Ajay Arora -Management Studies
"An MBA degree, may not promise you a superb high paying job as media reports"
He completed his MBA from Indian school of Business, class of 2009. He graduated from NSIT in Computer Science in 2004. He worked for about 4 years in ERP industry at IBM and Oracle before moving to ISB. He is now headed to Deloitte Consulting.
1.Should I go for an MBA degree in a downturn?
Sorry if you expect a yes/no answer to this question here, hard luck man! It is still you who has to decide. This article is intended to be a small help to put some career stuff into a clearer perspective. All of us know, or at least pretend to know the real reasons behind choosing engineering branches we opted for. I ‘pretend’ my reason to be my love for computers back there in year 2000. From ‘my-dad-told-me-to-become-engineer’ to a ‘quick-way-to-start-earning’ engineering has been preferred choice of talented people in our country. But many of us decide later to move for something flashier and glamorous called M.B.A. Why so? Simply stating, the perceptions of success (defined below) changes over time. I define success by my own concocted formula:
Success (at time t) = Aspirations (t) + Hard work (0 to t-1) + Intelligence + Luck(t) + Network(0 to t-1);
Aspirations definitely need to be high to achieve a higher degree of relative success. Of course, that has no implication on satisfaction levels which may not be related to success always. But for the purposes of a well sounding discussion, we will assume them to be correlated (satisfaction and success). An MBA degree, may not promise you a superb high paying job as media reports, but it is definitely very promising to work on each aspect to ensure a greater success in the realm of business. I am in no way suggesting that those without it are any lesser or can’t taste equal amounts of success. But the message I want to put across is, for people like me, it worked wonders to change me as a person.
First of all an MBA, made me much more ‘’networked”, a cliché word, which is still the most important word for your professional and personal growth. I say that with confidence after reading data based reports about how many people you know and each contact adding a slight percentage to your future salary level. Consider this, my study group (MBA is all about team assignments, from one deadline to another, catching food and sleep in classes) consisted of a doctor, banker, two consultants and I (engineer). In my MBA, I guess I have made decent friends with lawyers, doctors (all major specialties), consultants, finance experts, etc. It really helps your personal as well as professional life.
Second, your aspirations change, obviously with a positive thrust. That follows from the peer groups and interactions with high achievers in various fields during an MBA. Here an important point is that you need to take care about which school to target. Each school, irrespective of what they project, has a major focus area from placements point of view. Certain specific types of companies visit the campus and get involved in co-curricular more than others per campus. Aspirations of dream workplace and dream roles are impacted accordingly.
Thirdly, hard work and intelligence will not change much, except that you will realize that you can put in more hard work / utilize more of untapped intelligence in pressure situations too. This one comes with time and people take some hits in initial terms and then realize the best that works for them.
All that is left is luck. Best of luck towards a successful life.