Why should an Experienced Professional pursue a One-Year MBA Program?

Why should an Experienced Professional pursue a One-Year MBA Program?

Experienced Professionals
PGDM vs One Year MBA Course

Many of us are attracted towards the prospect of earning an MBA within one year by pursuing a PGPM (Post Graduate Program in Management), instead of investing two years in a conventional MBA program, commonly known across B-Schools in India as the PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management). There are ample of institutes and universities abroad that offer one-year full time MBA for working professionals, taking in the best of these experienced professionals and training them to take up much higher roles. And you read it right, these programs are full time and are not the same as part-time executive MBA programs. But how is a two-year course delivered in one year and how does it differ from conventional two-year programs? Who is this program more appropriate for? What are the gains and ROI on a one year MBA? Let’s find out.

Where is the sharp contrast when it comes to a one-year MBA?

A one year MBA program, designed for professionals with at least two years of work experience or more depending on the MBA colleges or business schools offering it, leverages the same experience and industry exposure to steer classroom discussions. Yes, discussions, and not lectures. A typical classroom session involves a faculty member guiding the discussion around concepts and students relating to those concepts through their own professional experiences, applying them to historic business cases and developing pragmatic solutions to business problems. A whirlwind of insights and perspectives ensue, questioning conventional wisdom and the status quo itself. This pedagogy eliminates the need to begin from basics and the faculty can get down to business quicker with such a cohort.

Peer Learning facilitates faster learning and wider perspectives
One Year MBA vs PGDM

Summer internships are not a part of the one-year curriculum as the students already have the industry exposure that they need. Instead, live-projects and experiential learning programs provide an opportunity to work on projects with companies, under the mentorship of a faculty member (and often also an industry mentor) and develop innovative solutions to real-world business problems. This helps a student to be confident as a management professional by the end of the course.

A one year MBA program cuts back on redundancy and gets students to speed by leveraging their own experience. The quality and completeness of the curriculum is maintained to ensure a holistic learning experience, with peer-learning forming a major component of it. People from different educational backgrounds, industries and job profiles come together to share their insights, applying their experiences to concepts and relating them to real-word examples.

A mature and more industry-aware cohort
One Year Management Program for Executives

How intense does it get?

As stated by most premier business schools conducting such programs, one-year programs are quite rigorous but they do bring out the best in each student. Class hours are longer than those in other programs, followed by assignments, projects, readings and case analysis for the next day. To quote a one-year program alumnus from an Ivy League business school, the first few core terms are in fact a pressure cooker. But that same rigor trains a student to stay charged up and handle tense situations and unpredictable challenges at workplace. And what else does this reward one with? Let’s look at the benefits.

A much lesser opportunity cost:

The longer you stay as a part of a workforce, the harder it gets for you to take a break and live without a steady income while pursuing higher education. This opportunity cost increases with the duration of hiatus. Here the opportunity cost is the income that you forego when you take a break from work and pursue higher education. Existing loans and family responsibilities make it even more difficult to take a break for two long years. A one-year program halves the opportunity cost and lets you get back to your professional and personal life in a year.

A quick leap:

There are those who work hard and wait for the next appraisal, traverse the hierarchy and climb up the corporate ladder. And then there are those who jump a few levels and take up managerial roles by investing their time and efforts in management education. It’s one year in a business school versus years of appraisals and job changes. An investment of money, time and effort in the former saves one all the time and effort that would be spent in the latter.

A step ahead of the rest:

While fresh minds are still in their second year of management education and busy getting placed, the one-year graduates are already awaiting their first appraisal. Who wouldn’t want faster returns on investment?

Students from diverse backgrounds in a one-year MBA course

One year programs are gaining more and more traction every year with some of the best MBA colleges in India, such as the Indian School of Business (ISB), Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai and Gurgaon, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), and others offering the One Year MBA in India for experienced professionals, among other MBA courses. Admissions to these programs are conducted through major management entrance exams such as GMAT, CAT and XAT, and follow the same rigorous admission process with Test Score and Profile-Based Shortlisting, Essays or Statements of Purpose, Written Ability Tests, and Personal Interviews. Both types of programs cater to different types of audiences and carry equal credibility. It’s just a question of how appropriate a particular program is for an aspirant based on experience and background.

What comes after an MBA?

What comes after an MBA?

