The X-Factors You Need To Have Before Joining The B-School Of Your Dreams
The title of this article may seem eccentric to many. Had I read this article a year before, I too would have thought the same. But one year down the line, having made into the b-school of my dreams, I have a different story to tell. Just one year before, I was one of the many MBA aspirants, struggling hard to crack CAT and clearing those tough interviews that followed after the entrance exam. As I am a 2017 engineering graduate, all that seemed to matter that time was how to increase percentile, maintain grades in college (as it was known grades play an important role in the selection process) perform well in competitions and last but not the least, clear the interviews. Little did I know, there is a lot more to it besides scoring well in cat and acing the interviews. The reason I am saying this is because, just a few days after you land up in b-school, you will be bombarded with CV preparation workshops and deadlines. Before you even fathom you have made it into a prestigious b-school, you will have summer internships knocking at your door step. That is the time you are forced to ponder upon the x-factor in you. What is it that makes you stand out of the crowd? And believe you me, if you were a topper throughout your life and think that you have done pretty well in life, you will be competing against 400 other such people in a b-school. You will be burning the midnight oil to somehow make your CV seem different from the rest. Since summer placements take place within 2-3 months of joining b-school, there is little you can do to improve your CV after joining the institute given the gruelling schedule that you are going to be a part of. So, having an x-factor before joining the institute does make some sense. Not just it will help you in bagging internship in the company of your choice, it will also give you an edge over the other aspirants during those dreaded IIM-interviews. Now the question is what all courses to take/x-factor to have before being a part of the rat-race. Some of the things that I wish I were told before joining b-school are – If you are an engineering graduate and are interested to pursue a career in finance, having a CFA degree will help you go a long way during summer placements and also during IIM-interviews as it is an indication of your goal clarity. Those not willing to go for CFA, can take up finance related online courses too. A student who wants to pursue a career in marketing can opt for courses like Introduction to Marketing conducted by Wharton University, Brand Management, Product Management, Marketing Analytics etc. Also, there might be a few people who have got no clue as to what discipline they want to specialise in. For such people, you can always volunteer to learn a new language. Those who have a penchant for writing can start blogging as it shows your ability to articulate thoughts clearly. The creative heads can further sharpen their skill by taking up courses on designing and the like.The graduates with no prior work experience are found struggling on excel. Working knowledge of excel is an important skill to have. edX frequently conducts online courses on excel which can be taken up in this regard.Volunteering for social cause such as joining an NGO or working for various government initiatives such as Teach for India portrays one as a responsible citizen and is perceived in good light during the selection process. Having a good hobby such as playing snooker, squash, chess, solving Sudoku etc. also helps to get on with in the process, reason being, it keeps the conversation engaging and creates interest. Lastly, ability to read and read fast is a very important trait to possess. So try to read about anything that fascinates you. These are a few suggestions that I wanted to recommend. Hope it helps.