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Business of studying right

Geetu Vaid

High percentages and the resultant high cut offs for good colleges and courses make commerce a highly competitive stream. BCom, Economics (Hons), BBA, along with CA, CS, etc. are some of the key choices of commerce students. 

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) is fast gaining popularity among students and several universities and colleges have added specialisations and internships to add value to this course. BML Munjal University (BMU), Hero Group's not-for-profit  university, recently launched a specialised management programme 'KCAP- KPMG Course for Accounting Professionals' for its BBA and BCom (H) students.

KCAP aims to equip the students with basics of accounting, Indian accounting standards, practical aspects of accounting and industry specific practices. It's a mandatory 200-hours extra course for students pursuing BCom (H), while it's optional for students pursuing BBA. The course is meant for students with good analytical skills and  a flair for analysing figures. Giving information about the course in Chandigarh last week, Dr. Vishal Talwar, Dean, School of Management, BML Munjal University, said, “KCAP opens up a wide range of interesting and rewarding career opportunities in accountancy and business for students. Companies these days are looking to get more from their finance and accounting support. KCAP is designed to make students industry efficient. It is a big value addition to their resumes during the time of placement.” Excerpts from the interview:

Many students from the commerce stream are in a dilemma when it comes to choosing between BCom and BBA. What is the basic difference between the two courses?

The difference is evident in the names of the two courses. The Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) prepares students for finance and accounting roles within organisations, while the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) prepares students to become business leaders. In the BBA course, over a period of time,  students will learn the art of management, leadership, how to manage people, emotional quotient, etc. So, this means that bachelor's of commerce is a deeper dive into finance, accounting and management subjects. But in BBA, because it is preparing students to be corporate leaders, they learn about different fields and subjects. In this course, you are like Jack of all trades as corporate leaders have to manage people from different fields. Thus, a BBA graduate will need to know about finance, HR, accounting, IT, etc. Ideally, BBA prepares you to be an effective business leader or an entrepreneur, whereas BCom prepares you for roles in finance and accounting and other fields in order to be able to perform those roles effectively. 

There is a perception that BBA limits a student’s career scope only to MBA. Is this fear valid?

The number of students who would like to go in for jobs straight after an undergraduate (UG) course  has increased over the past few years. A holistic BBA course would prepare students for jobs. Thus, if the student is taught right and if there is motivation, then your career can start right after your UG. If one wants to go in for a postgraduate degree seven-eight years later, whether an MBA or some other degree, then that can be done. BBA, in that sense, does not limit one’s career scope. Rather, with a host of specialisations to choose from it prepares one for a variety of fields. 

What are the USPs of the BBA course at BMU?

Our focus is on experiential learning. We would like more  students to go for jobs right after the degree, whether it is their family business, entrepreneurial venture or the corporate world. That's why employability is the main USP.  Our aim is to help students develop a more mature outlook and make them capable of handling their responsibilities. This will enable them take up leadership roles after getting this degree. 

Practicality in learning is the other USP. The students are trained not only to talk about ‘what’, but are also made to think about and reflect on a problem like multidimensional strategy-makers as each problem has several different solutions. That is the main part of the training at this course. To actually do well, you have to pick up a lot of experiential learning. Students right from the year one go for internships in industry. They do a lot of simulations, AI-based projects, case studies, etc. which prepares then for real-time challenges in the corporate setting.

How are specialisations and internships incorporated in an undergraduate course? 

While students learn a certain number of courses that are generic like marketing, HR, finance, organisational behaviour, finance and IT, but from a certain point in time in their course, they begin to focus more on electives. This helps them  decide on the field they would like to choose in their career. 

Internships are at different levels. In the first year, the intention is to make them feel comfortable in the industry environment, so they might go to a logistics, IT or a consulting firm.  Second year onwards, we look at getting into longer internships where the progress of students is monitored by faculty mentors, so that they get the maximum out of their internship experience. 


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