Random Thoughts: MBA and the ultimate goal

Disclaimer: The post below doesn't speak about all the students doing their MBA. If you're highly offended by the post below, you're either one of the students being mentioned below or just oblivious to the entire situation. In any of the cases, I sincerely feel sorry for you. My deepest sympathies are with you my friend ;)

The process of getting into a good B-School (Business School) is pretty structured. Students start with the grind of preparing so called entrance exams which is known to test how fast and accurately a student can answer questions based on elementary maths, not so elementary English, deciphering various charts or paragraphs filled with data which you convert into information to answer questions, and in some cases even add ons like General Knowledge etc. What seems like an exam actually resemble the gates of hell if not the place in itself.

IF students manage to get a score which would make you eligible to apply in colleges; they go through several hours of practice where they're taught ways to tackle subjects from the fields of social issues, politics, business etc. for group discussions. They are groomed on how to sound intellectual and answer questions in the personal interview. Many of these students (a substantial number of whom are still in college or just mere freshers) fail to realize that they're not competing in a race of selection but in a race of elimination. Once you've managed the ordeal and survived through all the stages of this maze, they get into a management institute. However, what happens within those walls is a story for another time.

I'm doing my MBA (part time. My course is Masters in Financial Management) and one common feature about many students who have done, are doing and will do their MBA is a dream. This dream is actually the prime reason why most decide to get into this course in the first place. And this dream is called a job. Yes, many students have no intention to gain knowledge, they wouldn't learn anything substantial within the time they're in the course. They'll just keep running and keep excelling (ONLY in terms of grades) because for them, the course is just another obstacle which separates them from their final goal. Their job at the end of the course.

Yes, its pretty evident that in today's time MBAs are given the reverence which was once reserved for the crème de la crème. The most exclusive jobs, paychecks with enough zeros to feed a community at the end of the month, the works. As a result of this opulence which apparently has been in the limelight for not more than 8-10 years, today many students are entering the course and running the race like blinkered horses without knowing the implications of their decision(s). Bankers, Consultants, Advisors, Sales Executives; all these designations seem just a certificate away and people don't mind going to extremes to get these certificates.

In the bargain at the end of getting those certificates and the dream jobs, what many of these blinkered horses also succeed in achieving is a rude handshake from reality. Only when they start sweating in an air conditioned cabin, that's when they realize what factors should have constituted in making the decisions in selecting their dream job as their ultimate goal. One such dream job as I mentioned earlier is Consultants. Without sharing much, I'd just request you to click here (titled: 'The story BCG offered me $16,000 not to tell') to get a perspective from one of the ex-consultants from one of the worlds best consulting company: Boston Consulting Group. Although the person sharing his experience was from MIT, an experience which a MBA might have wouldn't be a lot different from the one mentioned in the link. As always, this post would remain incomplete without your thoughts and comments about what you read here, your experiences, stories and your take on my views. I've said all that I had to with regards to this post, now it's your turn.

Manish :)

Every 3000 sheets of paper cost us a tree. Please think before you print.

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