Thursday, 1 October 2015

10 Things You Should Know Before Joining An MBA Program

MBA aspirants are often seen confused about various things when it comes to choosing the right MBA program and the right B-School. The confusion crops from various aspects that one has to think of before joining an MBA program. This confusion often leaves the student indecisive which is usually succeeded by dropping the plan of going for an MBA or ending up at the wrong place years later.   

Therefore, having a sound knowledge about MBA and the numerous aspects determining whether or not to go for an MBA is a must. To pacify and bring some clarity to the worried and clouded minds, Kampuzz brings a list of 10 things one must know before joining an MBA program. 

1. Types of MBA Programs and Their Value in Current Market
B-Schools in India offer management programs with specializations in varied areas such as Marketing, Operations, Human Resource Management, International Trade and Business, Communications, Business Management, Healthcare etc. Before going for an MBA one must choose to go for the programme that best fits one’s personality. This is often confusing at first. 

Most B-schools expose students to different areas of management in the first year and then offer specialization in the areas preferred by the student in the second year. 
Institutes such as IIFT and MICA offer management courses in specialized fields like Foreign Trade and Communications. These courses have great demand in the market. Placement packages offered to the graduating students from these institutes are mind-blowing. 

2. Cost/Fee structure of the Program
The cost of doing an MBA program is high. Doing an MBA programme from good business school will cost you anything between 10 lakhs and 15 lakhs. 

Good business schools have arrangements with banks willing to extend educational loans to the students. This is extremely helpful for the students finding it difficult to fund their education. The pay packages offered to most MBA graduates cover the cost incurred over the whole duration of the program within a few years.

3. Background of the Faculty
Another determining factor is the faculty that the institute comprises of. What makes a business school worth all that hefty investment is the quality of faculty present in it. This aspect is rarely given a considerable amount of attention by MBA aspirants but a good research into the backgrounds of the present faculty will always be beneficial. 

4. Placement Record of the institute
This is perhaps the most researched criteria that MBA aspirants consider while deciding to join a management program. Placement records play a key role as it provides hints to the types of companies coming for the placement drive in the campus and the different job roles offered to the students. The institutes having good companies regularly visiting the campus for placements are the ones you should lookout for.

5. Alumni Network (are the alumni happy?)
Another important aspect to be taken into consideration is the answer to the question – ‘Are the alumni happy?’ This question will give you an idea about how successful the business school was in mentoring students and showing them the right career paths. Talking to alumni and currently enrolled students about their experiences in the institute should give you an insight to this question.

A good B-school will have a grand network of alumni and this network is beneficial for all students graduating from that particular B-school. Alumni relation is another important determinant.

6. Scholarships and Financial Assistance
Some institutes offer financial assistance to students from weak financial backgrounds and many institutes offer scholarships to meritorious students. MBA aspirants should lookout for such options which can ease a lot of pressure while pursuing a management program.

7. International Exposure
Student exchange programmes offer a lot of global exposure to the students. Before joining for any programme, one must take a note of the number of seats on offer for the exchange programme and the reputation of the institute/university collaborating for the same. Exposure to different cultures, mindsets and perspectives is a sure deal if the classrooms have presence of foreign students and faculties. 

8. College Culture
Before enrolling for a programme, one must also consider if the MBA college environment and culture is the one that suits you. You should ascertain whether or not you’d feel comfortable living in the environment offered by your college. Most b-schools have extra-curricular activities after regular classes which go on till midnight. This can create huge pressure on studies. Before joining an MBA program one must be very certain of his/her ability to handle the pressure that mounts up.  

9. Peers
Your peers in the B-School will have an enormous impact on the wholesome understanding that you develop during the duration of the programme. The more diverse the crowd is the more likely it is that you’ll develop a wider scope of understanding. Learning to overcome cross-cultural and linguistic barriers comes in handy if the campus crowd consists of students from different geographical areas. The diversity in the profiles of your peers also depends on their graduation streams, work experience and various other aspects.   

10. Pedagogy
The pedagogy is another important aspect that one must take into consideration while choosing an MBA program or B-school. If the school follows traditional or archaic methods of teaching, then the huge sum being invested by you is most probably going to waste. Business world is dynamic and unpredictable.  Newer and innovative methods must be used by professors to make future managers identify change and use it to their advantage. One must ascertain whether learning is just confined to classrooms or does it also extend to field work also, before joining an MBA program.  

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