Considering the fact that I am an MBA myself, the above statement might seem biased. But, that isn’t why I say this. I want to highlight to graduates from all streams what are the benefits of an MBA and how they are relevant irrespective of your graduation stream and work experience duration. Let’s look at the reasons in detail:
- The Inevitable Crash Landing :
The first few weeks in a B-School are a shocker for most people. Most of the students who crack CAT and get through the top 10 institutes have been toppers all through their life and are used to being the teacher’s pet. They are respected and looked up to by their classmates and juniors and have tons of trophies and medals stowed away back home. They have always come first in class. But now they are competing with others who have also excelled in academics. When this student sees his first class assignment result and sees that he stood 20th in class then it’s a “Crash Landing” effect for him. Also, they realize that the teacher doesn’t necessarily know his first name. He is just a roll number. His batch mates don’t think he is India’s answer to Einstein. Some can’t cope with this drastic status crash and quit and go back in the first semester itself. Well friends, running is never the answer. This is actually the first important lesson MBA has taught you i.e. Humility. Humility is very important for you to succeed in life as henceforth you will lead a team and motivate people to work. If you rub people the wrong way with your arrogance then you will never be made a leader inspite of your capability and will remain a great back office worker.
- The Great Equaliser :
Students who survive the Crash landing now face the next hurdle, “The Great Equaliser”. The face-off between Engineers and Non-Engineers and Freshers and Work-Ex-students happens and all hell breaks loose. The engineers and Work-ex-students hang around campus with their head held high snootily and look down upon the non-engineers and freshers for the first few days. They even sit on separate tables in the mess (cafeteria). Then comes the first economics lesson and the engineer’s world crashes down around him. Suddenly they are bombarded with scary words like “Marginal Utility Curve” and “CRR” and they are completely defenseless while the non-engineers smirk and effortlessly answer the professors’ questions. The Work-Ex people answer the case study questions based on their experience and realize that the freshers have an edge over them as they are able to bring in a fresh and unbiased perspective which the professor appreciates. Now these 2 groups slowly start mixing with each other in class, in the mess and start learning from each other by sharing thoughts and experiences. This experience is mutually beneficial and everyone gains from it. After they pass out these students can now work in a diverse group and understand how to work with each of them. It helps you change your attitude from “I, Me, Myself” to “You, Me and Us”.
A successful manager is not one who is brilliant and does everything himself but one who is able to lead his team and motivate each one to excel and achieve the team goal. The ability to work together in a group is what you learn during the 2 years in an MBA through the various group studies and projects you undertake. You learn to delegate based on each team member’s strength. The concept of Synergy is learnt not in theory but in practice.
- Breaking the Glass Ceiling :
One of the benefits of adding an MBA tag next to your degree is the ability to break the glass ceiling (sometimes invisible and an unwritten rule) in the organisation you work for. I have seen perfectly capable and experienced people not being promoted to a managerial role because they don’t have the MBA tag. So if you wish to see growth in your career you might want to supplement your degree with an MBA.
- Track Changer :
A lot of people work after their graduation and feel that this isn’t their calling in life and they wish to make a fresh start. MBA gives them that golden ticket by allowing them to completely change their career track and gives them a fresh start with an opportunity to explore new options.
- The Third Eye Effect :
The biggest and the most long-term benefit of an MBA is something I like to call the “The third eye” effect. Just like Lord Shiva’s third eye is able to focus and zoom onto a problem and destroy it, an MBA develops in the students an ability to go through tons of data and focus on the crux of the matter and analyse and solve it. The numerous books an MBA reads in the 2 years, the countless case studies he solves and the various class discussions he has on topics spread across a diverse range help open up the students’ mind to the different perspectives to one problem. It helps him Understand, Communicate and Decide quickly and efficiently. He learns to structure data into relevant and not relevant. This ability helps him in life to approach any situation (personal or professional) in a structured way and solve it effectively.
You might ask me one question, “Why premier institute?” That is because although all the B-Schools use the same books i.e. Robbins for Organisational Behaviour and Kotler for Marketing, the benefits are not the same. An MBA is not about the technical learning but the experiental learning as highlighted above. What matters is the environment, the quality of students and faculty you interact with and also the network you create for life.
Think about these points and see if you agree with me that everyone should do an MBA. Feel free to comment even if you disagree.