An MBA ranks on top among the most sought-after graduate management degrees. What is life like at business schools? Does it involve analyzing cryptic spreadsheets and abstruse finance data? Do MBAs ever have fun?
Little do MBA aspirants realize that the arduous preparation for a B-school seat is a precursor to the rigors of earning the degree. The graduate school experience may vary at different schools, while one may find many standard practices too.
The length of the course varies from full-time, part-time, or executive programs. Most full-time programs are of two-year duration in India. In other places, the program time varies between twelve, eighteen, and twenty-four months.
Usually, students who opt for residential programs cover most expenses with hostel fees. Others who choose to stay outside the campus will have to look for accommodation. They need to factor in living expenses like rent, food, and travel. These expenses depend on the city and the location of the house they rent.
Once the program begins, the MBA life begins to set in. How does a day in a B-school look?
Most B-schools begin classes early. Before the class commencement, students who do not present themselves in the classroom may have to forfeit the 8 AM class. Some professors lock the classroom a minute before the scheduled time. Students must ensure they are prompt in class attendance.
Most schools dole out case studies and reference notes to students. Reading the material is crucial to participate in the class discussion. Some schools distribute almost the entire courseware to students and instruct them to pore over the material. Classroom sessions involve discussion of the case or topic. Students receive a schedule of areas that they need to prepare before each class.
Wait. If the students had imagined that their parts were complete before the classroom session, they would have been surprised. Most classes require students to analyze and prepare reports/summaries of sessions.
Assignments and projects
The class must prepare and submit assignments and projects besides working on the pre and post-classroom work. Students strive to offer their assignments by the stipulated time, lest they should forfeit points/GPA.
Internships and Industry visits
Internships are integral parts of the MBA degree. Summer internships between the third and the fourth semesters are the most popular ones. Industry visits are ongoing through the program.
Students get real-time industry exposure during their internships.
Internships take significant spots on the graduate’s resume.
Is there any fun activity?
Yes, graduate B-schools offer club memberships and host fun events all year. Students enroll in clubs of their choice and participate in various sports events, quizzes, and competitions.
The network of friends MBA graduates form during graduation is pivotal to their career development. MBA students acquire an enviable network from:
- In house and visiting faculty
- Corporate connections from industry visits and internships
These connections form friendships for life. Friends turn employers, employees, clients, or vendors into long-term professional relationships.
Learning is an ongoing process
Among other skills that the course teaches, students get the opportunity for a lot of self-learning too. What do MBA graduates pick up at the University?
Participating in discussions and debates makes the graduates open-minded while honing their analytical and communication skills.
Planning and executing
B-schools engage students in organizing events and running clubs. Students learn to plan and execute small and big events and run clubs and committees effectively.
Juggling assignments, pr/post preparation, internships, bootcamps, industry visits, events, and clubs make the MBA graduate adept at managing time.
The courseware covers corporate strategies. Furthermore, multi-tasking whets students’ time management skills while also imbibing the person’s ability to work on a scheme for various tasks.
Graduates learn nuances of finance from the syllabus and by managing personal finances.
The icing on the cake: Job placements
What are the quantifiable ROI Management graduates earn? Job placements might be the single most crucial aspect of the MBA-seeker’s goal. MBA aspirants rank their preferences for B-schools in the salary package the school’s graduates earn. B-schools train and prepare their graduates o ace prospective employers’ selection processes. Training might begin in the penultimate semester to ensure students get sufficient exposure to mock tests and interviews.
Whether one shunts between classes and projects without any breathing space or enjoys some “me time” depends on the University and the electives. Some courses may be more exacting than others. Many graduates have given different responses to availing of free time between classes and projects. Nevertheless, those who had to burn the midnight oil to complete assignments on time confessed to more adrenaline from experience. Late-night preparations can be as exciting as any other event.
Students can look forward to enjoying their time while the tenacity of the program keeps them on their toes.
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