Tuesday, October 20, 2009

T20 - P80 of Management Education

T20–P80 (Theory20:Practice80) Of Management Education

The Management Education has become very important with the changing Business scenario across the globe. More important for Indian Business Graduates where the world of opportunities are ahead.

In Today’s world there are many changes taking place in Business. If you notice out of top 100 companies 20 years back very few are still existing on top… and many have suffered closing and struggling to survive… There are many new age companies based on knowledge Industry are ruling the Business Leadership positions. This is purely due to the lack of forecasting the future and ability to adapt by the Big Business houses continuously. If this is true to the Business, its equally true to the Management Graduates without any exception.

Management education comes with different names and titles… to name few : MBA – Master of Business Administration(offered by typically Universities), PGP-M – Post Graduate Program in Management(independent and strength based on Industry endorsement – eg. ISB), PGDM – Post Graduate Diploma in Management attached with specialization-Independent approved by AICTE (HR-Human Resources, Retail – Retail Management etc., as specialization offered by many Business Schools). All the programs have their own advantages based on the course design flexibility and execution. The Programs would stand benefit the students end of the day based on the Industry acceptance and ability to produce productive resources for immediate use.




“It is not for stop gap during recession time or just following the trend to do MBA after graduation.. it is for the insight to business before you start managing your firm or managing some one else, know the importance 'you are going to be a entrepreneur either way”


Pre-Management Course : If we have not consciously applied our ability to see the chemistry, physics, mathematics, Engineering in education till Graduation, its time that we apply all what we learn at business school to real-life. The continuous application and experimentation of oneself is the key for success in management education.

During Management Course : As part of the management education the student pursuing is expected to understand the Theory in books and how its been practiced by working professionals and experts teaching at the business school. Any unapplied theory would not fetch a good future for student in today’s times.


Getting Started - Induct – Equip – Experiment Yourself:

Since the management course has very different expectations than that of your graduation, its important to understand some of the following to help oneself to induct for better future student life.

- Its Important for a student to understand the expectations of the course
- Understand the College and their expectations during the course
- Understand the economic scenario outside ( eg. Due to the change in the business there has been a tremendous impact on 2007-9, 2008-10 batch of students)
- Understand the expectations of the Industry from time to time.
- Understand the expectations of the course from the following point of view and prepare yourself – mentally and physically to face.
o Subjects & Course Contents
o Teaching Methodologies
o Practical Assignments
o Field Works
o Guest/Visitng Professors



“Inculcate a deep rooted passion towards the course you have chosen, to make sure that it occupies Priority in your mind”

During the course - Know the syllabus before attending classes (try to get inputs from relevant working professionals before attending the topic. This will give you a better understanding of the subject and minimize your time for exam preparation)

Note : Forget about the approach of going through books just before the examination & be prepared with the contents rather than just vomiting the learned topics previous day of exam.


Students and challenges:

Ideally a management course is useful for students who have prior work experience, however 80% of MBA students do join after their Graduation. This proving to be a negative impact on the number of offers at Business Schools.

Fresh Graduates Without Experience: Students who join the Management program without any working experience fail to relate to the real business environment. They need a great amount of ability to constantly understand the application in real-life business. They have to make atleast 5 times more effort than a person with experience to make sure a realistic approach to work-life at Business.

Professionals with Work Experience: The students who come with experience to the management schools have to face with a challenge of viewing from a very different angle than what is been experienced by them in their previous jobs. The ability to break away from a traditional “my point of view” thinking would help them to achieve greater heights.

The Ability of the Individuals with Fresh thoughts without experience and the ability of the working experience would be used as a strength to build Business oriented capabilities.


APPROACH & ATTITUDE TO COURSE

MBA is not just another course/degree that one would be acquiring… It requires an Application Oriented approach to business. Students are expected to understand, assimilate and use the business skills taught at the Business School. If one would like to continue how they were in Graduation which may not help them in anyway. The same is reflected in the way they approach to the Industry with a right attitude for positive development of business.

An approach & Attitude called “Return on Investment”: The Return on investment is true to the Student and the Industry who would hire them when they pass out from college.

A Business Graduate should have two approaches – what is the Return on the Investment done my him/her in terms of Money & Time invested Versus the Opportunity that they have at the end of the program.

