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Well …sorry for not posting “the” post… thing is… off late I have been jinxed sort of when it comes to accidents… and as usual/unusual… I had an accident yesterday….no major injuries…but I am bedridden for another two days…. So posting one of my articles here posted by me on one of my friends’s blog.

FYI– I am still writing the post 😐

WHY NOT TO DO AN MBA:-

What do you do when you do not know the purpose of your life, what you are meant to do?

Wanna know?

You opt for an MBA.

Yes, stupid as it may look at first sight, it is the truth which we all know deep inside our hearts. Be it an IT guy who works for 15-17 hours a day, gets paid for just 8-9 and dreams of studying when he reaches home (while swallowing the already cold dinner), all so that he could perform well in some MBA exam and get into a decent B-school, or be it an engineer working in a steel plant or an automobile manufacturing company, exhausted because of the physical exertion and the pathetic work environment she/he has to face day in and day out.

Most common reasons for people taking up MBA? Well.. The list is very simple..

1. I do not like my job. (But I do not know if I would like the MBA job or not!)

2. I want a higher salary. (But the fees in MBA colleges are so high… Will I be able to save anything in the initial years?)

3. I did a mistake by studying engineering. I should have saved an year. (But could I have acquired the same mental ability and level of thinking?)

4. Well, everyone is doing it. It can’t be wrong!!! ( Like everyone was doing drugs and open sex in 70s in US!) or I like the tag of MBA after my name. (Well, is it not that I am paying a lot for a tag?!) or I always wanted to do an MBA (Because my uncle’s sister’s son did it when I was in 10th grade and now he is so well placed!)

5. I have a dream. I want to acquire the required skills to fulfill that dream. I believe in myself and I know what exactly I am doing.

Well, now decide which category do you fall in. I am asking you this because some 6 months ago when I asked myself, I fell in the first category. That was before I lost my job. Afterwards, it has been quite a different story for me. Anyways, that’s a completely different story. Fast, forward, I had my CAT results in hand and was completely devastated. So devastated that I once doubted the very reason behind doing an MBA. All those mocks, all those 99+%iles, all those excuses from office in the name of bad health, all just for one reason – MBA. It was a very tough phase for me. I even termed MBA as a sheer waste of money.

Now, unless you are sure you fall in the 5th and the last category, I’d suggest you should review your situation as you might be wasting both your time and money after the highly coveted, distastefully advertised and much advocated “MBA” .

See, I am a metallurgical engineer by degree, so it would be best for me to explain taking myself as an example. Before I took the course up, I didn’t even know what is metallurgy. Right now, I can’t say I am the best metallurgist ever, I can sure say that I know the “what and how” of metallurgy. And given that I have a degree in metallurgy, I should be working somewhere in TATA Steel, JSW Bellary, ISPAT, VIZAG, SAIL or any of the Steel manufacturing companies in India. I have never ever been to even one of them (except for the one day visits we had in college days). In fact, I worked with one of the leading software companies of India for almost two years before realizing that I have wasted my two years. It is a real pain in the posterior to have the constantly nagging thought in your mind that the code you are writing doesn’t make sense when seen in light of what you have studied all your life. You were not made for this!!! Then I started preparing for CAT, or MBA in general, What followed next was nothing less of a dream run. I had great mocks, above average CAT and one devastating section. Results. NOT QUALIFIED. Some dreams do turn into nightmares. Also, it wasn’t only my CAT dream that got shattered. A lot more was at stake.

Though I had appeared for MBA exams in season 2006 and 2008 too, with little success, I decided to give it another go. Then I realised one thing. I studied Metallurgy, worked in a software company and now wanted to go for an MBA! Why in the first place did I not go for a metallurgy job? The one area where I am certified to work!! I literally fought with myself. I pitched various reasons for not doing a job in metallurgy. None worked. I am applying for a job in the steel industry now.

Now let me put it like this.

You give up metallurgy to go into the software sector, thinking it would boost your career like anything and that you would be earning big bucks in a year or two. WAKE UP!!! My company had announced two months ago that there would be no appraisals this fiscal year. Same is the situation with the other players in this field. Now picture yourself if you were selected in a Metallurgy based company. My friends in SAIL are earning more than double of what I used to get when I left my job. Two damn years and all you get is a work experience certificate, and a lesson about why not to be a software engineer (Believe me or not, I am still writing that book for the last 1 year). To hell with that!!! Nothing like the Cinderella dream you had while sitting for that PPT in college.

Well … I think I should rather write what I intended to write in first place. Let’s get back to the categories and see what is wrong in doing an MBA for the wrong reasons.

Well, job is not a very pleasant thing, barring the paycheck that comes at the end of the month (which of course is NEVER ENOUGH). Everyone wants to be the least exploited employee. Believe me, employers do exploit you, you cannot run away from that. It is ubiquitous. Get on with your job and try to learn the basics of it, especially if you are a fresher, a newbie in your job. You would not like being reprimanded for not being upto the mark by your boss just because of some carelessness. Landing a great job is one thing and doing it is quite another. You might think that the job you are currently in is not the right one for you. Believe me, even the Home Minister would rather be the Prime Minister. But, if you can not deliver w.r.t. the responsibilities you are entrusted with today, you will never be able to do the same in any job, no matter how reputed it is!!! So first things first, do not go for an MBA just because you do not like your job, because if you do so, you will never like any job.

Now comes one of the most common reasons – Money. For the last 7-8 years, the placement scenario in the top MBA colleges and even some of the B-rung business schools has changed drastically with respect to what it was say, 15 years ago. One reason – Money!! The astronomical salaries offered by the foreign companies has lured lakhs of youngsters into giving up everything and preparing for “the exam of their life”, as they call it. Who would not want to have a salary of 1 crore rupees? I’d love to!!! What we forget is the investment required to get into these business schools and the slogging required to repay that investment. No one pays 1 crore to the whole staff … not even in their wildest dreams!! If you are thinking that a day will come when every student passing from IIMs will get a crore plus salary, stop hallucinating right now!!! It will always be a one-in-hundred case. And it is very much possible that you end up in the median range of salaries, i.e. 12 lakhs per annum … tastes bitter na?? That is the truth my friend! And not to forget the huge loan you took for bearing the expenses. You are supposed to pay it also … (No, I am not joking!) So, My friend, there you are, with a CTC of 12 lakhs (The in-hand figure will be even lesser) and with a loan of the magnitude of ATLEAST 10+ lakhs. I hope I didn’t crush your plans of buying a SUV in your first year.

Many people say, “Why MBA after engineering?” Well, there is a very common answer, “I want to move to a faster career track and I think I should not have done engineering in the first place. It should have gone for a simple graduation, or even better, a BBA!”

Well, let me tell you this, never ever regret doing engineering (Well, I agree there are less beautiful girls in engineering, but once you are out of college, life’s heaven!!). Being an engineer myself, I once had the same dilemma but soon I realised the advantages I had by virtue of being an engineer. I have the analytical mind and the systematic thought process that was nurtured by the books and labs I suffered during the 4 golden years of engineering. And it is not a waste of one year. Please keep in mind the extra knowledge you get by investing one more year. Plus, maths is an added advantage (apart from learning the know-how about impressing girls). You sure would need basic maths in your MBA … right???

MBA is not a degree I am against, but I believe that only those should opt for it who really want to do it. IT is not a carnival where everyone can come and do a samba dance. In the same way, MBA is not for everybody. The situation nowadays reminds me of post independence (or was it post 60s-70s?), when there was a rush among parents in India to make ONLY doctors and engineers out of their kids, blatantly stating that these were the only respectable professions. Everyone seems mad about MBA and wants to do it at any cost. Engineers are doing it, doctors are doing it, reporters are doing it, everybody … I even know a professional dancer and a painter who are wannabe MBAs. I mean who will build the dams then – the unskilled workers? Who will operate upon a patient in a critical condition – a compounder? Who will collect the headlines for the news channels for the public to watch – an informer?

The answer is pretty simple and we all know that. NO!

Everyone is not meant to do everything. There has to be some difference between the skill sets people have. Society is made up of variety, not monotonousness. You have to recognize what you are really best at and go for that. That might not be the best paying job ever, but that would be one field where you will get maximum out of yourself and will climb the ladder in the best way possible.

Last, but not the least is the person who knows what she/he is doing by opting for an MBA. Such people need not be acquainted with the intricacies of business management, its not necessary for them to know all the keywords and financial terms. What matters is that one knows what is the next step – May it be adjusting to the hectic schedules of life in a business school after already qualifying a tough examination or the even tougher professional life after the placements. Remember it, such people know how to face the challenge that will come their way after they are done with the the current one. You need to have a broader insight and clear plan about your future if you wish to do an MBA. Its not just a Masters degree, its more than that. Its the investment of two of the most precious years in your life, a lot of effort and of course, a hell lot of money. And these people know how to get most out of an MBA – not just the money, but the quality of learning and the ability to implement the same in real life.

So, my friends, I suppose you are the best judge of yourselves. Just give this article a thought and do not take it as any other Gyan ka Article. I bet my bottom dollar that you would find a reason inside you, either to do an MBA or not to …

All the Best. 🙂

PS : After fighting with myself, I have agreed to allow myself to take CAT 2009. The condition is that I have to justify to myself, why exactly I want to do an MBA. If the reasons fall in any but the 5th category, I would not allow myself to go for it. I’d be doing the job I was meant to do, I was taught to do.