14 Post-MBA Career Questions that ISB Answers!

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ISB steps in again to reach out to young MBA aspirants puzzled by numerous career-related questions!

A rainy afternoon, the A/V Auditorium of St. Joseph Boys High School; A cluster of MBA aspirants and members of ISB Admissions committee.

ISB’s PGP Admissions Director – Mr. A. M. Kannan, along with Associate Director Mr. Deepak Agarwal and an ISB alumnus began with a brief introduction about hot careers in today’s market scenario, why companies prefer MBAs and how an MBA degree bridges the gap between where you are and where you want to reach faster!

Highlights of the Info Session

The typical career-path of an Indian student begins with taking competitive exams such as IIT-JEE and entering the prestigious engineering college. This is followed by joining a company, undergoing 6 months of training and finally starting work as a Java programmer!

But what happens if you feel stagnated after some years of experience and appraisals?

What if you realize that you true calling is in food, travel & hospitality, kindergarten or retail?

What if you want to break out of the cocoon of the secure techie job that you are currently in?

This is where the mad rush behind an MBA degree comes in!

Today, companies are not too bothered about what you have done in your undergraduation. What they are really interested in, is whether you are versatile and ready to try out new things and broaden your horizon to see what lies next! For instance, there are several companies offering phenomenal job opportunities across the world…in Sydney, Jakarta, Middle East, Western Europe and Latin America.

All these companies are looking for:

Youngsters with fire in their belly

Flexibility

Language skills

Promising career opportunities at present are:

Consulting

Sales and marketing

Financial services

Education

Technology

For instance, a new cross-functional career that is emerging is Tech Management Consulting, which is different from pure Tech Consulting. In Technology, e-commerce is a very booming career path. In Sales and Marketing B2B and B2C marketing are gaining a lot of momentum. Similarly there are ample job opportunities in supply chain, retailing, branding, product positioning, logistics and so on

Young Leaders Programme (YLP)

YLP is a Young Leaders Programme for students pursuing undergraduate degrees that are longer than 3 years and are in their pre-final year with at least one year remaining to their undergraduation. For students who have demonstrated certain capabilities, this is a great career opportunity to hone their skills, focus on their career and accelerate their professional growth. YLP provides several advantages such as:

Guaranteed Admission into the one year PGP who have graduated and completed one year and nine months of work experience

Advanced Learning and Mentoring with experienced ISB counselors

Scholarship opportunities

A great opportunity to build a network of high-achievers

To know more about YLP, click here!

Highlights from the Q&A Session!

1. What are the specialization courses at ISB? What about the salary aspect?

Currently ISB has Finance, Consulting, Strategic management, Leadership, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Global Supply Chain specializations and so on. The 4 new specializations that we have introduced recently are:Manufacturing, Healthcare, Public Policy and Education.

As far as salary is concerned, every industry has band-related salary. So, it depends upon which band you fit into. Any day, the best performer already working in that company will get more salary than you even after your MBA. Don’t go after numbers alone – believe in the median salary given in our website or in websites like Glassdoor or even Monster.[/toggle]

2. With due respect to ISB, are there any areas where you think there is scope of improvement?

Yes certainly! Firstly, we strongly believe that we need to work upon the design of the course content such as the case-studies. We generally do a detailed review of our course curriculum every 5 years and individual courses get updated each year. Our curriculum needs to be more research-based.

Secondly, as we realized the need for new specializations, we are working on the 4 new areas as mentioned earlier.

Thirdly, we need to constantly recruit and train faculty that we will be requiring down the line.

3. Is there any specialization in HR available at ISB?

No, at present neither there is any such specialization available at ISB nor we are thinking about it in the near future. The reason behind this is that there are very few applicants that approach ISB with HR background. In fact, I would say that there are better B-schools in India for those who want to pursue a career in HR.

4. Over a couple of years, I have realized that I connect with people. I like to facilitate people and make relationships better. Is there any structure to find my true calling? Shall I choose a career based on my passion (what I like doing) or what I am good at?

This is a very interesting question! Always remember one thing: Career means something that generates an economic value. Your passion cannot become your career if it does not bring in a good return on investment of your time and other resources. You need to plan for your children’s education and marriage down the line. So, choose a career accordingly.

Think for yourself what that particular career means to you? Whether it is music or being a people’s person! If still confused, find a mentor who is in a similar job or role and seek his/her advice.

Thus, my take on choosing a career is that you need to ask yourself what you are good at. Your skill sets will help you to identify a rewarding career. As far as your passion or interests are concerned, they can always become extra-curricular activities for you, so that you don’t regret letting them disappear completely from your lives.

You can refer to this book – ‘Getting Unstuck’ by Dr. Sidney B. Simon for few good exercises!

5. I have just graduated as an engineer. Any reason why should I consider an MBA?

During our admission process, we NEVER ask this question up-font to the applicants – why MBA? We word it differently, such as ‘What are your career goals?’ so that it triggers your brain and heart to think and analyze yourself better! Our only objective during the admission process is to figure out whether you are focused on your career and how well you are aware of where you are heading!

6. I have 9-10 years of experience as a chip maker. Does it make sense to do an MBA?

Once you have a good number of years of experience in a certain industry, it is generally advisable to explore a related industry and enhance your career instead of getting into a totally new one. Thus, to answer your question, an MBA in a related field will definitely widen your job prospects and vertical growth such as managing life cycle of the chip or managing the product itself or moving up to Accounts Management roles, which can be very satisfying!

