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    What Things Should A MBA Aspirant Keep In Mind Before, During & After his MBA degree???

    A.   Pre-MBA

    1.    Have a realistic view of the current job scenario
    Today is not the best time to do an MBA. The market is already flooded with thousands of us. Plus, the whole Euro crisis is still lingering and particularly the investment bank scenario doesn't look really good.

    Growth is still slow. i-Banks are not hiring currently. And even if the entire economic downturn was to completely go away (for example, by magic), they still wouldn't. The reason being that during the boom and just before the bust, they over-hired.

    So, do not expect a really high RoI (at least not on the scale of what people before 2008 got). 
    2.    Keep a check on expectations
    it’s just another degree. Yes, they do teach you a lot of stuff in 2 years, but that's it. There is nothing magical about the course. It's just that currently the MBA degree is in hype, so you will get he perceived benefit of it. But do not expect that the course will make you the perfect manager or a suave entrepreneur. 
    3.    The news is crap
    you know, the ones that your family and relatives rub your nose in once every year? The one that glorify a bunch of young, clueless people for having a 2 cr+ package?

    It's all crap.
    No one gets a 2 cr package. The highest you get in India would be 40-45 lpa. And that too for i-Banks which are not hiring currently. Anything else would be a maximum of 30lpa. And this too would be raked in by the top 5% of the batch.

    International salaries seem pretty high in absolute terms, but do remember to also factor in the PPP index to get a more realistic view. 
    4.    So are most of the campus's own placement reports
    You might not want to believe it but I have seen many and I have had a good time laughing at their claims of a 18 lpa average package.

    Take everything with a pinch of salt.

    There are many liberties an institute can take while reporting numbers. And they do. The reality is nowhere as glorious.

    If you are average and from the top 3, expect 15. Top 10, expect 10. Below that, expect 6-7.
    5.    Be ready to slog it out
    The MBA will be far more hectic than your undergrad. This is true irrespective of the college. So be ready for sleepless nights, multiple simultaneous deadlines, a few failures and stressful times.

    Also, there will be a lot of people far more intelligent, hard-working than you. So be ready to face a really tough competition.

    Read up on the Darwinian theory to boost your chances of survival.
    6.    If you have time, develop your resume
    Admission is just the beginning. There's an entire trilogy after that - summer placements, final placements and then finally long-term job satisfaction.

    For the 1st two, you will need a stellar CV in order to maximize your chances of landing your dream job.

    So, utilize all the time you have now. Pep up your resume. Start reading up about economics and finance. There's literally thousands of resources - free e-books, blogs, courses, certifications on the internet.
    B. During the MBA

    1.    Academics: Make the most of what you get during these 2 years. Attend all classes. Read as much as you can.

    Realize that you have too little time to master everything. Do not, however, let that deter you from reading as much as you can. From going the extra mile over and above the regular prescribed books and study material.

    Work smart. Exams aren't the perfect measure of ability and intelligence. However, they are the norm and you have to deal with it. So game the system. Go through previous years' papers. Know the most crucial and oft-asked concepts. Research about the type of questions that are asked for various subjects - case studies, MCQs, theory, calculation-intensive. Customize your prep plan accordingly.
    2.    Co-curriculars: Make sure you have a decently diversified resume. Participate in case study competitions, B-plans, paper presentations. The exposure will be a really intense learning experience. 
    3.    Clubs: Follow the golden rule: Be part of 3 clubs - one that will help you with the placements, one that is in line with your interests and will help you hone your skills, one for fun.

    Do not overload yourself. Know when to say "no" or to walk away. People usually take on more responsibilities than they can manage. Don't do it. 
    4.    Explore multiple avenues: Except for a minority, most people do not really have a concrete career plan. If you are one of them, make sure you try as many options as possible. Attend trade fairs, explore the entrepreneurship route, go for a government internship. 
    5.    Taking everything in a positive stride: Treat every success as a compliment and every failure as a lesson. When I started, I was pissed off at the way everything would be loaded onto students at the same time. I later realized that it helped me prepare for stress scenarios.

    IIMA has a very strict policy to be in the class by 8:44:59. I was kicked out once even though I had just reached when the Prof was closing the door. I pleaded but to no avail. I didn't get the attendance that day. I was pissed off again. But since then, I am rarely late for any engagement, be it professional or social.
    6.    Coping with setbacks: Once you are in an MBA program, you will find yourself competing in an extremely challenging environment. Everyone there is to be the best. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you will get beat. Do not let that drown you in depression. Get a good night's sleep and start over.

    I repeat, it is fine to not win. It is fine to realize that you are not cut out for everything. Just treat it as a humbling experience and move on.
    7.    Having fun: As goes with everything, do not let one part of your life dominate the others. Hang out with friends, get drunk, go out on unplanned excursions, say yes to that late night movie even though you are extremely tired.

    Friends are always good to have. Make sure you have a few to last you more than 2 years.
    8.    The dreaded social media: When you are a student, it is fine to have an archaic Linkedin profile or a FB feed filled with stupid stuff teens do. However, recruiters nowadays actively scourge the social media profiles of potential candidates.

    So clean up your act, especially before placements. Do not let something as random as a stupid website ruin your chances.

    C. Post-MBA

    1.    Lastly, about your job post-MBA
    Just because you have another, seemingly important piece of paper that testifies that you underwent a course like thousands other, do not expect to be a rockstar at your job.

    You wouldn't be designing long-term strategies, be involved in multi-billion dollar M&As, making sales of millions/month just after MBA. You wouldn't be seen as a stellar employee. Most people wouldn't care.

    Yes, your degree will provide you a good boost at the start, open up a lot of otherwise inaccessible avenues and give you more visibility and credibility, but all that will fade in 3-4 years. After that all that would matter is your actual job performance.

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