Most students from different colleges all over the country endeavor to do an MBA course after having completed their graduation. In India MBA has an unparalleled charm for the students and their parents alike. This is probably due to the exceptionally high salaries of the graduates of the Indian Institutes of Management, jet-setting life styles of corporate executives, a pragmatic course of study and a stimulating campus life.
So what really is Management education all about?
- It is a Two year full time or a Three year part time course
- It Gives exposure to the subjects of Finance, Marketing, Operations, HR and Systems.
- It allows Specialization in one or more of these functional subjects.
- It helps to develop good logical, analytical and presentation skills.
- You get to look at problems/situations from different angles with a view to arrive at an effective solution for the same.
- The course teaches one to work in a team, manage time and helps develop a good business perspective.
- On an average, you get to study 40 - 45 subjects in the course.It involves written exams, presentations, short projects, case studies, assignments, summer projects, winter projects and any other projects you can get... can do it all in an MBA.
Why should you do an MBA?
- MBA is a Post graduation degree valued by the Industry.
- People from diversified educational backgrounds join an MBA course.
- Involves high pressure and time-packed schedule. Really tests one's time management skills.
- You learn through fun class room sessions, case studies, paper presentations, festivals, seminars etc.
- The focus is on Knowledge-Sharing across functions.
- Trains in Team work skills as you learn to work with different people on different assignments and projects
- Teaches you to balance curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities.
- Intra & Inter collegiate Case studies & paper presentation contests are common
- College Festivals, seminars, guest lectures take place frequently.
- You get to attend quality management seminars within and outside the institute.
- You can participate in Project presentations and "Best Project" contests.
- Get to attend quality Management Seminars within and outside the institute.
- Orients you with knowledge of management functions.
- Entails better career prospects in terms of job opportunities, career growth, salaries.
- Teaches you how to manage yourself, your time, people, situations, success and failure. Specialization and other things are just a part of it.
Who can do an MBA course?
- Any graduate with a minimum 50% marks in the final year under the 10+2+3 (like BA, B.Com, BCA etc.) or 10+2+4 (like BE, B.Tech etc.) system is eligible for a Management Education. Even post graduates can do an MBA.
- However, non-graduates, who have done a diploma and not a degree course are not eligible.
- Fresh Graduates as well as Graduates with work experience can do a full time Management course.
- For part time Management Education, eligibility criteria is minimum 50% marks in the final year plus at least two - three years work experience after graduation.
- There is no age limit for doing both full-time and part-time management courses.
What is a good score in the written test?
It is difficult for anybody to prognosticate accurately as it depends a lot on the level of difficulty of the test. As a general thumb rule, with a consistent score of around 85+, one has a decent chance of getting a call from one or two of the IIMs.
When should one start preparing for the entrance tests?
It takes a completely dedicated effort to succeed in these tests. For most part it is hard grind, repetitive, and unrelenting. Constant practice is evidently the key to success in the tests. The duration of preparation is, to a large extent, determined by the present state of preparedness. For a candidate who has been in touch with basic Mathematics and English and who has good reading habits, the preparation should commence 4 to 6 months in advance. Other candidates should start early and work hard and systematically. Our experience shows that over-preparation is as dangerous as under-preparation. Candidates are advised not to start preparation too much in advance. Certainly not more than a year in advance. The ill consequences could be fatigue, and premature peaking in the performance. Performing at one's peak is, by definition, not sustainable over a long period. A 100 m and 1 mile race is an analogy. You cannot run the 1 mile race at a speed at which you can run the 100 m race. So, the objective should be learning and constant practice in order to attain peak levels of performance just around the time of the entrance tests.
How should one prepare for the tests?
By now you must be aware of the various attributes of the candidates that are put to test in the entrance test.
- Command over written English
- Reading and Comprehension
- Fundamentals of Mathematics
- Analytical Ability and Interpretation Skills etc.
Also, the structure of the entrance tests changes every year. So, most of the preparation is anticipatory; anticipating would be the emphasis on each section; anticipating the probable range of questions that might appear in the entrance tests, and so forth.
Application of concepts
Development of habits
Increasing the range of your reading habits
Improving upon your skills of spoken English
Consistent and focussed practice
On a regular basis :
At different difficulty levels
With a comprehensive range of probable new formats of questions
On the improvements in your performance
On areas needing special attention
A strategy for taking the entrance tests
Note that no candidate can be strong in all the areas. The focus of preparation should be to prepare yourself thoroughly in your strong areas so that you do not lose a single mark there. In your weak areas you have to work the hardest to garner as many marks as you can. Further the entrance tests are basically negative, in the sense that they are designed to eliminate all but the fittest. And as the general standard of students improves, the hurdles at the entrance tests get increasingly steep.
How much advantage does a person with a job experience have over the others?
It is clear that work experience has some weightage, though it is not clear exactly how much work experience is good. In standard terms, a work experience of at least one and a half to two years stands one in good stead, while six months is not really known to make a difference to one's credentials. Since, during placements, a lot of companies prefer students with some work experience, the IIMs take a larger share of students who have had some work experience before applying. Besides a number of experienced personnel, worthy freshers do get admissions into various B-schools.
Should my graduation background influence the choice of B-school?
To some extent, yes. For example, arts graduates may like to go for colleges having an HRD orientation (like TISS, XLRI, Symbiosis etc.); law graduates may prefer PM and IR course at XLRI; engineers have been seen opting for a broad range of choices and colleges.
If I am an average student, will I be able to clear these tests?
The whole point is 'How do you define "average"?'. The examination systems in Indian schools and colleges hardly check the students' aptitude and logical or commonsense skills, the two most desired traits in an MBA aspirant. You may be having a very strong potential as far as MBA is concerned, which has been sadly left untouched so far.
What about Communication Skills?
It is very crucial for you to develop these skills as, at the last moment, very little can be done. Regular practice is the key. It has been seen that students getting several calls, at times, are unable to clear the GD and PI stage. Hence, keep preparing.
What specialization should I take up?
This should be decided on the basis of your interests and capabilities, as well as the institute's resources. There is no hard and fast rule that engineers should take up a particular specialization.
Students can specialize in any of the following streams:
- Human Resources
How to select an institute?
The problem of selection is not for the top institutes; the choice becomes more difficult if you finally get a call from two institutes, which have equal standing in the industry. In that case you can choose the college based on the following parameters: