Pre-MBA Prep Basics – Getting Started With Finance And Economics

Finance is a pretty broad field of study – ranging from financial accounting and reporting to the study of various financial markets, stock markets, valuations, trading etc. And so is Economics – with the 2 major sub-topics being Macro- and Micro-Economics. But both of them are essential for anyone serious about pursuing a career in the lucrative Investment Banking industry.

In order to get started, I would suggest:

  • Starting with a few good books to learn the basics of all the fields
  • Reading through some good blogs to help you understand the nuances, real-life applications, and the current trends,
  • Utilising MOOCs to take up some good courses, both to assess your proficiency and also to earn certifications that you can use to showcase your achievements

A. Books

B. Blogs

  • Prof. Jayanth R. Varma’s Financial Markets Blog: Prof Jayant Verma is a Professor of Finance (mainly Financial markets) at IIMA. He is one of the most impressive teachers I have ever met.

    He was one of the first members of SEBI and is on the board of multiple big companies including Infosys and Axis Bank.

    His blog, which has been up since 2005, is a brilliant resource on understanding the nuances of the financial markets.

  • Dealbook (NYT): Dealbook is the news aggregator section of NYTimes to keep you updated on the current state of affairs of the Fin industry.
  • Mergers & Inquisitions: Everything you need to know about every aspect of the Financial world – from big investment banks to boutique firms, from Private Equity to Hedge Funds and AM/WM firms.
  • Investment Banking Blog: The holy mecca for the preparation of i-Banking interviews, the IB Blog offers everything from the boot camps and interview prep courses (paid) to free resources like basic interview questions, the overview of the industry etc.
  • Wall Street Oasis: Similar to #2 above, but with more functionality to read the best articles of the month/week/day etc.
  • FT Alphaville: Another news aggregator that will make sure you do not have any time left in your day (courtesy its exhaustive coverage of current affairs)

C. Courses

  • Accounting
    A 10 lesson introductory course on accounting, for free.
    Introduction to Financial Accounting
  • Financial Markets
    Who better to learn from, than a Nobel Laureate?

    Robert J. Shiller is a 2013 Nobel prize winner in Economics for his work on “empirical analysis of asset prices”.

    He offers a 23-part series of 1 hour+ lectures for free on Youtube. Probably the best way to start learning about Financial markets and their machinations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQui_3Hpmmc&index=1&list=PL8FB14A2200B87185

  • Financial Theory

    John Geanakoplos is the current “James Tobin” Professor of Economics at Yale. In hi 26 lecture series, he covers the basics of finance, ranging from the time value of money, the risk-return tradeoff, asset pricing, yield curves, and risk hedging.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTs2IQ8OefQ&list=PLEDC55106E0BA18FC&index=1

  • Finance Theory
    Another course on Finance Theory, this time by MIT.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdHlfiOAJyE&list=PL8Ff5WbKYYzLGopBzOEMrAX8RH5_yVE4l

D. Bonus – Personal Finance

Personal finance is not usually taught as part of any curriculum. But this is something that will affect you the most and is one of the most vital life-skill one should have.

From the wiki page,

Personal finance is the financial management which an individual or a family unit is required to do to obtain, budget, save, and spend monetary resources over time, taking into account various financial risks and future life events.

Here’s a 20 part tutorial series from Khan Academy to get you started.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvL7ox0ezCU&index=1&list=PLUBoK8lZIxW90VxgRyjqWfPf4BZ-tYeGN

Economics

A. Books

B. Blogs:

  • Freakonomics: The authors of the best-selling economics-infused-with-pop-culture book have more to say and share than the 2 books.

    The blog is usually a collection of podcasts that aim to explore the “hidden side of economics” and highlight outliers, which although rare, are extremely critical.

  • Why Nations Fail: On the same line as Freakonomics, the blog by Daren Acemoglu is a follow-up on his book of the same name and explores similar obscure events that shaped the rise and fall of nations and civilisations.
  • Economixcomix: The companion blog for the graphic novel of the same name by Michael Goodwin, Economixcomix explains the basic tenets of Economics in a simple way, along with illustrations to make understanding easier.
  • The Grumpy Economist: The perennial pessimist, the one who finds faults in everything, the dad who bores his kid during dinner with his constant rants and criticisms, John Cochrane provides an unabashed, and hard-hitting critique that exposes the not-so-sunny side of the world economy.
  • Investing and Economics Blog: The Curios Cat blogs is for us. The laymen. The dabblers. It focuses heaving on personal finance, economics, financial literacy, tax planning, credit management et al; stuff that affects the majority of the populace on a regular basis.
  • The Upshot: The NYT economics companion to its financial section, Dealbook, The Upshot is all you need to read to be perfectly updated of what is happening, why it is happening, what would be the consequences, and what could have been done better.
  • Economist’s View: A collection of self-posts and the hottest posts from other economics blogs.
  • The Money Illusion: TMI focuses on the money and capital markets and provides wonderful commentary on financial crises, international economics, foreign reserve dynamics, monetary and fiscal policies, labour markets etc.

C. Courses


The above content has been re-posted from my blog, University of Quora, where I routinely post primers, course recommendations, lists of learning resources etc.

 

—————

About the Author:

Deepak Mehta is 27, highly eccentric. He can be found at most party venues. Deepak loves to read (And occasionally write). Originated in the hills (Nainital) but lost his heart somewhere on a beach in Goa. If found, kindly return to the owner.

A Computer Science graduate from BITS – Goa and an MBA from IIM – Ahmedabad. Currently resides in Mumbai. Also, he is one of the top writers on Quora!

Profile gravatar of p11deepakm

Deepak Mehta

Message Author

MBA With Work Experience Vs MBA With No Work Experience – An Age Old Debate With No Correct Answer

The “fresher vs work-ex” debate wrt to MBA is an old one. And frankly, there is no one correct answer. Both the set of choices have their inherent advantages and disadvantages.

