‘Why MBA?’ As Answered By An IIM Ahmedabad Alumnus

I had prepared this answer very well for the interviews and was asked in all IIM interviews. So, this definitely is a game-changer. From the factors leading to the decision to how it will help me shape my future.

I highlighted my internship in Marketing and Sales department of JSW, courses in business management I did and an international case study competition which we won (it was a team competition) to show how my interest got inclined in this field.

I will advise you to make a story and explain from the beginning very convincingly how you developed an interest in this field as you progressed along your degree/career.

Here goes my version: –

”Sir/Mam, when I entered IITD, I had no plans of entering the business world at any point in the future. In fact, my belief to enter Civil Engineering was so strong that I pursued a project in the field to get a deeper understanding during my 2nd year (a few details of the project to build interest in the panellists). But one great thing which I initially found very weird about IITD is that it is mandatory to pursue courses from different departments, I tried my hands in CS, Mech. and also management studies. I was more inclined to Mgmt. courses than any other field.

I got so much involved in the field that I completed my minor degree in the field. Incidentally, I was selected for summer research internship in the UK and my topic of research was Tech. Forecasting which has many parallels to forecasting in economics. Later on, my internship with JSW Steel was also in the Marketing and Sales department where I worked on the project to… (details can’t be shared on the public forum, but I explained in detail how my work was related to Mgmt.). Moreover, I was constantly involved in online case study competitions where we proposed solutions to problem statements. For example, we participated in ALD Automotive Drivers’ Experience Challenge and secured 3rd position internationally (explained the project and its work)… so sir/mam, my decision to enter the field of management was not just a spontaneous choice but a careful decision I came to after gauging my interests very well in various fields.

An MBA degree will build credibility and I will be able to enter the business field with full knowledge, thus I am going for an MBA.”

Also, think in advance what you are planning to do after MBA. It can be dicey, you can either choose to speak of one particular specialisation or go onto say that you will decide later.
I went for a specific one. I chose to explain on strategy consulting for my future after MBA.

This full answer can be taken and used subsequently, I was, in fact, asked a variant of this question at IIMA, “What are your plans for the future after MBA?”

Here’s how I answered it – “Sir, I want to enter strategy consulting. The reason being that I enjoy solving problems, and identifying the root cause of an issue. For instance, the case study competition and also at my internship with JSW Steel, we identified major issues with the working of the organization… (ventured into detail, can’t be shared on a public forum), and most importantly, we realized that the problem was not just because of the reason as was initially assumed but actually because of a much deeper issue.. sir, I enjoy solving such problems.”

My advice: Build a story on what developed your interest in the field of management. Any course, internship, freelance project. Basically whatever and substantiate it with evidence of success in that particular endeavour. This is the best way to show your interest in the management field.

Please don’t say I want to rise in ranks and management is the way to do that. I love the corporate world and I want to enter it and MBA is that gateway. These answers might work but doesn’t show the desire with which you want to do MBA.

Remember, the measure of your future success in a field is your past performance in that field and your past actions will go a long way in answering Why MBA than just empty words about your future aspirations.

All the best.

This article first appeared on Quora!


About the Author:

Rajat Jain has done his graduation from IIT Delhi. After scoring 100%ile in CAT 2015, he converted the call from IIM Ahmedabad and was a part of the IIM A 2016-18 batch.


One comment

Niyati Shah

Hey rajat! I am a bit. Com student and preparing for CAT! Can you please suggest some short term courses or internships which will help to show the interest in pursuing MBA!? And I really want to know how you got 100%le what was your approach?