Also the Return on Investment proposition for organisation who hire them. Organizations offer positions to the Business School graduates assuming that they come with business expertise and add value to their business. Usual Investment Return that they look at is 1:5 times where the salary paid and the revenue/profitability is 5 times (may vary based on Industry – High for product/process based Industries…)….

“If you don’t have a ROI proposition in your attitude only luck/god can help you”

Plan to Gain @ College:


Ideally college is the best Place to gain the exposure required… It’s a testing ground for one self to build the capabilities required for future. A good management College would build an ability of building & managing Business in the students. How one can get maximum out of the various point of interactions while at college. Few of them are 4 listed dimensions where the gain is possible for a student for future improvement. It may sound and feel painful to keep efforts but its worth for a better future.

Gain from Classes:

Your class room is your Lab to experiment yourself and express to test yourself. Make sure you utilize the time and efforts at classroom as below:

- Involve and understand the applicability of theory in practice
- Relate with simple things in your life and the experiences around.
- Benefit from the application and involvement in various methodologies of managing and understanding business.
- Create notes and build the subject knowledge
- Learn work environment (learning along with different people with an ability to build interpersonal skills, working as a team, driving from the front for any specific assignment.


Gain from Teachers/Faculty/Professors

The ability of understanding the students and mould them for the future is in the hands of the professors at college. The best of the combination of experienced faculty with a focus on student development helps you well. Some of the points to keep in mind to exploit the opportunity with Faculty during your college.

- Never Hesitate to Ask any simple to complex questions.
- Treat them as typically the first mentors for your future endeavors
- Build a rapport and discuss during the sessions and after the sessions.
- Have a meaningful dialogues to argue and understand the concepts (Be productive –don’t be a pain with your view point always)
- Gain from real-life experience of the professors
- Support in their external assignments to get exposure

Gain from College
- Best use the infrastructure and Learning environment
- Best use of the support systems created in terms of the reputation
- Seek Support in reaching to Industry with the Faculty
- Create a best of the external environment within the college – Taking inputs from the Industry create labs ( for Sales Process, Back Office Processes for organizations) –Managements can always support you to build such support system for yourself.
- Create a Industry Interface Body (more than just placement) internally and run it effectively with the support of the Management, Faculty and Industry.

“Do not ever imagine that since you joined the course, its your ticket to a great management career – The ticket is that the course makes you think and help you apply in real-time situation”

Gain from Industry Interaction:
- Interaction with Industry is to build the visualization of your future
- Interaction and working with Industry would improve the probability of placement
- Industry realities are known and understood during the course.
- Visit and assimilate the knowledge from Real Business
- Building on-the-job exposure for better business sense
- Ensure all the Theory is visualized through interaction with the Industry Guests, Leaders.
- Choose Small and Medium Enterprises organizations to get your maximum learning practically.

IMPORTANCE OF ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

Academic Excellence is the key for better positioning of oneself. Academic inputs build a strong foundation for student’s ability to understand the perspective of subject. This would help application at a later point of time. However, It’s important to understand the entire aspects of business in theory and apply for better scores. Better scores certify that you have done your best to understand, comprehend and express well.

“BUSINESS SCHOOL would only create an ability to support business not just preparing for just an other JOB”.



OUTSIDE CLASS & WORLD

In most of the cases the students in MBA feel that they are into a tough and cutthroat environment and competition, however the world outside that environment is much more competitive. Some of the realities/expectations are listed as below:

- World is not as straight as what is read in the book… hence it becomes imperative that you must learn from external world more than in the Class room.
- External competition comes from anywhere due to the diversity in people working from various backgrounds. The external outside environment is much more complex and diverse than what you would experience in College.
- The business owners are never there to learn from the business school kids, they need to be convinced with your ability to understand business and create opportunity for growth.
- What you assume the expectations at Schools are extremely different and at least 10times more than what you would have expected normally.
- No Great theories work with the business leaders, unless proved and put in practice for better results.
- Business outside expects a clear measurable outputs than just assumptions and hopes.
- With the Global change in the business environment the expectations are multi-continental in nature than just one specific geography based.