A. When “fresh”ness beats experience

  • Academic predisposition: It’s easy for straight-out-of-grad-school candidates to get acclimatised to the academic rigour of B-schools since that is what their lives have been for the past 4–6 years. On the other hand, people who’d strayed away from academic for half a decade need more time to get into the groove of classes, quizzes, assignments, and examinations.
  • Higher risk-taking ability: Experienced folks would tend to have a certain set of responsibilities. They are at that stage where they are either married or planning to, with kids or planning to, already applied for a home loan or planning to, and so on. All of these commitments would mean that there is an extra constraint they need to keep in mind when making any career choices. They might have to forego job content and growth potential in favour of financial security.
  • Unbiased-ness: Having not been indoctrinated into any particular way of thinking (yet), freshers usually are able to think about a problem statement from multiple viewpoints, adding something “out of the box” to the discussion, due to lack of any innate prejudices.
  • Open-ness: While I was completing my MBA, I was more open to trying out different profiles. I did my intern as an investment banker. I would have been equally happy with a consulting or marketing stint. And I am currently in a product management and strategy role. During the 2nd year, when all subjects are optional (electives), I filled up my time-table with a wide range of courses, while the experienced ones usually stuck to a more homogeneous academic calendar.
  • A wider range of options: Continuing from the point above, I had the advantage of applying to any profile without whereas the folks on the other side would usually be grilled if they plan to switch career paths.
  • Soft-reset: On the topic of trying out a newer career path, experienced folks who do it usually get the short end of the stick, as their previous work experience is not counted as relevant and they are usually offered the same role (in terms of seniority) as their younger counterparts. In some cases, you might be able to negotiate for a better starting point, but it will definitely not be worth their total experience.

 

B. And the other way round

  • Clarity of thought: People who have already worked for a few years prior to pursuing their business administration degree know what is expected from a working professional. They are also more sure of what they want to achieve from the program, more informed of the repercussions of their choices. The ones starting with a blank slate would be investing time in trying out new things, while their wiser counterparts, being crystal clear about their goals, would have already started on channelizing their efforts.
  • The theory-practice linkage: Having experienced the other side, industry-experienced candidates can better link what is being taught in the classrooms to the kind of professional situations one can hope to encounter. There are a lot of things that can’t be taught with slides, a greenboard, and textbooks.
  • Grounded in reality: The Ben Kenobis of the MBA batch usually have a less idealistic view of the world, both within and out of the campus gates. They have seen both the light and the dark side. The younger padawans, i.e. the Skywalkers, are oft prone to being over-excited, trying to classify everything as one or zero, good or evil, yes or no. The masters know that not every pursuit would be successful, and understand the value of patience and perseverance. While the are usually over-eager to master the force, trying to get everything done as soon as possible, without truly closing their eyes and delving deep.

 

 

This answer first appeared on Quora!

——————

About the Author:

Deepak Mehta is 27, highly eccentric. He can be found at most party venues. Deepak loves to read (And occasionally write). Originated in the hills (Nainital) but lost his heart somewhere on a beach in Goa. If found, kindly return to the owner.

A Computer Science graduate from BITS – Goa and an MBA from IIM – Ahmedabad. Currently resides in Mumbai. Also, he is one of the top writers on Quora!

Profile gravatar of p11deepakm

Deepak Mehta

Message Author

Should You Quit Your Job For CAT Preparation? What About A Year Drop?

Find it difficult to manage CAT Prep after a frustrating day at work? But how will a year drop look on your resume? How would you defend it? Is there a way? Of course, there is and we have, Deepak Mehta, an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, answering one of the most sought after questions when it comes to CAT Prep.

Deepak:

No.

Taking risks is fine. Taking unnecessary risks is plain stupid.

CAT as an entrance examination is a shining example of everything that is wrong with the educational system.

  1. Eligibility and admission criteria: The criteria changes every year and is a really bad proxy for a candidates’ worthiness.I remember, that in my year, there was equal weightage to 10th, 12th and Grad scores. In the year next, the criteria was so inflexible (multiplicative. Seriously?) that no one with a less than 80% score would be eligible. Implying, one with (assuming) even a 79% in 10th, 99% in 12th, a perfect 10 GPA and 99.9+ %ile in CAT would be ineligible.
  2. Multiple papers and the normalisation process: This has been the matter of much discussion, hatred and speculation lately. Spread over 40 different papers, the examination is notorious for the varied difficulty level across examination slots. Sure, there is the normalisation process, but no one knows how it exactly works.
  3. Lack of transparency in the system: You have no idea what your actual scores were, what were the changes after the normalisation, what are the normalisation rules etc.
  4. Too much weightage to past credentials: The weightage to past achievements (which no one can help) is still large. What if someone came down with serious medical issues just before his 10th examinations? Why shouldn’t he/she be given a fair chance?
  5. Undue advantage to certain sections of the community vis-à-vis reservation:
    A friend of mine (no reservation) with a 99.8%ile did not get any calls. And I know people with an 80%ile who were selected.
    To put things into perspective, a 99.8%ile translates to a rank of 400 (assuming 2,00,000 applicants) and an 80%ile translates to 40,000.
  6. Judging everyone on the same criteria and not acknowledging differences: It is easy to score good marks in CBSE board in India. Not so much in ICSE or SSC. It is easier to get a good GPA in Engineering. Not in Humanities, Arts, Medical or Law.IIM students are majorly (>97%) from Engineering backgrounds. Despite the clear disparity, no measures have been taken.

All these factors make CAT a risky examination.

What you need to remember is that you should always have a backup plan or two. Do not quit your job. You can prepare while simultaneously working.

A couple of hours of preparation each day and extended hours + classes on weekends for the 1st 6 months should be more than enough for anyone with a Mathematics+English background to clearly understand all the topics that one needs to know for the examination.

That followed by 3 months of giving mock tests, mulling over your weak areas, honing your strong skills. revisiting the concepts and preparing yourself for the final day should ensure that you are as ready as you will ever be to appear for the examination.

After that, you need to prepare, with the same dedication for the GD/WAT and PI rounds.

Remember that there a lot of external factors at play whilst your fate through the Common Admission Test is being decided.

Do not quit your job. Do not be at the mercy of the whim of the people who decide the eligibility criteria for the year or the ones who set the different papers. Have a backup plan.

 

This answer first appeared on Quora!

——————

About the Author:

Deepak Mehta is 27, highly eccentric. He can be found at most party venues. Deepak loves to read (And occasionally write). Originated in the hills (Nainital) but lost his heart somewhere on a beach in Goa. If found, kindly return to the owner.

