Expectation Vs Reality – 5 Things In MBA That Are Different From Expectations

Every MBA aspirant in India goes through a long process of taking the entrance exam, filling form of colleges, waiting for the shortlists, appearing for the interviews and then awaiting the final results, if one gets through then it’s okay but many have to patiently watch the wait-list move before getting that ‘accomplished wali’ feeling. Many aspirants become serial CAT taker in order to get to their dream B-school, the place which would not just offer them a good profile and package but also 2 years of action-packed college life.

For many people, it is about getting over that ‘Boring technical job’ or doing all the crazy adventurous thing that they missed out in their graduation. For the obvious reasons expectations from b-school life become very high, stories about ‘crazy life’ in novels and online portals fuel one’s excitement even more. But when you get into the college and certain things turn out completely different from your perception, here are 5 such things-

1. 2 States Jaisa Kuch: ‘Dude’ you have got it very wrong if you expected MBA to be anything like that. Premier b-schools in India have a very skewed gender ratio where 70-30 ‘male: female’ is considered to be very good. Next thing you would see, many of your female classmates would be engaged, married or long-time committed. So you don’t have odds in favour like Arjun Kapoor 😉

2. Thinkers wala Project Group: A class is divided into a group of 5-6 for academic projects. You must be expecting some real brainstorming and dynamics within project group that stretches your thinking horizon. Wait, it’s a good time to stop running those imagination horses. The golden rule of ’80-20’ applies here too, 80% of group work is be done by 20% of members. Freeloaders exist everywhere in the world, why leave MBA classes then. You would hear replies like ‘I don’t understand finance, i won’t do this project’, ‘I’m a finance person, what would I do with a marketing project’. Test of managerial skills starts from the group itself.

3. Acha sa Placement: Uncertain, unexpected can definitely be expected from Placements. Your FMCG dream could be crushed because you have too much experience, you might not be the right fit for consulting roles as you aren’t mature enough because you don’t match company’s minimum work-ex criteria. Past acads might haunt here as well because certain companies have that ’80-80-80’ filter or no gap/backlogs. An engineer with IT work-ex may have to compete with a ‘CFA/CA’ for finance job or an ‘Ex-sales person’ may be vying with you for that dream marketing profile. It can happen in any B-school, be it Tier 1 elites or lower tier colleges.

4. Best Committee: In their open house committees would pitch themselves, show you videos of their flashy events, footfall, star sponsorship, successful seniors they have etc. You would hear statements like without committee work MBA is just a degree. Once you land inside, you would realize the humongous efforts and hard work needed to pull off such events. But here’s a catch, realization doesn’t come by itself, seniors would make you slog till the morning to do committee work, you might miss or doze down in class itself.

5. Weekend Outing and Trips: Wait, have you really generated such high hopes? There will be at least one professor in each term who would take a class on Friday/Saturday, give you shitload of assignments that your weekend is over even before you blink. This would be the case at least for initial 4-5 months.

Are you disappointed? Wait a minute, don’t be. True ability of a manager lies in making the best out nothing or in MBA jargon language ‘optimal use of limited resources’. You would learn to enjoy under these constraints and eventually make the most out of your MBA. As they say, dots can be connected only backwards, wait for your time.

Sachin Mandot

Sachin Mandot is an IMT-G Alum (Batch of 2018). With an aim to help MBA aspirants, he has been writing on InsideIIM platform since March 2017.



Vikram Jeet Singh

This article is a must read for the aspirants, if they read this then they won’t get that cultural shock which comes out of mismatch of their expectations. In a way it is all about branding is done, generating hype is a way to raise expectations of Aspirants.

Pushparaj Singh

Ha-Ha! Thank you so much for clearing us about 2 states. Because you wouldn’t believe every MBA aspirant including me thinks that in top-B school we will have lots of fun including 2 states life. 😀