Monday, April 24th, 2017
You got to admit – spending two years at a Bschool (or one year, if you study at ISB, Great Lakes etc.) will surely rank amongst your best academic experiences. From participating in multiple events, putting all-nighters before exams, forging amazing friendships, and getting the kick of THAT one dream job placement, your B-school journey is something that will stay with you for the rest of your lives.
However, there will be times during your journey where you will go, “Woah! This is not what I expected”. And that’s okay. Most of us join with rosy images of our Bschool lives in our minds, but at times, the real thing is far from what we expect. So we thought, why not debunk some of your myths about the things you might expect at a B-school.
1) Expectation: ‘I will find people with diverse sets of backgrounds in my batch.’
Reality: Most people are Engineers who previously worked at Infosys/TCS/Wipro (Insert your company name, you Cognizant boy!)
Everyone expects cool diverse sets of people in Bschools. You want to meet people who studied Arts, Medicine, Commerce, Aviation etc, but once you enter a B-school, reality sets in and you find 80% of the people turn out to be *WAIT FOR IT* Engineers. If you are lucky, you will find diversity amongst those engineers like Mechanical, or Civil, but otherwise, most of them will be from IT or Computer Science branches.
2) Expectation: ‘The academic rigour at a Bschool will not even give me time to sleep.’
Reality: In reality, all depends up to you and how much effort you are willing to put in.
Although B-schools do try to structure a rigourous coursework for students, nobody will force you to study (most of the times) as if you are a ten-year-old kid. The faculty is smart enough to treat you as mature adults who should know their priorities and so they don’t spoonfeed you with academics related stuff. The faculty knows you spent your crucial time and money to come here, and you would know how to best use it.
3) Expectation: High CGPA = Best placements
Reality: High CGPA + A lot more + A bit of Luck = (Possibly) The best placement.
Many people believe that your placements are sorted if you manage to stay in the top 10-15% bracket of students of your batch. But this is far from true. Although CGPA’s are extremely important and should always be kept as high as possible, your placements depends on various other important factors like – your industry knowledge, work experience, communication skills, personality traits (like flexibility, socials skill etc). And even if the CGPA and the rest of it are in place, it’s that little ounce of luck that can take you to your dream placement, with ‘can’ being the operative word here.
4) Expectations: ‘A bad summer placement will ruin my chances of a great final placement.’
Reality: Read point (3).
Many students fret over interning at a Fortune 500 company since they feel the recruitments during final placements will judge them only on their internships. Although job recruiters do look at internships, they are far from the only thing. Internships at top brands are great if you can get them, but they are limited and not everyone gets there. In that case, fear not. Sometimes interning at a start-up or a small business is the best thing that can happen to you since it gives you the best learning, which, at times, is way much more than what you get at a large organization.
5) Expectation: I just need to focus on the subject of my interest (like Marketing/HR/Operations/Finance)
Reality: You might specialize in one, but you have to study everything (and you must)
If you might be an Engineer who gets scared at the sight of Balance Sheets and has already decided to be the next Marketing/HR/Operations Guru, then please hold on and hear this. MBA education is all about creating managers with abilities to think integratively. So if you end up becoming the Marketing Manager of Romio Gym located across the street, you need to realize that you can’t just go around blowing millions by roping in Hrithik Roshan as your brand ambassador without thinking about its implications on the company’s bottom line (read: Profits). So once you are in a Bschool, try to learn as much as you can about everything, while learning everything about that one thing.
6) Expectation: ‘My life will become all hunky dory right after I pass out from Bschool.’
Reality: ‘The first two years (at the least) will be painful.’
This is especially true for fresh MBAs. Many people believe passing out from a top-notch B-school is their ticket to a successful and trouble-free life. This again, is far from true. The first two years in your first job will suck, and suck badly. And it doesn’t matter whether you join IT, FMCG, Banking or decide to become an entrepreneur, you will have a tough time to adjust yourself to the grind of the real world where you have to go out and earn money, unlike the student you were living on parents money.
But fear not – If you can survive the first two years under immense pressure, you’ll come out as glittering diamonds (or end up like wilted coal). Mostly, Diamonds. 🙂