Saturday, December 11, 2004

MBAs or not... !?

almost everyone around us are running to get-into top Bschool. doesn't matter what his/her prior educational background or interest.. does it makes you wonder what the hell is happening around us?

I even know few doctors joined GMAT classes to prepare for MBA. Down south many do MBA from some junk school and wonder what do to next.! some people do double MBA in india & aboard.

Not sure about the importance for MBAs - is so right or just Myth? I found these were very important & interesting :

  • Understand that an MBA, in India at least, has nothing to do with education. Please 'get' this. It's not that institutes te ach you stuff that is irrelevant and obsolete. That's probably true, too. It's that nobody cares what you are taught here.
  • An MBA is about filtration. You're an employer - more likely, an HR person, and you have to hire the batch of 2004. You can either search far and wide for the right people, and expend a lot of energy - or take the easy way out. You assume that the top of the gene pool would have filtered up to the top of the MBA pool. So you set your sights on the right 'level' schools, and go hire at will. You secretly know your assumption is invalid, but everybody's doing it so it's okay.
  • I'll say it again, in case it didn't get through. It's about filtration. Nothing else will explain why Day One hirers at IIMs are international banks who pick electronics engineers with specialisations in marketing to join finance functions. So much for what you actually spent six years learning. Practical value: zero.
  • An MBA in most places on earth is about learning to run your own business. Expand MBA and you'll see. Here, it's about getting a better job. So if you really want a great job, work hard to get into an institute that has a great placement record. As long as you manage not to get expelled, you have a chance of being hired at a decent salary after two years by some lazy HR people. Again, the real challenge is not in doing the right MBA, but in getting into the right MBA.
  • This works in some schools overseas too. If you've hit the brown ceiling that many Indians bump into while they pursue international careers, get a foreign stamp that a different pool of employers looks out for. So you now compete with firangs on a level playing field.
  • What does this mean for MBAs done through correspondence or from no-name schools? Like you suspect, not very much. As long as it's not on the radar of the HR types, it won't make a difference to your career. Save the money and buy a motorbike or something.
  • What if you actually want to be a master of a business you want to administer? Avoid the big-name schools. Look around and you'll find programmes for family-run businesses at second-rung schools. You'll actually learn stuff there.
  • There is a better prospect than doing an MBA, if you haven't figured it out yet. It's to set up MBA colleges and set up institutes training you to get you into these MBA colleges.
Importance marks are in an MBA - Well, these two are the last fun years you're going to have in a long time. You're going to be dealing with spreadsheets for the rest of your life - shouldn't
you be picking Old Monk over Old Management Writers now?

Is getting placed all there is to being in a B-school, some of you wondered. Nope - there is one other way B-schools will help you. The network you form with your gang will really help when all of you are in positions of relative power maybe five or 10 years from now. Cultivate your buddies on e-groups, have reunions, keep the connections alive.

MBA abroad - Yes, if your dad has Rs 30 lakh to spare, it's not a bad idea. Get into the top-ranked ones (I'm using the dreaded phrase again) and survive. If a firm sponsors your work visa, you could start off at around Rs 45 lakh a year.

MBA is a basic time pass employers want you to go through before they come in to hire you - very commonly known quote

OK.. truth is I have absolutely no formal management qualifications whatsoever. Or even non-management qualifications. So I'm no expert. I'm no career counsellor either.
but my belief is that nothing approaching anything real or useful is taught in MBA or any course in India. fresher filtering process is a joke..

Say 10 out of every 1,000 students get into an Indian Institute of Technology. And then five of those get into an top ranking Bschool. The hideously misinformed HR community then figures this must, hence, be the top 0.5% in India - and proceeds to throw gobs of cash at them for jobs completely unrelated to their education.

So if you want a high-paying job, get into a top-ranked B-school - and don't you worry about your specialisation in graduation or the MBA itself. Nobody else does. Do what you feel like - or can pass exams most easily in. The closest that four years of mechanical engineering education can come to being useful is when you screw caps on toothpaste tubes you sell for a multinational.

The big jobs are at the big B-schools. So what do you do if you're not at one of those? Well, don't mope and blame your college. Go, use your initiative, and network your way into a good job. Meet heads of businesses you admire - use your project time to make friends and influence people.

after couple of years employer would except particularly deluded/experties - will get to know the true mettle of their employees. It can be a level playing field thereafter (my experience). Especially if you refuse to feel and act inferior to those from higher-ranked B-schools. lets not even go there... 'rankings'.

Now the real question - what if you wanted to do an MBA to really learn how to run a business? hmm... very few entrepreneurs whom we can learn from, teach at B-schools. we might do better to actually start off ourself. After all, there are only two things - in any business career we can either be an entrepreneur or work for one.


Anonymous said...

You write well and are witty.So you are from IIM?Sent you a mail too.Tried posting with username etc.but I am a big dumbo with computers ,getting old.......Gitanjali Sen