Oct 01, 2021

Demystifying MBA – The 5 myths about the B-school journey

Shradha Mohanty,   PGPM Co’2021

Out of all the advice you get on pursuing a One-Year MBA course, you have to learn to use the ones most fruitful. I took up the journey heads-on and discovered the many myths I have listed here in the article. Diapers, fashion, Un-goals: Are these words you would think of when you think of a b-school.

Myth 01. The choice is between doing a One-Year MBA and being a mom
I busted this myth through a rather precarious self-experimentation. I joined the PGPM course at SPJIMR with a 4-month-old baby, after working hard to give the online GMAT. I appeared for the GMAT just 2 weeks before my delivery and I secured admission to the course in the same month that I had my boy. After juggling innumerable diaper changes with an infinite number of pre-reads and case assignments, I saw it all come together with heart melting baby chuckles and satisfactory grades.

So, myth buster no 01: it’s ABSOLUTELY DO-ABLE! I’m living proof of the adage, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.
*PS: To all new One-Year MBA mums, family support is absolutely indispensable while you keep your eyes fixed on the prize (or prizes).

Myth 02. You must be academically excellent to pursue an MBA
This is probably something I have heard throughout my growing years which persisted even after I had made it to the course. A master in “Business Administration” requires many, many more decisive factors to make an individual succeed in the real world, not just academic grades. That is the precise reason the best of B-schools conduct multiple rounds of interviews to assess a person not only on academic merit, but also on the basis of several psychometric parameters. The reason behind it is that you are being tested on leadership, resilience, confidence, grit and lastly, your drive, which are equally important in the Biz world.

Myth 03. A Fashion designer, An Army officer, A movie maker, A psychiatrist – are not meant to do a One-Year MBA
A derivative from the aforementioned myth, this is something which is increasingly being challenged as diverse professionals make their way into B-schools. I am a fashion designer from NIFT, New Delhi with more than 9 years of being a part of the Fashion world. While I was caught up in the frenzy of the emerging trends, I got curious to understand the Business side of it. This motivated me to learn and drive numbers, which was bolstered when I joined my husband’s fashion label SOUP. I realized the fashion business can really benefit from a crosstalk between several parallel industries. I also realized that a One-Year MBA is for anybody who is in the business of money. Despite coming from a rather unusual background, I found a place in a B-school as well as found many of “the same type” as my peers. I am glad the B-schools have started harnessing the power of occupationnal diversity.

Myth 04. In a competitive environment, people are averse to sharing knowledge
The most common misconception about highly competitive academic and business communities is about the firewalls to knowledge from your competitors. It took a couple of months of intense business school rigor for me to realize that it is perhaps one of the biggest myths. Every time I grappled with a concept like blockchain or Baye’s theorem – something I was not familiar with, or wanted a quick hack to a problem, it was my class buddies I turned to, and the conversations always ended up in Aha-moments.

Myth 05. Getting through a top B-school is all that matters
At the risk of sounding highly philosophical, I think life, in general, is not about the destination, but the ride (*Song: Just Enjoy the Ride by Morcheeba). It is about the journey and the experiences that one encounters. While a degree from a great B-school provides a springboard for managerial positions, it is equally important to work on your career roadmap after a One-Year MBA. And I do believe that any B school can equip you with the tools, you just got to find a way to use them to your advantage. So, a One-Year MBA might not give you the exact answers that you are looking for, but it helps if you ask the right questions and have the right attitude.

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