Now think of anything; there are too many uncertainties! Thanks to the mighty Corona! To which nobody really knows what it is? How does it work?
WHO ignored it! Trump underestimated it, NITI Aayog underestimated it, I underestimated it, and probably you also did; Sweden doesn’t care about it! China contained it! (It seems like communism is very good at controlling be it people, WHO, information, or Corona!)
Nobody is buying crude oil while Bigbasket is finding it difficult to fulfill demands! S&P 500 index has fallen by 16%! Users of Zoom Technologies have increased from 10 million users a day to 300 million users a day! Ever heard of Black Swan events? These are the perfect example [FYI]
In this time of uncertainty, let's try to understand how corona playing with MBA courses. Let's start with the current situation; The summer internship has gone haywire, convocation has been deferred, the student exchange program is uncertain! MBA classes might go online or deferred at the very least!
On prima facie, the situation doesn’t seem right, and if you are about to take admission this year then a natural question might pop up in your mind, is it the right time to join an MBA college?
I would say, no, the beginning is definitely not going to be good, but you should! let's try to unravel the impact of the current situation. Internship, student exchange program, and online classes impacting current students (anyway they do not have a choice!) [ if you haven’t guessed it yet I am talking about two-year residential programs and the whole article will focus only on the Indian version of this program]
For upcoming students, the impact would not be that huge on their overall take away from the program. There are high chances of the academic sessions getting different, some colleges might start online classes for the whole term of part of it. To better understand, let's dissect major MBA activities.
MBA is known to expose students to many things simultaneously in a time-bound manner. But this year it might be affected and due to the following reasons.
Commencement of academic session
Usually, almost all MBA colleges start their academic session from June/ July. As per the UGC guidelines for academic session 2020-21, classes for new admissions are supposed to start from September 2020. Although this in itself is not a problem, but from next year onward colleges will try to function as usual. Hence they might try to finish coming academic sessions in less than usual time.
Lets gets this clear, MBA courses are designed for offline. MBA is definitely not for bookish knowledge so it can’t be taught in a workshop manner by doing classes online. Doing MBA online is akin to making a game of thrones in Indian sash-Bahu style. Online just doesn't make sense.
Networking is the soul of an MBA. Imagine social distancing and socializing, can both go hand in hand? I doubt. Most of the networking among batchmates happens in the first two terms. In the first term when students don’t know each other, and then next and longstanding, in the second term during and just after summer placements. But I think 2 years are too much to network among batchmates, so some get together can occur after COVID-19 relents if students don’t change their behaviour of being secluded!
Student Exchange Program
For students who have studied only in India exchange play a major role in giving them change to immerse them in different academic as well as cultural atmosphere. But for upcoming students, the exchange is likely to go on as usual given the fact that it takes place in the 5th term.
Almost all students opt for an MBA because they want good career opportunities. Hence Placements becomes an important factor while opting for the program.
Summer placements happen in second terms (roughly in the month of October). This year due to the late start of the academic session it will also get postponed. But the problem is that many companies prefer summer internship to hire students as its difficult to judge a student for work culture fit in an interview. This year many companies might reduce the number of hiring thus impacting upcoming summer placement. Many start-ups also come for summer placements to get work done at less cost, this year many start-ups might try to give pro bono projects [if they have enough runway to survive the lockdown].
I think the final placement of upcoming students would be better than usual. Since it is scheduled to be 2022 and that’s a very long time. The final placements of current students will be affected as there will be fewer recruiters. But for upcoming students, many companies who have stopped their recruitment process this year or are reluctant to recruit will resume recruitment. Also, business expansions and new projects will be initiated after the business becomes normal. Hence there is likely a huge demand for recruitment for upcoming students.
So, if you are going to join an MBA course this year, the initial learning experience will be impacted, you might get less stipend in the summer internship, but your final placement is going to be great. Moreover, the next one and a half years are likely to be dull in the corporate world. There is a possibility of a layoff, salary cut, fewer chances of getting a promotion if you are employed currently, and if not employed currently then getting a job these days will be very difficult. So, in the time of recession, MBA colleges are safe heaven and a good place to do a rowdy comeback in the corporate world after two years.
[Yes, I am still optimistic! It might be my weakness! Or maybe this is the way I have been developed. Yeah, I like to praise myself!]
Stay healthy; do not wash your hands too frequently!
[You might develop OCD, nowadays I am washing my hands more frequently than I am breathing! Seriously!!]