Advantages Of A Full-Time MBA Program Over A Distance Learning Program

Advantages Of A Full-Time MBA ProgramVirtualization is the new buzz word which is affecting our day to day lives. Think of any corner in our lives from shopping, eating to choosing your life partner and making important communication (email), virtual world has taken over. Education is not an exception. From the old ‘chalk and talk’ method, the paradigm has shifted to delivery via applications which support virtualization. I have been a spectator of this whole paradigm shift and hence would like to put forward my understanding of this whole change.

First things first, the basic advantage of regular MBA is that you get a feel of how communications are done in front of key stakeholders in corporate environment when every who’s who of business is watching you via real time classroom interactions. One cannot participate in a business oriented discussion with the liberty of not being judged only in a classroom environment, which helps the candidate grow as a professional. The ability to contribute in a business oriented discussion positively is the most important takeaway for a full time MBA student as compared to the student pursuing distance learning program who chose to be anonymous and secluded.

Regular MBA takes you ‘out of your comfort zone’. Particularly, candidates with work experience who resign from their respective jobs only to take a loan and chose to remain unemployed for the period of next two/one years, stakes go on an all-time high. On top of that, urgency to meet tough deadlines for assignments and presentations add a mountain of stress on those stakes. A distance learning student always stays within its comfort zone and does things at his pace. So, a regular MBA student green ticks a very important ingredient to become successful as a professional which is ‘efficiently handling pressure situations’.

I have seen candidates going into a b-school with a devil may care attitude, procrastinating in almost their every deliverable, a fair bit of being laid back while trying to be proactive. But once they come out of the b-school system, a quite visible dent in their personality is there in terms of being more disciplined, more methodical in going about their tasks and always being a leader in being proactive.

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Apart from this a distance learning student misses out on other important activities in the campus like in person interactions with great visionaries, entrepreneurs and successful personalities in industry who are invited by the college to deliver guest lectures. Today, top MBA colleges have tie-ups with NGOs or drive on their own for being responsible and contributive towards social causes. These programs give ample opportunities to regular MBA students to develop their leadership skills and stand out as a winner later on in their respective careers.

I have seen regular MBA candidates enjoying the advantage of having a very strong ‘personal’ alumni network over the years in their corporate lives. As a student, they interact with three batches personally on an average, which are their immediate seniors, their own batch and the immediate juniors. This personal interlocking done during their student life proves to be very handy when they seek guidance during their career as a professional. The cushion of ‘knowing somebody by face’ is there and the level of comfort during discussion is reflected vis-à-vis their interaction with some other senior person in the firm. In the case of distance learning mode, this ‘personal’ touch is missing and only virtual reach remains there.

Based on my above viewpoints, one can easily infer that regular MBA brings along more focus and intensity along with it. You just cannot afford to have a hiatus once you are in. This prepares you for the upcoming corporate life as while working it will be very crucial in deciding one’s success because their quality of your work will also be very important along with the quantity. In distance learning mode, while attending lectures via webinar or any other virtualized tool, a student has various distractions. These distractions can be itchiness to quickly check their Facebook and Twitter or the desire to go and have a small sandwich break. So, needless to say discipline and focus go hand in hand for doing something worthy.

Lastly, the single most important thing about which every candidate does its analysis before joining a regular or distance learning MBA is the ‘placements’. A glance at the recent trends gives a very clear picture that students enrolled in a regular MBA program get better roles, better packages in better companies vis-à-vis students enrolled for distance learning. Based on my interactions with various recruiters the single most important factor which tilts the equation in favor of regular MBA candidates is that they are seen as someone who are more polished and more ready to take up business roles. To go with it, their calculative risk taking appetite is considered to be much better than the distance learning folks.

Thus, it all boils down to ‘No ship sails through the ocean without facing the storm’. As is clear from the above talking points that regular MBA candidates become more battle hardened and more trained to handle critical situations in corporate life where the onus of the success of business decisions lie on their shoulders. Also, amidst all the demands of increasing seats in distance learning MBA course in top institutes there is no denying the fact that colleges are aware that quality will suffer if they do so. So, regular MBA will not see serious competition in the immediate years to come and will be ‘the wiser thing’ to do for the aspirants as MBA-exposure= distance learning MBA, which obviously won’t give the bang for the buck and time invested by the aspirants.