A Computer Science graduate from BITS – Goa and an MBA from IIM – Ahmedabad. Currently resides in Mumbai. Also, he is one of the top writers on Quora!

Profile gravatar of p11deepakm

Deepak Mehta

Message Author

Mythbusters – The MBA Edition

Pre-admission

Myth 1: Freshers/People with significant work-ex are at a disadvantage
Nope. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. Some companies which come for a senior profile like a project manager or team leader will prefer someone with a 4+ year of work experience. Consulting + Fin firms are mostly neutral. Sales and Marketing firms might give a slight preference to freshers. General management firms to experienced people.

The gist being, there are enough opportunities for everyone. There is no hard discrimination for or against any said profile.

Myth 2: An MBA guarantees good placements, satisfaction and success in professional life
While doing an MBA from one of the best colleges does indeed guarantee good placements, far from the majority of people land their dream jobs. Since the placement process is run over a week or so with 100s of firms and 300+ students, it is mostly a game of taking the best first option. In mid-tier colleges, even placements are not assured. So it is going to be another race, just like life is.

I know a lot of batchmates of mine who have already quit their first jobs. Nothing is guaranteed in life.

Myth 3: Doing an MBA entails losing out on work-life balance
Depends on the candidate. If you want a high paying job and are fine with working 14 – 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, welcome to the world of investment banking/consulting. If you aren’t ready for it, you can opt not to apply to such firms. Colleges usually have an extensive repository of feedback from alumni on the quality of work and life at various firms, so you can make an informed choice.

Myth 4: All MBAs are equal
At the risk of sounding obnoxious, they aren’t. There are many hundred MBA colleges in India. But only the top 15-20 will be recognised and respected in the industry.

Myth 5: You need to be an excellent public orator to get into a good B-school
While it would be a desirable trait, it isn’t an elimination criteria. People generally tend to develop such qualities over time during the course. I still can’t stand in front of a crowd. But in case of an official pitch or presentation, I can practice enough to sell.

Myth 6: You can dictate what you want in the corporate world if you have an MBA
No one cares. When you start working in a firm, you will have subject matter experts, tech geniuses, people with 20+ years of experience on you. No one would give a damn about you or what you think when you start. Like everyone, you need to start at the bottom. All an MBA gives you is a good understanding of the corporate world, a basic minimum survival skill set.

Myth 7: B-school rankings
B-school rankings are not sacrosanct. If you want to get an true picture of the institute, talk to people who have studied there to get a frank opinion.

Myth 8: I can’t do an MBA; I don’t have the money
While the cost of doing an MBA has been on a steep uphill in the past few years, it is still affordable even for the average Indian. There are a whole host of banks ready to shell out 15-20 lacs of loans without any collateral to students. The same can be paid off at a comfortable pace in 7 years after graduation.

Myth 9: There is no discrimination against non-engineers
There is. The entire selection process, though probably unintentionally, is skewed to give an edge to engineers. The topics in the entrance exams are math-oriented. There is no normalisation for scores in 10th, 12th and UG giving engineers an edge as it is easier to get 70-80+ in maths and related engineering branches than it is for someone pursuing law, medicine, arts, humanities. So next time you complain about the extra marks given for academic diversity, DON’T.

Myth 10: Placement stats of various colleges are sacrosanct
Again, there are no rules while presenting the placement stats. They are easily manipulated and presented in a manner to appeal to the public.
When I say altered, I am not saying that the stats are false. All I am saying is that you are being made to look at them from a single perspective deemed best by the authorities. And perspective is a very powerful thing.

More details here: Deepak Mehta’s answer to This year, IIT-Roorkee had an average placement in CSE of 35.04 lakh, excluding some really high off-campus placements, so why has it not generated the praise worthy of such stats?

Myth 11: Admissions are guaranteed if you have good scores and a good profile
There are multiple criteria for getting selected. If you do not qualify even one of them, you won’t get admission even if you might be stellar in everything else. Sad, but true. There are some things you can work on – UG CGPA, CAT score, GD and PI and some things you can’t help – 10th and 12th scores.

So, research about the college. See the evaluation and selection criteria and aim accordingly.

Post-admission

Myth 12: Technical courses >> People/Soft/HR courses
On the contrary, they are more critical. You can learn the basics of accounting by yourself. You might not get the same perspective on a course on leadership by an eminent professor or industry leader.

Myth 13: An MBA will grant you keen business sense and insight
It will give you tools to think and evaluate, but not make you a thinker or analyst. You will learn that you still have a lot to learn when you land a job.

Myth 14: The IIM tag holds more value than other good colleges
No. There are more than 13 IIMs now. An IIM-Raipur does not hold anything to a degree from XLRI, FMS, NMIMS or MDI. While it will be good for you, do not select a college just because of its tag.

Myth 15: MBAs are smarter than non-MBAs
Haha. The most intelligent people on the job will most likely be non-MBAs. They have dedicated their lives in pursuit of specialisation and excellence. MBAs are aimed to provide you all round development and a holistic perspective. So while you might have a good breadth of knowledge but not the same depth of understanding.

 

_______________________

About the Author:

Deepak Mehta is 27, highly eccentric. He can be found at most party venues. Deepak loves to read (And occasionally write). Originated in the hills (Nainital) but lost his heart somewhere on a beach in Goa. If found, kindly return to the owner.

A Computer Science graduate from BITS – Goa and an MBA from IIM – Ahmedabad. Currently resides in Mumbai. Also, he is one of the top writers on Quora!

Profile gravatar of p11deepakm

Deepak Mehta

Message Author


Message Author

Pre-admission

Myth 1: Freshers/People with significant work-ex are at a disadvantage
Nope. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. Some companies which come for a senior profile like a project manager or team leader will prefer someone with a 4+ year of work experience. Consulting + Fin firms are mostly neutral. Sales and Marketing firms might give a slight preference to freshers. General management firms to experienced people.

The gist being, there are enough opportunities for everyone. There is no hard discrimination for or against any said profile.

Myth 2: An MBA guarantees good placements, satisfaction and success in professional life
While doing an MBA from one of the best colleges does indeed guarantee good placements, far from the majority of people land their dream jobs. Since the placement process is run over a week or so with 100s of firms and 300+ students, it is mostly a game of taking the best first option. In mid-tier colleges, even placements are not assured. So it is going to be another race, just like life is.