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr ROHIT KUMAR

CX PRINCIPAL – SALES & MARKETING STRATEGY – INFOSYS

18th August 2018

The weekends at Great Lakes, Gurgaon, after an end-term exam, aren’t complete without an interactive industry engagement event. This one was particularly more exciting as the PGPM batch of 2019, The Ninjas, gathered around to welcome Mr Rohit Kumar, the CX Principal for Sales and Marketing Strategy at Infosys, for a session on various career options in the IT sector after an MBA. Being an Infoscion myself, I was eagerly looking forward to the session delivered by a fellow Infoscion of a calibre to look up to.

Mr Rohit Kumar: An engineering graduate from G.G.S.I.P. University, who later completed his MBA from the reputed S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research in 2012. After working for over 3 years as Senior Manager for Engagements at Nagarro, he took the helm at Infosys in heading the Sales and Marketing Strategy for the Oracle CX Cloud practice in 2016. He has more than 13 years of experience in business development, client acquisition, customer relationships & marketing. He has worked with clients across the world, focusing immensely on understanding the pain-points of the customers. Mr Kumar has an in-depth understanding of the IT industry and has varied project experience that gives a unique flavour to his working style. Before his MBA, he has worked with reputed firms such as IBM and SAP.

Mr Kumar set the tone for the session by talking about how the industry is segmented into various Verticals and Horizontals. He emphasized on how having a vertical depth or horizontal experience is the key to success. He also reinforced the importance of MBA graduates re-inventing themselves from time to time, once they enter the corporate realm, and being always able to think on their feet.

What are the options for an MBA graduate?

Mr Kumar walked us through the different types of profiles that an MBA graduate from an IT background can pursue, leveraging all his years of experience before choosing to join a B-School. He explained how a candidate with leadership skills and the ability to work under pressure can look for a role in Project Management. Having sound technical skills, a know-how of various business dimensions and a keen insight into the minds of the costumers make one perfectly suitable for this role. Additional relevant certifications are a bonus.

Consulting is another lucrative career option which is open to management graduates. Explaining the differences and drawing demarcation lines between Strategic and Management Consulting, Business Consulting, and Technical Consulting, Mr Kumar cleared all misconceptions and ambiguity that management students usually have regarding these roles. Sharing insights from his own experience in working with some of the leading service providers in the IT Industry, Mr Kumar shed light on the current scenario in the business world, especially on how the thin line between Business and Technical Consulting is disappearing with each passing day, and on how companies are preparing themselves to have a strong presence in both the domains.

He also spoke about other roles such as Business Analyst, Sales Management, and Pre-Sales Management. While Sales Management requires a candidate to be extremely innovative and creative, pre-sales demands domain expertise and the ability to think about multiple solutions to a given requirement in order to create a variety of offerings for the customer to choose from. A business analyst, on the other hand, is expected to have requirement analysis capabilities coupled with excellent communication skills.

What should be the approach of an MBA student?

Mr Kumar enlightened the students on the right approach towards pursuing the role that would do justice to their experience and skills. Identifying one’s own skills and also identifying the kind of work that would be truly enticing is extremely important for an MBA student. At the same time, it is vital for a student to follow the companies they aspire to be a part of and keep themselves abreast with what the industry experts are talking about. In addition to this, growing one’s network and developing a niche skill holds crucial importance in skyrocketing one’s career growth.

Importance of LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the social network for corporates, has become an important tool for corporate networking and Mr Kumar strongly emphasized on its relevance and how an MBA student can leverage it to improve their future prospects. He inspired the Ninjas to step out of their comfort zones and do what most people hesitate to – add a minimum of 20 influential people to one’s connection every day while sending scheduled emails on one’s professional and academic development every 3-4 months to all connections in order to gain more visibility. This tactic bore fruit for Mr Kumar as he landed 5 offers through LinkedIn alone by the time he graduated as an MBA. LinkedIn is a platform which every professional should use to the extent of its potential and connect with a number of people who would eventually open doors to more gainful opportunities and a fruitful career ahead.

Concluding Thoughts

The session turned out to be an extremely enlightening experience and this was evident by the whirlwind of questions Mr Kumar received from the ever-enthusiastic Great Lakers. To wrap it up, the talk delivered by Mr Kumar will forever be etched in our minds as we prepare ourselves and follow his advice for our placement season and look for the right jobs in the right firms with the right attitude and approach. Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, expresses its deepest gratitude to Mr Rohit Kumar for sharing his extremely valuable insights with the upcoming graduates.

Author: Arpit Gupta

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon