What, Why and How of MBA or any professional education;
and a Scientific procedure to select Specialization


Dr. Ashish Manohar Urkude
Associate Dean
Rai Business School
E-mail: dr.ashish.urkude@gmail.com; dr_ashish_urkude@yahoo.co.in; ashish.urkude@gmail.com

Evolution of modern MBA education:

Let us see how it started, evolved and then been professionalized.

1. For Military purpose: In World War I and II, it started with Operation Research for minimum effort and minimum casualty to self on one side, but maximum damage to enemy. Its analogy to business could be, how to tackle the competitors.
2. For Entrepreneurship: All PGP courses were designed to develop Entrepreneurship skills.
3. For Top Executives: Exposure to Market and preparation to face it
4. For Marketing and Selling: Started with Developing selling skills and now it has elevated and added market research skills
5. For Leaders and Managers: To develop leadership qualities and to manage people and organization tasks. E.g. Infosys, Wipro, GE, etc.
6. As part of Professional Requirements: It revolutionized the Management education and many governments across the world have started management education en-masse.
7. Ranking for the Best Management Education providers: Then started the ranking of the Business Schools where right from HBS of USA to Oxford of UK, IIM of India to NUS of Singapore all are ranked by various stakeholders on number of factors like, Placement record of students, Ambience, Infrastructure Facilities, Specializations offered, Faculty holding Ph.D./ Doctorate, Research Publications by Faculty, Alumni contributions, System of students evaluations, students opting for entrepreneurship path, and so on and so forth.

Now a day, in India, any one and every degree holder wants to pursue MBA for several preconceived reason/s. There are Scientists, Doctors, Pharmacists, Artists, Engineers, Entrepreneurs, Politicians, everyone ..

Ideal purpose of attending MBA School for budding Managers/ Leaders:

1. To groom yourself to take charge of your future, irrespective of your varied background.
2. To become better than the best by acquiring more skills to advance your career for future endeavors
3. To learn how to contribute and how to achieve better and more in your life.
4. To become a leader than a follower
5. It is a pay back time for you towards your parents. You are going to value the hard work and dedication of your parents.

Seniors have some tips for budding managers and leaders. Make it more a collaborative learning experience than the individual learning experience for 2 years. Thus, you learn a lot from many sources and in many ways.

How to Invest Time on Campus?:

For that you have to achieve some specific daily achievement/s. Thus, by these cumulative improvement/s in yourself, you can build a solid foundation. You build a confidence that, yes, it is possible to change in and out and make a change in life, hereafter. It will help you to realize your dream in your life.

Ex. Your everyday task from the DAY-ONE could be:

Know at least one new case study daily that are top rated by management experts.
Know at least one new Leader and his achievements.
Know at least one organization In and Out. Commerce background people share Financial info while Engineers share Tech info, similarly students from Health Science, Pharmaceutical, and other can share their knowledge in their fields. The exchange of views and knowledge add value to every discussion and make students realize about diversified fields and opinions around the world.
Share with others at least one new thing from the corporate world. Thus 60 students in class can share a lot in a day.
Just you have to invest 2 hours more than your class room sessions and home work or field work, if any. However, this sharing and caring brings results. It is my experience.
You come to know that one can learn in many ways. Debates, Quiz, Simulations, Dramas, Movies, Experience sharing, Role play, discussing research article, and other number of ways.
Try to learn basics of maximum number of skills today for tomorrow, you don't know where your dexterity will be useful in future.
What you should do? : Try develop these skills or at least know what they do in the organizations in these 2 years of studies. Share with colleagues.
Finally, Invest your time than waste time when you are in the campus. These important days will never come back to you in your life. We have seen total paradigm shift in the mindset of lot of students. You could be next Narayan Murthy or Setve Jobs or Sabir Bhatia, or Kiran Shaw Mauzumdar or the person you choose.

Is there competition among institutions?

Few say yes few say no. The reason as per the aptitude and other qualifying reasons they either choose or get their institutions. Let us see how few Institutions differ in their methodology to groom the managers and leaders.

HBS: It relies on case study method and academic rigor.
IIM: Peer pressure to multitask and perform well, they also rely on case methods and academic rigor.
SCMHRD, MDI, XIME, ICAI: More number of case studies, more number of theory books on same topic, and more exposure to multitasking by doing it yourself.
IIT, NIT: They believe in Results. They like to see results before their eyes in the field of Engineering and Technology.
CA, ICWA, CS, CPA: Especially they know finance and accounting of an organization in and out
Top University MBA: Importance is given to street-fighter-skills and achieving the target/s.
Others: Infosys hired M. A. (Music), MFA (Creative Arts) as a creative evangelists. Thus, these kinds of people can be highly competent when it comes to creativity.