I know a lot of batchmates of mine who have already quit their first jobs. Nothing is guaranteed in life.

Myth 3: Doing an MBA entails losing out on work-life balance
Depends on the candidate. If you want a high paying job and are fine with working 14 – 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, welcome to the world of investment banking/consulting. If you aren’t ready for it, you can opt not to apply to such firms. Colleges usually have an extensive repository of feedback from alumni on the quality of work and life at various firms, so you can make an informed choice.

Myth 4: All MBAs are equal
At the risk of sounding obnoxious, they aren’t. There are many hundred MBA colleges in India. But only the top 15-20 will be recognised and respected in the industry.

Myth 5: You need to be an excellent public orator to get into a good B-school
While it would be a desirable trait, it isn’t an elimination criteria. People generally tend to develop such qualities over time during the course. I still can’t stand in front of a crowd. But in case of an official pitch or presentation, I can practice enough to sell.

Myth 6: You can dictate what you want in the corporate world if you have an MBA
No one cares. When you start working in a firm, you will have subject matter experts, tech geniuses, people with 20+ years of experience on you. No one would give a damn about you or what you think when you start. Like everyone, you need to start at the bottom. All an MBA gives you is a good understanding of the corporate world, a basic minimum survival skill set.

Myth 7: B-school rankings
B-school rankings are not sacrosanct. If you want to get an true picture of the institute, talk to people who have studied there to get a frank opinion.

Myth 8: I can’t do an MBA; I don’t have the money
While the cost of doing an MBA has been on a steep uphill in the past few years, it is still affordable even for the average Indian. There are a whole host of banks ready to shell out 15-20 lacs of loans without any collateral to students. The same can be paid off at a comfortable pace in 7 years after graduation.

Myth 9: There is no discrimination against non-engineers
There is. The entire selection process, though probably unintentionally, is skewed to give an edge to engineers. The topics in the entrance exams are math-oriented. There is no normalisation for scores in 10th, 12th and UG giving engineers an edge as it is easier to get 70-80+ in maths and related engineering branches than it is for someone pursuing law, medicine, arts, humanities. So next time you complain about the extra marks given for academic diversity, DON’T.

Myth 10: Placement stats of various colleges are sacrosanct
Again, there are no rules while presenting the placement stats. They are easily manipulated and presented in a manner to appeal to the public.
When I say altered, I am not saying that the stats are false. All I am saying is that you are being made to look at them from a single perspective deemed best by the authorities. And perspective is a very powerful thing.

More details here: Deepak Mehta’s answer to This year, IIT-Roorkee had an average placement in CSE of 35.04 lakh, excluding some really high off-campus placements, so why has it not generated the praise worthy of such stats?

Myth 11: Admissions are guaranteed if you have good scores and a good profile
There are multiple criteria for getting selected. If you do not qualify even one of them, you won’t get admission even if you might be stellar in everything else. Sad, but true. There are some things you can work on – UG CGPA, CAT score, GD and PI and some things you can’t help – 10th and 12th scores.

So, research about the college. See the evaluation and selection criteria and aim accordingly.

Post-admission

Myth 12: Technical courses >> People/Soft/HR courses
On the contrary, they are more critical. You can learn the basics of accounting by yourself. You might not get the same perspective on a course on leadership by an eminent professor or industry leader.

Myth 13: An MBA will grant you keen business sense and insight
It will give you tools to think and evaluate, but not make you a thinker or analyst. You will learn that you still have a lot to learn when you land a job.

Myth 14: The IIM tag holds more value than other good colleges
No. There are more than 13 IIMs now. An IIM-Raipur does not hold anything to a degree from XLRI, FMS, NMIMS or MDI. While it will be good for you, do not select a college just because of its tag.

Myth 15: MBAs are smarter than non-MBAs
Haha. The most intelligent people on the job will most likely be non-MBAs. They have dedicated their lives in pursuit of specialisation and excellence. MBAs are aimed to provide you all round development and a holistic perspective. So while you might have a good breadth of knowledge but not the same depth of understanding.

 

_______________________

About the Author:

Deepak Mehta is 27, highly eccentric. He can be found at most party venues. Deepak loves to read (And occasionally write). Originated in the hills (Nainital) but lost his heart somewhere on a beach in Goa. If found, kindly return to the owner.

A Computer Science graduate from BITS – Goa and an MBA from IIM – Ahmedabad. Currently resides in Mumbai. Also, he is one of the top writers on Quora!

Profile gravatar of p11deepakm

Deepak Mehta

Message Author


Message Author

Pre-admission

Myth 1: Freshers/People with significant work-ex are at a disadvantage
Nope. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. Some companies which come for a senior profile like a project manager or team leader will prefer someone with a 4+ year of work experience. Consulting + Fin firms are mostly neutral. Sales and Marketing firms might give a slight preference to freshers. General management firms to experienced people.

The gist being, there are enough opportunities for everyone. There is no hard discrimination for or against any said profile.

Myth 2: An MBA guarantees good placements, satisfaction and success in professional life
While doing an MBA from one of the best colleges does indeed guarantee good placements, far from the majority of people land their dream jobs. Since the placement process is run over a week or so with 100s of firms and 300+ students, it is mostly a game of taking the best first option. In mid-tier colleges, even placements are not assured. So it is going to be another race, just like life is.

I know a lot of batchmates of mine who have already quit their first jobs. Nothing is guaranteed in life.

Myth 3: Doing an MBA entails losing out on work-life balance
Depends on the candidate. If you want a high paying job and are fine with working 14 – 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, welcome to the world of investment banking/consulting. If you aren’t ready for it, you can opt not to apply to such firms. Colleges usually have an extensive repository of feedback from alumni on the quality of work and life at various firms, so you can make an informed choice.

Myth 4: All MBAs are equal
At the risk of sounding obnoxious, they aren’t. There are many hundred MBA colleges in India. But only the top 15-20 will be recognised and respected in the industry.

Myth 5: You need to be an excellent public orator to get into a good B-school
While it would be a desirable trait, it isn’t an elimination criteria. People generally tend to develop such qualities over time during the course. I still can’t stand in front of a crowd. But in case of an official pitch or presentation, I can practice enough to sell.

