Articles


A Road Less Travelled


The Statesman
August 27, 2006
Pg. 05

Pursuing an MBA degree even when you are a working manager is beneficial in enhancing your skills and is propitious for people who are looking for a career change. Shobhika Puri finds out


What is it about MBA that draws the attention of all? The obvious answer that comes to our mind is that it helps students climb the corporate ladder faster. But have we ever wondered what draws working managers, who are already settled in their careers, to pursue this degree?

MBA is definitely not another postgraduate qualification. Once enrolled to this course, the students get a holistic perspective about the way organisations are run. The best part about working managers doing an MBA course is that they are able to relate to the theories better as they are already working in an organisation. This definitely gives them an advantage over the full time MBA students, as the latter category has to wait for a job till they can implement the managerial theories. An MBA for working managers helps the students see issues from a wider scope, taking into account differing attitudes. Students learn things that they never knew existed and it helps them to manage change and manage projects in different cultures.

The tangible benefit about a Working Manager MBA (WMP) is that the students get to earn while they learn. WMP is propitious for people who are looking for a career change. Having worked in the industry, they are better placed to understand what is it that they really want and what is it that they are actually suited for. Apart from these, there are other vital advantages like the opportunity to network with people from varied industries. However, there is always another side to a coin. Doing an MBA while working means juggling one's job and studies, simultaneously. If someone has a family to look after, it becomes even more challenging. Then there are attendance issues, exams, outstation trips, offers to re-locate, etc. All this, however, is not impossible to achieve, as it may seem. There are many people who have successfully managed to balance everything and some are even pleasantly surprised at their achievement. Hence, WMP is not just about developing skills to manage management systems but also about self and time management. How the students manage themselves and others more effectively in the future is what one learns from a WMP course. It also gives students the confidence to take on challenges outside their own industry and comfort zone.

About the recognition and acceptance of the course, it can be said that in India (unlike other countries), even though part-time MBA programmes are yet to receive the recognition they deserve, students and corporates are standing up and taking notice. IIM Lucknow's decision to start such a programme at Noida is a case in point. It has not only successfully completed the first year of its operations, but it is also receiving a tremendous response from the students and industry alike. This just goes to prove that it is never too late to start and one should never fear to take the road that is less travelled.

The writer is a student of Post Graduation Programme (part-time), IIM Lucknow

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