Every year engineers form the biggest chunk of students who come into any b-school. They have a distinct lifestyle that everyone from that cohort relates to very easily. The b-school life on the other hand is drastically different and this makes the initial few days in b-school extremely difficult to adjust. Here’s my list of 10 differences that will help you understand what to expect in your new life.
1. The Busy life: Think of the busiest day in you engineering. The day you had to submit assignments, take a quiz and attend 4 lectures……….yes that!! Now, this is your typical day in a b-school.
2. Long Breaks….History!: The month long breaks that you get so used to in engineering is now history. The longest break that you’ll get would be between the two trimesters which would be three four days long. And we hate discrimination of any kind, so there are no weekends, we treat each day equally.
3. Life is a collection of CV points: You are only as good as your CV and your life is summarized by it. So, you dedicate a good part of your life in b-school redeeming your past sins and earning CV points.
4. Corporate Competitions: Going to college and managing your studies is not sufficient. You have to take part and perform well in various competitions organised by corporate houses and other b-schools. This is important to make the most of your classroom learning and distinguishing yourself by proving your mettle.
5. Mech Guys’ Neverland: With almost all b-schools increasingly looking for a more “diverse” batch, the mechanical engineering guys would find the classroom to be a place from their dreams. This is one area where the engineers would find themselves at a short-hand against others.
6. End-terms: The end terms in a b-school do not have the same weight as in engineering. Some courses may not have an end term at all. So the one night stands before the exam are not so much required. But if you have not attended classes and since old habits die hard, you might still need to employ those methods.
7. Students in Power: Everything from on-boarding to placements is managed by students in a b-school. The college administration rarely interferes in non-academic matters. Organising fests, sports leagues, conclaves, symposiums etc are all the prerogatives of the students. There is a president, a student body and a committee for almost everything to manage your life@b-school.
8. Computer Proficiency: MBA is not very good for your computer skills. The coder in you will be restricted to Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The only tool that you would be required to know is MS Office. The IT engineers might shock themselves to death looking at the technical prowess of some of the others.
9. Not all about studies: MBA is not all about studies and knowledge, a lot of it is about personality. Presenting what you know is much more important, you should be able to sell yourself to be considered worthy of selling anything else. What makes you visible in this herd is not the same as that in engineering.
10. Creatively Different: MBA will change your perspectives about many things in life. You start looking at ads and promotional campaigns differently. Mergers and Acquisitions are no longer just news but a case study. You start calculating the ROI and opportunity cost to almost everything.
11. Attendance: Remember what I said about weekend and breaks, add to it the astronomical high levels of attendance requirements, so you can’t take any leaves too (unless a genuine emergency). The trimester system would ensure that there would be no time to recover if you lose on attendance.
12. The Suit: Last but not the least. In your first week in the b-school you’ll wear the suit more than you would have during your entire engineering. This is the typical image you would have of a manager and you’ll soon get used to seeing yourself in this frame.
PS: Not everything is so bad, after the initial turmoil you have two unforgettable years ahead of you.
Ishan Arora is a student from IIFT who has had a very regular life- an engineer, an IT professional and now an MBA student. He is very passionate about writing and writes on a personal blog A Vent in the Delirium. He is also in love with music and plays an internet radio in his college.