“Best of the business Schools strive to build you as an Enterprenuer”


SKILLS ENHANCEMENT

Today’s Business is no longer the Product driven, hence the Skills have become more of internal to the employees and managers who deal with them. The Service Orientation is the skill to focus for any Management Graduate if they wish to excel in their career.

In today’s business every business success depends on the Service orientation of the organization. Service is no longer is restricted to a product or to a company and its one of the most single distinctive factor which others can’t copy or replicate so easily.

Service orientation is the ability of the individual/group to see customer centric support that can be provided through various products and services that company is offering to ensure highest level of satisfaction. The individual should be able to see the service part of the product and improve presenting and responding to the customer for greater satisfaction.

While Service orientation is the base and one can excel with the continuous skill up gradations in the areas of Strategic Thinking with Tactical execution, People Management, Technology Management with exceptional problem solving ability.

The Students are expected to perform various Individual, Team & Customer Oriented tasks to make sure that they create business like environment to build the competencies in the college. Some of the examples of such activities may include – Attending Internal/External Seminars/Group Discussions, Bidding for external projects (SME’s), Identify the service lines and provide business support for organizations within the City/Outside city based on cost effectiveness and many such create/novel activities to help to feel the pulse of Business.


“Management Students are expected to be of soldiers with Tolls and ability to apply in real-time situations on the ground than great back-room bookworms”.


LIFESTYLE HABITUAL CHANGES

As you join the Management course there are different level of expectations than in your Graduation. Since the Management schools are supposed to build the capabilities for business management… Its important that the impact on the lifestyle would be higher. A Positive approach to life and new environment would help quick support for student. The following are the three key issues due to which there is an influence on LifeStyle and the Habits at a Management School.

- Creating Business Like Standardization at College : In the external world each company has its different/unique culture and representation. As a college one is expected to set some standards for Dress Code (Specific Dress Code on specific days/ occasions), Resumes, Presentation Material and other related support system to build a uniqueness for the college. Eg: When you represent your college externally you may want create a specific dress code/Presentation material in the format of your college during the presentations etc.

- Creating Business Like Environment: It is important to understand and appreciate the environment of Business outside. The student teams can set in specific set norms for execution of any task/assignment/project while in the college. Eg: Conducting a Seminar – Create set of Action Plans, Process documentation, checklist, allocation of work based on strengths of people, co-ordination with external agencies, formal invitations, Followup and Review, execution methodology with timelines etc.,

- Business Etiquettes and Behavior: During your interaction in business career you may encounter quite a number of behaviors, cultures with many kinds of people across the Globe. Its important to understand the Business and Cultural etiquettes of the Region/Country/Continent that the other Business partners belong. Understanding the etiquettes of Business, Dining, Interaction with people and help yourself to build those capabilities would be of great help. Eg: We eat our food with our hands at home, however during a business meeting you may have to use the spoon & forks. You should be able to use them effectively without showing great efforts during your business meetings.

Check Your Mannerism: In our country we have various ways of expression based on our place/environment. It can vary even widely within Andhra Pradesh… Its noticed that the students carry all the different mannerisms of the place they belong to which may not set in a business environment. Students must constantly identify such common behavioral patterns and correct with timely feedback based on the situations.

“ No Corporate work Experience is 9am-5pm or just 8 hours of job… In today’s business the executive is expected to perform the Role and Responsibility assigned on time… So Its important to be physically and mentally to stretch and complete tasks which may run into 15-16 hours too….”

Vitamins for Future Growth - Tips :

- Team up with the students who have the experience before joining the course and learn from their experiences and how the things have been applied. Do not depend on their evaluation but make sure you validate with your professor.
- Keep a track of your old student network (Alumni) – They help you place yourself 50% for sure. Create and run an Alumni Network if you don’t have at your college.
- Use Online Social/Business Networking sites to build relations with Business Leaders.
- Create Internal Individual Development Clubs, Business Clubs, Cultural Clubs and need based units to help you to build confidence in working with people.
- Keep interacting with the external professionals from Business. The ability to interact and connect in communication would help in building the confidence for delivery at work at later stages of career…
- Create at least 15 mentors from different Industries and professions to guide you to know the internal details of their businesses.
- Work on part-time assignments for at least 2-4 hours a day. This would give you real-time application of what you learn at college.
- Work on group real-time projects with organizations when you have to use your Internship & project reporting.

No comments: