Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Do you really need an MBA for that next promotion?

Here is the answer (I know it might come as a shocker to most): NO!

The reasons you are promoted on the job are varied is because you are smart, hard-working, and are able to show results. Then, what is the point in doing an MBA you may ask!

Here are 5 reasons – anyone considering a professional career spanning a minimum of a few decades – should consider doing an MBA early on in one’s career:

1. Provides a unique differentiator:
So, you got promoted because you were smart, hard-working, and were able to show results? Great! Soon you will be in a room (middle management mostly) where everyone else (your peers) will be smart, hardworking, and able to show results. At that point, the question to ask yourself is – WHAT ELSE can I do to stand apart from the crowd? An MBA from a top bschool (business school in MBA parlance) usually helps giving you the edge, both in terms of hard-skills and soft-skills, to get you to the next level in your career.

2. Develops a well-rounded perspective:
Are you aspiring to be a product manager? Then technical skills alone might not suffice after a point. Right now working on HTML 5 v/s Flash might be the most exciting thing for you – but soon you will realize that there are multiple aspects to it. MBA is a general management program that provides you with cross-functional experience to look at a problem from multiple aspects such as finance, sales, marketing, strategy, support, and delivery.

3. Builds a solid life-long professional network
As with most “old boy’s associations”, the very fact that you attended a top MBA program is enough for you to open doors. Starting from exclusive access to Linkedin groups to by-invite-only networking sessions, these alumni groups ensure that you have access to opportunities that would be make the difference in the next business deal for your company, or in getting your CV across for that unadvertised CxO position (If you didn’t know this already - People use personal references and not naukri.com to find top management roles).

4. Helps you change your career track
So the reason you got into Engineering was your parents wanted you to do so. And the reason why you are working at that large IT Company is because it was the only well-paying job at campus. What if you are really a closet Investment Banker? Or a Strategy Consultant? Or a Social Media Marketer? The good news is that an MBA offers a great way to get into all of these career paths!  Still confused – don’t worry the 1 or 2 years you will have at the Bschool (remember – that is what we call colleges offering an MBA) will provide you with enough fodder to mull over this.

5. Allows you to rediscover yourself
This may not be a great explanation for the high MBA program fees but let us face it. While you were in college, you had the freedom but not the perspective to enjoy it. Now you have the perspective, but not the freedom to explore it. An MBA provides you with both the freedom and the perspective to hone critical life-skills to make you a better professional. For the rest of your life!

You are who you are. Don’t expect an MBA to do miracles. But MBA can be an awesome catalyst to help leverage your existing skills to take you to the next level (read as “promotion”).
Did this article get you thinking about MBA? Let us know if you have any other reasons to do (or not do) an MBA.

If you are wondering how an MBA can help YOU - taking the next step is as simple as shooting as an email on contact@jobeehive.com with your background, and our expert consultants can get in touch with you a personal recommendation on your MBA application strategy (which schools to apply, next steps to take etc).

About the author:

Arun Jagannathan (http://www.linkedin.com/in/arunj) is the founder of CrackVerbal (www.crackverbal.com), a GMAT Training and an MBA Admissions Consulting company.

Over the past decade Arun has worn multiple hats as a tutor, an entrepreneur and a technology manager. He has taught and mentored over 4000 students, teaching topics ranging from hard-skills such as software engineering to soft-skills such as time-management. His main focus however has been test preparation – teaching at major test prep companies in India starting CrackVerbal in 2006.
Arun also brings to the table valuable insights into the value of an MBA, much of this knowledge accrued over the years from a ring-side view of students making a transition from pre-MBA applicants to post MBA graduates climbing the corporate ladder. He also brings with him a plethora of information specific to individual programs given his extensive network among the b- school community, including admissions committee members at top B schools across the globe.