We had a guest lecture a few days ago by Sahil Barua – CEO and co-founder of an Indian based delivery and logistics company called Delhivery. They started off as an idea and emotion shared by five co-workers from different backgrounds. Only one of them had an MBA (from IIM-B). Yet, they managed to build a successful startup (pegged at $400 million valuations) in the country with their synergy and by sticking to their vision and values.
So how will an MBA make one any different? If you are reading this blog because you are an aspiring MBA student, then forget all that you have prepared for in your essays and try to answer this question first.
To start with, MBA is not for everyone. MBA is not for anyone who refuses to change. MBA is not for anyone who is reluctant to leave their predicaments and their life before MBA, outside the school. It is not for anyone who is not open to look at the world in a different manner. It is not a degree where you complain about trivial issues, but find innovative and sustainable solutions to actual problems.
An MBA is all about taking initiatives and putting them into actions. If you expect to be spoon-fed with everything, you are looking in the wrong place!
Most of us have worked long enough before considering this degree. Some of us would have hit a wall and wanted to change our career paths, some of us just have rich parents, and some of us actually wanted to understand how the business world works and thinks.
A thing that no one ever tells you is that the whole experience of MBA is also about soul searching and understanding what you really want in your life and career. It starts right from the time you prepare your application till you graduate. “It doesn’t matter who you are, what matters is your plan” (courtesy: Bane from Dark Knight Rises). The degree has enough elements to make you think and see the world differently, right from day one.
Tight schedules, project submissions and presentations, real life business cases – all of these will constantly challenge and urge you to push your limits while teaching you a thing or two about time management.
The inspirational lectures by industry titans intrigue you with their experiences. Professors, with relevant experience in the industries and teaching, help you understand every single detail. Once, a professor sat with us a whole evening after the lecture, to make sure that we understood all the concepts clearly.
You, as a student, have to take the initiative of reading and understanding the concepts. Classroom sessions createa platform where you can discuss these concepts. You can learn from these discussions, as they bring out different perspectives and experiences from your cohort and faculty.
It teaches you to swallow a bitter pill as well. One has to work with people one does not agree with or perhaps like. To still make peace with your dislikes/demons and work smart, with an ever growing focus to become better, to become stronger and to become success oriented, is a big take away. This is a skill that would benefit everyone!
If that is your attitude, then the Schulich MBA is exactly the place for you. The program is what you want it to be. It is a long and tough ride, but you will never be alone. The key here is ‘learning and understanding through collaboration, participation and self-initiative’ and the Schulich MBA has all the ingredients to support this. I believe that if you follow this approach and start applying what you learn through these experiences, you will end up finding your edge. The MBA does boil down to this – defining what you really want to be and becoming dangerous at it.
If you want to, you can always rest and relax and let two years’ flow by without moving a muscle. But in the end, all you get in return is a piece of paper.