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Rediff.com  » Getahead » 'MBA is not a magic mantra'

'MBA is not a magic mantra'

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August 04, 2006 11:32 IST

Should I do an MBA? How do I become a corporate trainer. Is it true that CAs are in demand? When it comes to careers, the options can boggle your mind.

Get Ahead columnist Rashmi Bansal tried making sense of it all for Get Ahead readers at a recent chat, by answering questions related to the topics mentioned above, and lots more.

For those who missed the chat, here's the transcript:

abhilash asked, I wanted to know how to avoid the severe panic attacks when u join the new company.

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
Well, joining a new place is always stressful. Deep breathing exercises would help calm you. But you need to look deeper to understand the root cause. And if necessary, take professional help from a counsellor to tackle the problem!

ee asked, i am fat can i join software job is it depends on skills or body

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
Presentation and personality matter for any job but skills matter more. First of all you need the skills! A BE, BSc (IT) or MCA are most preferred in software. But even a graduate with good working knowledge of programming can get into IT, at least a smaller company. If your body weight is an issue that is depressing you -- tackle it head on. Join a fitness program at your local gym. Don't moan and use your weight as an excuse!

amit asked,  i want to know that how can i can into iim please give tips and formula for taht iim mail me at amit_mit9@rediffmail.com

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
Amit, in answering you I am answering the many who ask this Q. There is no magic formula to get into IIM. The CAT tests basic English, Maths and reasoning skills. Right off, from the way you have framed your Q I would say your verbal skills are weak. Work on that -- but a crash course rarely helps. These are skills built yp over time - and right from school level itself. Still, give it your best shot. Getting into an IIM is not the only route to success. There are many ways to achieve fame and money. Good luck!

deepubali asked, Hi! I'm migrating to Toronto, Canada and would like to know what's the scope of Event Management there. I've done MBA & M.A. in Mass Communication. Please guide...

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
I am sure there is a lot of scope for event management in Canada but migrating to a new country you would first have to learn their way of doing business (which is quite different from India) and also build a network of contacts (which is crucial in a field like that). So it's best you work with an event mgmt firm - even of it means starting at a lower level -- and then branch out on your own! Also getting a local qualification might help as it would be more recognised.

Girish asked, Hi Rashmi, can you tell me the process of getting into Management when a person has got Educational background of Non-technical or Non-managerial Degree ?

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
The process is the same for everyone. You give the CAT, XAT, MAT and various other entrance exams. If you qualify, you get called for a GD and interview. I think what you're asking is - is it more difficult to get thru if you're a non engineer. Well statistically engineers do make it in much larger numbers. But anyone with good verbal and maths skills has an equal chance at cracking the CAT. I had a degree in Economics. So don't worry abt that -- just give it ur best shot!

Nishant asked, I am an MCA but now feel the need for moving to management side. Right now I work with a software firm as a software engineer. I have one years experience now. What is the best way for me to get into management without really doing a full time 2-year MBA. I am not interested in a part-time MBA as I think that doesnot hold any real value. Can you suggest some course whereby I can leverage the advantage of my MCA and do a short ( not more than one year ) course and make an easy shift to management side.

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
Your best bet would be the one year MBA offered by ISB Hyderabad. IIM A has a PGP X course (one year MBA) but that's for execs with 7-15 years experience. ISB would cost you abt Rs 15 lakhs.

arunkumar1975 asked, what r the main points one should take care while switching over from one job to another ????

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
I think the main points when considering a new job are beautifully outlined by Jack Welch in Winning. To summarise what he says: If you join a company where you don't gel with the people, you will never enjoy the job. So listen to your intuition. Secondly how much learning and growth is there? Jumping only for a slightly higher pay packet is never a good idea -- is the work meaningful or does it feel just like a 'job'? These are not easy Qs to answer but help in making the right choice. And yeah, six companies in five years looks sad on any resume. Don't jump just because you can. Choose when and where to jump carefully!

Amod asked, My wife is MBS Finance and she is now out of touch because of we blessed a nice cute boy but now she wants to start her carrer what are the options she is having to make a carrer ?

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
First of all I would suggest she decides whether she wants to get back full time or part time, and what arrangements would be there to look after the child. Then she should first go back to her former employers/ colleagues and find out if they might be able to use he skills. They may even suggest some kind of additional training she may need to get back into the thick of things. There is also the option of slef employment - in insurance and finance which she can look at if she wants more flexibilty.

kumar asked, Hi Rashmi..How good in Great lakes institute of management in chennai..heard its one year course is better then ISB..

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
Great Lakes is also a good institute and Bala, the director, is very well regarded. Honestly, I don't have enough inform to say whether it is better than ISB. I believe Great Lakes has smaller batch size. But as a brand ISB is currently more recognised. There would be several factors one would need to look into - please do the necessary research!

pulkit asked, mam, i have done bachelors in journalism and mass communication from ip uni del,never wanted to b a journalist but in media marketing. so planned to do mba..wat do u suggest...shud i wrk for a yr and then appear for cat or join some instt thru MAT ? plz help !

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
You sound confused. Many media marketing companies employ graduates - try for a smaller publication or news channel. You should try to join one of them and see whether media marketing is where you really want to be. Side by side you can always try for MBA as well. But at least you will have relevante xperience!

lovely asked, hi rashmi,i m a management graduate now doing MA in Politics from mumbai university, I have won many awards in Elocutions nd debates nd public speaking nd would like to make a career in this field by conducting workshops etc. I have heard of a term called 'CORPORATE TRAINER" can you tell me how to achieve it? Thanks :)

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
If you know what you want -- what's stopping you from going for it? Make a list of 20 corporate training companies and hound them till they give you a job ! I'm serious.

