When should I start looking at an MBA as my next qualification?
I have been receiving a lot of questions that are variants of the question I have stated above. Briefly put, the question which anybody who has an MBA aspiration asks, is what is the right time for doing a MBA course?
Let us take this step-by-step. Firstly, should one do an MBA fresh out of graduation, when you are labeled a “fresher” or should you gain some work experience before you start your MBA journey? Later we will check what length of experience is ‘ideal’ (that is, if experience is required prior to a MBA).
The question of whether you should do an MBA as a fresher or not, to my mind, is based on your profile. If you are a quick learner, good at concepts and theories and intelligent above the average then doing a MBA as a fresher has some distinct advantages. Primarily the advantage lies in the fact that you create a good theoretical base on which you can then experiment as you start your career later on. The biggest advantage that a fresher MBA provides to an organisation is her insatiable curiosity to know why. And the qualification that she has just acquired will give her the right platform to ask the right questions. Coming from a strong theoretical background will allow the fresher MBA to question the logic of past practices and hopefully contribute in terms of improved practices. A fresher MBA does not carry baggage with her in terms of being bound by past practices. Also having studies theory recently, the practical aspects of work life will seem quite strange. And out of that contradiction, the energy to innovate and make a change will be possible. Let me give an example. This is from a long time ago, when I had as a fresher MBA joined a PSU at Bangalore (as it was called then). Shortly after joining the 5 central PSUs at Bangalore had to undergo a wage revision for their workers, that was done as a common exercise involving all the representative unions and the senior management at these enterprises. At that point of time there was a slab system of DA for the workmen which had been continuing for decades. To my fresh MBA eyes that was anachronistic and I set about changing that to a percentage system that everybody agreed was so much better! It was not an easy task (convincing a trade union leader that something is good for him!) but at the end of the exercise we had done something that everybody felt should be done, but nobody did! Looking back, I am sure if I was not a fresh MBA I could have done anything like what I did
That is not the only advantage of being a fresher MBA. The others are that you have not lost touch with studies and also do not consider your time spent studying as a loss of revenue..I will continue this topic in next post.
Arunav Banerjee is currently the President of SOIL Innovation Board at School of Inspired Leadership. He has 15 years of consulting experience & has worked with firms such as Ernst & Young, Arthur Andersen, & PricewaterhouseCoopers. He had earlier launched his own consulting firm Triple A Consulting. His areas of expertise include Organisation Design & Structuring including branding for several organisations across sectors. He has also developed his own job evaluation methodology which has been tested across many companies including Infosys.
Arunav also enjoys coaching & mentoring. He writes a column for the Hindustan Times on career related discussions. He completed his Bachelors degree from IIT Kharagpur and then did his Post Graduation in Behavioural Sciences from IIM, Kolkata. He also has a degree in Law from Bangalore University.