Monday, November 30, 2015

Why MBA after engineering - an analysis

Article on BE + MBA by Sandeep Manudhane
A dream can come true with right engineering
Typically, an MBA post Engineering makes you look quite bright from the employment perspective, provided your aptitude and attitude match what's taught in the MBA programme and you are able to significantly add new skills and a "thinking approach".

Being confused about your future is a pretty healthy thing, as it means you are evaluating several options. You are thinking. You are not sure. This is how it should be, initially. No worries!

I will help you understand the right approach to getting an answer to this question.

Choosing any career

For any student stuck in a dilemma, a good basic course of action is:

  1. Introspection - Undertake a serious process of introspection to identify your triggers.
  2. What you love - Find out what are 3 or 4 things you would love to do consistently for many years, day in and day out, and be happy doing those.
  3. Listing - Make a list of everything you thus evaluate.
  4. Feedback - Discuss with family, friends and those you trust.
  5. Reality-check - Check your background dispassionately - what a student does through schooling and college years is a reasonably good indicator of future potential in terms of entrepreneurship or business leadership.
  6. Dreamer? Are you a dreamer who dreams leading or building teams, products, processes from scratch? Are you a dreamer who dreams managing existing systems?
  7. Type - Do you love to talk, reach out to people, sell, share? Or do you like to see happiness of other people's face?

Choosing MBA as a career

Adi Godrej MBA BrightSparks blog Sandeep Manudhane PT education Indore SM sir
Adi Godrej, MBA

Typically it takes 1 or 2 years to prepare for IIMCAT. If you have what it takes, you make it. Trying several times usually does not change the outcome. I have seen 17 CAT Toppers in my institute so far, and I can assure you that it's not too tough to top the CAT, or score a great percentile, if your basics are in place (good English reading ability, basic vocabulary and grammar, basic calculation speed and concepts, and basic communication skills). Exceptional improvement in basic skills happens only with exceptionally dedicated individuals. (Personally, I cracked the CAT while at IIT Delhi with 4 months of preparations, perhaps only because I was a voracious reader all my life)

Let us see what happens once you finish your MBA course -

  • If you do a General MBA programme - You enter into one of these, or a combination of there - Marketing, Sales, Finance, HR (or I.R.), Production, I.T., Strategy, Operations, International Business. (Yes, all this applies to a CSE grad also)
  • If you do a Specialised MBA programme - You can choose a specific field like Rural Management, Advertising & Media Planning, Pharma management, Construction Management, Services Management etc.
  • Whichever you do, you start working either for
    Tony Fernandes MBA BrightSparks blog PT education Sandeep Manudhane SM sir Indore
    Tony, the MBA!
    • A proper private sector corporate house
    • A government company (central or state PSU)
    • Your own family business
    • Your own startup business
    • An NGO
  • You start earning your salary, moving up the ladder in life, start a family, settle down, learn new skills, move on
  • Largely, your work profile is restricted to your personal/family growth, and relatively less of social service / social orientation
  • If you are exceptionally talented, you can rise to become even the proverbial CEO of Microsoft (he did a part time MBA from US while working)   :)
  • At the very least, you will make enough money to lead a pleasant life with minimum of hassles and mental tensions
  • If you do your MBA from an IIM, it can give you a relatively better start in life, nothing more. Do not remain under the illusion that your first package will be at least Rs 50 lacs p.a., that in 10 years it will automatically be Rs 2 crores p.a. 
  • There are many who start at much less and grow much bigger, and some who get a great start but are unable to build on it
  • The biggest assets you'll need to prosper continuously will be - positive mental attitude, willpower, learning ability, personal effort, intelligence and talent, good human relations and teamwork

Food for Thought

Through the past 10 years of your education, did you conduct a lot of events, lead people, handle quizzes and debates, manage picnics and outings? Or were you a silent spectator in all these events, participating but not whole-heartedly? Or did you participate whole-heartedly, but dreaded the idea of organizing things? 

Meg Whitman HP MBA BrightSparks blog Sandeep Manudhane SM sir
Meg Whitman, MBA
  • If you led such events and processes, you are a natural entrepreneur
  • If you never led any such event, it will take a lot of effort to become one
  • If you participated whole-heartedly in events others conducted, and came on top,you are great civil service material
  • A lot of people with entrepreneurial traits can develop themselves properly by pursuing a proper MBA programme
Purely from your engineering education perspective, in your 3 years of grad education so far, did you do a lot of serious coding? Did you participate in any hackathon? Did you read a lot of "what's going on in the world of CSE and IT" apart from your college textbooks? Did you feel excited reading all that? Did you work on any live project (website / online payment portal / shopping sites / education projects / tests) etc.?

Money, Success, Monotony
Suppose you are extroverted, organise events well, and participate whole-heartedly. We will now raise the level of our game, to know the finer aspects.

  • How important is money to you? Is driving a really fancy car crucial? Is owning every new top-end handset that arrives is important? Do you dream having a few crores in your bank account while you - without a worry in the world - focus on important things? OR does the idea of money not excite you at all? -- Obviously, if you are not at all excited by it, go for civil services. As an honest officer, you will make enough for a comfortable life but not more. As a dishonest officer (which I assume you won't aim to become), you will earn everything and lose your peace of mind
  • How important is success to you? Remember, if you are an entrepreneur in India, and you fail in a venture, the society can be really tough on you (not so in the USA, for example). Can you handle that situation? Or can you take pride in having tried? If you just can't handle failure, maybe building an enterprise is not for you. [ these things sound pretty childish while you are planning, but when rubber meets the road, the heat can be immense ]
  • Monotony of work - Finally, some bad news. No matter which career you choose, there will be patches when you will have nothing to do but work that's regular, similar, horrifyingly boring. If you are imagining any career that'll offer something new with every sunrise, it's not happening.

Hope you are able to make up your mind now! Stay in touch for any help. All the best!

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1 comment:

Hitesh said...

I am preparing for MBA entrance exams. I will be joining a b-school in 2016. Even I was in a dilemma. I didn't know why I was going for an mba. But I found out that this is actually a good thing. It will provide an impetus to my career.

This is a career transition for me – from a technical role to a managerial role. It will help me to take a leap towards another set of responsibilities which might have taken a lot of time in my previous role. A management career would get me an opportunity to progress in my career.