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Do B-schools prepare you for reality?
Balaji Rao | February 14, 2006
A B-school equips a student to adopt a holistic approach to an issue. It helps students look at issues from a broader perspective.
B-schools also teaches them the various elements that go into ultimately making an individual the CEO of a company and how to get the best out of these elements; it offers a formatted package.
And there's no doubt that many of these elements come in handy even after years of learning, when you hold an authoritative position in a company.
I would call my experience outside B-school a hybrid problem. Problems faced by a fresh MBA cannot be compartmentalised. They cannot be fitted into slots, saying that this is the solution for a particular problem.
So, a B-school graduate will have to tackle problems based on his or her experience, which he gains at the work place. However, his B-school learning helps him to tackle problems better.
One of the shortcomings with B-schools is the lack of a finishing course in their last semester, or rather an orientation course tilted towards reality.
B-schools groom you to become a CEO. As you progress, gradually from the first to the final semester, this builds up to a crescendo. The course teaches you the various elements of holding the top position. But that doesn't happen immediately. It takes some years to climb up the ladder.
So when a B-school graduate takes up a job, he has to mentally scale down to the harsh reality of a subordinate position. This is where the adaptability of an individual plays a crucial role. The drop from the crescendo may appear a setback for many fresh management graduates.
Balaji Rao graduated from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, in 1984