What’s The Fuss About MBA Anyway?

It’s conventional, it’s cliched, and it’s contrived – yet lakhs of students burn the midnight oil for months every year for a chance to pursue an MBA degree. For a generation that largely believes in challenging the norms and striving for the unexplored, what is it that MBA teaches you so that all roads seem to converge at a course in management?

  • Doctor Strange’s Time Stone: The first thing an MBA student learns on entering a business school is how precious even a few hours of sound sleep can be. From hitting the sack at the crack of dawn to meet a 6 AM deadline to realising a little too late that you missed the due date of a competition you really wanted to participate in, time management is one of the biggest learnings for all new b-school entrants. It is a lesson that is engrained in you since your first week and sticks by you for life.
  • Falling down the rabbit hole: Many of us move far away from our homes in pursuit of higher education, perhaps even for the first time in our lives. Once you get to the institute, it’s normal to be apprehensive about the type of people you’ll meet. Interestingly, that’s also one of the best parts about studying in an MBA college. The sheer diversity of the batch teaches you something new every day and provides you with perspectives you could’ve never thought of by yourself. For example, within my study group in IIM Shillong, there is a mariner who solves Rubik’s Cubes for fun, an engineer who can crunch numbers like cereal, and a beatboxer who can turn any late-night study session into a party.
  • Books are for spider webs: What sets a formal management education apart from most other courses is the use of teaching methods such as case studies and role play that elevate the quality of the class’ collective learning. It is only when you attend an interactive session by a passionate guest speaker that you realise how instantly it can drive home concepts that would take hours to understand otherwise. Further, the student-driven nature of MBA institutes helps students build organisational skills outside of the classroom by managing everything from corporate interactions to how the mess functions.
  • Beating Jumanji: A degree in management is designed to provide you with every tool in the arsenal that will help you innovate, plan, control, lead, and introspect. While the programme thoroughly prepares you for a corporate job with its thrust on stringent deadlines, output quality and presentability along with an intensive focus on the various domains in an organisation such as marketing, finance, human resource management and consulting, it also sets you up to navigate almost any direction your professional life might take. The experiences of a business institute can be applied to any sphere of life like entrepreneurship, politics, or even social service. The lessons in leadership and spirited innovation that an MBA graduate takes away are hard to replicate through any other course.
  • Academics, activities, and everything in between: Finally, what is it that makes an MBA so highly sought-after? The proof of the pudding, my friends, lies in the rigorous two-year training that a management course entails. Life at a B-school is not just about learning how to juggle academics and extracurricular activities, it’s about everything in between. Be it the exasperated sighs that the class lets out in unison on being faced with a surprise test, or the 4 AM coffee you share with a teammate after successfully hosting a national-level event or even the hours you spend negotiating and bargaining with the administration over matters big or small- every moment you spend as a management student will help prepare you for what lies ahead.

Vani Vivek

Vani is a first-year management student at IIM Shillong. She enjoys writing on topics ranging from technology to book reviews. When not running between classes, she can be seen playing with the campus’ puppies and observing Shillong’s motley of insects.