“Why MBA?” is a common question asked to MBA aspirants in their interviews for admission into institutes of choice. Typically, the answer is on the lines of building managerial skills and the technical skills gained during graduation; in today’s article by PaGaLGuY alumnus Hari Subramanian (Former Senior HR Business Partner At Amazon India, XLRI Class of 2011, Author of “Hilarious MBA Memoirs). We look at a few additional insights on how to answer this question and the various ways in which an MBA degree helps an aspirant.
1) Working under tight/high-pressure deadlines: This is an important skill one needs to build to transition into the corporate world. The only way to master this skill is by doing this repeatedly and learning while you do this. The MBA projects and assignments ensure that you have ample opportunities to figure out ways to manage your time and deliver high-quality work in short timelines.
2) Multi-tasking and prioritising: As part of the MBA course, you will be required to prioritise and multi-task continuously, with exams, assignments, fun events, quizzes, campus celebrations, clubs/committees, resume building, sports activities, etc. Prioritising constantly ensures that you do not lose track of your larger goal and do not miss out on the fun.
3) Accepting diverse perspectives: You will have individuals with diversity in age, gender, work experience, academic background etc. This will enable diverse perspectives on any given topic and enrich your learning. Working in group projects will help you appreciate multiple points of view and strengthen your leadership skills where you accept numerous perspectives and come to a common ground.
4) Collaboration: Working on group activities like projects, case study competitions, assignments, etc., will strengthen your collaboration skills. It will bring out the team player in you. A lot of your emotional intelligence will be tested through these projects. You will have scenarios where the group may not always go with your opinion; other team members may be upset over a decision, etc. Navigating your way through these scenarios will enhance your leadership skills.
5) Case-based learning: Most B schools adopt a case-study-based learning methodology where complex business challenges faced by real-world organisations are analysed through case studies, and some of the best academic minds facilitate the discussion in the country. Learning from these Professors and industry leaders through guest lectures helps strengthen your problem-solving ability.
6) Cross-functional complexities: After understanding a variety of subjects like marketing, finance, HR, operations, IT etc., you get to appreciate the cross-functional complexities and dilemmas faced in decision making at the highest levels of organisational leadership. This appreciation of cross-functional complexities is significant to building a successful career in management.
7) Industry interactions: There are multiple touchpoints like guest lectures, leadership talks, live projects, placement talks, alumni talks etc., where you get to interact with industry leaders and gain insights into various industries and careers. This knowledge will help you make the right choice when deciding on your specialisation, industry of preference etc.
8) Professional network: You get access to a strong B school alumni network that can go a long way in helping you in times of need if leveraged in the right manner. Reading about alumni achievements and interacting with them during alumni meets and other forums will motivate you to create your path and achieve your dreams.
Apart from monetary considerations, these are some of the ways in which doing an MBA from a reputed institute will help you become a better individual. So, the next time you are asked “Why MBA?” in your admissions process, you have a host of reasons to think about before you give your answer. Looking back at my own MBA journey, I had prepared along these lines, but my own interview experience was comical, and I have detailed it in my book “Hilarious MBA Memoirs”.
I wish all of you the best in your MBA admissions process.
About the author:
Hari Subramanian is an XLRI 2011 alumnus, with 10+ years of experience in business and HR roles, in diverse organisations like Mahindra & Amazon. He is currently based out of the UK and the author of “Hilarious MBA Memoirs.”
Link for the book: https://www.amazon.in/Hilarious-Memoirs-Hari-Hara-Subramaniam/dp/9391228399/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1649919377&sr=8-1
Connect with Hari on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhariharasubramanian/