MBA As A Fresher Or After Work Experience? – An MBA Student’s Perspective

The MBA vs Work experience debate has been going on for ages. Let’s find out what Urjit Agarwal, a student of IIM Kozhikode PGP 2018-20 has to say –

Ideally, there is no answer to such a question. When I had posed the same question to my CAT mentor, his response was “India hi aisa desh hai jahan log bina kaam kiye MBA karne chale jaate hain”. Having 2 years of work experience in Operations and after hearing that statement mere mann main laddoo phoot hi gaya 😛 But yeah, work experience does add much quality to the overall experience of doing an MBA. And that’s for the simple reason. Till the time I don’t watch cricket I can’t really understand the projectile motion. Similarly, if I don’t see things actually work out in front of me, I really can’t correlate them to the theory. And that is all that happens in an MBA.

All of our basic and advance commerce, sciences, arts and technology courses during undergraduate years teach us how to understand the ideal case scenario and apply theories and frameworks. The obvious question – what use is this when no one or nothing in this world is perfect? There steps in our MBA. Although people on the outside always considered “to manage” equivalent to “to jugaad”, that’s not the case. Management teaches you to bring practicality into whatever you do so that it makes sense in the real world.

MBA courses are perhaps the most practical courses that one can ever imagine. No philosophical jargons meddling with our grey cells, no boring readings of textbooks to mug up and vomit answers in the exams. Here, you can see everything working around you. So even for a fresher, everything is happening in the world in and around B-Schools (if they ever complain of the absence of practical applications). One important advantage to freshers is that they are Fresh! Yes, fresh in their minds, fresh in their perspectives, without any biases towards how things work out in the industry. Experience always makes us say “This optimization or collaboration doesn’t work in the industry”. Thus, freshers absorb more of what the course has to offer since there is no shield to reject some of the concepts.

On the other hand, experience gives people like me the enlightenment as to what we want to do in life and what is valued or necessary in the corporate to become successful and climb the ladders. For some, it is the jump of going along with 10% increments every year to a plausible direct 300% increments in their salaries after 2 years of the program that is attractive. And the status change for a very few from blue collar jobs to white collar ones with AC offices and sophisticated workplaces. With all these thoughts, we always crib as to why we didn’t start our journey straight out of the college. As the saying goes, grass is always and will continue to remain greener on the other side. MBA can only help us in cherishing our own grass and to make it greener.

So for those of you who still are trying to figure out right after the college whether or not you should opt for an MBA, I would say the mystery will continue till the time you don’t take that next step. All I would say is just take that step. Whether it be job or coming back to the campus life, the choice is yours. There is absolutely no disadvantage in either of them. Freshers will always cherish enjoying campus life while adapting future corporate culture and for the experienced ones, well, it’s coming back to college! MBA brings out the best in each one of us!

Akshaykumar Sirsalewala

Akshaykumar Sirsalewala is a Chartered Accountant and has cleared all levels of CFA and FRM. He is currently a student of IIM Kozhikode 2018-2020 batch, where he is pursuing MBA finance. When he is not studying, he is either guiding young minds or writing on Quora for CA aspirants.

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