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Posted at: Jul 11, 2018, 12:11 AM; last updated: Jul 11, 2018, 12:11 AM (IST)

Time your MBA well

Time your MBA well

Jatin Bhandari

A lot of students jump into B-schools right after engineering? Why do we have a gap between an MBA and a technical education? How the back-to-back model will not help the students?

The average work experience of MBA is between zero and four years. The student mix is changing. Students have now started working post MBA. They have now started exploring the MBA programmes as experienced professionals. How will the ‘direct to IIM from IIT’ model survive or look like in 10 years from now?

While the earlier model was preferred and was the most popular one 10 years ago, now the mix is changing and more and more people are keen on gaining work experience before starting an MBA. It is becoming more acceptable to study again after a gap of five years or so. 

Earlier, people had a mindset that favoured finishing the entire education in one go before jumping into the work force. People treated work and education as two different entities. While this system rewarded some, as they could rise through the ranks faster than their peers, the majority of the work force reached another level of dissatisfaction six years into their first job after MBA. They had to decide their target industry and function without any exposure to the work culture or the dynamic nature of these professions.

If you move into a top MBA programme straight out of college, and pick your first job after MBA blindly, most of you are bound to go wrong as you really did not know what you were signing up for. 

And students have started realising that. Programmes such as the executive MBA ones at ISB and IIMs have been conceived to fulfill the new demand in the market.

Professionals work for four to 15 years, and during this time a lot of them get exposed to their handicaps, and other limitations that have been stopping them to grow beyond a certain limit. That is when they move out to work specifically on the missing areas consciously. Knowing what has not worked for them in the past gives them a better learning capability, and people are getting used to this mindset.

MBA has also evolved from being a course for managers to the one with opportunities for value creation. People want to experiment with various functions, industries, and are not just keen on looking for the education tag.

An MBA will also give you the ability to lead large teams, build effective organisations that move forward with velocity and fulfill the purpose of the overall engagement. The way this organisation has inculcated inter-disciplinary thinking in the working professionals enables businesses to assess the impact of their decisions across a wider spectrum. E.g. imagine the country’s largest retailer creating the new branding campaign without a commensurate supply chain or a robust financial planning? Different functions ought to move together in order to a significant outcome. 

MBA recruiters expect you to have dealt with significant problems for four to five years before MBA education, in order to hit the ground running. They are not interested in your managing excel sheets and executing ninja analysis. Your pre-MBA experience really prepares you well for the road ahead.

 It is the ability to join the dots and assessing the arbitrage in the market, and getting the right minded people to come together into fulfilling the need of the market. An MBA can assess a profitable model in the United States, get funding from an investors in South Africa, source a product from China and launch a business in India, and take it to the IPO route. In addition to the network, an exposure to the diversity in a business school will make one aware of the sensitivities of different cultures. 

If you are keen on taking a serious job post MBA, it is important to have the maturity to understand business culture, business etiquette, meeting protocol, and negotiation techniques in order to maximise the potential of the opportunities your first post MBA employer will give you.

Be ready

If you are keen on taking a serious job post MBA, it is important to have the maturity to understand business culture, business etiquette, meeting protocol, and negotiation techniques

Be ready

If you are keen on taking a serious job post MBA, it is important to have the maturity to understand business culture, business etiquette, meeting protocol, and negotiation techniques  

— The writer is founder, PythaGurus Education 

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