MBA And Time: A Match Made In Hell?

The journey from taking a host of entrance exams to entering through the gates of your dream b-school is all too quick and will pass you by before you realise it. As you spend your days focusing on what needs to be done for the next GD or mock, have you given any thought to what’s next and what will you do when you become a part of this bustling environment?

From trying to dissect page long passages and decoding LR cases that gives you them Sherlock (or at least ACP Pradyuman) feels, to breaking your head over the quants section (read: for non-engineers only) the biggest advantage aspirants have at that moment is TIME.

Beyond all the specialisations that one may choose and the competitions they be a part of, time management is the all-pervasive constant that an MBA will teach you. And how do you teach someone to manage time? You give them less of it.

It’s basic economics. Increase the demand if you don’t control the supply. When you cannot reduce the number of hours in a day, you use them at full capacity with a new challenge lined up every single day. For all the times you daydream or go into a phase of introspection now, you will be living one day at a time as you try to survive and ace each day of your MBA.

Now that you know time is a luxury, what can you do about it before you go through this ordeal yourself? You can’t create a savings account with time, but you can have clarity and THAT is half the battle won.

A big chunk of time will go into realising and understanding all the various opportunities that are available to you and then making a decision about where to apply yourself. MBA is much more than academics. A wide spectrum of clubs, committees and activities within the college are waiting to keep you on your toes. It is only sensible to be a part of something that truly interests you. You don’t need to point out the things you will restrict yourself towards, but need to know your area of interest for which you will enjoy working from day 1 to day z.

Now that you know where you want to invest some of your time within the college, look beyond. The greatest platforms to test what you have learned and learn new skills are corporate competitions. It not only lets you test your abilities but enables you to get to know and learn from your contemporaries. Don’t go about making PPTs just yet for the next big competition but keep yourself well versed with the basics of viewing a problem critically and making impactful presentations that can supplement your solutions.

As you will soon start preparing for your interviews, the usual “Why MBA?” and “Why this college?” questions seem rather mundane. But do not take them lightly. Know the answer to these questions or at least be sure of your purpose and what you want to gain by the end of your two years, for yourself and not just for your interviews. Imagine having to make decisions that will define and shape you for the rest of your life in the shortest spans of time, while you are bogged down with a million other things in your head. How do you convince yourself that what you choose is truly what you want? Be honest with yourself, know where you want to go, and DO IT NOW.

Having given you some anxiety with what seems like a mountain of tasks over and above your busy schedule as you prepare for the entrances, I just have one last thing to say; don’t be sure! At the risk of being paradoxical, I assure you that you will discover yourself unlike ever before and all the opportunities that come your way will introduce you to your own potentials that you never knew existed.

Use your time well now to make the most of what is going to be the two most enriching and memorable years of your life.

PS: Time investment advice is subject to market risks. Please understand the author’s perspective carefully.

Shubham Kanoria

PGP participant at IIM Shillong, with one year experience in social media marketing.