This is an invariable question in any MBA entrance-interview. Getting this answer pat right is critically important because it shows how clear you are about your expectations from the course. It is imperative that you answer this question to yourself before you rush to fill up forms to various MBA colleges.
It is crucial on two counts:
1. If you do qualify for a course and find yourself a complete misfit for the curriculum it would mean you are actually not cut out for the management cadre in the corporate world. So you are likely to saddle yourself with a career that makes you unhappy.
2. An MBA course is an investment both in terms of time and money hence wasting it is an offence.
Moving on, let’s look at a few caricatures wherein an MBA degree can be handy:
4 The Anointed Heir who wants to hold the keys of the kingdom. This guy is someone like an industrialist’s son, who will have to take over the running of an existing corporate empire.
4The Shop Floor Enthusiast who wants to sit in the gilded corporate office This guy is typically someone who has spent many years on the shop floor (it could also be in a lab..or in sales..or in data collection), mostly a technical person who executes rather than strategises. This guy now wants to be a part of the strategic team.
4The Intrepid Entrepreneur who wants to build an empire. This guy is someone who is all set to start his or her own business and wants to know the nitty gritties of it all.
4The Power Seeker who wants to crack the management ceiling he has hit because of a lack of an MBA degree. This person is typically someone who is a part of management but sees many a promotion pass by him owing to a perceived lack of managerial perspective. Most of the top management believe that only a person with a management degree has managerial perspective.
4The Money Player who would like a fatter pay packet. An MBA degree immediately increases your market value. If a postgraduate in economics is offered say Rs. 7000 per month as a starting salary, an MBA graduate is typically offered at least Rs. 10000 to 12000 per month.
4The Reluctant Graduate who believes that he has learnt nothing at all that can get him a job. The non-professional graduate courses available today are not perceived to have any marketable value by the corporate world. These therefore need to be upgraded to make the graduate ‘market worthy’.
The MBA advantage to all the six categories is that it immediately stamps you as someone who can be trained to take up positions of authority.
Apart from the positive boost that your career gets, an MBA degree also offers three side benefits. Some may argue that these are the main benefits ..
1. An MBA course is a churn where you are pushed to deliver. You are introduced to fierce competition. The conditions work on you in such a way that either you breakdown and leave the course half way or you end up becoming a tough professional.
2. An MBA programme exposes you to a very wide area of experience in terms of disciplines and people. You get exposed to varied subjects like macroeconomics, consumer behaviour, psychology, marketing, cultural heritage, communication theory, operations research, quantitative techniques, finance, HR, etc. Most programmes cover over 30 subjects! Apart from exposure to subjects, you meet people from various backgrounds and places. This really broadens your outlook!
3. And last but not the least, an MBA course brings together impressionable young men and women and you may just meet your soul mate while slogging over case studies!