Are B Schools Serious?

Every time I hear someone is doing an MBA, I am just frightened to give any advice. In fact I did dissuade a few people over the past few weeks given that they were in a better position and well just wanted to do an MBA for the heck of it. Same way, I did guide a couple who were fixed on what to do and where to go post MBA, but just needed a jolt of confidence.

I am scared to suggest someone to do an MBA or rather PGPM as some B schools call it just because of two reasons 1) The aspirant is unplanned 2) The schools are just mushrooming everywhere and have everything to offer which might not be trustworthy.

The former case is just out of frustration, people are frustrated with the monotonousness in their current role and want to do something big. They just thing they can do big by doing an MBA. It does take a lot of patience and time to convince them that its no use doing an MBA for the heck of a degree in any Tom Dick and Harry B school. No school can be an IIM, XL or an ISB whatever the founder(s) claim(s)! But well, many fall into the trap and hardly get any improvement over their previous jobs or realize later that they would have grown way higher had they put up or been patient with their current jobs.

The second, except the top B schools, read the IIMs, XL and ISB, I am losing trust in the rest. Neither do they have proper industry backing that they claim nor they stick to their promise (Of course there are a few like one of them in Mysore, which openly quote that we are not a job factory, join for learning). Quote Unquote “I will increase the seats in this school over my dead body!”, said a dean of one of India’s still upcoming B Schools, but of late, I saw the same school increase its intake a couple of batches later and well above all change its offering. The school was known for its one year program, but looked like it decided to ditch its own premier offering for a 2 year program. Do understand this might be considering the market dynamics, but well the way it was branded and communicated, it looked like we are ditching our premier offering, which was a key differentiation. So the initial offering seemed like just a platform to build the brand and then….

The B schools go a long way promising placements, hiding the real facts on placements and falsely boost students’ confidence, but well the truth will be a lot different. In fact I know a dean who has claimed for three consecutive years (I did speak to ppl form three consecutive batches), that Mc Kinsey, BCG, Tata Administrative Services and Meryll Lynch would come to the campus for recruitment, but well except for a guest lecture from one of them, the statement has been a damp squib. In fact when I did my Masters as well, I was promised a certificate which authorizes me to do a 6 month Masters in US in a B school, haven’t seen the certificate till now! Glad that I got my degree certificate :).

My word to those who are aspiring any of the B School set up in the past decade or so – Don’t trust the advise given in Meet The Deans/ Admin Directors or any B School Show offs! Visit the school first and get first hand information. Then speak to the alums – who were there 2-3 years back preferably one from each batch and compare the information you have on hand. If you are studying in India, check the placement stats, very much in person. And yes, please do not take decisions in a haste – Not all B Schools are serious.

PS: Some opinions are personal, some shared within a group, expect the reader to visit the schools and take a call. I am still trying to understand why people want to do a Fast-Track MBA (I did as well) or rather an MBA without plans. The article has been written after my interactions with a few aspirants over the couple of months, who just wanted an MBA and probably will get one too…