Before starting to write anything whatsoever about B School I would ask you to rent your ears to a truth which a lot of us forget in the big bang of salaries and entrance test preparations.

What might that be?

B Schools are a place where, at the end of the day you are going to do a post graduation in a chosen field. Doesnt sound as romantic as those Swiss holidays and 6 figure dollar salary quotes? But yea thats about it. All hype and hoopla must be put in the right perspective. I do not expect that all you young enthusiastic folks are going to take a post graduation for the love of learning and wisdom of words emanating from the Porters and the Kotlers of the world. But believe me when I say that it sure helps if you walk into the hallowed portals of a B School having a rough idea as to how you want to use two very important years of your life in an appropriate manner. It is entirely up to you as individuals to define and redefine what appropriateness means to you.

I dont like your preaching. Im in it for the dough!

Fine. But the catch is the media exemplifies everything that is wrong with projecting salary as the key driver of educational decision making. One Ravi Singhvi at IIMA getting 150000 + USD as starting salary must not be the driver for your decision for more than one reason. For starters, he has relevant and wide ranging experience spanning firms like Anderson and Citibank. Then again he was chosen as associate, a post not many graduates even from IIM A, can aspire as freshers. But the more critical aspect that a lot of folks tend to forget is that it is the highest salary offered. And by the very definition of highest, it follows logically (yea a no brainer!!) that it was offered to only one person! Logically it also follows that half of the batches in any B School gets less than or equal to the average salary projected (at around 7-8 lakhs) by most top schools. And the definition of average remains same whether it is A or B or Z! (Yea yea, I know. A no brainer again, but sad is the fact that a lot of people tend to forget this basic truth!).

Ok. Accepting that half of the class gets only around 8 lakhs, which in itself is some good money. 66666.666 rupees a month is good enough for me and my girlfriend to lead a happy life!

But unfortunately for you and your girlfriend, that is obviously not what you get in hand. That, in jobstreet parlance, is what is called the CTC (Cost to Company). At the end of the day if one gets around 35000 post the tax pie eaten by the government, one can consider oneself lucky.

Oops, I get more than that in my ABC Tech firm taking in underwear billing orders outsourced from Texas based retailing big wig !Why the hell should I then even heed this rigmarole of B schooling gibberish? Especially when I have been frightened by seniors regarding the sleepless nights and extreme workloads. Add on to that the unhealthy competition within batch mates and suddenly B school for me looks as appealing as Britney Spears and the boy bands!

Ok. Academic rigour exists. For the sole reason that there is so much to be taught, and only so much that can be learnt in a given period of time. At least the faculty thinks there is so much to be learnt before one can get out with the PG Diploma. If you are literally scared of studying, then it could be a tough time. But then one hopes you havent decided to do a PG for partying, pubbing and watching movies as prime motives .At the same time u shall get to sleep 4-6 hours depending on the match (or mismatch) between your aspirational levels (read positioning in the grade point scale) and smart study habits. I for one do not think intelligence has a lot to do with getting great grades in B Schools as much as smartness in writing exams and hard work has. It does help if you are a 9 pointer from IITs because you have been there and done that. The first thing one needs to do in the initial weeks of B Schooling is to understand that it is best to compete with yourself than with the entire batch. Set benchmarks for yourself and try to beat the bar. This in turn helps in relation building too! I reckon lot of people think that due to Relative grading (RG) relationships are tough to be built up at a B school. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The students understand the importance of networking. So whether with sincerity or otherwise folks here do build up relations and makes sure embarrassing fights are avoided. (The beer bottle swinging, drunk, rowdy brawls of engineering days are over for ever!!) The idea is simple. Most of the smart dudes surmise that tomorrow in the corporate world, a lot of their classmates are going to be head honchos in some XYZ corporation. They would rather not be in the bad books of anyone around, for you never know whos going to be in need of whom! I for one have made some real fruitful friendships (which I hope stands for life) without such thoughts in mind. It again is incumbent on your own attitude to competition and how well you manage your relationships.

Ok. So what else can one practically gain out of 2 years other than building bosom buddies?

First up is a good first job!!!(Yea I come back to that!!) Hopefully in terms of profile as much as in terms of money! But there is definitely more to B schooling than placements. Remember that one gets out of any institution how much ever you want it to give you. If you spend more time with Sylvia Saint or J Lo than with something more productive (Ok, no pun!) you might not get too much of learning out of the system. But then you do not have a right to crib that there is no value-add in an MBA! You come across some amazing professors who are eager to teach and help you in any sphere, a great infrastructure setup, and a bunch of folks who generally are more ambitious and probably more intelligent than the majority. Their insights and drive might inspire you or at the very least help you appreciate different perspectives. You work a lot in groups (You are expected to work!!).Whether you end up doing it or not at least you get a feel of group dynamics. This is further bolstered by the innumerable chances you get to manage events and teams. If you want, you can go on exchange to international schools (in most of the top rung schools there are large number of options to choose from). You develop confidence by speaking/presenting your ideas in front of some of the best brains and getting it dissected by them threadbare. (This does help you in real corporate life especially in stormy meetings with subcontractors and clients).The course content also provides you some knowledge on theories which can come in handy in corporate life or even if you start something on your own. (Things like the accounting and financial management fundae, apart from the more critical aspects of Organisational Behaviour and Human resource management).

But can none of this be learnt or acquired out of a B School?

You can. B School helps you in being a single window providing these various services! If you individually start acquiring these, it might take you more time, energy and much much more motivation to be successful. But in the long run it wouldnt make much difference. But again in the long run we are all dead!!

The author is a current student @ WIMWI, better known as the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad. He is presently doing his summer internship at a leading consulting firm. Prior to his joining IIMA, Suhas was working in East Africa in the Oil & Gas vertical of a construction major.

Write Comment