Imagine signing up for a handful of lessons on how to earn a living and getting a bag brimming with lessons on how to live! Such is the case when one opts to do an MBA. Sounds too much to you? You think the two-year-long overwhelming curriculum of MBA involving classroom learning, case studies, presentations, internships, workshops, seminars and examinations just build good managers? Well, you might just have a different opinion in the next 5 minutes.
The tedious process after which students enter a top business school is in itself a source of pride but it just marks the embarkment of the life-changing journey that the MBA students witness. While shaping minds that lets students have more rewarding careers, an MBA course also moulds personalities by inculcating valuable life skills in students that allows them to live a more fulfilling life.
Professional Code of Behaviour and Ethics
The formal setup of an MBA course requires students to be punctual, fulfil attendance requirements, submit assignments within non-negotiable deadlines, give presentations, perform activities in a team and to do all of this with the highest degree of professionalism. MBA students are expected to meet, interact, study and work with people from different backgrounds which call for bringing good manners, cooperation, conformity and moral conduct on the table.
Any kind of indiscipline during classroom lessons, presentations, group discussions or events is seen as a lack of seriousness on the part of the student which creates a bad impression in the eyes of peers and faculty, and that’s something no sensible individual would wish to do for in the world of business your impression is everything. When the entire environment is that of courtesy, orderliness, and decorum, there is hardly any scope left for anyone to not develop a professional attitude, behave ethically and acquire a sense of corporate responsibility.
Eloquence and ability to influence people
Imagine being told to present a case study in front of hundreds of students and imagine being told you will be graded for it! You will obviously roll up your sleeves and work hard towards delivering it in the best way possible, you will work on your content and your pronunciation, you will try to be inventive and create an unforgettable impression on your grader. This is exactly what MBA students go through frequently during the course.
With time, every student gets better at articulately conveying their ideas and influencing people with their in-depth preparation. Apart from presentations, the group discussions, team activities, interviews for internships and jobs, regular communication with faculty and peers adds to the need and desire to be more expressive and impactful, thus leading to more confidence and ability to influence people among students.
I left HBS aiming high and working hard – HBS sends you off both empowered and confident. In one of our final LEAD classes in RC that the professors shared alumni stories with us – a few of these, in particular, stood out because they talked about the sacrifices alumni had made to reach their goals. Years later, the lessons learned from those stories have made me more confident in creating my own career path: taking time off for my family, working part-time in different capacities, considering full-time work. I’ve had the ability to change my goals to suit my priorities. My HBS experience gave me a broader set of career and life options than I would have had otherwise, and I feel confident in future opportunities as my priorities constantly evolve.
– PamWildeman, an MBA graduate from Harvard Business School
Resourcefulness and Problem-Solving skills
Anyone who is used to get spoon-fed for making decisions and for solving problems might find it really hard to survive comfortably in a business school. Universities teaching MBA aim at producing self-sufficient individuals who can think on their feet and take prudent decisions. If any problems arrive while conducting activities and events during your MBA you are expected to step up, act calmly and find solutions like a leader. You can’t let any difficulties make you feel frustrated or overwhelmed.
From choosing electives to taking impromptu decisions, MBA demands students to be resourceful, aplomb, and self-assured, thus aiding them in learning one of the most important skills of self-independence. Being resourceful and good at problem-solving is what lets a person strive and grow in both professional and personal space.
Self-awareness and Independence
One of the most important things that the MBA curriculum does for a student is handed them with enough opportunities to seek feedback and evaluate their performance. Nothing that you do in a business school can be brushed under the carpet- your success and failures, your sensible decisions and stupid mistakes are all out there.
Even with the constant hustle, the MBA leaves you with adequate time for self-reflection and self-evaluation which is highly imperative to plan your career and life ahead. You need to be self-aware to identify your strengths and weaknesses, to make decisions that align with your personality and goals and to accept the results that your choices produce. The sense of self that MBA instills in you is something most people fail to acquire otherwise and constrains them in a box of preconceived notions not letting them grow to their full potential.
Prioritising and Managing time
A top business school to an ambitious graduate is what Disney World is to a five-year-old kid- an exciting place overwhelmed with so much you would want to do in so little time. MBA offers you the opportunity to map a customised career map for yourself and take directions accordingly.
Right from day one you have so many choices to make and strict deadlines to meet, demanding you to master the art of prioritising and showcase efficient time management skills. When all the students have presented the same opportunities, it becomes more about HOW and WHEN you do it rather than WHAT you do. The better you plan, prioritise and manage your time, the more you are likely to stand out from your peers and shine in the eyes of your faculty and recruiters.
“The highlight of the MBA would certainly be the people I met, such as classmates, and professors. By getting to know them and working with them, my perspectives and knowledge have broadened tremendously. My beliefs have been challenged, and I’ve obtained new knowledge and fresh outlooks in my way of thinking. By the time I graduated from the course, I was equipped with new ways of thinking about the world which I brought into my first role at BP.”
– Abigail Chan, an MBA graduate from Oxford’s Saïd Business School.
Finding comfort out of a comfort zone
Soon after you start your MBA you are thrown out of your comfort zone and it is ensured that you can never enter it again. In order to prepare you for the dynamic business world out there, new challenges are thrown at you every day and you are expected to catch them all efficiently. In order to stay at the top of the game, you need to acquire knowledge and skills continuously.
You are expected to go beyond your classroom learning and leverage opportunities that promise you enriching experiences. Most of the times, your desired MBA programme will be in a university miles away from your home and you will be required to stay in a hostel with people of different backgrounds. Your determination and zest need to be strong enough to not let any discomfort come in between you and your goals.
Gaining the confidence to deal with the uncertainties
The fast-paced modules of your MBA course overflowing with opportunities, leave you will no time to get frustrated or overwhelmed; you learn to move on with both your successes and failures in no time. You might perform well in one semester but the next semester might turn to be a disaster. You might perform really low academically but get your research get published in an eminent paper.
Whatever the case be, with time you understand with constant opportunities coming your way, there will always scope for improvement or scope for more and nothing is the end of the world. This is probably the best lesson that comes with the completion of an MBA programme- you learn to embrace the uncertainties, which is the very essence of life.
My two years at HBS gave me the time and space to reflect on and clarify what really mattered to me, both personally and professionally. Throughout the experience, I felt that I was continually exposed to new ideas and opportunities and that the resources to explore and act on those opportunities were always within easy reach. I found myself impressed time and time again at the amount of time professors, classmates, career counsellors and alumni were willing to spend with me to help me chart my path.
– Lauren Burrows, an MBA graduate from Harvard Business School
On a whole, the well-planned pedagogy of an MBA course focusing on creating well-balanced individuals is flexible enough to help students learn how to take prudent decisions, become self-sufficient, and leverage various opportunities and rigid enough to teach them how to manage time, prioritise, and become disciplined.
What a lifetime might not be able to do is something a two years MBA course can do for you- reform your personality, but for that to happen it is important to select the right MBA course in the right business school.
Choosing the right course and university is a very challenging task that requires analysing your profile, evaluating your career goals in respect to current trends in various industries and seeking monitorship from experts who have already covered the journey who desire to cover. Now you must be wondering if there is any one place doing it all? LEVERAGE EDU is your answer. After all, when it comes to opting for something as life-changing as an MBA course, its advisable to seek help from professionals who are dedicated to fulfilling dreams and building awesome careers.