A message for the MBA Class of 2014
Now since most of you are going to join a b-school in a couple of weeks, I thought I should share my experiences about a memorable journey called MBA.
My experience tells me that MBA is a great enabler and a facilitator of learning.
It provides people a chance to change careers and domains. IT guy can switch to finance /marketing which I feel is the biggest advantage of MBA or a person can quickly go up the ladder by virtue of MBA + previous experience .
For freshers its a very unique opportunity, I think MBA bridges that gap of professional skills required in an industry and their learning at the Undergraduate level.
Our aim during the 2 years should be to interact with as many people as possible typically your seniors or students from other b-schools, the networking skills helps a person to grow professionally in future, so sites such as Linked In are very important to get in touch with your college alumni, create an account as soon as possible.
Concentrate a lot on learning than on marks as long as you are around the top half of the batch in terms of grades your job is done. Try and contribute in group projects or assignments I have generally seen people who work hard in these projects during the curriculum get placed at very good firms. Few reasons could be the willingness to work in a team, commitment, depth of knowledge gained during these exercises which gives them the edge.
Dont hide behind your friends or group mates during presentations, you can hide now but you will be badly exposed during the placement processes. Working on soft skills such as presentation skills, communication skills is very important.
MBA curriculum needs a lot of reading and analysis every day, may be atleast 50-100 pages. Many weeks of the year you will be busy with presentations, quizzes etc, so time management, good reading skills are key to success.
In MBA reading books are not enough, one must be aware of the current economic or political environment around oneself for that one needs to read newspapers, blogs, online journals. The next step should be to analyze what one reads and to discuss it with the peer group. This helps a lot in having opinions and ideas about varying topics and finally helps a lot in GDs of summers and final placements.
Summer internships make a huge impact on someone's life. Many discover that certain domain or field was not where they wanted to work, while many become sure about their career path.
Anyone wanting to make a career in marketing should be ready to get his/her hands dirty in sales. As working in ground zero teaches a person a lot about selling, understanding customer behavior, and the whole value chain of distributors, wholesalers, retailers and finally the end customer. Be ready to work in tier2 cities and villages if you want to work in FMCGs.
MBA is a not a ticket to cozy cabins and a lavish life, there is a lot of hardwork and struggle needed to be successful post MBA. I remember the first day of my summer internship when my mentor who is a associate director at Stan C, told me that he used dispense cash in ATMs when he first started working after MBA. He used to sit at the cashier office to understand the daily operations about what goes on in a bank. He told me that it was all an exercise to understand the entire value chain of the bank from level 0. He still travels more than 200kms everyday to visit clients and expand business. He said in my 8 years I have never had the time to look at my own money, it has always been about managing others.
Most of the placement reports show Maximum Earning Potential. Now what is maximum earning potential, lets say a company offers Monetary and Non Monetary benefits such as the lodging, travel, food. The non monetary benefits are monetized to get to the final CTC. Similarly a CTC consists of variable component sometimes as high as 100% of salary such as the fixed salary is 10 along with variable of 100% it becomes 20 lakh per annum CTC but actually a person normally ends of getting around 12-13 lacs with an above average performance but the report would mention it as 20. And this practice is followed across b-schools in India. But such things vary depending on the company and the profile, so many offer very good salaries with high fixed components as well.
Hope these insights, help you prepare better for your journey ahead.. all the best to the class of 2014.
Disclaimer: These opinions are based on my experiences as an MBA student.
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