an organization, board members choose CEOs and CXOs. One must plan properly for the kind of skilled workforce required in the organization. Then engage the right people at the right places. A good manager is one who has an eye for talent. It is up to the acumen of the manager to spot the hidden talent in his team members and provide them opportunities to grow.

In Mahabharata, both Pandavas and Kauravas had the option to choose Krishna for their team. But displaying complete lack of vision and acumen, Kauravas selected Krishna’s army, and hence lost the war. Whereas Yudhishthira made a wise decision and opted for Krishna, who ultimately played a strategic role in their win. This also shows that even one resource can make a difference in an organization. Hence, a manager must never underestimate the power of one.

In conclusion, I must say that Mahabharata is a great source of knowledge and management lessons, which must be well understood and assimilated by every MBA grad.

Contributed by Suyash Chopra ( Class of 2010, IBS HYDERABAD ) can be contacted at www.suyashchopra.wordpress.com and twitter: @suyashchopra1

Mistakes One Ought to Commit During MBA

management skills

Life involves learning at all stages and we should learn from everything, everyone we can. And mistakes are a very important part of learning. They’re the best teachers one can have. It would seem like a catch-22 situation to not want to make mistakes but also wanting to learn something valuable from mistakes.

 Yes, some would say that experience would prevent one from making mistakes but if one goes through just good experiences, they lose out on learning important lessons. He or she can be lucky enough not to make any mistakes but luck always runs out. What don’t run out are lessons you learn by making mistakes.

It’s really important to understand what qualifies as a ‘mistake’.  It can be defined as an unwanted event which occurs unexpectedly. But when it’s repeated time and again, it no longer remains a mistake but can be labelled as a habit. Forgetting to switch your cell phone to silent mode before a class is a mistake if it happens once. It becomes a habit if repeated and the professor isn’t going to be your biggest fan if it happens time and again. You trusting someone with a secret can be a mistake but if you do it just after he’s spilled out someone else’s secret to you cannot be considered as a mistake. So, you see it’s really important to understand what really a mistake is and when we do make one, we need to make sure that it’s not repeated.

During any process of learning, one is bound to make several mistakes and one should. If you’re scared of making one then you’re not going to learn what you’re supposed to. You need to shed away your fear of failure and do what you have to move forward in life. And one aspect of that committing a mistake. During your MBA, there are going to be several instances where you’ll be in a dilemma because you wouldn’t know the right way to handle a situation. But don’t be scared, do what you think is the right thing to do and if you’re not successful at first, learn from your mistakes and try again. Maybe you’ll fail the second time too but make sure that you’re not making the same mistake twice. Yeah, one should make new mistakes every time if one has to learn. So, here are a few mistakes one ought to make during MBA:

  1. Not going by the book: Every movie or television series you watch will have one thing in common. The protagonist never follows the rules. He/she goes out of the bookish rules and does what he/she feels is the right thing to do. And what happens in the end? Through a series of failures emerges a hero. Similarly, your books will tell you a thousand things but you need to understand that the situation that you’re going to be stuck in isn’t necessarily going to be one in your book. What your book tells you is something that has already been tried and tested. A problem that has already been dealt with. But MBA isn’t about dealing with problems with existing solutions, it’s about thinking outside the box to find solutions to problems that exist today without a solution. Or even there is one, it’s never too late to find a better one.Your professor may grade you a little lower but life will always give you an A. The likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg were never the toppers of their classes. But they’re highly successful in their respective fields today, and that’s what matters once you step out those classrooms. So, use your grey matter to become an effective manager. Having said that, you’ll need books to form a strong foundation for your thinking process. Nobody consciously bases their marketing strategy using the 4 Ps or doing a SWOT analysis but the core idea behind all strategies is what they learnt from the books.
  2. Being an over pampered spoilt brat: By the time you start your post graduation, you’re old enough to take care of your responsibilities but there always exists ‘’another you’ who was either pampered a lot in childhood or wants to be pampered. Honestly, it’s ok to be like that. Because the first time that you’ll cook will be for you and out of hunger. You’ll realise the importance of that job and you will value it for the rest of your life. Similarly, the first time you clean your room, wash your clothes, iron them will teach you that even though these chores seem mundane and were left to either to your mother or the house servant when you were back home, they are actually important if you want to live a healthy life. You don’t always get what you want and that fact is not going to be embedded in your mind unless you’re made to earn what you want. Being over pampered earlier will be a big blow to you when you have to become responsible. And one needs to take a few blows to toughen the skin.
  3. mba graduatesTrusting someone instantly: Trust is one thing that takes time to build up over the years but takes an instant to be shattered. As a teenager, you may have had loads of trustworthy friends but as you grow your priorities will change and the ‘secrets’ may be more crucial than those in the teenage world. You may tell yourself a thousand times that you’re not going to trust someone but you will do it eventually. But, back then it was about relationships that were made based on trivial reasons. But now that you’re all grown up and ready to become a manager, you need to understand what you have to keep to yourself and what to divulge. The world is not a fairy-tale and sadly no course in the world teaches you that. Everybody will say that you have to be competitive but you’re not going to be that unless you learn why. The population of the world is increasing at an alarming rate and with that the fight for resources is increasing too. Everybody wants to know what YOU are doing to sustain yourself so that they can use that information to cut you off from the resources or just mimic you. Either way, you lose. But you cannot understand how to defend yourself unless you learn how to manage the gossipers to your advantage. And the only way to learn that is to trust one.

So, these are just a few mistakes I committed during my MBA and thank God I did. There are a million more and I wish you make them but just once so that your management education can be really fruitful and help you become a better person rather than a manager.

After all, it would be better to make those mistakes within a college campus rather than a corporate office sitting in the manager’s chair!

Contributed by Sachin Jalan (Class of 2014, IBS HYDERABAD )