1: Why is it important to get your hands ‘dirty’
People who come to b-school are most likely to have an inclination towards certain discipline viz. finance, marketing etc. and throughout their tenure in a b-school they tend to do everything and anything related to the field. This is more applicable for finance domain with the CFAs, FRMs, etc.
In the whole process what gets lost is the ability to read the business first and then apply what is appropriate. The first issue is getting to know the business this is where most of them fail in real world. People think it is enough to see through balance sheets, marketing campaigns or shop floor to understand their part of business. In reality, every aspect of it is linked to each other to make one business entity.
We often complain the higher management more often does not know what is happening on the ground. This is one of the manifestations of the unidirectional thinking we are comfortable with. Early on, understand every aspect of the business like procurement of goods, production, sales, accounting, etc. This will help see the gaps, the big picture and your contribution to the business will be clear. Atleast in the early part of your career allow your new ‘Van Heusen’ shirt to get a little dirty.
I was having an interesting discussion with an executive assistant to a sector president on how top management perceives the management graduates from top b-schools.
He said, graduates today want everything to come to them and become demanding early on. The fact is however the graduates need the company for their growth than the other way round. More often we would have heard from our friends on how they are not getting a specific role or denied of an opportunity and eventually getting frustrated later quitting their jobs only to repeat the same thing in their next job.
Top management value candidates who are proactive, who go beyond the call of duty to get things straightened. I would suggest few things if you are starting your career after a management degree – Go closer to the power centre, go beyond the call of duty and respect the people who built the company for they don’t have halos of great b-schools around them yet they managed to succeed in running a company without the help of Kotlers, Schwasers etc.
- Abhishek R (Ole Bhaai)
(The author is currently undergoing his summer internship in a big Indian Conglomerate and is a student of IIM Indore - Batch of 2012. He is also the coordinator of the IIM Indore's unique Rural Marketing fest - 'Utsaha'. He has worked with Mahindra & Mahindra in the past.)