08 M B A General M


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08 M B A General M

  1. 1. Advanc'edge MBA / October 2003 Read on ................................... MBArk An MBA in General Management - Sharmistha Khobragade Bagul “Oh dear! I like marketing as well as finance. strategy would be to enlist the help of your seniors Systems doesn’t sound all that bad either. Nor does and seek advice on the things you ought to be exposed HR for that matter. Decisions, decisions! What do I to as you start working in that area. For e.g., if you choose? “Eeni meeni mina mo, is it marketing that are interested in marketing, then you would need to I’ll do?” take a course in market research, brand management, Specialisation can be a tricky business. advertising management etc. If you are clear that you Unfortunately the choice of specialisation isn’t always want to avoid sales, then you may skip sales and dictated by interest and aptitude for a particular area. distribution management. But if you want to work Generally, the ones who have done well in the first in an ad agency, you cannot skip advertising year will end up taking finance, because that is where management. So let the quality of the courses the big bucks (read investment banking) are. The ones (meaning their content) rather than the quantity/ who are looking at consulting (the toppers usually) number of courses be your guide to your choices. will take a judicious mix of courses from different The advantage of this system is that it allows you fields, which will invariably lead to some finance to get a glimpse of different areas so that if you should courses at least. And the ones who have not done all want to switch areas after a year or two of working, that well in the first year, will invariably settle for you can claim that you are not a complete novice in the marketing courses as these are easier to score and the subject as well. the competition is too strong in the finance courses. Do not think that a general management diploma If the institute has relative grading, then it becomes is one in which you have taken only general all the more important to take this point into management courses in the second year. Yes, there is consideration. Again sometimes (not always, mind a group of subjects which may be broadly called you), an institute may restrict the entry to a particular “General Management” subjects. These would course on the basis of your grade point, which is a typically be business strategy courses, which are an more formalised entry barrier than the kind discussed integral part of any management program (One such above. course may be compulsory also). These are courses, There are some institutes, which categorically state which require you to apply what you have learnt from that their course offers a general diploma, without the other disciplines in a holistic manner. Taking these any specialisation; marketing, finance or systems courses is a must for those who are planning to apply added at the end of the PGDM. IIM Ahmedabad is for jobs in management consulting firms. But the one such institute. So what does this mean, this number of these courses is obviously limited, and you general diploma? It simply means that the student cannot claim to have taken all of these and therefore has the flexibility to opt for the subjects that he wishes have a “general management specialisation”, which to study, without being straight jacketed into is a contradiction of sorts. particular categories. That’s the theory anyway. In The disadvantage of this system could only be a practice, since the corporate world is so used to the narrow-minded recruiter who may think that alumni terminology “specialisation” while recruiting, of such institutes are “jack of all trades and masters students usually end up taking as many courses as of none”. But honestly, everyone knows that at the possible in the areas of their choice so as to be able to end of the day, a manager is a generalist, so such cases claim a specialisation. Also in order to complete the may be few and far between. If you are fortunate required number of credits, you will end up taking a enough to get into an institute that offers you such minimum of one or two courses in each area, and flexibility, by all means take a diverse mix of subjects three to four in the area that you like. Voila, there’s but take care that you have learnt what you need to your specialisation, in case any one asks later. equip yourself with in your chosen area of But when specialisation itself is not defined, how work. would you know how many courses to take in a The author has done her PGDBM from IIM-A and has particular area to be able to claim a specialisation? three years of industry experience at various levels in Well there are no hard and fast rules. The sensible management.