Expectations of top organizations around the world:

Passionate Employees who try to out perform themselves and who always complete their job on time. For they are ready to pay and take of employees.
No problem and NO-EXCUSE employees
Dedicated and committed employees
Employees with Never-Say-Die-Attitude
Employees who are creative in problem solving
Result oriented employees
Perform or Perish culture
Adjusting to Multi-culture environment and Ready to go at Multiple-places around the world for company affairs.
Respect for every one and loyalty to organization

Thus, you must try to groom yourselves according as this could be your last time to know yourself and do the needful.

How to decide specialization?

First and foremost important thing is there is no compartment in management and there are no demarcation lines in the management education. Hence, still if needed you must take guidance from experts. Why? The reasons are here:

* At the top of the hierarchy you must know all the functions of management
* There are cases when many have worked across the functions due to sheer need of the organization in the highly competitive market
* For a Leader or a Manager, unless he knows the business he cannot be successful. Hence, few experts claim that, these specializations are just for the sake of getting a formidable degree/ diploma.

Factors deciding specialization of MBA/ Management Education:

* Aptitude
* Passion
* Interest
* Motive and Aim and Purpose of choosing this kind of career
* Emotional Intelligence
* Intelligent Quotient
* Stamina
* Tolerance
* Background
* Vision of life
* Mission of work

Let us know some fundamentals on how the specializations were selected till date. New comers can make a difference if they wish.

Who can go for Finance specialization?

* If you are B.Com. M. Com. Or have some business background or have knack to solve some mathematical problems at faster speeds.
* Those who like to seat at one place and work
* Those who have passion for Accounting and Finances, and who have passion of stock market, etc.

Who can go for Marketing?

* Those who like to convince people, build contacts, like to see business grow, like to see always well dressed and those who like glam-sham.
* Those who like Market Research, Selling activities, go to places, like to talk with different customers and make them happy, those who like to serve people, etc.

Who can go for HRM?

* Who like to deal with people
* Solve people's problems
* Like to build relationships for company
* Like to believe in people's abilities
* Like to value their own people as an asset
* Like to prove humanity and human being are the best part of business dealings
* Knows how to use Talents of talented people

Who can go for International Business?

* Those who like multiple cultures in the world
* Like dealing with foreigners who but also are human beings
* Like to travel and go to places with time bound work, and work with deadline
* Who don't have complaints about any food, or any place to live in comfort
* Those who can learn new things faster including new languages and business etiquettes
* Those who know international trade practices and understand various organizations in-depth
* Those who can compete the international market at par with any international player and executives

Who should go for Computer and Technology specialization?

* Those who love technology and are conversant with the way they work
* Those who like to deal with technology
* Those who like to work in Artificial world than the Real world
* Those who can tolerate more technology than humans and like to work in isolation for some time
* Those who can solve technological problems
* Those who have some technical background like BCA, BE, or having some family business in the field of technology
* Those who have been exposed to technology during Video Games, Cell phones, and know how to quick-fix the technical problems.

Other specializations like, Hospital Management, Retail Management, Entrepreneurship, etc:

You need to know what you are going to study and where you are going to implement and what career option you are going for. What is the aim of doing that specialization? It must not be short term to get an immediate job. It must have long term vision as well. Remember organizations expect all its employees to be intrapreneurs, hence at the end of the day, Entrepreneurship skills have become a must for all the MBA graduates. Remember, not failure but short aim is crime, hence, gather as many skills as you can and become as much dexterous as much as you can.

Individual S-W-O-T Analysis:

* No one is born perfect, those who have strengths can capitalize on their strengths
* They must know how to deal with their own Weaknesses
* If you have done SWOT analyses then from above background you can choose your specialization well. 
* This is the era of Shoot-at-sight-competition and not cut-throat-competition, hence you must know, to whom you'll compete and hence must decide your strategy for life and work. 
* At the end of the day, you are the best judge of yourself. Hence, regular SWOT analysis is order of the day. Say daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, half yearly, and yearly. We have seen people taking high rise in their life who do their critical analysis for positivism in their life.

Experts, around the world, feel that people had to jump jobs in the recession across the border and across the functions and across the horizontals and the verticals of the business. Hence, multi-dexterous and multi-skilled employees and employers have become order of the day. Thus, few experts claim that it is not only applicable to Management students but it is applicable to others, as well.

Finally, you are the best judge of yourself. Hence, invest your life, skills, and work at proper place/s to get what you want from the most precious life.

Dr. Ashish Manohar Urkude
Associate Dean
Rai Business School
E-mail: dr.ashish.urkude@gmail.com; dr_ashish_urkude@yahoo.co.in; ashish.urkude@gmail.com

Source: E-mail February 24, 2009



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