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Monday, November 19, 2012

Self-driven Learning enables students to fully compensate for insufficient reputation of Tier 3 MBA institute

Because of the proliferation of MBA institutes in the country, it has now become more and more difficult to get jobs. There are Tier 1 institutes which consist of IIMs, IBS and others where one gets job quite easily. In Tier 2 institutes like Symbiosis, PUMBA, JDBIMS and others, getting a job may be easy, although getting a desired job takes some focussed effort and planning. In Tier 3 institutes, even getting a job is difficult. Many students are not placed at these institutes. Students in Tier 2 and Tier 3 institutes therefore have to take extra effort to achieve their goal.

Getting desired job for students of Tier 2 MBA institutes and below

In Tier 2 MBA institutes, if a student has to find a desired job, he/she has to do some serious plannng and engaged in disciplined effort. If you have seen the figure in the earlier blog, you will undersand that this is the step 2 problem. The MBA student has to understand one's strengths, match with one's desire, and then determine the domain ( such as FMCG, Software or telecom) and function ( sales, marketing or servicing) in which one should pursue a job. Only after this thinking has been done, a MBA student should make a list of 'probable employers'. Because of the rigor of thinking that has been done in step 2, the student will be able to match the right employer ( which is step 4) and therefore be able to increase his chances of getting the 'desired job'.

Getting a job for students of Tier 3 institutes and below 

Students in Tier 3 institutes have a more difficult challenge if they have to get a good job after finishing MBA. I have also met some students from these institutes who not only manage to get a job, but even succeed in finding a job of their choice. What do they do differently?

Firstly, these successful students of Tier 3 MBA institutes are self-motivated and self-driven. They know why they are doing MBA and consciously know the risk they are taking which getting admitted in Tier 3 insitutes. So even if they have decided to get admitted in Tier 3 MBA institute due to monetary or other reasons, they are aware of the downsides and do not delude themselves in believing that 'jobs will come to them'.

Secondly, they therefore work out a plan that will help them compensate for their poor reputation of institute.  To make this plan. they take help of a mentor who is working in industry, or take help of a professor who is well aware of the challenges, or a senior student who has been successful in the industry. I have also coached many students in my coaching practice. They will make a Learning plan.

In the learning plan, they list down subjects they will learn till Stage 2( Please see this blog to understand three different stages of learning.).They will also list down subjects, such as Financial Management or Statistics, where they plan to deepen their level of understanding till stage 3. By understanding their own strengths, they will also clearly describe the reasons for learning a subject till the deeper stage 3.

In MBA, because the subjects are connected with the working in a company or organisation, it is easy to deepen the learning till stage 2/3 because you can see the actual functioning of these concepts in a company. For instance, if you are learning budgeting, you can actually go to a company and see how they 'budget' and if the 'academic principles of budgeting' are being followed or not? And if they are not followed, what are the practical reasons of not following it? Be it performance appraisal system in HR, or Branding in Marketing, or three stage calling of Sales, every course in MBA can be learned at a deeper level by seeing how it happens in a working company. This is one big advantage of doing MBA.

These successful MBA students use different tricks to facilitate this learning. As time is limited, they chose the subjects that they must learn in depth. These students also do projects in groups of 3-5 students so that limited time can be productively used for learning. They make full use of visiting faculty (who is working in a company) to increase the depth of their learning. They take help of their parents and friends of their parents to approach companies where they can do live summer projects, instead of doing projects done by last year students. They extensively use Harvard case studies ( available on net in free) to enhance their learning.

Because these students in Tier 3 MBA institutes are driving their own learning, they also look more confident and assured. In short, they not only compensate the disadvantages of Tier 3 institute, but also use it to learn a non-cognitive trait which is rare: confidence and grit. In short, they convert crisis into opportunity. Which company will not like to recruit these kind of students?

If you want to follow the practice of these successful MBA students in Tier 3 institute, find a mentor, senior, professor or a coach who can guide your learning.  

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