Myth 6: You can dictate what you want in the corporate world if you have an MBA
No one cares. When you start working in a firm, you will have subject matter experts, tech geniuses, people with 20+ years of experience on you. No one would give a damn about you or what you think when you start. Like everyone, you need to start at the bottom. All an MBA gives you is a good understanding of the corporate world, a basic minimum survival skill set.

Myth 7: B-school rankings
B-school rankings are not sacrosanct. If you want to get an true picture of the institute, talk to people who have studied there to get a frank opinion.

Myth 8: I can’t do an MBA; I don’t have the money
While the cost of doing an MBA has been on a steep uphill in the past few years, it is still affordable even for the average Indian. There are a whole host of banks ready to shell out 15-20 lacs of loans without any collateral to students. The same can be paid off at a comfortable pace in 7 years after graduation.

Myth 9: There is no discrimination against non-engineers
There is. The entire selection process, though probably unintentionally, is skewed to give an edge to engineers. The topics in the entrance exams are math-oriented. There is no normalisation for scores in 10th, 12th and UG giving engineers an edge as it is easier to get 70-80+ in maths and related engineering branches than it is for someone pursuing law, medicine, arts, humanities. So next time you complain about the extra marks given for academic diversity, DON’T.

Myth 10: Placement stats of various colleges are sacrosanct
Again, there are no rules while presenting the placement stats. They are easily manipulated and presented in a manner to appeal to the public.
When I say altered, I am not saying that the stats are false. All I am saying is that you are being made to look at them from a single perspective deemed best by the authorities. And perspective is a very powerful thing.

More details here: Deepak Mehta’s answer to This year, IIT-Roorkee had an average placement in CSE of 35.04 lakh, excluding some really high off-campus placements, so why has it not generated the praise worthy of such stats?

Myth 11: Admissions are guaranteed if you have good scores and a good profile
There are multiple criteria for getting selected. If you do not qualify even one of them, you won’t get admission even if you might be stellar in everything else. Sad, but true. There are some things you can work on – UG CGPA, CAT score, GD and PI and some things you can’t help – 10th and 12th scores.

So, research about the college. See the evaluation and selection criteria and aim accordingly.

Post-admission

Myth 12: Technical courses >> People/Soft/HR courses
On the contrary, they are more critical. You can learn the basics of accounting by yourself. You might not get the same perspective on a course on leadership by an eminent professor or industry leader.

Myth 13: An MBA will grant you keen business sense and insight
It will give you tools to think and evaluate, but not make you a thinker or analyst. You will learn that you still have a lot to learn when you land a job.

Myth 14: The IIM tag holds more value than other good colleges
No. There are more than 13 IIMs now. An IIM-Raipur does not hold anything to a degree from XLRI, FMS, NMIMS or MDI. While it will be good for you, do not select a college just because of its tag.

Myth 15: MBAs are smarter than non-MBAs
Haha. The most intelligent people on the job will most likely be non-MBAs. They have dedicated their lives in pursuit of specialisation and excellence. MBAs are aimed to provide you all round development and a holistic perspective. So while you might have a good breadth of knowledge but not the same depth of understanding.

 

_______________________

About the Author:

Deepak Mehta is 27, highly eccentric. He can be found at most party venues. Deepak loves to read (And occasionally write). Originated in the hills (Nainital) but lost his heart somewhere on a beach in Goa. If found, kindly return to the owner.

A Computer Science graduate from BITS – Goa and an MBA from IIM – Ahmedabad. Currently resides in Mumbai. Also, he is one of the top writers on Quora!

Profile gravatar of p11deepakm

Deepak Mehta

Message Author


Message Author

Pre-admission

Myth 1: Freshers/People with significant work-ex are at a disadvantage
Nope. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. Some companies which come for a senior profile like a project manager or team leader will prefer someone with a 4+ year of work experience. Consulting + Fin firms are mostly neutral. Sales and Marketing firms might give a slight preference to freshers. General management firms to experienced people.

The gist being, there are enough opportunities for everyone. There is no hard discrimination for or against any said profile.

Myth 2: An MBA guarantees good placements, satisfaction and success in professional life
While doing an MBA from one of the best colleges does indeed guarantee good placements, far from the majority of people land their dream jobs. Since the placement process is run over a week or so with 100s of firms and 300+ students, it is mostly a game of taking the best first option. In mid-tier colleges, even placements are not assured. So it is going to be another race, just like life is.

I know a lot of batchmates of mine who have already quit their first jobs. Nothing is guaranteed in life.

Myth 3: Doing an MBA entails losing out on work-life balance
Depends on the candidate. If you want a high paying job and are fine with working 14 – 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, welcome to the world of investment banking/consulting. If you aren’t ready for it, you can opt not to apply to such firms. Colleges usually have an extensive repository of feedback from alumni on the quality of work and life at various firms, so you can make an informed choice.

Myth 4: All MBAs are equal
At the risk of sounding obnoxious, they aren’t. There are many hundred MBA colleges in India. But only the top 15-20 will be recognised and respected in the industry.

Myth 5: You need to be an excellent public orator to get into a good B-school
While it would be a desirable trait, it isn’t an elimination criteria. People generally tend to develop such qualities over time during the course. I still can’t stand in front of a crowd. But in case of an official pitch or presentation, I can practice enough to sell.

Myth 6: You can dictate what you want in the corporate world if you have an MBA
No one cares. When you start working in a firm, you will have subject matter experts, tech geniuses, people with 20+ years of experience on you. No one would give a damn about you or what you think when you start. Like everyone, you need to start at the bottom. All an MBA gives you is a good understanding of the corporate world, a basic minimum survival skill set.

Myth 7: B-school rankings
B-school rankings are not sacrosanct. If you want to get an true picture of the institute, talk to people who have studied there to get a frank opinion.

Myth 8: I can’t do an MBA; I don’t have the money
While the cost of doing an MBA has been on a steep uphill in the past few years, it is still affordable even for the average Indian. There are a whole host of banks ready to shell out 15-20 lacs of loans without any collateral to students. The same can be paid off at a comfortable pace in 7 years after graduation.

