There are some skills without which pursuing an MBA is a very difficult task. This is in no way related to the quantitative abilities that you may have acquired during your preparation or the English speaking skills that some people possess. Below is a brief on some of the skills which are essential for surviving two years at a B-school:
1. Powerpoint Presentations
Making a good Powerpoint presentation is no joke! No b-school teaches you how to make one. One has to be creative while making Powerpoints. One should know the ideal use of spaces, colours, fonts etc., to leave a lasting impression on professors, peers and recruiters. Internships are judged on the quality of presentations and therefore, possessing this skill is a necessity.
Knowing how to set up e-mails, bucketing them, understanding the features of CC and BCC, filters, prioritizing labels etc. are all very important and nobody teaches these things at a B-School. Freshers mostly face problems in this area as they may not have used an e-mail feature as extensively as somebody who has work experience and is familiar with Outlook. How to identify necessary and unnecessary e-mails and separating them so that you don’t miss any important notification is an important skill to know.
The importance of being good at MS Excel cannot be stressed enough. Knowing shortcuts and all the features of MS Excel easily differentiate anybody from the crowd. Internships are sometimes all about having good excel skills. Macros, VBA coding, dashboard creation etc., are used extensively by many students in their internships and can give one a distinct advantage over competitors.
4. Subject Knowledge – Finance, Economics etc.
For the larger chunk of students who have an educational background other than finance or economics, it may be helpful to do some preliminary study on the basics of these subjects. Both these subjects are heavy on jargons and concepts. Knowing them before setting foot in the college is a great help in dealing with these subjects. These are the subjects which pose the biggest problems to students at B-Schools.
5. Time management skills
An MBA is all about management. Before learning the basics of managing a company, one must be good at managing themselves. The schedule and timelines at a B-School can challenge anybody’s routine and within two weeks, students don’t know whether it’s the time to eat or to sleep. It is very important to get a hang of B-school culture as soon as possible and adapt one’s routine accordingly. Being prepared from the outset or being in the right frame of mind before starting on the MBA journey can be a good help to deal with the MBA routine. Talking to friends already pursuing an MBA can be helpful.
6. Co-Curricular and Extra-Curricular skills
These are the skills which can help separate one from the crowd. One should always have a co-curricular or extra-curricular skill which he/she can further hone at the B-school. The various committees on campus are a great way to keep one engaged during the course of MBA and to make good use of one’s skills apart from academics.