Jan 3, 2011

What's wrong with the MBA

Rashmi Bansal blogs on how the expectation of students in the not-so-highly rated B Schools need to be changed - and what the schools themselves need to do to ensure students get good jobs.

I agree with her. What is needed is not just B Schools but B Schools who build some skills that are usable by employers.

In 2020 Social we took a couple of interns - and one of the MBA interns was unable to use MS Excel properly.

If that is the nature of preparedness that students have, then it'll ensure one can never really learn on the job.

Communication skills (both written and spoken), Computing skills, Internet skills should be a given. If an employer has to first build these in a new employee then when will that employee learn about the business?

The other factor is the quality of teaching staff.

Even in XLRI in 1999 we noticed the huge difference in quality between full time faculty and visiting faculty. Visiting faculty have limited knowledge - and really don't have the skills needed to teach.

I also have taught a course at a B School - and even though I am a trainer there were logistical issues that I faced that made learning tough. For one, the classes were on weekends (since I was based in another city) and that ensured 4 classes for the students over the weekend. How do you retain the learning and reflect on it when you attend 4 classes in 2 days and then spend 5 days not thinking about it at all?

So I was stunned when my students wrote thank you mails to me saying "your classes were the most useful" after they joined their jobs :-)

That makes me scared about the quality of the other teaching staff.

Anyway, here's what Rashmi writes:

Amplify’d from youthcurry.blogspot.com
The first thing the bottom 3/4th of the bschool pyramid needs to do is junk the IIM model. Spend the first 3 months just improving language and communication skills.

Next, realistically prepare students land in the industry feet-first. Train for the kind of jobs they will be expected to do.

Not a single student from a tier-3 school will get a hard-core finance job, yet 90% claim that is where their interest lies. Fine. You can fulfil their aspirations, but in a direction different from what IIM students are taking.

Train your students to truly understand the stock market - let them find work with brokers. Brokers don't care much for which bschool you are from. Heck, they don't even care much for an MBA degree! As long as you produce results, or help the company to.

Most importantly, train your students to be good salesmen. Because there is always a demand for that breed of people, across industries. Sales is not a lowly job, it requires a high degree of skill and intelligence.
Read more at youthcurry.blogspot.com