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January - 2016 - issue > Dean's Viewpoint

Grab the First Opportunity to Establish a Foothold for Your Ambition

Prof. Bala V Balachandran
Founder & Dean-Great Lakes Institute of Management
Sunday, January 31, 2016
Prof. Bala V Balachandran
Corporate entities today are realizing the importance of specialized programs with regard to the upcoming trends in the industry. Though the general management education opens gates for various roles, a specialized MBA program can go a long way in making candidates the domain experts. There is a huge demand for experts in the different fields. B-schools today offer specialized programs that cater to the industry requirements. The students should be well versed with the current trends prevailing in the particular industry and the expectations of the job. They should be aware of the leading players in the market as well. However, for those who do not have the privilege of attending good school, it is a tough time ahead.

While the internet is gaining popularity in the nook and corner of the world, online education provides many advantages to the students. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) have brought a revolution in the field of education. It is a boon for the students who do not have the privilege of classroom education. Especially for the students in Tier II and Tier III cities, with the internet making significant headway into much of rural India, the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) alternatives have been gaining immense traction since 2012. They could be the best vehicles to reach quality education to deserving and capable students in Tier II and Tier III cities. Universities today are already working along the lines of making high quality lectures and study material available through online platforms to extend the reach of management education to the Tier II and Tier III cities.

Distance Learning is another facet that is an aid for working professionals who do not have time and money to invest in a regular management program. There are inherent drawbacks as this is an inactive mode and lacks the classroom experience. It does not focus on most essential aspects of learning such as hands on training, application, peer learning, and industry interface. However, E-Learning is a better option. It is more active, elaborate and impactful as it is a more proactive and engaging learning experience. E-Learning also has advantages of Live-classrooms lectures (using V-SAT) and recorded lectures that are available on course websites.

These study options could be substantial for individuals with entrepreneurial aspirations. Entrepreneurship is synonymous with Hardship. Setting up a company, running it and generating profit are not easy for anyone. Many good B-schools today have incubation centers and entrepreneurship cells where the students are provided assistance, space, and seed capital that assist them in setting up their venture. The competition starts at this phase and intensifies progressively and only the best are able to win the opportunity.

Importance of a Good Management Education

To survive in the competitive world it is imperative that the students are familiar with the industry environment. Teaching syllabus would just give theoretical knowledge to students. Management education gives students subject-based knowledge, network, skill and capabilities to understand and manage a business. There is a component of personality development in most B-school programs. However, leadership involves responsibility, sensitivity, and commitment to cause and value systems all of which need to be cultivated and internalized. Any good B-school will have a strong Institute-Industry interface serving as a platform for industry experts to share real life experiences as well as best practices are shared with the students. Many companies also offer internship and summer training programs which are all good windows for the students to gain hands-on industry experience before their final jobs. This is also another reason why many good MBA programs in India and abroad have an admission criterion that requires the students to have some prior work experience before joining the program. Such procedures and criteria are of certain help that provide niftiness in handling any upcoming changes in the industry.

To get a gist of the tactfulness, job experience plays a pivotal role in providing the initial creamy layer of the industry. To this, the first job after college years determines this very aspect of a candidate's survival in the industry. The first job is important from many angles. As a freshman it is easy for students to be enamored by the big names and salary packages. Both of these are important but the role or the profile of the job holds utmost importance. Whether the three are in tandem with the career goals of the aspirant would be the next point of consideration. When this research is done, the decision that the student makes will be sound. However, it is not always possible to be selective about a job. In times of economic downturn, to board the first bus and then plan to board the right bus is appropriate. (As Told to HER Team)

Prof. Bala V Balachandran

Recipient of "Padma Shri," the fourth most prestigious civilian award in India, Founder & Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, India, Dr. Bala V Balachandran hails from the southern state of Tamil Nadu. He is an Accounting and Information Management professor at Kellogg School of Management professor at Kellogg School of Management and has won numerous awards for his excellence in teaching. His long list of publications and his excellence in teaching career span of over 50 years has allowed him to garner the experience to lead the institute to great heights.

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