A Tri-City International MBA at SP Jain School of Global Management

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

MBA has been a popular option for many fresh graduates as well as for working professionals, who aspire to move to management positions in their career.

While it is often looked upon as a prestige tag or a ticket for professional success, what generally goes unstated is that MBA gives students a chance to reflect upon their working style, develop an appreciation for all business functions, learn how to work together as a team, hone their management and interpersonal skills, and develop networks for life. Unlike other Masters programmes which provide specialization in a specific field, an MBA is an interdisciplinary study that draws from the fields of psychology, sociology, economics, accounting and finance, to give an overall perspective of business to the participants of the program.

B School MBA

 

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Round Table Blogging Contest at NIT Trichy

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By Somali K Chakrabarti

 

The Round Table: Theme Based Blogging Contest

The need to express yourself in today’s fast-moving world cannot be emphasized upon enough. Opinionated views are formed within the fraction of a second and spread out far and wide over the internet with the speed and alacrity of the waves; as such it becomes imperative that sane voices do not remain unheard.

Thankfully, the impact of blogging is also spreading fast, providing every net savvy individual a platform to express himself/ herself. Institutions and organizations, too, are not left untouched by the power that blogging wields, and are taking to the platform for organizing contests to get diverse perspectives, viewpoints and increase visibility.

The Round Table, a theme-based blogging contest, organized by Pragyan, NIT Trichy in association with Campus Diaries is aimed at tech enthusiasts who want to hold out their distinct voice from the opinionated noise of the internet.

pragyan

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India’s MIT – Making A Mark In Higher Education

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Akin to Darwin’s theory of ‘Survival of the Fittest’, admission into the premier public institutes in India is about ‘Survival of the Brightest’. With the scores in board examinations soaring as high as the mercury levels in most parts of the country, both students and their parents feel the heat as competition for admissions into colleges gets tougher.

A score less than 90% is unlikely to fetch a student, a seat in the general category, in a premier public institute. Even so, a score above 90% alone does not suffice for entrance in most of the leading public engineering institutes, where selection is determined by the combined board score and score in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE).

The tough selection criteria coupled with growing number of applicants each year (over 1.3 million students registered for JEE in 2014) leaves many meritorious students missing the mark to secure a place in the publicly funded institutes. Into this void of demand and supply, have stepped in some private engineering institutes that aim at providing quality education to the students.

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Endowments and spending in B schools

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While the program fees for MBA and other executive education programs in B schools is widely known,  funding of the B schools remains a key area of interest for any B school’s management team.

In B schools, funding comes in mainly through 3 sources: MBA Tutions, Development Activities and Executive program fees. Development activities generally include annual giving, capital giving and corporate giving.  During a discussion at roundtable conference in Mexico in 2010, it was found that in top tier US B schools, percentage of revenue distribution is in the range of 40% from MBA Tutions,  30% from Development Activities and 20% from Executive program fees. On the other hand, In European B schools distribution is in the range of 70% from MBA Tutions, 7% from Development Activities and 23% from Executive program fees. In Mexican B schools the distribution between MBA Tutions & Exec Education is 80% & 20%.

Alumni givings vary as per the culture to give back & Corporate givings vary as per tax treatment. Tuck has an excellent Development office as the culture of giving back is part of the structure of their society.  In Europe, very few have been able to create an endowment larger than ten million Euros.  For example, INSEAD still has a rather small endowment despite 20 years of intense work & close alumni relations. Oxford and Cambridge recently have been more successful in the UK but probably because they have a larger base of alumni and very strong brand names.  The rest of the schools in Europe are not very successful in annual giving or endowments. In Mexico individual alumni giving is not very well developed since it is not part of the tradition.

The financial models drive B schools to build up their strategy and business models. European B schools have a full service business model with a large portfolio of programs & large faculty pool whereas B schools in Mexico (EGADE), Columbia, Argentina and Venezuela have a tuition driven model. In IMD 80% of the revenue comes from executive education. Most schools in the U.S. get most of their revenues from tuition. The top of the pyramid B schools in US have significant annual donations and endowment earnings.

An endowment is the permanent capital of a university, which provides funding for the academic mission of the institution. According to the 2010 report of the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), the University of Virginia, has an endowment of roughly $3.9 billion, Duke has an endowment of about $4.8 billion, Notre Dame has an endowment around $5.2 billion, the University of Pennsylvania has an endowment of about $5.7 billion. Princeton’s endowment exceeds $11 billion and Yales exceeds $15 billion. Stanford and Harvard have roughly $13.9 billion and $27.6 billion, respectively.