Myth 9: There is no discrimination against non-engineers
There is. The entire selection process, though probably unintentionally, is skewed to give an edge to engineers. The topics in the entrance exams are math-oriented. There is no normalisation for scores in 10th, 12th and UG giving engineers an edge as it is easier to get 70-80+ in maths and related engineering branches than it is for someone pursuing law, medicine, arts, humanities. So next time you complain about the extra marks given for academic diversity, DON’T.

Myth 10: Placement stats of various colleges are sacrosanct
Again, there are no rules while presenting the placement stats. They are easily manipulated and presented in a manner to appeal to the public.
When I say altered, I am not saying that the stats are false. All I am saying is that you are being made to look at them from a single perspective deemed best by the authorities. And perspective is a very powerful thing.

More details here: Deepak Mehta’s answer to This year, IIT-Roorkee had an average placement in CSE of 35.04 lakh, excluding some really high off-campus placements, so why has it not generated the praise worthy of such stats?

Myth 11: Admissions are guaranteed if you have good scores and a good profile
There are multiple criteria for getting selected. If you do not qualify even one of them, you won’t get admission even if you might be stellar in everything else. Sad, but true. There are some things you can work on – UG CGPA, CAT score, GD and PI and some things you can’t help – 10th and 12th scores.

So, research about the college. See the evaluation and selection criteria and aim accordingly.

Post-admission

Myth 12: Technical courses >> People/Soft/HR courses
On the contrary, they are more critical. You can learn the basics of accounting by yourself. You might not get the same perspective on a course on leadership by an eminent professor or industry leader.

Myth 13: An MBA will grant you keen business sense and insight
It will give you tools to think and evaluate, but not make you a thinker or analyst. You will learn that you still have a lot to learn when you land a job.

Myth 14: The IIM tag holds more value than other good colleges
No. There are more than 13 IIMs now. An IIM-Raipur does not hold anything to a degree from XLRI, FMS, NMIMS or MDI. While it will be good for you, do not select a college just because of its tag.

Myth 15: MBAs are smarter than non-MBAs
Haha. The most intelligent people on the job will most likely be non-MBAs. They have dedicated their lives in pursuit of specialisation and excellence. MBAs are aimed to provide you all round development and a holistic perspective. So while you might have a good breadth of knowledge but not the same depth of understanding.

 

_______________________

About the Author:

Deepak Mehta is 27, highly eccentric. He can be found at most party venues. Deepak loves to read (And occasionally write). Originated in the hills (Nainital) but lost his heart somewhere on a beach in Goa. If found, kindly return to the owner.

A Computer Science graduate from BITS – Goa and an MBA from IIM – Ahmedabad. Currently resides in Mumbai. Also, he is one of the top writers on Quora!

Profile gravatar of p11deepakm

Deepak Mehta

Message Author


Message Author

Pre-admission

Myth 1: Freshers/People with significant work-ex are at a disadvantage
Nope. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. Some companies which come for a senior profile like a project manager or team leader will prefer someone with a 4+ year of work experience. Consulting + Fin firms are mostly neutral. Sales and Marketing firms might give a slight preference to freshers. General management firms to experienced people.

The gist being, there are enough opportunities for everyone. There is no hard discrimination for or against any said profile.

Myth 2: An MBA guarantees good placements, satisfaction and success in professional life
While doing an MBA from one of the best colleges does indeed guarantee good placements, far from the majority of people land their dream jobs. Since the placement process is run over a week or so with 100s of firms and 300+ students, it is mostly a game of taking the best first option. In mid-tier colleges, even placements are not assured. So it is going to be another race, just like life is.

I know a lot of batchmates of mine who have already quit their first jobs. Nothing is guaranteed in life.

Myth 3: Doing an MBA entails losing out on work-life balance
Depends on the candidate. If you want a high paying job and are fine with working 14 – 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, welcome to the world of investment banking/consulting. If you aren’t ready for it, you can opt not to apply to such firms. Colleges usually have an extensive repository of feedback from alumni on the quality of work and life at various firms, so you can make an informed choice.

Myth 4: All MBAs are equal
At the risk of sounding obnoxious, they aren’t. There are many hundred MBA colleges in India. But only the top 15-20 will be recognised and respected in the industry.

Myth 5: You need to be an excellent public orator to get into a good B-school
While it would be a desirable trait, it isn’t an elimination criteria. People generally tend to develop such qualities over time during the course. I still can’t stand in front of a crowd. But in case of an official pitch or presentation, I can practice enough to sell.

Myth 6: You can dictate what you want in the corporate world if you have an MBA
No one cares. When you start working in a firm, you will have subject matter experts, tech geniuses, people with 20+ years of experience on you. No one would give a damn about you or what you think when you start. Like everyone, you need to start at the bottom. All an MBA gives you is a good understanding of the corporate world, a basic minimum survival skill set.

Myth 7: B-school rankings
B-school rankings are not sacrosanct. If you want to get an true picture of the institute, talk to people who have studied there to get a frank opinion.

Myth 8: I can’t do an MBA; I don’t have the money
While the cost of doing an MBA has been on a steep uphill in the past few years, it is still affordable even for the average Indian. There are a whole host of banks ready to shell out 15-20 lacs of loans without any collateral to students. The same can be paid off at a comfortable pace in 7 years after graduation.

Myth 9: There is no discrimination against non-engineers
There is. The entire selection process, though probably unintentionally, is skewed to give an edge to engineers. The topics in the entrance exams are math-oriented. There is no normalisation for scores in 10th, 12th and UG giving engineers an edge as it is easier to get 70-80+ in maths and related engineering branches than it is for someone pursuing law, medicine, arts, humanities. So next time you complain about the extra marks given for academic diversity, DON’T.

Myth 10: Placement stats of various colleges are sacrosanct
Again, there are no rules while presenting the placement stats. They are easily manipulated and presented in a manner to appeal to the public.
When I say altered, I am not saying that the stats are false. All I am saying is that you are being made to look at them from a single perspective deemed best by the authorities. And perspective is a very powerful thing.

More details here: Deepak Mehta’s answer to This year, IIT-Roorkee had an average placement in CSE of 35.04 lakh, excluding some really high off-campus placements, so why has it not generated the praise worthy of such stats?