Contributed by Sthita Sahu

How Regular Full Time MBA is Better Than Correspondence

regular vs correspondance mba degreeKnowledge is wisdom bestowing power onto you. MBA degree provides a broad thought over rational thinking. Making a choice of obtaining a degree in MBA could throw out lot of arenas in various forms. Different formats are provided by various institutions for students to choose from. Full time or regular MBA and MBA through correspondence are popular formats available. A regular full time MBA is pursued by being present in a vast university equipped with technologies that makes learning practical and ecstatic. A person who has time and money should take up this format to have a detailed study.

Distant or correspondence MBA provides a degree through various channels like online, interactive sessions, webinars, conferences etc. A person who is not in a position to give full time due to work commitment could choose up this format of study. Various universities across the world offer the course, so that being in any part of the world one can obtain a MBA degree from a reputed college without the need of being there.

Every opportunity strikes two ways just like each coin has two sides. Based on the factors like time and money, a choice could be made on which type of format one chooses for obtaining a MBA degree. Let us have a look on the pros and cons of each format.

Pros and Cons of Full time MBA:

The pros of obtaining a full time MBA degree are that a person gets to engage into the course in total. The focus is solely based on the course and sessions surrounded by them. There are live discussions, like-minded people to interact with, best faculty to impart knowledge and facilities that urge one to acquire it the best way. Seminars and training with industry experts help in getting a feel of how corporate culture and system work. Alumni meets are organized so that present batch of students could engage with them and are likely to understand it in a better way being within the same generation.

The cons of obtaining a full time degree are that an individual is required to invest substantial resources in terms of time and money. Relocating to another city or country is another major decision to be taken up requiring lot of arrangements to be made prior.

Pros and Cons of Distant/Correspondence MBA:

The pros of distant or correspondence MBA gives an opportunity to obtain a MBA degree with proper study along without interrupting the normal course of life. It leads to studying at one’s comfort convenience than doing it at the campus. It provides an edge at the workplace with added knowledge from the MBA course. Newer technologies are introduced like Webinars and virtual learning that make the learning sessions more interactive and real. It helps an individual to keep working and still learn online for the MBA degree. It provides more insights into the situations that are dealt in corporate life and also improves strategically.

The cons of such learning are that there is not much face to face interaction with the faculties of the university. The doubts and clarifications could not be solved as easily as a full time college. The reputation of a college plays an important role so that the course is validated and appropriately used to enhance one’s employment. A good reputed college would provide this degree with due validation and also provide better employment opportunities. Distractions at home could interrupt with the virtual learning pattern and juggling between this can create a negative impact on the study. Lastly if there is no proper availability of internet and bandwidth available it could hamper the pattern of study and sessions taken.

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Being a part of a university that imparts knowledge with real life experiences and use of best technologies is the one that stands true to the values of providing education. I was a part IBS for pursuing regular MBA, and as a personal experience it was the best way I could have pursued this degree. Integrating skills, knowledge, interacting with fellow students and faculty, having live discussions over case studies, making presentations using the best technologies were some of the modes through which management and business skills were shared. Time and money along with a passion to understand the key factors lead me to choose this format.

The faculty present themselves as role models with their career experience and sharing of real life experiences they faced. The modules are divided in a manner that a student would effectively grasp the terms of management and strategy. By the end of the course one would become expert with a talent of people management and imparting strategies to resolve issues in a business scenario.

On the other hand a person, who is actively involved in business, either his or under employment, would still be interested into a MBA course to get a detailed understanding of how management actually works. Under this situation, an executive MBA or correspondence course could be pursued. Balancing the family and business situation along with correspondence course needs persuasion and dedication to get the real outcome. There are various reputed institutions that provide degrees in both formats with best material and resources. ICFAI University is one such reputed institution that provides both formats and course is designed appropriately.

 A student choosing either format needs to carry a detailed analysis on what is the future course of action that he/she plans. For example a person fresh out of graduation could choose a regular full time MBA so that he can plan his work for the future to become employable in a company or become an entrepreneur. On the other hand, a person who is actively involved in business and his family responsibilities, but wants to enhance his skills in management could take up executive MBA.

The formats have been designed that could suit any individual undertaking this study. Therefore a choice needs to be made based on how an individual draws his/her career path.  Various companies tying up with various premier business schools who enroll their employees to these programs so that they can enhance their skills and also helps in retaining them through bonds.

Opportunities strike when decisions are made with logic and passion

Regular or correspondence, MBA will endorse one in every situation

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