How's my Luck now?

Reflections, views and descriptions during my stay at IIM Lucknow from July 2004 to March 2006

Location: India

Friday, February 10, 2006

What's in an MBA? - III

And now let's look at the unsavoury part. It's not a litany of woes but still the grievances are very significant. I am mentioning six prominent points here.

Work ethic (or the lack of it)

Over the last 1.5 years, my lingering memory in academics will remain one of trying to goad fellow project group members to do their share of work and document it appropriately. I am no saint, but I can say that I have acquitted myself well as far as effort in academic projects, term papers, assignments, etc. goes. The more we neared the end of the course, the less people were willing to work. There remain a handful of people who are dependable and do their work willingly, turning in a good performance. Projects and term papers were delayed until there hardly was any time before the deadline, and then of course, hasty work was hardly ever of good quality. I don't think I will ever understand why people failed to get enthusiastic about their work, even when they had chosen the subjects and project topics themselves. I sincerely hope this 'mutual shirking equilibrium' changes for the better when we step
out into the outside world.

Attitude toward learning

The popular perception of an MBA is that of a 'smart'-looking, jargon-spitting person, who may or may not understand what he/she means. While Dilbert's way of poking fun takes a rather extreme position on this, one would not tend to disagree totally with Scott Adams if one sat through b-school presentations (and gave a few
oneself, to be fair :) ). Project reports and term papers, examination answers, presentations - all of these generally have oodles of what we fondly call 'globe' (not counting the quantitative courses, of course). I don't really know the reason for this predilection with half-understood or misunderstood concepts and jargon - is it because a lot of subjects are packed into a relatively short time, is it because
students feel these are not really going to help them in the real business world, or, is it because students feel that whatever you actually do, it is how you package and present it that matters most? But this attitude meant that most people switched off mentally when project presentations were going on, not hearing what others had to
say, assuming that it wouldn't be something vitally important, and then went on stage, and said similar things themselves.

The corporate world did not help much in this area. Most people from the corporate world who come down to campus for pre-placement talks (PPTs) talk in similar mind-numbing jargon.


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