Why A Fresher Should Avoid MBA? – Niteen From IIM Calcutta

My low grades in engineering was the reason I ended up at IIM Calcutta. Yes, you read it right. In the first place, IIMC owing to its bohemian culture does not place any significance on graduation score. Secondly,  I wanted to work for 2 years and then figure out whether to go for MBA or do Masters abroad. But I was in a precarious situation – I didn’t get through the companies I wished to work for, because of my low grades. I was sure that if I did MBA it had to be from a top school. IIMC ended up being my only option. Anyway, I do not have many regrets since I just go with the flow. I guess life is what happens when you are busy planning something else. Well, there are quite a few reasons why a ‘facha’ (the fresher breed is condescendingly called) should not opt to join B-School right after graduation, leaving aside the fact that conventionally business education in western countries is made eligible to only people with work experience.

Pedagogy : MBA gives valuable insights into the environment in which companies operate – how they affect this environment and are affected by it. It has enabled me to observe some of the better and worse ways of running a business. These are better appreciated when one is able to relate to the case discussions in class, which is possible with work experience.

Purchasing Power : ‘Dough’ earned due to work comes a lot in handy at B-School, where expenses ‘overshoot the ceiling’ often. A sense of safety net is established and people aren’t as frugal as engineering students. Freshers have to make do with a bit of adjustment which isn’t well accepted if you want to utilise the social life a B-School provides.

The much-needed break : Many students get into B-School to take a break from monotonous work and re-live the memorable student life. With experience, you may get your priorities set as to what to do at B-School. B-School is like a single trump ace in your pack of cards. One needs to use it wisely.

Disciplined approach : Unlike Engineering, MBA is a slightly more professional course. There are many deadlines to be meant. Just after engineering, I was still in the lethargic, procrastination mood that had been developed and it took me some time to come out of that shell. Many of my peers with work experience were already used to this culture.

CV points : Being an average performer and a slacker, I did not have many outstanding achievements. Hence, while preparing my CV, I had to settle down with a few mediocre points. This would hardly be the case if one has work experience.

Position of Responsibility : Having work experience, gives a bit of legitimacy in handling tasks – useful for club selections. It also opens a doorway to the lateral process of placements.

Lastly, after spending bombshell on MBA, there is very little freedom to experiment in your career. Well, unless you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. After bachelor graduation, one is free and needs to go out and try things to decide one’s calling. There would not be much to lose. I am reminded of the famous quote by Robin Williams in the cult classic movie – Dead Poets Society – ‘Gather ye rosebuds while ye may’ ‘Carpe Diem (Seize the Day)’. Well, coincidently Carpe Diem is also the name of IIM Calcutta cultural fest. Take a leap of faith.

Two roads diverged in the woods, and I took the one most traveled by.




About the Author:


Niteen Bali got into IIM Calcutta right after completing engineering from NITK Surathkal. He is a native of a remote village in the state of Karnataka. A Bohemian with a happy go attitude, he often dwells into Comedy, Satire and TV Series. Currently, in the age of Poetry and Dance. A shore, waiting for the wave.

Niteen Bali

Student at Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta


One comment

mihir bathia

Good one! Not many articles are as frank as this one. And does make a lot of sense. But for a person with an escapist attitude (slightly), how would you draw a line between the two?