What should you expect from a B-School?

business management school

Tips to set the right direction for your MBA

M-B-A, Master of Business Administration has become one of the most sought after courses in the recent years. It is because post-graduation in an MBA from a B-School makes us corporate ready (proved by the increasing acceptance for MBA graduates from a variety of corporate fields) regardless of the undergraduate background we may have to our credit.

Thus, the demand is matched with the increase in number of MBA seats in existing Institutes by the increase in number of institutions offering Diploma courses in Management. With more number of Management course offerings (the place and field of study) the prospective candidates now have a plate full of options to choose from. Yet, with these options come confusion and this multiplies, as the selection of the choice is a life changing one.

Such life changing decisions need to be made smartly, so before proceeding on the selection let us fully understand and set the right expectations that guide our selection process, with a little help from your friend, who has successfully crossed the Rubicon (selecting a right B-School) and reaping the benefits (by securing an apt placement) by making the right decision then (by choosing IBS Hyderabad). I would like to discuss few finer tips that would help shape-up your selection process.

  • Diversity- “Making of a multi-faceted personality”

“Management education cannot be taught, it needs to be self-learned and experienced”. To master in this field you should keep your mind open to new experiences and be aware of the differences stemming from a single point. To learn this you should share experiences with a mixed group of people who hail from different age groups, geographies, cultures, languages, academic backgrounds and professions. This experience is an invaluable asset in your life-time as it shapes your decision-making process and Emotional Intelligence to a great extent.

Additionally, having a diverse knowledge helps you grow and progress in your career. Luckily my institute had a planned set of pan-India selection process and a systematic classroom was set up wherein people from different categories (by profession, education, geography, languages, etc) were evenly split among the classes and the classes were shuffled every semester which helped us learn a wide variety of different experiences from different people.

  • Faculty-“A ‘NO’ to teaching!”

You may ask “If Management education cannot be taught, why should we speak of the Faculty?” It is because the right learning can happen only under a right faculty. The faculty discussed here are the people who have the right blend of academic background which is enriched with years of corporate and teaching experiences.

A good MBA institute takes effort in selecting the right faculty and learning from them shapes up an individual’s thinking prowess and introduces them to different ways and dimensions in approaching a particular issue. Such remarkable faculties will also present you with a huge number of high-profile industrial contacts. In order to receive the best from them, you should show your thirst for excellence and knowledge as they would frequently encourage you to participate and raise intelligent and sensible questions from time to time.

  • Curriculum- “Design for Doers”mba graduates

When you have the right mix to discuss and a great faculty to direct you to your cause, the next step is to understand that the essence of right learning happens with the right curriculum, as this is going to be the theme on which the great minds are going to work. An MBA is a real-time course and has one of the most dynamic curriculum which need to be updated every year or even every semester. To ensure this, the top end institutes offer a hands-on-experience to theory oriented program in the ratio of 80:20 ratio. This type of curriculum is brought about by the means of Simulation exercises (offline and online), Summer Internship Projects, Tie-ups with Entrepreneurs and Incubation centers, Case methodology, mini-real time business projects, etc.

They also give a major component of evaluation for the above techniques ahead of theory/ written examinations and most Institutes follow an open-book examination. You should understand that in an MBA curriculum it is not about teaching the right solutions but it is about learning and using the right tools to solve an issue by your analytical, logical and emotional abilities in a proactive way, which premier B-School faculties are known to inculcate in their students.

  • Infrastructure- “The training ground”

There is no exception that the B-School’s infrastructure should also facilitate a flawless functioning of students, faculty and the management. This encompasses uninterrupted power supply, internet and telecommunications connectivity, clean water and a rich, natural environment. This will help the students in campus to be in tandem with the changes happening in the society and economy in real-time and also help them to go ahead with the curriculum in a smooth pace.

A Wi-Fi campus, video-conferencing facilities for placements and lectures, air-conditioned class rooms and the like have become the order of the day in many institutes. A special mention should be made for the libraries which should be well stocked with the proper books. They should also include quality national & international magazines (viz. HBR, TIME, FORTUNE, etc) and newspapers subscriptions (The Wall street Journal, Washington Post, Mint, etc), with online subscriptions to international business and social research databases (like Wharton Research Data Services, Proquest, EBSCO, etc). These are the qualitative resources that an MBA graduate has to rely heavily upon to evaluate his business case inferences.

The institutes should also have a complete refreshment and rejuvenation infrastructure through of games and sports facilities. These would include the availability of board games as well as infrastructure such as indoor stadiums, swimming pool, auditorium, open air theatre and gym, etc as these enhance the quality of study in the institute.

  • Investment-“Nothing comes without a price- better you go higher the price”

Premier institutes offering management education charge considerably higher Tuition Fees/ Education cost, but here I would like you to consider that amount as an investment for your future and not a waste of money. If an institute is able to offer the above said quality atmosphere, then the individual is sure of becoming erudite and thus he would be able the make profits of such investment. It should be considered as “Investment for life” and not as cost for education. I am not trying to justify the fees that these institutes charge you, but they promise to give their heart and soul to kick-start your career. Thus, the fee alone should not hinder your decision making.

  • Placement- “A Cakewalk”

“What is the placement scenario?” This question should be the last question that you should ask if you have selected an institute with above expectations as the core of your selection. An MBA institute which offers the right faculty, a diversified and a deserving student mix, dynamic curriculum, supportive infrastructure is itself a brand (viz. IBS group of Institutes, IIMs, etc). Such brands are meant to attract corporate across the globe for placements, because the global and domestic corporates foresee the graduates from such branded institutes as smart and impeccable.

So friends, all in all, do select an institute which

  • Puts you with the right mix of people
  • Presents to you high quality faculty
  • Does have real time curriculum (enriched with cases and real-time business projects)
  • Encompasses you with reliable infrastructure
  • Charges you the correctly for “Value for Money”
  • Connects you to the proper corporates to fetch an apt placement

It might be hard to appreciate the above mentioned items during the course of study however its benefits would be reaped post MBA.  Steve Jobs famously said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards!”. Thus I am proud to announce that I am able to connect them now and I am thankful to my alma mater- IBS Hyderabad for making me a better professional.

All the best.

Contributed By : L. Gowtham ( Class of 2013, IBS Hyderabad )

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