When you join an MBA course, you consider yourself a student. You behave like a student, learning from classes and books. When you leave the MBA course, after completing it, you are no longer a student. You are a corporate citizen and are being paid to behave like one.
In these two years, what have you learnt that makes you into a corporate citizen? Knowledge of management and its streams?
Does knowledge of Marketing, Finance, HR, IT and Operations make you a manager? Does that provide value to a company? The company can also search the internet for the data that you profess to have. In fact it is cheaper and more efficient, as this data is available in searchable form while it is available only incompletely in your mind. The difference between the internet and you is that you have arms and leg and can do things. But do what?
Doing things in a company means listening to your boss, understanding what he wants and doing it to his satisfaction. remember your boss contributes 90% to your career.
Doing things in a company means promoting yourself, your boss and your company and its products.
Doing things means executing projects to everyone’s satisfaction.
Doing things means influencing everyone to do what is required to be done.
How do you learn this in college if you are focused on memorizing and vomiting information?
If even the best MBA college teaches only theory, the instructors are simply aggregators of information. If you want book summaries, they are there on the internet. Why attend classes. Moreover, why not do a correspondence course?
So in order to be useful to any organization, apart from knowing the theory of management, you need to learn the practice of management.
You may argue: why do this?
- This is a college, not a company and there is no opportunity to practice management.
- Practice is what we will do in a company, we should focus on getting the maximum theory in college.
Let us evaluate these beliefs. By the way, these beliefs come from a resistance to transition from a student in academic life to an adult in real life. You will fight tooth and nail to resist these changes, because they move you out of your comfort zone.
- A company is made for profit and has an objective of creating a product, its need and to sell it. Everything else is secondary. You have an objective of creating yourself into an MBA, creating a need for you and sell yourself in an interview. Are you not a company?
- You need to listen to your instructors, the deans, will your boss be any different?
- You need to execute group assignments and individual assignments to everyone’s satisfaction, in a give time period. Is this not execution of projects?
- You need to convince your colleagues and your professors to give you what you want. Is this not practicing influence?
- Why should a company pay to teach you the practice of management?
- Why should a company give you a high salary because you have imperfect theoretical knowledge?
- Why should a company take a risk on you that you will be able to satisfactorily practice management? There is no proof and predictability of your capability.
So what should you do as an MBA student.
- Keep an eye on your placement-ability. What does the market want and what can you do.
- Understand that the college social system is no different from a company, with its own share of internal competition, cooperation, politics, groupism and need for influence. If you cannot handle yourself here, you will not be a good corporate citizen
- Apart from mugging up information, you need to create transferable skills like managing your emotions, critical thinking, managing others, managing projects and managing life.