ROLE OF WORK EX IN MBA ADMISSIONS

 

 

 

Here is my article on the role of work experience in getting a student into a good MBA College.
Few common questions have been answered in this article.
Hope you find it useful.

So, is it advantageous to have work experience prior to commencing on the MBA journey? The question is straightforward but the answer is not. Duration, job role, industry/sector of work all contribute to the experience becoming an asset or a liability.

 

1.First things first- why MBA?

 Although the question might seem redundant, it is essential to understand the perspective of those already  having  jobs. Quitting a job and pursuing MBA would have the following cost implications:

  1. The existing flow of income would stop. Most flagship MBA courses in India are 2 years long. This would mean a gap of 2 years between the last and next pay cheques.
  2. A significant investment in course fees and living expenses. Many MBA students apply for educational loans, thereby creating financial obligations for the future.

 

 

2.What is the significance of the work experience in the MBA process?

 

  1. MBA entrance exams: It is tougher to prepare for MBA entrance exams in parallel with your job . Work means a break from academics coupled with a restricted amount of time for preparations. Consequently, those having jobs have to exhibit greater tenacity and focus to gear themselves for entrance tests.
  2. Selection into top colleges: This is one aspect where having work experience generally favours the applicant. IIM Bangalore, for example, has a 5% weightage for experience. Therefore, a person with experience can get through with a score lower than a fresher’s.
  3. The actual MBA coursework and campus life: Work experience obviously endows one with specialized domain knowledge. This practical perspective is useful in both theory-based coursework as well as projects based on market scenarios. Further, campus life provides a tremendous opportunity for personal growth. Those who have gone through the churn of corporate life appreciate this aspect better.
  4. The MBA jobs: Companies treat 0-18 months of work experience as a single category. Companies offer similar job profiles to these students. It is relevant to discuss the concept of ‘lateral placements’ here.

 

 

3.How Important is My College GPA After few Years of Work Experience?

 

With 3-5 years of work experience, you can present essay content that demonstrates the deepening and broadening of your professional skills and experiences, reinforcing the idea that you have matured into a highly effective and impactful young professional and that you are no longer defined by your undergraduate performance. Ideally, your GMAT score should be strong, which will also reinforce these ideas.

Strive to secure recommendation letters that emphasize this same message. Some candidates take business courses after college at a reputable institution, building an “alternative transcript” that provides evidence of their current abilities.

 

 

4.What do the Admissions Committees look for in a candidate’s Work Experience?

 

          3 Aspects Admissions Committees Look For In Work Experience

Think about the amount of time a B-school has in hand to judge your application… just 1 or at the most 2 hours to know who you are and what your potential is. In such a situation, your work experience comes to their rescue. AdComs turn to your work experience to quickly know what you have been doing over a period of time and what domain expertise you bring to the table.

  1. Pedigree of the company you worked with:

Are you working with Google or Microsoft? If yes, great! If not, no problem. This is because Admissions committees do understand that not everyone gets into a Google or a Microsoft. Yes, though it’s true that a big brand does leverage your chances of getting into your dream B-school, the good news is that even if you are working for a start-up, your application will not be rejected solely on this basis.

However, if you are working for a small brand, you should be able to quantify your performance, roles and responsibilities and precisely what value addition you brought to your employer.

  1. How well did you perform at work?

There is something even more important than the brand name of the company you work with and the number of years of experience you have.Now, is there any standard or norm to appraise this? Your performance is directly related to the number of promotions you got.

If you are able to show a couple of jumps, this adds a lot of weight to your application.

 

  1. Roles and Responsibilities:

You may be a great software engineer, doing a great job assigned to you.
However,Was your job restricted only to IT coding?
Or were you also involved in the cross-functional and cross-cultural roles?
For instance,
Did you work in other functions also such as pre-sales, functional consultancy etc?
Have you worked, studied or traveled abroad?
Even if you have not worked abroad, have you undertaken any such project where you had to deal with foreign parties?
Are you a person who can appreciate and work with people from other cultures?

Remember, this holds true for professionals belonging to other industries also, not just IT. It is very crucial that you provide precise quantifiable information that will demonstrate your initiative to take more challenges and responsibilities and show your excellence in these.

