4 Things I Learned From My MBA at XIMB

With the coveted MBA degree from XIMB safely stored in the folder marked with title “Degrees, Certificates & Mark sheets”, euphoria of graduating from a reputed B School gradually diminishing and with ample time in hand which was unthinkable in a fast paced MBA program, I look back at the journey which lasted slightly less than 2 years and ask myself what exactly are my learnings from this journey. I wonder, Is it classroom learning? No. What did I learn from the heap of management books? Not much. Did the case studies make the difference? Not really. Then what is it?

My learning from the MBA was mostly influenced by the people I met. When you spend all 24 hours of your day with 500 other potential CEOs in next 15-20 years, unknowingly your worldview is transformed, your understanding of a situation and decision making abilities improve. I will share 4 of my biggest lessons that I learnt during my MBA from XIMB.

Be a leader:

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things”.

~Peter F. Drucker

Even though it is called a management program, it is more a leadership program. With more number of B Schools with huge intakes, the MBA degree is losing its sheen as it creates more managers these days instead of corporate leaders. MBA students nowadays eyeing middle management jobs are more concerned about how to perform a task within the constraints which makes them good managers. A leader, on the other hand, consistently innovates and as the clichéd line goes thinks out of the box. Innovation is what separates a leader from a follower. Hence, it is important for the students to find the leader among themselves during their MBA degree.

Be open to learning:

“Knowledge has to be improved, challenged, and increased constantly, or it vanishes”

~Peter F. Drucker

In a typical MBA batch, most students are from engineering background. Engineers are often trend to find out the only truth or the fact. The velocity of a space shuttle, melting temperature of steel, volume of a sphere etc. can only be one absolute value. Questions that most engineers face demand a definite answer and there is no other correct answer possible. But, throughout the management degree there are multiple truths. A company can solve a crisis in multiple ways, there can be multiple ideas to increase profit, and there can be numerous business objectives of a firm. Shortly, a typical management problem can have multiple solutions and not one person can have all the solutions. This is the reason B Schools often want a diverse batch so that people from different walk of life can add their ideas and come up with solutions to real life cases which others can’t even think of. More diverse the batch, possibility of learning is more. And the learning from diversity is not limited to class room only, rather it will happen through student activities, day to day issue etc. throughout the day. Therefore, an MBA student must use the strength of diversity by always being open to learn.

Measure the problem:

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”

~Peter F. Drucker

This is one of my biggest takeaways from MBA: the ability to measure. Measurement is important every step of management: be it recognizing the problem (sometimes numbers show the problem in hand is actually much larger than earlier perceived) or prioritizing actions (cost benefit analysis) or setting feasible deadlines or evaluating results. You should be able to convert most of your problems into numbers. Simply put, be a numbers guy.

Grab Opportunities:

“Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems.”

~Peter F. Drucker

Believe me, the MBA program will throw a lot of challenges at you and also open up a lot of opportunities for you. You should be ready to turn those challenges into opportunities and exploit as many opportunities as you can for the learning from them is immense. You must look for challenge, respond to it and exploit the opportunity. For that you should ask the right questions, plan things to the logical end and put in hard work else plans will remain, well, just plans.

With 24 student committees, XIMB provides ample opportunities to maximize the learning through student activities apart from the usual class room education. While I got the opportunity to lead the Media & PR team of XIMB, I was also fortunate to be part of the Xpressions Steering Committee (core team) and the quizzing club of XIMB. The lessons learnt from the people I met, events organized, situations handled and issues resolved are valuable and will definitely help in the future corporate journey.

Note: Article previously published on www.ximbeats.com

About The Author:

Dibyasundar Nayak

Dibyasundar is an alumnus of Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar. He completed his MBA in 2016 with specialisation in Marketing and Operations. A news junkie, Dibyasundar’s interest areas are Politics, Media, Business, Economy, Entrepreneurship, Mythology & Cricket. He was the student coordinator of IlluminatiX, the media & PR cell of XIMB and also the official licensee of TEDxXIMB 2016. After MBA, he will start his corporate journey with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a ‘big four’ consulting company.

Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar

Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubhaneswar is one of the most coveted B-schools in India. Established in the year 1987, XIMB is known for quality education in the field of Management and creation of future entrepreneurs. XIMB offers to its students three prestigious programmes; Business Management, Global MBA and Executive-MBA. 30 years and still going strong, XIMB strives to achieve its mission of making managers with a human face.