The Subjectivity of MBA: Choice or Compulsion!
Trust The Timing of Your Life…
A lot of students in mediocre under graduation colleges (non-IIT, NITIE, and other premier institutes), feel that an MBA will give them the edge which they lack. Remember, to get over a mediocre under graduate degree, you need a superior MBA degree, not a mediocre one
When I was in the final year of my undergraduate degree, I had only 2 choices. One, get a job which pays me well and second, to do an MBA. Honestly, MBA was just a backup option as I was not very hopeful to find a good job for myself. There is one thing that absolutely true, and that is the reality of higher education. A lot of students in mediocre under graduation colleges (non-IIT, NITIE, and other premier institutes), feel that an MBA will give them the edge which they lack. The reality is, MBA or for that matter, any higher degree, also is as good as the institute itself. To get over a mediocre under graduate degree, you need a superior MBA degree, not a mediocre one. There are almost as many MBA colleges in India as there are engineering colleges. Are all of them worth your 2 years or 1 year, well, in my opinion, they are not.
I could secure close to 97 percentile in CAT 2008 and by that time I already had a job in my hand. I had to decide whether to leave the job and join a decent MBA college (IIMs won’t give a call to general category unless you have 99 percentile plus) or to continue with the hard earned job that I had. Now, this choice is fairly simple for some, and extremely difficult for other as there are a lot of factors that contribute to making the move. For example, if there is a person who comes from a well-to-do family and can afford to spend one more year earning and taking money from home, it’s an easy choice to opt for any college and finish the MBA. For someone like me, who knew the value of the job I had, it was not easy. But then I thought, is that all that matters to decide whether to do MBA now. Well, for me the answer was no.
As I am an MBA now, I can talk in terms of return on investment (ROI). Basically, what I realized was that an MBA from a mediocre Institute will not give me much raise on my current salary. I would have to invest 2 years so obviously, the opportunity cost was high as well. And in the end, I will end up very low in the food chain of the management system of a firm. May be an entry level manager. I can, of course, grow from there, but if I had to grow up the food chain, struggling my way up, I can do that with my engineering degree as well. I convinced myself that if I can get a good percentile now, why not wait out few more years, have some good money in my bank account so that I do not deplore my father’s accounts, and try again. It showed me two benefits at that point of time. One, I will have to spend only one year instead of two and second, my job will tell me if I really want to do an MBA or not.
In my case, the exact same thing happened, I grew in my job, became a consultant, and then when I really felt the need of an MBA, I appeared for GMAT and despite a low score, got admitted into Indian School of Business, the best college in India based on my experience. By this time, I was absolutely clear why I wanted an MBA and how it will help me. And trust me, at that time, even if I got any of the top ten colleges, the ROI would have been higher than if I did an MBA right after under graduation.
All in all, for any student who is deciding right after graduation whether he/she should go for higher studies, the most important factor is the need. Ask yourselves, do you really need an MBA at this point in time? How will it help you? Look around, see other guys who did a degree from similar institutes that you are getting into and then compare your family structure, your potential with them. I am sure you will get the answer to probably the biggest dilemma of your life, whether to go for higher studies now, later or who knows, never.
About the author
Aditya Goyal passed out from MLVTEC, Bhilwara in 2007 with a B.E. degree in Electronics & Communication. After working in the IT industry for close to 8 years, he decides to pursue the dream and got into Indian School of Business in 2016. He is currently working as a Program Manager in Envestnet Yodlee. He is living in Bangalore with his wife Arusha Jain, whom he met at MLVTEC, and a daughter Alisha.
Linkedin: Aditya Goyal