RS asked, Hi, I am working in the area of Reseach for last 4 years will an MBA advatgae for me... Or shall MBA will turn out to be a different stream alltogether for me..??

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
RS, MBA is not a magic mantra which will solve all life's problems. What kind of research do you do? perhaps there is some frustration in your current assignment because of which you are dreaming of an MBA.. I'd say first explore whether you like research and just have some organisational problems. Those can be tackled. But if you hate what you do then yes, MBA may be the answer. However it will take you in a completely different direction!

sumit asked, i m interested in equity analysis.. but i've done BE(IT) in 2005 n hav 1yr exp in an IT co.. what shud i do..MBA(Fin.) or join a KPO dealing in equity analysis (for other MNCs)?

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
You could join the KPO and try for the MBA side by side. That way you can decide whether a) you like equity analysis b) how much an MBA would help you in getting ahead.

wwepcindia asked, My son has passed Matriculation with 58% marks. I am admitting him for Diploma in Civil Engineering. Kindly enlighten me whether the CE has good future or not.

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
Considering the current boom in construction and infrastructure there will be good demand for civil engineers in the years to come. Don't worry!

neil asked, Hi mam.. I am in a dilemma i hope u could help me out on this. I am in final yera B-tech and have gaot ajob in Infosys. Should i now target for IIM's only or other b- schools also.. Like XLRI, SYMB,FMS...

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
I would target top 15 or so B-Schools schools if were you -- IIMs, XL, SP, FMS, Bajaj.. Once you are in the thick of studying for the CAT etc you will get enough advice on the subject. So it will cease to be a dilemma

SANJAYca asked, hi rashmi, i am cost accountant, presently employed as account officer at BSNL posted at noida, i want your opinion whether i should go for distance learning MBA or part time MBA from FMS DU

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
Go for part time if your job schedule permits. It always has more value, better learning and FMS is a good brand name

sandy asked, hey rashmi i am a travel and air professional have been in the industry for ten years with various airlines and travel companies wanted to know if there is doctorate degree available in this field

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
I am sure it is possible to do a PhD in travel and tourism but depends which aspect you are looking at. Enquire at your local university. To do a PhD of course there are other pre conditions.

KS asked, Hi Rashmi: This is abour CAT 2006. Let's take the case of a person, who for some reason, scores75% in Masters, do you think that it is right to deny him the chance to write CAT?

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
You mean scored less than 50 per cent in Bachelors but 75 per cent in masters? Well, technically that is possible but there would be few such cases. All I can say is life is not always fair! I think 50 per cent in graduation is a reasonable criteria imposed by IIMs

dev asked, What is the forecast of IT industry in the next 5 years.

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
I am not a forecaster of where industries are headed but I can forecast that those who choose a profession solely based on 'what's hot' will never be happy in their professional life!

Vishnu Dutta asked, Hello Rashmi, I am an engineer who works for New Project Implementation. I am 2 years old in my career. I would like ot shift base to ERP packages.What would you suggest?

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
This answer is for all those with similar Qs. I am doing X but wish to do Y. My only answer is find out how - and then do it! a) Can I do an extra course which will get me to my desired destination? b) Can I shift within my own company to a different dept? c) Can I convince a new employer to take me into a different role or dept? c) is always hardest because it requires a recruiter to put faith in an unknown quantity. Meet as many ppl in the field you wish to join as possible. Do small projects -- anything which gets you a leg in the door.Give someone a reason to take a chance on you and chances are they will! Good luck

vic asked, what do u think of chartered accountant career in terms of rewards it carry? kindly suggest

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
CA is a good and rewarding career although like in medicine, building a practice from scratch takes time. Of course there is the option of working for someone else -- CAs are in demand in the industry like never before.

KPOs, equity analysis and accounting firms employ a lot of CAs at very good salaries. But remember it can be a very boring profession if you don't like working with numbers. So don't make a choice based only on the job potential!

Rohan1 asked, Rashmi :) First off, let me tell you that I am great admirer of you. I have an engg degree from IITG (2002-ECE) and have been at a Wireless LAN startup at Hyderabad ever since. I want to apply for an MBA in the US or Europe - I have a GMAT score of 760, I am a Team Lead now, I was involved in extra-curricular activities right through school and college (G.Sec, Convenor for a festival, debating, etc), I can get good recommendations from the workplace. The only drawback I see are my engg grades - I am a low 6-point-something. Could you tell me if I should apply to the top 10 or aim a bit lower - say top 20-30? I am asking this because it's a pretty costly process and I don't want to spend money if my chances are pretty bad.

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
Thanks, Rohan. To asnwer your Q my perception is that at foreign b schools the grades don't matter that much. IN fact no one factor is given too much importance. A very high GRE score is not enough to get into a top 10 b school. It has to be supplemented by an all round persona -- leadership qualities, in particular. I think your achievements at a start up company would count for a lot and over ride your past poor grades. So it's worth a shot. Do apply to the best schools and also a few lower down, just to be safe. Don't pre decide -- let them decide. If you don't, you may always end up wondering, what if?

akhil_singhal asked, hi rashmi, i read ur article of 152000$ salary, well it was motivating to me as i m not from premium b school student, and have a experience of 2 years in FMCG, and currently getting 500000 cpc. do u think dat as i m not from gud b school will affect my future now?

Rashmi Bansal answers, 
Life is a marathon, stamina counts for a lot. Keep running!

Rashmi Bansal says, It was great chatting with all of you. See you next time... bye for now!


Rashmi Bansal is a graduate of IIM Ahmedabad and founder-editor of the popular youth magazine JAM (www.jammag.com).

She can be reached at