Myth 11: Admissions are guaranteed if you have good scores and a good profile
There are multiple criteria for getting selected. If you do not qualify even one of them, you won’t get admission even if you might be stellar in everything else. Sad, but true. There are some things you can work on – UG CGPA, CAT score, GD and PI and some things you can’t help – 10th and 12th scores.

So, research about the college. See the evaluation and selection criteria and aim accordingly.

Post-admission

Myth 12: Technical courses >> People/Soft/HR courses
On the contrary, they are more critical. You can learn the basics of accounting by yourself. You might not get the same perspective on a course on leadership by an eminent professor or industry leader.

Myth 13: An MBA will grant you keen business sense and insight
It will give you tools to think and evaluate, but not make you a thinker or analyst. You will learn that you still have a lot to learn when you land a job.

Myth 14: The IIM tag holds more value than other good colleges
No. There are more than 13 IIMs now. An IIM-Raipur does not hold anything to a degree from XLRI, FMS, NMIMS or MDI. While it will be good for you, do not select a college just because of its tag.

Myth 15: MBAs are smarter than non-MBAs
Haha. The most intelligent people on the job will most likely be non-MBAs. They have dedicated their lives in pursuit of specialisation and excellence. MBAs are aimed to provide you all round development and a holistic perspective. So while you might have a good breadth of knowledge but not the same depth of understanding.

 

_______________________

About the Author:

Deepak Mehta is 27, highly eccentric. He can be found at most party venues. Deepak loves to read (And occasionally write). Originated in the hills (Nainital) but lost his heart somewhere on a beach in Goa. If found, kindly return to the owner.

A Computer Science graduate from BITS – Goa and an MBA from IIM – Ahmedabad. Currently resides in Mumbai. Also, he is one of the top writers on Quora!

Profile gravatar of p11deepakm

Deepak Mehta

Message Author


Message Author

Pre-admission

Myth 1: Freshers/People with significant work-ex are at a disadvantage
Nope. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. Some companies which come for a senior profile like a project manager or team leader will prefer someone with a 4+ year of work experience. Consulting + Fin firms are mostly neutral. Sales and Marketing firms might give a slight preference to freshers. General management firms to experienced people.

The gist being, there are enough opportunities for everyone. There is no hard discrimination for or against any said profile.

Myth 2: An MBA guarantees good placements, satisfaction and success in professional life
While doing an MBA from one of the best colleges does indeed guarantee good placements, far from the majority of people land their dream jobs. Since the placement process is run over a week or so with 100s of firms and 300+ students, it is mostly a game of taking the best first option. In mid-tier colleges, even placements are not assured. So it is going to be another race, just like life is.

I know a lot of batchmates of mine who have already quit their first jobs. Nothing is guaranteed in life.

Myth 3: Doing an MBA entails losing out on work-life balance
Depends on the candidate. If you want a high paying job and are fine with working 14 – 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, welcome to the world of investment banking/consulting. If you aren’t ready for it, you can opt not to apply to such firms. Colleges usually have an extensive repository of feedback from alumni on the quality of work and life at various firms, so you can make an informed choice.

Myth 4: All MBAs are equal
At the risk of sounding obnoxious, they aren’t. There are many hundred MBA colleges in India. But only the top 15-20 will be recognised and respected in the industry.

Myth 5: You need to be an excellent public orator to get into a good B-school
While it would be a desirable trait, it isn’t an elimination criteria. People generally tend to develop such qualities over time during the course. I still can’t stand in front of a crowd. But in case of an official pitch or presentation, I can practice enough to sell.

Myth 6: You can dictate what you want in the corporate world if you have an MBA
No one cares. When you start working in a firm, you will have subject matter experts, tech geniuses, people with 20+ years of experience on you. No one would give a damn about you or what you think when you start. Like everyone, you need to start at the bottom. All an MBA gives you is a good understanding of the corporate world, a basic minimum survival skill set.

Myth 7: B-school rankings
B-school rankings are not sacrosanct. If you want to get an true picture of the institute, talk to people who have studied there to get a frank opinion.

Myth 8: I can’t do an MBA; I don’t have the money
While the cost of doing an MBA has been on a steep uphill in the past few years, it is still affordable even for the average Indian. There are a whole host of banks ready to shell out 15-20 lacs of loans without any collateral to students. The same can be paid off at a comfortable pace in 7 years after graduation.

Myth 9: There is no discrimination against non-engineers
There is. The entire selection process, though probably unintentionally, is skewed to give an edge to engineers. The topics in the entrance exams are math-oriented. There is no normalisation for scores in 10th, 12th and UG giving engineers an edge as it is easier to get 70-80+ in maths and related engineering branches than it is for someone pursuing law, medicine, arts, humanities. So next time you complain about the extra marks given for academic diversity, DON’T.

Myth 10: Placement stats of various colleges are sacrosanct
Again, there are no rules while presenting the placement stats. They are easily manipulated and presented in a manner to appeal to the public.
When I say altered, I am not saying that the stats are false. All I am saying is that you are being made to look at them from a single perspective deemed best by the authorities. And perspective is a very powerful thing.

More details here: Deepak Mehta’s answer to This year, IIT-Roorkee had an average placement in CSE of 35.04 lakh, excluding some really high off-campus placements, so why has it not generated the praise worthy of such stats?

Myth 11: Admissions are guaranteed if you have good scores and a good profile
There are multiple criteria for getting selected. If you do not qualify even one of them, you won’t get admission even if you might be stellar in everything else. Sad, but true. There are some things you can work on – UG CGPA, CAT score, GD and PI and some things you can’t help – 10th and 12th scores.

So, research about the college. See the evaluation and selection criteria and aim accordingly.

Post-admission

Myth 12: Technical courses >> People/Soft/HR courses
On the contrary, they are more critical. You can learn the basics of accounting by yourself. You might not get the same perspective on a course on leadership by an eminent professor or industry leader.

Myth 13: An MBA will grant you keen business sense and insight
It will give you tools to think and evaluate, but not make you a thinker or analyst. You will learn that you still have a lot to learn when you land a job.

Myth 14: The IIM tag holds more value than other good colleges
No. There are more than 13 IIMs now. An IIM-Raipur does not hold anything to a degree from XLRI, FMS, NMIMS or MDI. While it will be good for you, do not select a college just because of its tag.