 

REAL QUESTION : SO DOES WORK EX REALLY MATTER?

 

The straightforward answer is YES. Let me explain it to you with a real life example.

The whole idea of MBA is developing your Management and leadership skills and use them in real (mostly but not only business) world. Therefore you are supposed to study many business courses like Finance, Marketing, Economics etc in  a B School.

Now consider two individuals. One is fresher and the other one has a work ex of let’s say 5 years. The fresher let’s assume (and he will be) brilliant in academics and hence will grasp the concepts easily. However what do you actually mean by those concepts, how do they affect in day to day lives, that understanding cannot come without work experience.

For example – you want to become captain of a hockey team, first of all you need to play hockey and then only you can become a captain. Similarly if one becomes a Manager without work ex, he or she will be like a hockey captain who has been to a nice bschool but hasn’t played hockey ever.
THANK YOU FOR READING

BY MR. KAILASH SHAHANI

 

8 Habits of Employees That Get Promoted

Getting a promotion takes more than just doing your job well. To move up the ladder to the next step if your career, you have to prove to decision makers and leadership that you are ready and deserving enough to take on more responsibility. This takes consistently working your best, staying dedicated to your work, and much more.

If you’re sick of being passed up for promotions, check out these eight habits of employees that get promoted. Make small changes as necessary if you’re ready to take the next step in your career.  

1. Set and Communicate Career Goals
Be goal-oriented

Before the start of the year, sit down with your boss to set and discuss your professional career goals. Be open about where you see yourself 6-months or a year. A good boss will help you achieve these goals by giving you opportunities to grow and provide support to keep you on track.

“In many cases, he or she truly does want to see you achieve your goals. As a manager myself, I constantly ask my employees ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’—because if there’s a way I can help them along, I’ll do it. Whether that means putting in a good word for them in a different department at my current company or assigning them specials projects that will help them build new skill sets for a different role, I want to help,” says Katie Douthwaite Wolf, The Muse contributor.

They key, says Wolf, is to avoid announcing plans to “jump ship or that you want to take over your boss’s position.” Instead, think bigger and broader and come ready to discuss the ways you think your boss can help.

2. Always Be a Team Player
Be collaborative

Employers don’t like when employees are focused on “I” rather than “we.” They want team players who are committed to helping the greater good of the team, which ultimately benefits the company:

“A good employee volunteers his or her efforts before even being asked. They volunteer for more tasks and responsibility, and not just because of immediate reward,” according to the guide, How to be Promotable. “This type of employees simply goes above and beyond and will be the first thought of when promotions are being decided.”

3. Make Yourself Indispensable
Be irreplaceable

How can you make yourself an indispensable member of your team? One way is to become the go-to person for something specific, like designing dynamic sales decks to dealing with challenging customers. People in positions like this are not only sought after by coworkers, but also seen by leadership because they naturally stand out as someone people are always looking for.

4. Keep Learning
Take initiative

Show your boss that you’re committed to continuously improving and developing your skills by finding learning opportunities, both within the office and outside of it. This doesn’t mean you need to get your Masters or PhD, unless that’s relevant to your job. Instead, enroll in one webinar each month, use your own money to attend conferences, or ask to be put on projects outside of your department. This shows that you’re serious about your career, and aren’t waiting for someone else to get you where you want to go.

5. Document Your Success
Advocate for yourself

When asking for a promotion, leadership is going to want to know what kind of value you bring to the business. Rather trying to think back at all you’ve accomplished, build a “working” portfolio throughout the year. After you’ve completed an important project or performed a record sales month, document it. When noting your successes, focus on the most important details:

“Keep a record of everything you do that enhances the company’s bottom line, that puts the company or your department in a good light, that is creative and innovative, and that shows your loyalty and commitment to the organization,” says Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D.

This tracking shows that you’ve been successful and improved the company, and are invested in the work you’re doing.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Take Charge
Show leadership potential

Do you display passion, trustworthiness, decisiveness and confidence? Possessing these types of leadership skills is essential for getting promoted. After all, the first step in being a leader is acting like one. Don’t get involved in office politics or develop bad habits, like being late or missing deadlines. Leaders need to be great role models for the employees they manage and work with, and without these skills, it will be hard to get a management promotion.

