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The Journey of an MBA

Source | LinkedIn : By Pranav Sukhija

It’s not just a journey, it’s a way of life

The journey of an MBA is a long and challenging one with, almost always, no ultimate destination. The journey often starts with a vision, a goal, to study the course at a top B-school, to learn from the best faculty, to collaborate and compete with the most talented bunch of peers, and to land a career at a top-notch organisation. This is followed by dedicated preparation, as getting into a B-school isn’t child’s play. While some take breaks and sabbaticals to get into one, others juggle between work or college education to find time to prepare for the entrance exams and admission processes. Once someone gains entry into a b-school, it may, at first, look like the person has already arrived.

But it is only when he actually enters the school that he realises that the end goal is a distant dream.

Survival of the Fittest

This journey is a tough one, an emotionally, physically and mentally draining one. Anyone who has ever been through a b-school programme will validate this. Students juggle between classes, assignments, projects, internships and competitions. There are countless subjects to study, classes to attend, case studies to analyse and books to read! It doesn’t matter whether a subject inspires you or not; you got to do what you got to do. It’s not that students do not complain; they do, and yet they give it their all to learn as much as they can, for they know that this might just be their last formal education before they begin a life-long journey in the corporate world.

Too much to do, too much to gain, too much at stake

To let students apply and appreciate management concepts they learn in classes, b-schools have various clubs and societies that are typically run by students. Those who are part of any such groups or societies, as most students are, have additional responsibilities to fulfil. Then there is the pressure to score well in exams, land the most coveted internship opportunity or the most promising job on offer. MBA students are competitive by nature and hence enjoy participating in competitions within and outside their own B-schools, all with the purpose of emerging at the top. Just like real life, business organisations which compete with other firms within and outside their industries, students compete with each other to grab the best opportunities, score the highest marks, and build the widest networks, all with the purpose to make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime and rather costly opportunity.

A journey within

The journey of an MBA is also a journey within. Most b-schoolers stay on campus, away from their comfort zones, spending limited time with their families and friends from the life before they came to b-school. They work hard day in and day out, trying to out-perform the next person on the block. In the midst of all this, they do end up learning a lot more about themselves and their priorities. As b-schools attract people from diverse backgrounds, students also learn a lot about other cultures, stories which inspire and broaden their horizon and in the process they develop the skill to connect and interact with different people, a skill which is much needed in a global workforce of today. Getting into and out of a b-school can be a life-transforming experience for many students as they go through so many vivid experiences that reshape their thoughts about the world around them. In that sense, the journey is an enlightening one.


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