Okay, here are some common myths and realities related to an MBA degree and Bschool life. I realize that many MBA aspirants have several misconceptions and preconceived notions about MBA, and hence this effort in getting rid of some of the false inklings which people have in general.
1) Myth: Getting into a Top 15 Bschool is incredibly difficult for an average student[with average background]
Nothing can be further away from the truth. Granted, quite a large chunk of students studying in IIMs, etc are from top engineering colleges with decent acads, but that does not mean an average student can’t make it. If you are willing to work hard and maintain your focus, you can surely make it. To give my own example, I am from one of the third class, unknown private engineering college in India and yet I made it to FMS in my very first attempt.
2) Myth: An MBA is a shortcut ticket to success, fame and money. You shake hands with CEO’s, ride in luxury cars, attend corporate parties, and get to date attractive women.
Reality: Of course it isn’t[this one should be obvious, but unfortunately it isn’t]. Most of the 2000 or so Bschools out there simply exist for the purpose of lightening your purses. If you still haven’t understood what I mean, then I pity you. An MBA, even from an IIM won’t automatically grant you success. You need to keep working hard throughout your life and be prepared for failures.
3) Myth: All MBA graduates from a good Business school end up as millionaires after they pass out/get 7 digit salaries/international placements in USA, Switzerland and Australia
Reality: Just a handful of students actually get a really high pay package, but unfortunately they hog all the spotlight, thanks to our media. What does not actually get highlighted, is that there are quite a few[read:many] students who actually do an internship without a stipend and end up with a pay package[finals] of what many of you may be earning before doing an MBA. This is even true of IIMs and other top bschools.
4) Myth: i) I want to become an Entrepreneur. And with so many Bschools stressing on Entrepreneurship and having courses on the same, I should opt for MBA.
ii) [On similar lines]: I plan to run an NGO. I am very much into Social service. But for this an MBA is a pre-requisite since all Bschools are stressing on rural marketing and CSR.
Reality: Listen people. Grow up. Come on, enough with lame excuses of doing an MBA. If you don’t have any reason to opt for it, be honest and bold enough to say the same. Such lame excuses of being an Entrepreneur or the next Social Activist and then later on safely opting for a high paying corporate job is simply ridiculous. Move on. You can be a decent Entrepreneur and an NGO activist without even thinking of an MBA.
5) Myth: An MBA degree is only meant for Engineers.
Reality: This is one myth which I almost agree with. Especially in the Indian context. But with respect to a global scenario, I would definitely say that your educational background does not matter as long as you are clear with your career goals. Do some research into the course contents of an MBA before you apply. If you have no interest in subjects such as Cost Accouting, Marketing Research, Operations Research or Organizational Behavior, I think you are better off not doing an MBA.
6) Myth: You don’t get any sleep during an MBA course. You keep working 24 x 7, 365 days of the year. All you do is assignments, projects and tests with little time for entertainment.
Reality: This was one thing even I was apprehensive of before joining a Bschool, especially considering the fact that I was used to sleeping 10 hours a day during Engineering. But this of course depends on your time management skills. An MBA course will be hectic and will require a certain amount of commitment, sacrifices and dedication. But that does not mean you will get no free time at all, in fact you can definitely take out time to see movies, hang out with friends and stuff. But yes, considering it’s a Masters course and a highly demanding professional one at it, be prepared for a different kind of lifestyle[especially if you are a fresher, work ex people usually do not have problems in adjusting to this work-life balance].
7) Myth: All Top bschool Faculty members are Gods and everyone gets a chance to intern abroad/apply for a student exchange programme/do an international project
Reality: True, you will certainly come across some brilliant teachers. But the fact remains that majority of the faculty will be average, and in some cases even poor or abysmal. This has more to do with the Indian education scenario than the Bschool itself. Hardly anyone gets into teaching for the love of it. Some do it, in order to network and carry out their research/publications, others do it due to lack of alternate opportunities. So do not expect God level teachers to train you. As for the second point, just a few selected students get to intern abroad or do an international project. Even in the top Bschools. And in many cases the student has to bear his/her own expenses. So just because you got into a Top bschool doesn’t mean you are catching the next month flight to New York in order to do a Customer Behavior survey.
These are some of the few points I came up with. May add more in future.
I would like to thank some of my batchmates who have made Life in FMS ‘indeed’ beautiful. In no particular order:
Mayank, Sheetal, Akhil, Shimona, Abhirup, Divya, Suhail, Preethi, Ankit, Richie, and many more. Thanks a lot guys. :)
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