The rate of spending is between 4% – 5% in the US B schools including Harvard, Yale and Princeton.  Some critics feel that a 5% annual withdrawal from the endowment is far too conservative. Based on analysis of giving patterns and investment returns at a variety of schools, 6% would be more reasonable. On the other hand at 4%, schools are signalling they won’t use new gifts for decades to come. Increasingly many donors may realize that their modest contribution is going to mean very little to the school.

 

An Year off from Job – Mid Career B School Program

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‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ said the English author Edward Lytton. Taking a cue from this famous adage, it would not be out of place to say that in today’s world ‘The net is mightier than the jet’. Having completed a reputed program for senior executives from the top Business School in UK, I feel that blog would be a great medium of expression for reaching out to people and sharing my thoughts with those who might be interested in reading this.

Since the last one year many people have approached me to find out what the Sloan experience has been like, with the obvious question at the back of the mind ‘Is it worth investing a huge  sum of money for a one year management program at a mid career stage in life?’. Honestly it is difficult to have a cookie cutter answer to the question because a whole lot of it depends on what a person aims to achieve in that one year and how he or she is able to leverage on the learning while building on the past professional experience. I will attempt to pen down the aspects that a person may want to consider before taking the decision to go in for a mid life academic retooling.

The reason that people opt for mid career management programs is primarily because they want to explore different career options such as the option of changing industry or job function or else reaching a higher level within their existing careers, exploring entrepreneurial options or expanding their existing business. These could be people who have harboured the ambition of going to the best B schools earlier on in life but could not do so, due to some reason or the other. Some who feel monotony setting in their current jobs are desirous of acquiring the skills that will help them to enhance their career growth prospects and make a transition to a different function or a different industry or to the next higher level. For such folks, a one year management program is generally the most favoured option, considering the opportunity cost i.e. forgone salary and repayment of loan, particularly when the candidate is not on a company sponsored sabbatical.

While considering the choice of the program, aspirants may want to look at the ones that offer insights into the best and current business practice and research, helps in building a global network, offer a diverse peer group and a good brand name. After attending the Sloan program, I can easily vouch for the fact that such programs help to widen one’s knowledge horizon, challenge one’s thought process, encourage lateral thinking and may ignite the passion for entrepreneurship. It is a riveting experience to hear from and interact with the top business leaders in the world, to understand and appreciate their views on policy and business matters. We learn to work in diverse groups consisting of people with different backgrounds, from different countries with different work cultures. The program is so engrossing that at times the means looks more important than the end. It involves a lot of hard work and before one realizes, the year gets over and one returns with the hope to get the opportunity to put into use the knowledge acquired during the year.

The other side of the coin to be considered is the placement options available after completion of the program. Here I must say that a lot of patience, determination & clarity is needed for chalking out the future career path. Prospective candidates are expected to have a mature mindset as the program prepares people for long term success. Such program cannot be looked upon as a short cut route to make quick bucks.

Unlike the MBA campus recruitments, the campus recruitments for mid career program are limited and very few in number. So it is advisable that the location in which a person wants to work is taken into account while selecting a B school program. Residing in the same geography in which a person wants to work gives visibility to the market and the recruitment scenario.

One has to be aware of the fact that recruitment consultants work on company mandates and they are likely to position a candidate only they see a great fitment of your profile with the requirement in hand. So consultants may not be the best route to take if one is looking for a change in industry or function.

In B schools a substantial emphasis is placed on networking. In order to effectively network it is crucial to understand the sector in which the person wishes to work & network accordingly. While for some it may yield quick results, for others it could be a long time before one gets good leads, contacts or references. It would be good to know the number of self sponsored alumni who could make a successful transition. Contacting alumni could be a good way to know how to go on about making the desired change.

Finally a candidate should not discount or rule out the possibility of joining back the same company as the one in which the person worked prior to joining the program. This is due to the fact that if one is looking for a change in function, it is easier done in a company where the person has worked before. After all it is easier to convince people with whom one has worked before than convincing a different set of people in a new environment.

With all these considerations, I believe, a person can make an informed decision to take up a mid career academic program.

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