See, there are three aspects to a person’s career…the Industry, Function and Role. Choose an MBA program that will help you to find a similar role in a related industry. The mantra is to shift across any one of these as a first step and then take small steps to enhance your career growth.

7. I have 3 years of experience in Technology and 4 in Food industry. I would like to know how many entrepreneurs ISB has generated in recent years?

Entrepreneurship is a very personal issue as many factors need to be considered such as finances, family and most importantly – how passionate you are about your business idea! At ISB, the number of entrepreneurs is increasing tremendously. Entrepreneurship does not necessarily happen straight out of the B-school.

It happens only when all the parameters fall into place.And this usually happens after 30s, as at this stage people are more mature, vigilant with some years of work experience. Thus, rate of success as an entrepreneur tends to be higher after 30s than before.

Many ISB alumni have entered entrepreneurship after their 30s, and are doing extremely well!

8. I am an engineer at Infosys. I am very passionate about luxury retail and would like to make a switch from engineering to luxury retail. How will ISB help me out?

Today, retail is a very promising industry with abundant career options. If you are truly passionate about luxury retail in India, you could do some internships or small projects to gain some relevant experience. There are quite a few companies who hire luxury retailers from ISB based on your skills. Thus, before you decide to get into luxury retailing, you need to think: Do you have the required skill sets for a successful career in luxury retailing? Always remember that the recruiters look at 3 aspects:

Whether you can fit into their organizational culture

Whether you can deliver efficient results every quarter

Do you have future potential?

9. I have 5 years of experience in IT. I am a developer and I am into Analytics at present. I want to get into General Management role. Would an MBA from ISB assist me to realize my dreams

In technology itself there are enough opportunities to get into General Management and manage a large number of people. In fact, IT operations are tremendously increasing in the finance sector. We all know about net banking! After your MBA, you can get into a financial sector enterprise such as ICICI, in which within 2-3 years you can reach a Program Management or Portfolio Management role.

Even a combination of skills like trade finance and analytics will give you a career boost! In a nutshell, an MBA will help you to get the ‘Ownership of a product’ within a short span of 3-4 years, which could otherwise take you as long as 8-10 years! Even retail and supply chain industries are strongly linked with analytics.

The thumb rule to choose and grow in your career is that, you require two essential traits:

Certain skill sets

A certain level of knowledge

So, if you make a shift in your role, your skill sets should match the new role you are looking forward to and gradually you can acquire the necessary knowledge.

An MBA fills this knowledge gap!

So, analytical skills + (finance/retail/marketing/operations knowledge) will help you to get a Product Management role.

10.I have 8 years of Tech experience and 1-2 years in analytics. I want to be a manager – a people’s person. Would an MBA from ISB useful to me and to what extent will I get a boost in my payscale?

Yes, an MBA from ISB will be quite useful to you! In fact, many people end up doing that, if they want to make a shift in their industry, role or function. However, when you make a shift in your role and the industry all together, your payscale after your MBA can be less, equal to or even more than your current payscale.

Because no one is going to offer you more than or even equal to an experienced professional in that particular field already working in their organization. So, whenever you are making a transition in your industry, you have to think about long-term goals, instead of your immediate payscale after graduation.

11.I have 9 years of experience as an engineer in a pure Tech domain. I would like to know how does ISB assist its students to approach the right company? And can I join the YLP programs?

At ISB, the applicants have at least 2 years of work experience in contrast to other B-schools in India. But what about a candidate with 8+ years of experience? For them we have designed a Senior Executive Club. A different panel of companies approach us to recruit people from this segment. You can find a fit with our Senior Executive Club and follow the recruitment process.

We regret to say that you are not eligible to join the YLP program as it is meant for people having far fewer years of experience. There are very few companies that offer YLPs for people having considerable years of experience.

12.I have 3 years of experience in Equity Research. What are the future prospects for me?

In the past few years finance roles have experienced a downfall like VC and Investment Banking. One of the financial areas that is doing well is Corporate Financing. In fact most of our recruitment in finance is taking place in Corporate Financing exclusively. Companies like L&T approach us for corporate financial roles.

Apart from this, there are good opportunities in Internal Strategic Consulting with firms such as Siemens, Philips, etc. Many equity consulting companies approach us for such roles. There is a great demand for professionals who can judge the ‘goodness’ of a particular loan for a financial company or bank.

13. I am into automobiles. I am not sure whether to go into Consulting or Strategic roles. How would ISB help me out with this?

Consulting is interacting with people and getting the relevant information. But Strategic roles are more broad-based. You need very strong analytical and managerial skills, a good understanding of the economic scenario, learning from other industries, and applying it successfully in strategic roles. Usually, a fresher does not get those roles immediately.

For strategic roles, the recruiters are biased towards those who have done well right from their beginning. These are dream jobs as well as very difficult and focused! Thus, you need to match your skill sets and knowledge with the demanding consulting or strategic roles and make a wise decision!

14. What if even after joining ISB, I am not able to crystallize which career to get into?

Each year ISB is blessed with a diverse classroom. So, even after joining ISB, if you aren’t able to figure out exactly which career path to get into, your classmates will be the best people to understand your strengths, weaknesses, passion and aspirations.

Secondly, at ISB, we have a very strong career counseling team of industry experts to show you the best path based on the current market scenario.

Thirdly, ISB info sessions (like this one) are very useful to clear your career-related doubts. However, always remember one thing – ultimately it will be your decision.

Need more clarity? Drop a comment and get it cleared!

Want to know if you can make it to ISB?

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