What led me to pursue a management programme at PGPM

This article speaks about my journey to pursue a management programme from SPJIMR- Anjana Rao, Principal Product Manager/Director, Zebra Technologies


Motivation towards an MBA after spending considerable time in the industry

Prior to my MBA – I had spent a little over 5 years in the tech industry in different roles of Systems/ Software engineer to Technical QA Lead. But, the exposure technical projects provided me left me wanting for more. The teams in the Technology industry work in silos and often there is no understanding of the big picture or opportunity to involve yourself at the strategic level or have an influence in the organizations’ key drivers or activities . This is because the scope of the technical role is constrained to certain areas of work or client project. Often the work turns mundane and repetitive after a few years in the industry; but for a few cycles of promotions or move to a different client project and the cycle repeats. Given this understanding and observing the trend in the industry – the answer came to me that an MBA from a top tier B-school is important. Thus, the motivation to embark on an MBA was to be absorbed into decision-making roles that would help drive the organization forward and to be able to be at the helm of organization initiatives in corporate roles. Also, an MBA would provide a platform to work in roles where one can move into General management which would open the arena for a plethora of exciting roles in the corporate sector.

Why an MBA is helpful and why is it worth taking a career break to pursue a full-time MBA

Having made the decision to pursue an MBA – the next decision was in terms of a full time versus executive MBA . A full time MBA would mean having to quit the job and pursue the MBA full-time , whereas the Executive MBA could be pursued along side the job. For this I networked with friends and MBAs from different reputed institutions to understand the different aspects :  

  • Why is a full time MBA advocated and why it would suit my aspirations?
  • What are the pros and cons of both – the full-time MBA and an Executive MBA?
  • What are the roles one can aspire for after a full-time MBA program?
  • How to ensure that the opportunity cost of losing a years compensation is made good ?
  • What is the ROI on the investment (opportunity cost of the 1 year, options post MBA etc.) ?

After speaking to alumni of different renowned MBA programs (both Full time and Executive ), I decided to pursue an full time MBA keeping in mind that  

  • Post the full-time program it would help me move towards the roles that I aspired for (E.g., General management, Consulting etc.)
  • The opportunity cost is met by/neutralized by the opportunities and roles one can be hired for post the full-time program (assured by the history of successful placements at SPJIMR post completion of the program)
  • The full-time program will give a strong foundation for future roles of running the different organisation functions

What are the pros of pursuing an MBA from a renowned institution such as SPJIMR and the PGPM programme?

After surveying several top MBA schools in India- including the IIMs, XLRI, MDI, FMS etc. – SPJIMR stood out in a unique way for many reasons and therefore I was very keen to have an admit from SPJIMR. SPJIMR stood out as the top of my wishlist of schools for the following reasons:

  • Highly acclaimed B-School in India and therefore accepted in the industry as a top notch BSchool.
  • Consistently ranked in the top B-Schools in India and the world ( #22 rank in QS Global MBA Ranking 2021, #4 with the close competition with IIMs in Business Today and India Today ranking 2020. Economic Times also ranks the institute at #13 place out of 50 best MBA Colleges in India.)
  • Excellent placements with all the top names in the industry recruiting from SPJIMR across the diverse specializations like Finance , Marketing etc.
  • Excellent action oriented pedagogy with international immersion and Industry engagements

How SPJIMR helped carve out a successful career path post my MBA ?

SPJIMR was a great platform for elevating my career to the next level. The PGPM programme at SPJIMR helped me to transition from technical roles into a Consulting path post my programme. Thereafter I pivoted into Product and Programme management roles and therefore have benefited deeply from the programme and how it helped me gain the general management and business perspective to move towards roles which are pivotal for an organization. The faculty of the programme provided an enriching learning experience during the programme and laid a foundation for an excellent understanding of the concepts of general management, finance, marketing etc. to name a few and therefore strong basis for a successful general management career thereafter. Also, the credentials of the school hold universal acclaim and therefore set the stage for me to be absorbed into and excel at my management career


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