Management education is a highly debatable topic. There are upsides to it, then down twists, and then upwards spiraling again, happening all the time in this issue. There was a time when MBA was unheard of, no one understood why any formal training was needed to learn how to run a business – after all, business runs in the blood, in the genes, was the magic mantra. Then came the complete revolution when MBA was the big ticket to making a good career, getting a financially viable job for a rocking career graph. After this, there have been sways – sometimes it is said that MBA by itself should be scrapped altogether, and at times, after a good revamping of the syllabi, it bounces back with renewed energy.
If we look at the present scenario, MBAs are now put on the shelf in very many formats. It is even available as an online option, as a part-time course which can stretch way beyond its given limit of two years, and even as an executive MBA format. Online versions are rapidly climbing popularity charts. One has the option of pursuing them along with doing a regular job, even. In addition, even the part-time courses with classes interspersed in evening hours or during weekends are on the much-wanted list of those who wish to earn a livelihood alongside pursuing higher education. The executive MBA is somewhat of a new variant in this connect, and is very, very popular with those who would like to update their management prowess at a later date, at the time they are actually working and cannot afford a long break for further studies. What is a happy fact is that a lot many of these courses are of varying duration – some of them are of certificate level, they last for a few months to a year, and others are just for a span of just a few weeks thrown in together.
As it is, within the MBA education circuit, there are several new posts. It is evident that teaching tools need to be upgraded time and again. During course duration, what stands out now is that it is essential to have practical experience of a business environment, aided and abetted with classroom theory teaching. For this, it is simulation exercises which are on the rise. Students are given various situations, at least some of which they will face during their functions as managers later on, and they are asked to come up with viable solutions to them. For instance, what all can be done to put at ease a hapless customer not getting his service on time; or even how to go about getting your mobile repaired if the given helpline is not working; and a hundred other events. Course candidates, with their young and eager-beaver mindsets, at times, come up with amazing answers to such situations and this gets their brain power activated in the right direction.
Another form of teaching is to take up projects and practical assignments. This, too, is very gainful in MBA courses as it gives hands-on knowledge to the student. One finds thresholds of these practical lessons really going up nowadays with a lot of time and energy getting devoted to them during MBA studies. Even within these, it is visually-aided lessons which are taking over the scene. Theoretical learning is now on the backburner for some of the leading MBA institutes in the country.
Also, what is on the upscale, is how to manage stress during and even after the successful completion of your higher education. It is more than obvious that a real life business environment, which we try to emulate during MBA programmes, is highly flexible, very demanding and a tough one. Hence, what follows is how to make our journey to becoming a manager stress-free.
For this, it is activities like forming book clubs, making use of what is termed as ice breakers or energizers, which are now coming into this radar. The same editions, albeit different copies of a set of books, borrowed by all members of a club, and then having a meeting to discuss it, is a way to intermingle with your juniors and seniors in college. Then is using the tact of organizing ice breaker sessions, wherein which, one can come in contact with fellow mates on a friendly, groundbreaking type of surroundings. In these, one plays little games like Two truths and a Lie – in which each participant has to say one false and two true facts about oneself. The others have to then guess which were correct, and which was the lie. Such fun-filled moments de-stress the tension levels of the situation and put everyone at immediate ease with all others of their groups.
Also, educators use energizer sessions, by which, one can learn to not just unwind but even recharge up old mental batteries and physical faculties, and freshen up for times ahead. This could be during a mid-course level, when all morals are usually at a low, or even at the time of course completion, just to rewind and make sweet memories for the career battles up ahead.
Another trend which is seen in a big way now is of mentoring. This is to have a person senior to you become your point of approach for any stress moment you find yourself in, when you need the help of any sort. One can connect with one’s mentor for anything you need, be it personal or be it related with studies. And he or she, on their part, try to solve the issue in the best manner possible.
At end point, one can conclude that the MBA is a very versatile career option. If taken seriously, it can make any average person turn into a very successful manager, one who will fast rise up the ladder of success in the business world. All that is needed is to take your studies seriously, work on your skills, absorb them into your system, and then get cracking in the lean and mean zap zone of professionalism.
Crafted with brevity for select stories to make certain you see what others don't; Page One is delivered every Sunday
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