28 July, 2005

MBA Journey

No Half Measures this time, its full 42 Kms of Marathon now. Yes,soon I would publish about the way to go for MBA abroad.The facts and things to be kept in mind before delving deep into it.The blog is going to be boring and long however this may act as a good guide for someone just beginning to prepare for MBA Journey.Views expressed in this article is based on my experience.
Let's begin..Why an MBA should be the question an individal should ask himself or herself before making a decision.It could be two ways,probably you have an answer or else you may not have. Well,if you fall in second category,Just wait stop thinking and probably stop fooling yourself.Let the right time come when u have an answer to this Q and then you are ready to move. In case you fall in category one, you might have an approximate answer to why you want an MBA and the reasons could be numerous like...Opportunity in terms of Career growth,Better remuneration,Change in domain,Better work assignments,Better place,Opportunity in various industries like Marketing,Sales,Finance,IT and manufacturing,Business Consulting,Business Development,Human Resources,Education and reserach bla bla....There are some people who I find have fixed answers to Why an MBA? Say an entrepreneur,be a manager in one year and super manager (CEO) in 5 years etc.Well,its as important to have answers to the big Q' Why ? as that of getting an MBA. Since it would directly be proportionate to one's learning.MBA is about acquiring a set of Business skills where you can match up your profile to the jobs in market.Let me elaborate this point by saying that unlike India you have a set of electives to choose from abroad B schools and one has to decide the best for him or her in order to shape the MBA education and learning process.
Shortlisting Schools :*Expenses include (Tution+Living)
Let me be precise US B school expenses vary between 60-150K USD, However if you decide to go to some state University Expenses comes down to 35-40 k USD say Arizona State and school has a good ranking and it falls in the same category.The cost of top B schools in Europe vary between 80-100 K USD, say the expense for London Business School runs as high as 150 k USD.(Well these figures exclude the possibility of scholarship and if you depend entirely on ure own funding).Another example could be the Cost of B schools in Canada which falls in loop of 70-100 K USD.Although US top 10 (Ivey League colleges) remains my favourite as same with everybody,I would rate the B schools in Singapore,Hong Kong,India and Philippines as equally good to their western counterparts providing expenses@ one third price.Well, You may debate with me about future ROI, etc wrt Western B Schools,its true that a US or Europe degree may provide you with better dividends in future however its not always easy to compete with 30 + yrs old Investment bankers from US or say Europe and obtaining a lucrative job with top of class IB's.(I presume the general MBA crop from India or Asia are younger MBA's and carry 3-5 yrs of experience on an average).While you sit and analyse your cost to return ratio , i would also suggest to keep the risk factor in mind as well.Since US and Europe might not lend you an easy Work Permit or what they say Green Card.Needless to say pursuing education from Asia Pacific countries provides an unlimited access to developing economies like China and India,already predicted as Economic superpowers in the coming century.
Taking GMAT and Applying to Universities:Application kit to any B school comprises of (GMAT+SOP+Recommendations+Essays+Resume+Experience letter+Application fees). GMAT is graduate management aptitude test required by almost all the universities across the world for getting admitted to an MBA program.Therefor its imperative to prepare well and score high on GMAT the first step for successful admit to different B schools.A very good GMAT score is a score of 700 however 650+ is considered a good score.Admissions to a particular institute depends on several factors including overallprofile, previous work experience, GMAT score , SOP, Essays, Recommendations, Interviews and International exposure.After the GMAT apply to your shortlisted colleges by their first cut off date to get maximum attention from admissions committee.(SOP)Statement of purpose should be very well written,Essays or questions which varies for B schools needs to be neatly written and analyzed over and over again. Since this would act as one of the most important source to prove your credentials before admissions committee deciding upon your candidature.Recommendations should come from a person who know you the best and this may be from your workplace and from university professor. It should portray you as an ideal fit for being a future manager.
Financial AID: According to my reserach top MBA schools have tie up with local banks and financial institutions some of these schools helps in getting a loan covering your entire tuition and living expenses.For example London Business Schoola has a tie up with banks in London and they help you in funding your education without depleting your resources.Rotterdam Business School from Netherland has Tie up with ING bank and your admit helps you getting entire loan without security or collateral unlike india.(FYI: In India you need to provide 100 % security cover for a loan above 4 lakhs or security in terms of immovable property like land or house which amounts to 150 % to that of loan amount ,thus it becomes very essential to chalk out the ways of funding your education.)
After Admissions: Well now starts the tough journey of MBA.
Student Visa,Air Tickets,Laptop,accomodation blues,packing your suitcase follows the suit after your admissions.To land up a job from a foreign B school one needs to be at least as efficient as that of locals if not more,have to be more proactive,smart and sharper than your peers looking for same openings.Survival to this is networking. Network, Network and Network.Work with placement cell and be clear in your objectives,goals and kind of job you are targetting from very beginning.Lastly I wish to say MBA is a very important decision in life ,like for me I have had very good counsellers in my life who also adviced that its an investment and one can reap its rewards through out one's life.It is quite possible that jobs and opportunities for one particular industry may become scant but then your MBA helps you in getting through another industry and domain.
All the best