Do I really need an MBA?

I completed my engineering in 2003. I so much wanted to crack CAT. To do an MBA. Just because I know I was competitive and I wanted to prove it to everyone. That was my first attempt in 2002. I got 98.74 percentile but no call from IIMs. Maybe they didn't like my performance in Verbal. I joined Infosys, working as a software engineer, just like thousands of others were doing, not knowing why. Then I took my second attempt, in the midst of a new job and moving to new city (Bangalore). Bad attempt. Forget the percentile.

Then came 2004. Now I was determined. I had to do it this time otherwise I will stay underqualified, you know. Prepared well, but not well enough. Didn't do too well. Then I thought of ISB. I had 2 years of experience under my belly. I am intelligent. Yes, that's the place for me. But it is November. The deadline for applying to ISB is 15th Jan, 2005. So took a GMAT appointment of 5th Jan, prepared for one month and somehow scored 710. Again, screwed my verbal. In the meanwhile, also wrote my essays in a jiffy and for obvious reasons, got rejected.

No issues, I had to look after personal matters. So forgot MBA for a while. Then the season returned and I applied for CAT and ISB as well. Did some serious preparation this time and missed out on improving my verbal again. And go 98.48 percentile. No calls again... But didn't forget to improve upon my essays this time. Applied to ISB, got interviewed. he interview didn't cross my atisfaction level and I got waitlisted. That was the trigger. I had to build upon my resume. I wrote the exam for MENSA bangalore membership and got through. This was the proof that I was eligible enough to do an MBA and wrote about this and my brief onsite stint to ISB. I had also learnt basic French during this time. Butit seemed like they had made their decision and were not interested in taking me.

Now I have a nice job where I have built up a very good reputation. I got married, but my wife, my life, is working in Hyderabad. So I tried for a job there, the only good telecom company in Hyderabad, Qualcomm and got through. They are offering a good package. The work is too good. And now I am thinking, should I really do an MBA? Just because I'm not satisfied with only one degree and want to study more? I have a good opportunity. I am good in telecom fundamentals. I can stay in Qualcomm, work on newer technologies and grow with it. That's a very good option. Rather I can dream of growing with the product into product management or sales.

Another factor adding to my dilemma is that since now I'm married, the expenses will also increase. I will be buying a car, probably a house. Where will the money come for an MBA. And I have already stayed away frm my wife for a long time, I do not wish to stay apart again.

I will fight this dilemma, and let you know what I decide upon. Till then, I'll prepare for CAT. I got nothing else to do and CAT season is back again with another Diwali. ;)

10 comments:

sangeeta said...

CAT season will be back next year too...you can take the MBA exams then...waiting for 1 more year should not hurt as the MBA batches usually have average work ex more than yours...celebrate you first diwali after marriage...it won't come again...who knows...your wife might love you more if you don't ruin this very special diwali of hers ;-)

The Teacher said...

Hmmm, maybe you are right that this will be a very special time. But I am spending 1 week exclusively for Diwali. Anyways, about your information that MBA batches have usually higher work-ex than mine, ie more than 3.5 years is true. But not in the IIM scenario. In the IIMs, the average work-ex comes out to be 1.5 to 2 years. However in the case of ISB, it's never late and the later you do your MBA, the more it makes sense.

I guess you'll agree with me. And I don't have any intentions to go to the US. By the way, would you like to share your profile?

Pooja said...

Ur life in a jist....well said

Amit Bhutani said...

Good Pullu darling, you did a good research.... wishing you lots of lots of lots of luck...

Manish Malik said...

My 2 cents:

1. As another person noted, the average work-ex in IIMs is less than that of other schools like ISB, and the experience-sharing funda isn't much from what I know (i.e. people with work-ex sharing their experiences/insights from work-life). Make sure you have considered this aspect well, and have set your expectations right if you're trying for IIMs this year.

2. I disagree with the same comment above where it says "the later you do your MBA, the more it makes sense". That isn't true for everybody. Why not start early? Are you only thinking of Product Management or Sales? There are a lot of other options available in every industry, and even career switches to Consulting are feasible.

3. Agreed that since you're married now, the expenses will increase. But it'll only be for an year or two. Remember that you have to invest something (time / convenience) to gain something bigger.

4. Are you only considering IIM and ISB as the options? There are other good options too. How about other 1-year courses abroad - like INSEAD? If your wife can temporarily switch jobs, etc (yes - people do it), then she can also accompany you to the place you want to do your course in. Expenses for the course fee can be taken care via loans. How about part-time MBA within India (I don't know about these - but no harm in exploring options). You may also consider IIM's 1-year courses - PGPX, if you satisfy the age criteria (you don't have 5 years of work-ex yet).

5. This is the most important one. All the points above are moot if you aren't clear about whether you want to go for further education right now, or not. Think about your 5-year plan. How about 10-years hence? Try to weigh the pros and cons of leaving your current career path, and experimenting with a new one. Talk to others who have done so (and who didn't and stayed on the technical career course).

The Teacher said...

Hi Manish,

Thanks for the comment. It was really nice and encouraging one. I appreciate.

Now when I have changed my job, there is a lot of re-thinking going on regarding my career plans and I do have to set my choices right. One wrong decision can lead to my dissatisfaction. You have really given me important parametrs to consider. Thanks.

pis said...

i like your competitive spirit..... eventhough you are married you can do MBA along with it......their are lot of Bschools which provide online and part time MBA with affordable fees...

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