Should you quit your job for MBA preparation?
If you’re an engineer you must remember the syllabus of your AIEEE or IIT-JEE exam. If you’re a commerce student you know the kind of effort people put in to become a CA. The extent of the syllabus of any entrance exam to a Bachelors Degree Program is much more than what is tested in CAT or other equivalent exams. Yet the salaries offered after acquiring an MBA degree are much more than what people get after just a bachelors degree. (Don’t jump at me if you are from IIT Bombay or IISc, you guys are outliers).
The first question that arises is, what changes during those two years that suddenly make companies ready to double or triple you market value. Although, the transformation is unique to everyone, the common theme is that you develop a broad understanding of functions beyond your own expertise. So, if you’re an engineer, then after your MBA you will be able to incentivize your coding team to get maximum output; you will be able to classify leads based on the business potential and; discuss the business trends in the banking industry with the CEO of a banking client. They train you for all that in just two years. There are however some prerequisites for this training, for example, good comprehension skills so that you can read and understand the case studies, data interpretation skills to crunch data and find relevant insights and other such skills. These skills form the groundwork for what is to happen over the two years at MBA.
CAT or any other exam is a way to check that the groundwork is done. The percentile is a relative measure of efficiency with which you can do the basic activities as compared to your peers.
But wait, there is a missing component. Time Management. CAT has got that covered too. This is something which all premiere business schools test implicitly. If you could manage to practice for CAT exam along with your job or the last year of your under-graduation then you must have managed your time well. Thus, the growing trend is to prefer candidates with a slightly lower percentile and academics and no career gaps.
Pro Tip: Work on time management from now. If you don’t quit and try really hard you will come up with ways to manage time more efficiently. For example, students have used mobile to-do list apps with prioritization options, some students developed the habit of using the dead time (commutation time, internet surfing time) for getting tasks done and some have used Google Calendar to develop a very well integrated plan to manage their activities. These mechanisms then become your habits for life and ensure success beyond MBA. Not everyone graduating from a premier business school goes on to become a CEO, this is where the differentiation begins.