Tuesday, July 21

Why MBA?

One of the most important question that one should ask himself/herself before embarking upon the MBA journey is "Why i should go for an MBA degree?"

5 years ago i tried hard to get an answer to the above mentioned question but failed to get an answer. Concepts like Challenging job, Career progression, Flexibility, Upward mobility, Out of box thinking etc were alien to me. Since, i could not get a good answer to "why MBA" question, i struggled to work hard for CAT (test to get admit into indian b-schools) while i was in undergrad college. Still i got a decent percentile and was invited to Group Discussion and Interview by some of the b-schools. In my interviews i struggled to explain why i wanted to do an MBA and this was the end of my pursuit to get an MBA degree.

5 years have gone by since i was rejected by indian b-schools and i think it was really good for me that they rejected me. {"You get what you deserve and not what you want" -- i have started to believe firmly in this quote} Now i really want to do an MBA and i have some solid reasons to pursue an MBA. Had i been selected by any b-school earlier i would have meandered through the course and would not have lived the whole experience of earning an MBA degree. Things are different now.

What really changed in past 5 years? What motivated me to go for an MBA? I would like to share my experience through this post.One should not go for an MBA if he/she doesn't really feel for it. If i take into consideration the amount of time one spends in preparing for GMAT, writing essays and finally attending the b-school, it amounts to approx 3 years (about 4% of once life considering 75 yrs as avg life expectancy). Also consider the fact that one sheds out a fortune(close to $120k as fees + cost of opportunity) to attend the b-school. The journey to attend the b-school itself is very rigorous and without ample motivation one might lose the track of his/her goal.
{If making money is your only goal then i would like to draw your attention towards Tiger Woods, Roger fedrer, Christiano ronaldo, Brad Pitt -- they are not MBAs. And even whores can make money but then they get screwed up. I don't think its a very good idea to get screwed up in order to make money.}

Now back to my story, when i started working, everything was great. There was so much to learn and so many things to do. As my career progressed i found that things which once startled me could no more excite me. Now i wanted bigger challenges and i got to work in some of the most challenging projects that my organization had to offer. But now i feel that the slope of my learning curve is dying out. I am surrounded with people who are from very similar background as mine and after spending few years in industry we all think on similar lines. In nutshell, there is no new learning!

b-schools scream diversity. They publish all sort of colorful pie charts highlighting the diversity in their classes. It is this diversity which brings an engineer, a commerce graduate, an arts graduate and people from many other undergrad courses together. I believe engineers are groomed to become rational {this does not mean that people from other undergrad courses are irrational :) } and arts graduates are very creative and can think out of box. So the diversity in class can (depends on how receptive you are to new ideas) provoke a new level of thinking in students. Besides different undergrad courses people are diverse in terms of Nationality, Work experience, Extra currics. I can imagine what it would be like to sit in a class of top b-school. How the discussions would shape up, how much value and different perspectives would be added to each discussion. Now imagine the kind of atmosphere that one would be exposed to.

{I am already dreaming about working on a project in a team which comprises of a consultant from UK, an i-banker from Wall-street, a japanese from manufacturing division of toyota and myself }
One of the major reason to attend a b-school is to mix with people from diverse backgrounds and learn from their experiences.

Now let us come to the academic rigor that is part of every top b-school. When b-schools are grinding the students all they are doing is polishing them. Even diamonds won't shine if not grounded. I want to undergo that boot camp at a top b-school. As i have progressed in my career i have gotten into a sort of comfor zone and i want to become a lot more active. The more active one is, the more competitive he/she beomes.

Top b-schools boast of faculty which comprises of nobel laureates, of people who have several best selling books to their names. Imagine sitting in class of a prof who can help you in stretching your boundaries. Major learning will be through peer learning but then a good teacher can teach few invaluable lessons.

Finally, i am a technical guy and i can't imagine myself doing same kind of work 5 years down the line. I like my work and am doing really well but i know after sometime i am going to hit the ceiling. An MBA will help in breaking the ceiling. Moreover, I sense that my role won't evolve in a manner that i would like it to.

Currently, i am only bothered about executing the projects and leading a team. But post an MBA i can get an opportunity to envision the path that my organization will tread in future. I think that would be really challenging and a great experience.

The more i think about getting an MBA degree and the more i interact with MBAs i become more resolute about pursuing MBA from a top b-school.

p.s: One of my dear friend Sid needs a special mention here for highlighting various aspects of an MBA degree. His thoughts really charged me up.


The Dreamer said...

Good introspect.....I beleive that one cannot succeed at something if he/she doesn't see the purpose or meaning of it.
Good going :)

Illuminati said...

Thanks for the kind words :)

Neochronic said...

nice post !..

Maverick said...

Absolute justifiable Introspection! Gr8 article.

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