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MBA is not an Ambulance Service?

Published on July 3, 2016

By Dr. Nandkishore Rathi


I am meeting quite a lot of young, dynamic and talented people of following 3 categories: 1. Currently working, and having a few months or years of experience 2. Have taken a career break, and want to restart their career, and 3. Graduating or just graduated youngsters.


They have a very clear-cut question 'Should I pursue an MBA? After probing a bit, I try to understand the 'drive or reason' behind pursuing an MBA. To my surprise, there is no serious reason behind it. The basic assumption is one or more of the follows: a. 'I am not growing in career'. b. 'I am nowhere compared to my friends' achievements'. c. 'My parents want me to do it'. d. 'MBAs grow faster than those without it'. e. 'I am not liking my job', and so on..


Basically, they look at MBA as the light at-the-end-of-the-tunnel. The tunnel of dissatisfaction, non-achievements, restlessness for faster growth, need for early social recognition etc. Thanks to aggressive B-school advertising budgets. Such candidates find it an easily available commodity, in all forms, shapes, sizes and budgets. All 4Ps of marketing perfectly balanced. Moreover, it sounds socially great 'Master of Business Administration'.


After detail analysis of the candidate's real situation, it is observed, that most of them do not require an MBA. They need to know their own world better. They need to be self-aware. They need to focus what they are really best at, and what they really enjoy doing.


In fact in 2 cases - a BBA & an MBA - the candidates wanted to quit the course as they just were not able to relate to 'management'. There world was so different. Once we make them realize whether it serves the purpose 'for them', they back out and focus on areas that they really need to focus upon, such as: right role, right competence, right expectations from the self, how people grow in organization etc.


In a nutshell, MBA is not required for everybody. It shouldn't be looked at like 'Personality Development (PD)' program. If it is so, it is a very highly priced PD program with 2 years of valuable investment, apart from those 5 to 18 lakhs (( :


So, one shouldn't look at an MBA as an emergency ambulance service, for the career-crisis (sometime real and sometimes socially or self-created).


I recently guided a person with technical work experience, to move successfully to HR (which, we identified as his true passion) without an MBA degree.


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