The Many Roads To An MBA – From Microbiology To An MBA – XIMB

Some decisions we take in life, change our lives forever. Not having anything better to do, Shreya , a 6 year old, decided to enroll for classical music classes  in her summer vacations. She is now a world renowned bollywood singer. Had Newton not decided to rest in the shade of an apple tree, he wouldn’t have discovered gravity. Deciding to color my hair blue may not have any far reaching consequences other than inviting the wrath of my parents, but many other choices we make, do. And one among the many that do, is deciding to do an MBA. There can be 100 different reasons as to why one would decide to pursue MBA. You may wish to take your career to new heights, achieve financial stability or become an entrepreneur. You may want to give your eager parents a good enough reason to postpone marriage or you might simply it because your beloved is joining MBA and, of course, how can you be left behind. Sometimes, not knowing what else to do can also land one in a B school. Whatever may be the reason, doing MBA is a significant decision in one’s life and can turn out to be life altering depending on how you spend those 2 years.

It is common to hear a graduate in commerce or an engineer deciding to do MBA. The reasons for former are obvious and latter still a mystery, it is rare to hear a graduate in science, literature, medical or fashion pursue MBA. Not only does it require courage to completely change one’s path and start afresh, but is also a gamble since an MBA degree requires substantial amount of investment and the idea, after all that work, may not work out. In this inside IIM series, we endeavor to talk to such rare species who venture to take a bold step and find out their unique reasons for pursuing MBA.

Tete- a- tete with Nikita Verma, an MBA student in XUB , revealed interesting insights. Being a graduate in BSc(Hons) Microbiology, my life revolved around microbial specimens, culture plates and of course a microscope. Bacteria, virus and fungi were my playmates and bio lab, my hangout place. 

Halfway through graduation, I decided that this was not where I belonged. Microbial research, I realized, was nowhere my key areas of interest. I am a people-orientated person and wanted to work in a field that catered to people, involved interactions with people and had just lots of people. Also the journey to a well paying job after Microbiology involved 2 more stations-a 2 year MSc. and a 5 years PhD. And I neither had the patience nor passion to embark on that journey. MBA came to my rescue at that time. Not only is it people-centric, but will also provide me with financial stability in a much shorter span of time. In third year, I joined a coaching institute and began my CAT preparations. However managing CAT along with final year exams is no cake walk and hence I could not get a good enough percentile.  With no other alternative than to wait for next November, I began her preparations again. Staying at home, the whole day surrounded with thick books and endless mocks was no doubt stressful. Coming from a biology background, quant was tricky to tackle, and data interpretation bored me to the core. However with self motivation, endless cups of coffee and bucket loads of chocolate ice cream, I endured on my path. Having full confidence in my abilities, I filled forms of several colleges in the higher rung. However as the exam approached, I went through moments of self realization, the pathetic mock results making me feel worthless, I filled lower rung colleges as well. At the end, the total number of forms I had filled were somewhere around 16.

The D day came and results were declared. A mere 89 percentile after a year of preparation deeply disappointed me. However to my surprise, I got calls from several good colleges because of the reason none other than hailing from the stream of Microbiology. I was glad at least somewhere, the decision to take an offbeat course proved its utility in my life.

The real challenge however came now, on deciding the specialization to go into. I was always driven by a passion to help people and wanted a job wherein I could bring a positive impact on peoples’ lives. It was then that I came to know of a newly started course in XUB-MBA in sustainability management, which involves the interaction of people, planet and profit. My joy knew no bounds, for the course seemed to be tailor made for me. I realized that everything worked out for the best for had I got a higher percentile, I wouldn’t have paid attention to this course. I am now enrolled in that course and though the work load is even more, than in my lab, and it’s nothing less than a rollercoaster ride, I am content in my heart for making the right choice.

So this is how I made my journey from a microbiology lab to a B school, from specimens to colleagues, and from a lab coat to a business suit.




About the Author:

Nikita Verma, belongs to Lucknow, the city of Nawabs. With straight A’s since class 1st, she has always been considered a geek. But in reality she is a fun loving party animal. By passion she is a writer, bibliophile and a tarot card reader.
She pursued her schooling from Delhi Public School, Lucknow and her graduation in Microbiology from Delhi University. After an year long preparation of CAT , she started MBA in sustainability management in XIMB.
She is driven by a strong desire to help the society and make a difference in this world and that is why she is pursuing this specialization.

Xavier Institute of Management Bhubaneswar

Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubhaneswar is one of the most coveted B-schools in India. Established in the year 1987, XIMB is known for quality education in the field of Management and creation of future entrepreneurs. XIMB offers to its students three prestigious programmes; Business Management, Global MBA and Executive-MBA. 30 years and still going strong, XIMB strives to achieve its mission of making managers with a human face.


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