Things You Won’t Learn In An MBA

While there are a plethora of things that you will learn and do in your MBA, a lot of stuff that you thought you’ll learn here might never really happen. Given that so many of us in India don’t quite know why we got into an MBA program in the first place, the confusion restricts the learning even more. So I’ll try to list what you won’t learn in your MBA to set your expectations right.


Doing Business: First and foremost a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) will not teach you how to do business. So if you want to be an entrepreneur MBA is definitely not a requirement and two years of practical experience will teach you much more. Doing business poses challenges beyond the learnings provided by the books so any such expectations would be a bit farfetched.

Communication: There might be a few courses on business communication in your MBA but there is very little you will learn from it. Although it is a much desired skill to have but learning effective communication would require effort. It is a skill you will require day in and day out in your job and if mastered will also take you to the top but it won’t be taught in a b-school.

Networking: Everybody will keep on saying that MBA is all about networking but nobody will teach you how to do this. It is an art that some do well and become very successful. An art definitely worth learning.

Selling: You will learn a lot from Mr. Kotler and Mr. Keller during your two years of MBA. There will be a lot of models and frameworks that will be taught to you but sadly you will never be taught how to sell. Although it will be ingrained in you that keeping customer needs in mind is paramount, understanding customer needs will only be taught through some fancy models.

Writing: While most b-schools are including WAT (Written Aptitude Test) in their entrance process stressing on the need for a good written communication, nothing much will be taught once inside the college. Writing skills will be a scarce resource on campus.

Politics: Some parts of organisation behaviour will touch upon it but we largely prefer to overlook the need to understand and manage work politics. Some will feel a desperate need to learn this skill even during their MBA life.

International Business: We all talk about globalisation and its impact on businesses but hardly any school apart from IIFT focusses on this skill. There is a big change in operating business across geographies which needs to be understood.

Patience: The rarest of virtues in a b-school is patience. Everybody wants everything very quickly. People will pull you, push you, leave you but wait for you. The life is so fast paced here that they simply don’t have any time to wait.

P.S.- This is only a generic view. Like other things in MBA learning is also highly subjective.

Ishan Arora is a student from IIFT who has had a very regular life- an engineer, an IT professional and now an MBA student. He is very passionate about writing and writes on a personal blog A Vent in the Delirium. He is also in love with music and plays an internet radio in his college.


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