b-school, mba, education, business school, skills, career, management
A B-school education helps in fine tuning a person’s management skills, functional excellence, leadership quality, and confidence level.

We are living in a world where a person at any stage of the career is faced with several unique challenges, be it related to strategy, overall business operations, or the way one manages people with different expectations and aspirations. While on the job learning is often cited as the best way for a person to evolve, it is important to understand that one needs to keep his/her skills current.

In today’s dynamic times, wherein technology is enabling learning and breaking barriers, it is indeed heartening to see professionals taking on more and breaking the conventional ceilings of straight-jacketed careers.

Intellectual development and understanding are the keys to unlock one’s potential and more often the right B-school provides the recipe for success at any stage of one’s career.

B-schools not only emphasize on standard business skills, like accounting, HR, Finance, Operations and Marketing, they also emphasize on key skills like critical thinking, strategic, negotiation and analytical skills; empowering the learner’s capability to envisage the broad framework of dynamic business environment.

This type of education can certainly give degree-holders an edge for managerial positions.

Here are a few important takeaways from a B-school education:

1. B-schools help individuals develop a different perspective for any specific challenge they may face.

Through the demanding schedules and uncompromising deadlines, one discovers or rather rediscovers his/her strengths and how far they can push themselves and manage compelling priorities, all within a pre-defined deadline.

It re-defines the way of thinking by re-establishing the basics and fundamentals and very often, developing their ability to think out of the box’.

2. B-schools are an important arena for multi-discipline, multi-field interactions with different sets of people, who always bring fresh ideas to any challenge, led by their experience across the industry.

This gives one valuable access to different, and educated, insights and guidance on how to handle a situation.

3. Networking is very important in today’s world and B-schools provide learners with avenues for effective networking, thus enabling them to excel in their respective careers and organizations.

4. A good B-school education allows one to make career role shifts and develop his/her perspectives and outlook that helps them buoy-up in their work. In many cases, a business degree is often mandatory for salary increments.

5. With all the case studies and classroom work, one ends up assimilating unfamiliar topics and thinking from different vantage points to deliver relevant solutions to problems. This is an exact simulation of our work-life in today's world, with ever-changing business dynamics and market conditions.

This helps at stimulating those areas of one’s brain, which were developed more around basics and this is an important attribute at any stage of career whether you are a manager or a CXO.

6. Overall, a B-school education helps in fine-tuning a person’s management skills, functional excellence, leadership quality, and confidence level.

B-schools and MBA helps to make a mid-career change

Having said that, B-schools and an MBA/Executive MBA do help in most cases, when people are seeking to make a mid-career change.

It thus provides them the necessary qualification as well as a springboard to launch their career in a managerial role.

This could include, for example, a software engineer wanting to shift to finance, or a general in the armed forces wanting to shift to HR, or an executive assistant aspiring to improve his/her management skills by acquiring an MBA in general management.

This brings us to a much-debated question that has many different answers depending on who you ask it to Is pursuing MBA age agnostic?

One answer that feels right is that there is no expiry date to learning and progressing in life. Getting an MBA is achievable at any age, any life-stage, and only requires the will, motivation, and commitment.

With these qualities, they can seek this external intervention to rediscover themselves and either accelerate or change the course of their career.

How your B-school helps you progress is up to you!

B-school programmes provide candidates or learners additional growth opportunities, but that is only once. Thereafter, how one progresses is purely a function of how one performs.

The effectiveness of a B-school education also majorly depends on the quality of the institution, its course structure, and the delivering excellence of the faculties. Moreover, while one gets access to their first opportunity, it is not a guaranteed license for continuous career progression.

B-schools can help us boost our careers at a specific stage, but how well it will serve us down the road largely depends on how we manage our career and our ability to remain on the cutting-edge of our field.

More importantly, it also depends on how we leverage and apply our learnings from B-schools to achieve our organization’s goals and vision in the long term.

- Article by Vidhu Gaur, Assistant Professor, Business Communication, MDI Gurgaon