An MBA has become the buzz-word today, especially for final year engineering students across the country. Students are looking to pursue an MBA right after their graduation and the professional world has looked at it as a career booster for years.
Today, across the country, MBA admissions are on in full swing. At this point, we thought to seek the opinion of Mr Sandeep Chatterjee, Associate Director at KPMG and an IIM Kozhikode Alumnus, on the value added by an MBA and what students should look to gain while pursuing this degree:
How important is an MBA today for a boost in one’s career opportunities?
The popular opinion amongst students today is that completing an MBA can bring about a drastic change in their careers immediately. However, the impact of an MBA in one’s career is not visible in such a short period of time. One of the simplest reasons for the same is when we work in specialized functions, it keeps getting harder and harder for us to get exposed to other functions.
However, while pursuing an MBA degree, one of the most important things that one can gain is the ability to look at things from different perspectives. In the institute, students come from various backgrounds and the academic and gender diversity factors are also at play here. The way each individual thinks becomes a critical factor.
Once again, the benefits of completing an MBA may not be visible immediately. If one is looking to take up a CXO Level position about 10 years down the line, the most important addition that an MBA makes is the ability to look at things from different perspectives. While even at that position, an individual may have specialized knowledge in one function, he/she must also be a generalist and understand the various other functions. That’s what an MBA can bring in.
Having said that, it is not necessary that just completing an MBA makes one qualified for a strategy role. I strongly believe that to take up a strategy role, to be able to make good decisions, you must understand execution.
To sum it up, an MBA education will definitely add to your thought process. But it will be a while before you can actually see the benefits of pursuing one.
A lot of students today are looking to go for an MBA right after graduation. As someone who applied for an MBA with a significant amount of experience, what are your thoughts?
When you look at universities abroad, especially in the US, it is mandatory for you to have a significant amount of work experience to be eligible for an MBA. The reason is that certain courses, like Organizational Behaviour or Business Ethics, become extremely theoretical for someone with no work experience. I personally believe that some amount of experience is extremely important before pursuing an MBA because otherwise, you will not be able to fully appreciate the value of the value of the education.
However, in India, we still prioritise hiring freshers from B schools. The reason that Indian Corporate prefer MBA freshers over individuals with higher work experience is that the common perception is that it is difficult to mould them. That is the precise reason that we see a lot of freshers getting hired in the Indian industry but that is not the case in a lot of other countries. What I believe organizations should understand is that having someone with the right amount of experience and an MBA degree can prove to be a huge asset.
I would definitely recommend an MBA to aspirants after a few years of experience. One, you will be able to understand and fully appreciate the value of what you are learning and two, having already familiarized yourself with the execution, you will be better equipped to take up a strategy role.
Sandeep Chatterjee is an industry veteran and has over 18 years of experience, starting from TATA Motors to Oracle and now, KPMG. For more insights on pursuing an MBA or to know more about the management consulting domain.
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