Survival Of The Fittest Or Just Competitive Spirit In MBA?
“Life is a race. If you don’t run fast, you will be a broken egg.” These were the words used in the popular Bollywood film, 3 Idiots. Well, these words define the life of an MBA. MBA aspirants face challenges much before they enter B-schools. Competitive exams take a toll on their lives and give them a taste of the amount of pressure they can anticipate in the future. By then, they realise that it is all about survival. They have survived competing against lakhs of students of the country while taking competitive exams. They have survived among thousands of students appearing for interviews. Now, they have to survive among hundreds of students joining the B-school to eventually grab the best placements of the batch.
The moment they step into a B-school, their roller coaster ride begins. This is the time they realise that all rumours about MBA being a gruelling, a tiring and a stressful course are, unfortunately, but completely true. Long college hours, extra-curricular activities, inter and intra-college competitions and placements; a B-school offers everything from exhilaration to anxiety.
Unlike other graduation colleges, MBA aspirants are judged the moment they enter class. To begin with, there are strict rules for punctuality. Healthy participation in class is encouraged by all and students are marked for their behaviour. Group activities are conducive to collective learning and students participate zealously in all of them. Students like to bond with other members in their groups and compete against other groups vehemently. Competition is the undertone of everything at the place. It doesn’t matter how much you score in your exams. You are judged with respect to the others in the form of cumulative grade point average, popularly known as CGPA. Some colleges have the semester system while many others have trimester calendar. The intensity increases at an exponential rate as we approach the end of the semesters/trimesters. Submissions, group assignments, viva and studying for the final exams are right up there on the priority list of all the students. The competition is so high that you can’t even blink an eye.
Is this competition restricted only to academics? The answer is no. A B-school offers a plethora of extra-curricular activities. Be it working for various cells or working for hobby clubs, there is cut-throat competition all over the place to outperform the others. Yes, students have to maintain a good CGPA despite working for their respective cells. A business event is the soul of a B-school where insightful and clever minds compete with each other to emerge victorious. Students tend to participate in the events organised by their own B-schools as well as the ones organised by other B-schools of the country. These competitions can be so wearying at times, but most of the students believe that participating in these competitions is an experience of a lifetime. To experience the intensity and aspiration with which other students perform at such a level is a great learning in itself.
When students feel that they have experienced it all, the placement season begins. Yet another competition. But this turns out to be one of the most important ones in life. They have to compete against the entire batch strength to try to bag the most coveted placement of the year. It is that time of the year when the students groom themselves to be at the best of their ability and try to be as immaculate as possible. Their overall ability as managers is tested during the placement season and the ones who hold their nerves, triumph eventually.
Yes, MBA is an emotional roller coaster ride where your friends become your foes during placements and your foes become your friends during group assignments. It boils down to your ability to multitask and manage.
Looking at the amount of pressure and competition in the B-schools, it reminds me of the Darwanian theory of evolution – “Survival of the fittest.”
About the Author:
Pranav Velkar is a B.Tech Graduate in the field of Information Technology from Mukesh Patel School of Technology, Management and Engineering. He has work experience as a User Interface Engineer in an IT Servicing company, Tavant Technologies, Bangalore. He is currently pursuing MBA from School of Business Management, NMIMS, Mumbai and wishes to be a successful manager in the years to come.