7. Network with the Right People
Stay connected

Take advantage of every networking opportunity you have, even if it’s a small get together with new co-workers at lunch. Networking with others within your organization and otherwise will allow you to get to know the people who can provide support now and in the future. It’s also a chance to promote yourself and your skills as well. You can reap similar benefits by getting involved with groups in your organization, like those who help plan events or keep the office stocked.

8. Be an engaged employee
Get involved

Being engaged goes beyond paying attention or taking notes in meetings—both of which are also important. It means being an active member of your organization, attending every optional  “Lunch and Learn” or coming up with new ideas for sharing successes in the workplace. This shows your commitment to the company and the success of your co-workers.

Get Promoted This Year

Getting promoted is not an easy task—it takes time, learning and dedication to yourself and the business. Successfully manage your own career path by using these eight tips—you might just get that promotion you’ve been hoping for.

Source: http://bit.ly/2E7LL98 

6 Questions Great Leaders Ask Their Teams

It’s humbling to ask questions. After all, the moment that you ask a question is the moment you reveal what you don’t know. To some, asking questions is a death-blow to their ego, while to others, it’s a stepping stone to clarity. In fact, during research for their book The Innovator’s DNA, the authors discovered that the strongest leaders (and the people destined for the C-suite) asked questions because they were humble enough to acknowledge they didn’t know everything and confident enough to admit it.

The fact is, the most influential leaders realize that their questions are more powerful than their answers because questions shed light on two important things:

1. What’s important to you

2. What’s on your mind

As a direct report, when you know what’s important to your manager and what he or she is thinking then you also know what youneed to do to produce the right type of work for him or her and for your team.

Here are six questions great leaders ask their teams:

1. What does success look like?

This is a simple question you can use to clarify and align efforts. Miscommunication amounts to a $62.4 million dollar loss for large companies and a $420,000 loss for smaller companies, so it pays to get on the same page right from the outset. Also, “check-in” frequently to ensure everybody’s still heading in the right direction.

2. What’s holding us back?

This is great for identifying the one obstacle standing between the team and a decision. Once you identify what’s in your way then you’ll have a better idea as to the courses of action you can take to overcome it.

3. Who has experience with this?

The only time reinventing the wheel actually makes sense is when the wheel turns out better than before, which isn’t easy to do given that a circle is a circle. Keep in mind that people speak up (or remain quiet) based on the environment you create. Not everybody will automatically chime in when they have something to say, which is why it’s up to the leader to set the right environment for those discussions (and questions) to occur.

4. What’s the climate here?

This is a great question because it opens the door for candor. I was asked last week, “What’s one thing that you see business teams doing wrong?” My answer: candor. They lack candor. Candor is a business imperative because you can’t move forward without it. In their book The Loyalist Team, the authors (a team of four) share their insights about what makes high-performing teams sustain their greatness. After working with thousands of teams across six continents, the authors concluded that “individuals on these teams are skilled, accomplished, and driven, but what sets them apart is that they trust, challenge, and push one another to exceed expectations.” And you build trust through candor.

5. What if this setback is really an opportunity in disguise?

A setback could be anything. Maybe a sales team didn’t hit their numbers for the quarter, or maybe a product launch missed its launch date (and subsequent launch party). More than anything though, a setback represents change—a difference between what you expected to happen and what actually occurred. So, instead of wallowing in it, try finding the opportunity. Search for patterns that might’ve indicated this setback would indeed happen and study them so you’re better prepared next time. This is the main purpose of conducting after action reviews—to learn as a team what works, what doesn’t and why.

6. What hasn’t been achieved yet?

The natural follow-up to this question is “How might we?” Every new innovation stems from curiosity. Take Polaroid, for instance, who created instant film after a three-year-old asked, “Why do we have to wait for the picture?” Questions help people organize their thinking around that which they don’t know yet.

Questions build leadership capacity because they help people make their own decisions, not to mention build the psychological safety needed to ask deeper questions. The bottom line: if you want a better answer, ask a better question. 

Source: http://bit.ly/2xmbRNK