Myth 15: MBAs are smarter than non-MBAs
Haha. The most intelligent people on the job will most likely be non-MBAs. They have dedicated their lives in pursuit of specialisation and excellence. MBAs are aimed to provide you all round development and a holistic perspective. So while you might have a good breadth of knowledge but not the same depth of understanding.

 

_______________________

About the Author:

Deepak Mehta is 27, highly eccentric. He can be found at most party venues. Deepak loves to read (And occasionally write). Originated in the hills (Nainital) but lost his heart somewhere on a beach in Goa. If found, kindly return to the owner.

A Computer Science graduate from BITS – Goa and an MBA from IIM – Ahmedabad. Currently resides in Mumbai. Also, he is one of the top writers on Quora!

Profile gravatar of p11deepakm

Deepak Mehta

Message Author


Message Author

Pre-admission

Myth 1: Freshers/People with significant work-ex are at a disadvantage
Nope. Each has its own advantages and drawbacks. Some companies which come for a senior profile like a project manager or team leader will prefer someone with a 4+ year of work experience. Consulting + Fin firms are mostly neutral. Sales and Marketing firms might give a slight preference to freshers. General management firms to experienced people.

The gist being, there are enough opportunities for everyone. There is no hard discrimination for or against any said profile.

Myth 2: An MBA guarantees good placements, satisfaction and success in professional life
While doing an MBA from one of the best colleges does indeed guarantee good placements, far from the majority of people land their dream jobs. Since the placement process is run over a week or so with 100s of firms and 300+ students, it is mostly a game of taking the best first option. In mid-tier colleges, even placements are not assured. So it is going to be another race, just like life is.

I know a lot of batchmates of mine who have already quit their first jobs. Nothing is guaranteed in life.

Myth 3: Doing an MBA entails losing out on work-life balance
Depends on the candidate. If you want a high paying job and are fine with working 14 – 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, welcome to the world of investment banking/consulting. If you aren’t ready for it, you can opt not to apply to such firms. Colleges usually have an extensive repository of feedback from alumni on the quality of work and life at various firms, so you can make an informed choice.

Myth 4: All MBAs are equal
At the risk of sounding obnoxious, they aren’t. There are many hundred MBA colleges in India. But only the top 15-20 will be recognised and respected in the industry.

Myth 5: You need to be an excellent public orator to get into a good B-school
While it would be a desirable trait, it isn’t an elimination criteria. People generally tend to develop such qualities over time during the course. I still can’t stand in front of a crowd. But in case of an official pitch or presentation, I can practice enough to sell.

Myth 6: You can dictate what you want in the corporate world if you have an MBA
No one cares. When you start working in a firm, you will have subject matter experts, tech geniuses, people with 20+ years of experience on you. No one would give a damn about you or what you think when you start. Like everyone, you need to start at the bottom. All an MBA gives you is a good understanding of the corporate world, a basic minimum survival skill set.

Myth 7: B-school rankings
B-school rankings are not sacrosanct. If you want to get an true picture of the institute, talk to people who have studied there to get a frank opinion.

Myth 8: I can’t do an MBA; I don’t have the money
While the cost of doing an MBA has been on a steep uphill in the past few years, it is still affordable even for the average Indian. There are a whole host of banks ready to shell out 15-20 lacs of loans without any collateral to students. The same can be paid off at a comfortable pace in 7 years after graduation.

Myth 9: There is no discrimination against non-engineers
There is. The entire selection process, though probably unintentionally, is skewed to give an edge to engineers. The topics in the entrance exams are math-oriented. There is no normalisation for scores in 10th, 12th and UG giving engineers an edge as it is easier to get 70-80+ in maths and related engineering branches than it is for someone pursuing law, medicine, arts, humanities. So next time you complain about the extra marks given for academic diversity, DON’T.

Myth 10: Placement stats of various colleges are sacrosanct
Again, there are no rules while presenting the placement stats. They are easily manipulated and presented in a manner to appeal to the public.
When I say altered, I am not saying that the stats are false. All I am saying is that you are being made to look at them from a single perspective deemed best by the authorities. And perspective is a very powerful thing.

More details here: Deepak Mehta’s answer to This year, IIT-Roorkee had an average placement in CSE of 35.04 lakh, excluding some really high off-campus placements, so why has it not generated the praise worthy of such stats?

Myth 11: Admissions are guaranteed if you have good scores and a good profile
There are multiple criteria for getting selected. If you do not qualify even one of them, you won’t get admission even if you might be stellar in everything else. Sad, but true. There are some things you can work on – UG CGPA, CAT score, GD and PI and some things you can’t help – 10th and 12th scores.

So, research about the college. See the evaluation and selection criteria and aim accordingly.

Post-admission

Myth 12: Technical courses >> People/Soft/HR courses
On the contrary, they are more critical. You can learn the basics of accounting by yourself. You might not get the same perspective on a course on leadership by an eminent professor or industry leader.

Myth 13: An MBA will grant you keen business sense and insight
It will give you tools to think and evaluate, but not make you a thinker or analyst. You will learn that you still have a lot to learn when you land a job.

Myth 14: The IIM tag holds more value than other good colleges
No. There are more than 13 IIMs now. An IIM-Raipur does not hold anything to a degree from XLRI, FMS, NMIMS or MDI. While it will be good for you, do not select a college just because of its tag.

Myth 15: MBAs are smarter than non-MBAs
Haha. The most intelligent people on the job will most likely be non-MBAs. They have dedicated their lives in pursuit of specialisation and excellence. MBAs are aimed to provide you all round development and a holistic perspective. So while you might have a good breadth of knowledge but not the same depth of understanding.

 

_______________________

About the Author:

Deepak Mehta is 27, highly eccentric. He can be found at most party venues. Deepak loves to read (And occasionally write). Originated in the hills (Nainital) but lost his heart somewhere on a beach in Goa. If found, kindly return to the owner.

A Computer Science graduate from BITS – Goa and an MBA from IIM – Ahmedabad. Currently resides in Mumbai. Also, he is one of the top writers on Quora!

Profile gravatar of p11deepakm

Deepak Mehta

Message Author