5 Questions To Answer Before Joining A B-school

Hola fellow wanderers! Hope you are all set to join the b-school of your dreams. But before you do that, take a pause and ponder (as philosophical as this may sound). Address the very question you prepared and practised a hundred times for your interviews. This time, answer that question for yourself and more. Not for some interview but for making the best out of the journey you are all set to embark upon.

It is essential that you answer some questions for yourself (write them down, if needed) before you enter a b-school. These will help you provide clarity in moments of existential crisis (and believe me, there will be many!) and well, some of them may also help you some of the most common HR questions that get asked during placements.

Questions To Ask Before Joining A B-School

  • Why MBA? No, you’re not looking for the old ‘Climbing up the corporate ladder’ or ‘starting your own venture’ clichés here. Address the real reasons why you decided to go for an MBA. Be it the boring old job you were slogging at or getting a better pay-package or something as trivial as the fact that you hated your old manager. But acknowledge your very own specific reason for going through this. This will help you in tough times when you might feel like giving up. You’ll remember what you’re here for and that will keep you going.
  • Why me? What is so special about you that you deserved this seat in the prestigious b-school of your choice? Did you crack it just by sheer luck? That can’t be it because you went through the whole process of selection which screens students at multiple levels. So, if you do deserve this seat, then find out what makes you stand out. What is that one thing that makes you who you are? It may not be unique to you but it defines you. This is the strength which you will explore and exploit in the years to come & help you create wonders.
  • Why NOT me? Knowing your weaknesses is as important as knowing your strengths. Not the ‘I work too hard’ kind of weaknesses. But those that are your own. That you have realised over a period of time. And if you haven’t yet, now would be a good time to ponder upon them. It is important because a) You will need to identify circumstances where your weaknesses might hinder your growth b) You can only work to overcome them if you know what they are.
  • What is my ROI? Being an MBA student, it is expected that you would be comfortable with numbers to some extent. So, try to quantify ‘why MBA?’ in terms of cost/benefit. Because what cannot be measured, cannot be improved. This will give you a tangible goal to chase and help you evaluate your distance from that goal.
  • What are my risks? What if I don’t land my dream job? What if I find it too stressful or unnecessary or not worth the hype? Do I have a plan B? How good is the Plan B? Try to answer these questions. Do a risk-reward analysis of your decision before taking the plunge. It is okay not to have a plan B but make sure your risk is calculated enough. This will give you the confidence to pursue your goals with lesser uncertainty.

No matter how many commandments I mention here, it will ultimately boil down to how you take it. Self Management is the most important management lesson you will learn at a b-school. The above pointers are just to ease your transition into the process.

May the force be with you!

Sambhavi Ganguly

Sambhavi Ganguly is a second-year student at IIM Lucknow. She is a Core Member of IIM Lucknow's Industry Interaction Cell. She has about 4 years of work-ex in Synopsys India as an R&D Engineer. She loves reading and dancing. She lives by the mantra of "Keep it simple, silly!" :)

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