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Advisor @ VIT Business School Shares his Take on Management Education with a Message for MBA Aspirants

Question 1:

What is your take on the current management education industry? Do you think there are gaps in terms of quality-of-students demand and supply? How does VIT business school help in bridging this gap?

Management education is at the cross roads not only in India but across the globe. There are several reasons for this. First there has been too much of hype around MBA and many B Schools have focused on placements, average salary and number of offers per candidate. Many students who are really not cut out for management education just get into some B School and have unreasonable expectations! The real focus must be on acquiring relevant knowledge, honing the managerial skills, shaping proper attitudes and developing human values. Corporate expectations from prospective MBAs are quite high mainly because they pay a hefty compensation. There are many reasons that more than 90% of the MBA graduates are unemployable. Many join the MBA program because of a promise of lucrative salaries, and not because they have a genuine interest in learning management discipline. The kind of training provided by the faculty in a B School is woefully inadequate. Faculty only train the students to write an examination and get a pass with a degree.

At VIT BS we strongly believe that all these CAT/MAT/XAT\ATMA entrance tests are a kind of a rejection process and not a selection process. Unlike GMAT we are not sure whether these tests really measures the students Managerial aptitude! Just a speed and accuracy test. Sitting in IIM admission interviews and interviewing 99 & 100 percentile students, I strongly believe these scores are only partially reliable. Our Interview process is rigorous and we don’t blindly rely only on these entrance test scores. A good B School must convert an ordinary student into an extraordinary performer. The main criteria we look for in a student is if he/she has a deep desire to learn. We admit such students and make them perform extremely well. This is actually the pristine Indian Gurukul system of admissions.

Question 2:

What are the 3 value propositions which make VIT BS students stand out from other B Schools students?

As already indicated all the students who are admitted in VIT BS have-

a) A deep burning desire to learn

b) They stay focused towards their learning and synchronize their latent innate talent to choosing their area of specialization

c) They also develop an ability to be an autonomous self learners with a focus on becoming corporate ready by acquiring relevant knowledge with experiential learning.

Question 3:

What is the unique course delivery model adapted by VIT BS?

Many B Schools have been only imitating the Harvard model of case method of teaching. Case method of teaching has its own limitations. Basic concepts and theories can be taught by case methods; but the students will not be able to develop deep insights into various functional areas of management. Developing marketing insights. Finance insights, HR insights, Operations and Systems insights are more challenging than teaching concepts, theories through case methodology. To cite an example if we are teaching a course on ‘Investment Management’ through case analysis, the students will do all the calculations and decide how to invest Rs.200 crores in various portfolios. If it were to happen in real life he may not even professionally comfortable as to how to invest Rs.10 lakhs because it is his money and will think twice as he is emotionally attached to his money. This emotional dimension is missing in case methods.

So we focus on many simulations models for developing such insights. Stockex and Forex games really help the students to have a feel of what is happening in stock markets. The uniqueness of our delivery model is to “develop deep insights” apart from conveying the concepts and drilling the theories.

Question No.4:

VIT BS MBA program curriculum has been designed with focus on managing big data. Could you throw more light on this?

Today most of the companies are sitting on large volumes of data. This is mainly because most of the transactions happen through digital mode. Now companies desire to perceive the patterns and recognize the rhythms inside the data so that they will be able to use this large data for future prediction purposes. This is predictive analytics.  As is well known we focus on all the four Ts of Business Analytics; Terrain, Technology, Tools and Techniques. We are in the process of establishing an Analytics Lab with the help of IBM. We will be focusing on Marketing Analytics, Finance Analytics, HR Analytics, Actuarial Analytics and also on Visual Analytics. We have a strong base in SAS, R.

Question 5: 

What kind of personality grooming/self-grooming assistance students receive at VIT BS?

Most of the times only soft skills training is provided to the students under personality development. At VIT BS we have a broader perspective on personality development. Human personality can be broadly classified into six categories; intellectual, physical, emotional, aesthetic, social and spiritual. We focus on holistic development of the personality of the students committed to our care on all these six dimensions. Apart from developing the intellectual dimension, we encourage our students to take interest in sports & gym, get that emotional stability by making them take interest in fine arts-dance, drama and music, concern for fellow citizens through USR, and also on spiritual dimension through yoga, Vipassana and meditation. At the beginning of the program we do MBTI tests and do a personality profiling and counsel the students on career path plan. This is very unique to VIT BS. 

Question 6:

What are the qualities/parameters looked at during selection of students into VIT MBA program?

Like any other B School selection process, we look into consistent academic performance, fairly good general knowledge on commerce and economics and managerial potential as evidenced by the past records. Students with work experience will have an added advantage in the selection process. More than all these we try to see if the candidate is very keen to learn the management as a discipline and is street smart. To be a manager is not just acquiring an MBA degree, but developing the relevant knowledge coupled with integrated critical thinking.

Question 7:

Would you like to give any message to the MBA aspirants?

Many of you choose MBA program with a view to have a good career with lucrative salaries. Please remember your first job is not the end of your objective in life. We in VIT BS don’t prepare you only for your first job. We prepare you to face life and be ‘continuously employable’ throughout your life. We the faculty desire to ‘educate’ and not ‘train’ you, will give ‘general education’ and not ‘vocational education’, we are keen to ‘nourish your soul’ and ‘not just hone the mind’. We are developing you to be continuously employable for the next 60 years. For that to happen you must be a life long learner. VIT BS is a B School with a difference in-the-sense it is a “Life long learning center”. Any one going through our portal we will be a life long self learner which will keep you in good stead for your entire corporate life. We prepare you to face all challenges in both professional and personal life. We eagerly look forward to receive you in our campus so that we will have an enjoyable learning experience together.

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