Life is all about making decisions. And decisions about your career determine how you professionally grow. And the foundation of our career has a lot to do with the education we undergo. So investing in the right education, education that fits your requirements and make you grow is equally important then having education in a whole. Doing MBA (Masters of Business Administration) is one such crucial decision. In India, after finishing graduation, it’s normal to think and move for post-graduation. It’s that one final tick in your bucket of life when it comes to completing your education. I come across people who are directionless and tend to fall under the trap of investing their time and money without adequate information and consideration in higher education. In India, UGC (University Grants Commission) allows only recognized universities right to award the MBA degree. Recognized Institutes from AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) can award PGDM/PGPM (Post Graduate Diploma/Programme in Management). We popularly know these institutes as B-Schools. In both the cases, the tenure is of the program is of 2 years. So before you take a plunge, consider the below points before you take THE decision of doing MBA in India.
- Introspect yourself and your past credentials
Questions like do I really need an MBA? What valve does it brings to me? What shall I gain at the end of the day? Shall give you enough food for thought to introspect and take you forward in making your decision. Go back and have a check on your past education credentials. How did you do in your higher secondary or graduation per say. If required, get an expert opinion or advice from someone who knows you well. Follow the GOLDEN rule of decision making: WHY, WHAT and HOW. It’s also important to know if you are a fresher or a candidate with rich work experience (we shall cover Fresher v/s Work experience for an MBA seat in our following parts of MBA series).
- General MBA v/s Sectorial MBA
We are blessed to be in the age of Choice. And there are ample of choices when it comes to doing MBA in India. Doing MBA with specialization in Marketing, Finance, Operations and Human resource Management are popular in India. But there are other niche MBA/PGPM programs that offer you a sectorial specialization as well. Some of the popular sectorial MBA/PGDM programs available in India are: PGDM in Communications from MICA, Ahmedabad; MBA in International Business from IIFT, Delhi; PGPM in Rural Management from IRMA, Anand, and etc. to name a few. (We shall cover one year MBA v/s Two year MBA in our following parts of MBA series)
- Know rules of the game.
Ok you have figured out you want to go ahead and apply for that coveted MBA seat. Now the question is HOW? Embrace yourself for a competitive fight with thousands of other aspirants, as entry to top 25 MBA/PGP institutes is through a competitive written examination (Online or paper pencil test). Like, to be eligible for Group discussion/ exercise, essay writing and Interview for Indian Institutes of Management (Popularly known as IIMs), you need to write Common Admission Test (CAT). Some of the other popular tests are XAT for XLRI, XIM, etc. and SNAP for getting yourself into the PG institutes of Symbiosis International University, to name a few.
Get to know the eligibility criteria to write each of it. Understand the test formats and question patterns from the past. If required, you can go with MBA preparation coaching classes and subscribe for their weekly mock tests as well.
- Research the Institute before applying
Our aim is get it into the Institute of repute. But it is equally important to do your homework before you spend your money and time on applying to the institute you wish to get into. Do your basic research. I know a friend of mine who applied to a B School and later discovered that minimum graduation percentage required to apply for that particular B School was 60 percent, which he did not had. No award for guessing, he was not considered for admission process. So, once you are through with your primary research, you can graduate yourself to the advance research like speaking with the current batch of students of the institute, follow up with the career services teams, etc.
- Attend Info sessions by various B Schools
Business Schools also offer an opportunity to interact with them through Info sessions normally conducted in various metro cities. There are a lot webinars been conducted by these schools where it gives an opportunity to aspirants from across the cities and towns to interacts with the school. These are great ways to get insights about the school. It allows you to speak with the Faculties, Admission & Placement teams, alumni and even current students.
- Capitalize on the power of Social Media
In this digital world, it’s difficult to insular yourself from Social Media. Follow the Institute on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Get yourself updated on the latest development about the Institute. Catch on with the news on campus activities and events. Join the Institute community and post your views and opinions assertively. Remember not to be dogmatic in any of the online forums.
- Budget yourself
It’s prudent to be wise with your finances. Have close eye on how much you wish to spend on your MBA. These days, getting an MBA is a costly affair. And with the Student Loans available in market, it’s not advisable to go blind with your decision without considering the cost string attached to it. Remember, fixing your budget is of paramount importance. Estimate and include all the expenses that you shall incur while you study like travelling for campus exchange programs, food, lodging, etc.
- Never get enticed on Freebies
With various institutes mushrooming across the country, every tom dick and harry has ventured into the highly lucrative sector of Education. These “not so good” institutes try to allure the aspirants with freebies in lieu of quality education. Free laptops, foreign trips, International degrees, 5 Star Campus facilities, etc. are nothing but to fool the aspirant and quite subrogate for quality education. So, never ever entertain them and try to keep them at bay from your list of target Institutes.
- Be ready for the Competition you’ve never experienced before.
Getting into the best of the B-Schools is not easy, and along with you thousands of other bright students have also applied to the prestigious B-School. Assuming that all 6 new IIMs notified in CAT 2014 begin their first batch in 2015 with a minimum strength of 50 students, there will be addition of 300 more seats to the existing 3335 seats across all 13 Indian Institutes of Management as compared to 189,759, the number of students registered for CAT 2014. Imagine the competition. So gear up and be ready for it. Remember, Competition not only ends here. Be ready to face the fiercely competitive classmates when you enter the School.
However, studying in a business school and excelling in it is by no means an easy task. Do not expect a funk, casual environment when it comes to completing your program. Top institutes are known for their rigorous study environment, keeping on your toes 24×7 and making you ready as future managers who would step into the corporate world and drives a mark in it. Business school can be grueling, stressful, and challenging or it can be easier than you thought—a lot of it is how you approach it and what you take away from the experience. Good Luck!
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