The Need For Professional MBA Committees

Posted in Human Resources Articles, Total Reads: 1971 , Published on 08 September 2012

A superior MBA institution is one that believes in the institutionalization of professional committees that embodies primarily the responsibilities towards the students, faculty, external participants and the institution at large.

Why do we need these committees?

These committees act as vehicles for management students to drive their professional goals by safeguarding the interests of their colleagues, the college and self. They identify the specialized skills of members and leverage their capability to their fullest advantage. By involving more members, responsibilities are shared and business matters can be conducted and examined more capably. These responsibilities are segregated into different committees, of which I have identified six vital ones:

Placement Committee:

‘You don't have to worry about being a number one, number two, or number three. Numbers don't have anything to do with placement. Numbers only have something to do with repetition.’ - Ornette Coleman.

In quoting this iconic genius, I do not mean to demoralize the value of aptitude or talent, but to merely point out the value of passion and inquisitiveness. And in agreeing with Ornette, I am only acknowledging the significance of curiosity and it being a vital channel to one’s accomplishment till date. A placement committee is necessary because they will have the power potential to connect with new employers and this is possible if the members possess assertive and varied interests, strong and comprehensive background of various facets of undergraduate education and work experience. They will also have to have the prowess to maintain relationships with people.

A member needs to have gained substantial visibility in past workplaces to have developed work affiliations with former employers and recruitment specialists. To be a part of the placement committee, members need to be able to seek benchmarking opportunities in major companies, need to be leaders in their industry segments, and leverage the emerging technology and learning prospects to build their career further. In the quest to be an active member of the placement committee, one needs to ensure that the measure of his or her dedication towards the committee should ideally be the contentment that he or she would receive by successfully securing a dream role for his or her fellow colleagues over their placement. Hence, a committee member is responsible for arranging on-campus and off-campus interviews as well.

Industry Interface Committee:

The Industry Interface committee requires establishing a pathway of hope for the college in terms of contributing towards development of new education programs and communities and attracting students from all over the globe. It also helps provide opportunities such as networking, engaging students in professional activities, business events, leadership development programs and information exchange for the professional development of their colleagues and peers. Visibility is a highly essential factor that is ingrained into the realm of the industry interface committee and having an online presence over social networking sites is merely not going to get any brownie points.

It is the impression that the committee makes and maintains; it is the reputation that ultimately is the guardian that really comes into play. The committee will help in aligning and attracting research and learning projects and internships for students. They will assist in conducting training programs, pre-placement trainings, liaising industry experts to interact with budding management professionals by developing an industry-institute interface. The committee members need to have skills to assess the training needs of students based on current industry standards and need to be able to choose industry expert trainers. They also need to maintain student database, collect and update resumes or suggest modifications to them to suit the requirements of their aspiring industry.

Academic Committee:

The academic committee serves as the student body head for the college also serving as an academic policy advisory board. It is a committee that is responsible for the academic program planning and it also serves as a forum for students to voice their issues, concerns and recommendations on the procedures and practices of the faculty and the institution at large. The role involves advising the institution board, the leadership, president, senior staff, faculty and administrative staff on various facets of the institution. Academic committee responsibilities range from attending to faculty matters, review of policies and projects structure outlined by the college and ensuring academic morality and academic discipline.

They should be involved in the academic program evaluation and approval; should ensure improvement in the academic curriculum and need to supervise faculty teaching quality. A member of the committee needs to be well known among his or her peers, colleagues, friends and faculty. He or she should be able to work under pressure as there might be many issues affecting the general composition and balance of the student body. A committee member requires having excellent academic discipline, decision making skills, meticulous academic attitude, and elevated academic morality. He or she should also be willing to take on any tasks withstanding pressure peaks and should strictly obey committee laws.

The Public Relations (PR) committee:

As Wayne Dyer quotes, "Love what you do. Do what you love." And that’s a reason enough to justify as to why one wants to be part of the prestigious PR committee. The PR committee needs to be formed with an intent to showcase the virtue of the institution to the outside world in good light and for this it is but necessary to involve PR members who are ‘people’s persons’. The committee requires to strongly believe that it possess the qualities of confident and articulate communicators who can outreach to audiences at large, who can engage and network with people and bring about desirable outcomes for the institution.

Part of the responsibility also involves attracting and inviting company heads for talks and guest lectures. Networking is a very inherent quality that a member of a PR committee should possess, be it face-to-face networking or via phone or email. Also, with the booming evolvement of social media, it is very critical for one to know the art of effective networking on social networking platforms. A strong foothold over especially Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn is the need of the hour.

It is also vital to be an effective writer, one who is well-versed to adapt keeping the audience in mind and can easily put down thoughts into words. The PR committee needs to have vested interests in the success of the institution and will strive to maintain a balance between its reputation and methods of working by tackling unpredictable challenges and achieving the necessary targets.

Sports Committee:

In their book ‘A New World is Possible’ Dunja and Ljubodrag Simonovi talk about sports as one the most important pillars of culture, and the Sports Committee serves as one such medium that helps bridge the gap between the students that come from diverse cultures. The Sports Committee manages the various sporting events and festivals that include sports such as football, cricket, basketball, tennis, etc. at both intra and inter-collegiate levels. These activities foster team spirit and camaraderie between the students.

It also helps bring out leadership skills and a competitive spirit in the individuals, which may stand them in good stead in their lives. Since the committee is majorly involved in promoting sports in the college, the committee members get a firsthand experience of organizing events and tournaments which also gives them a rather holistic experience of managing an event from the finance, marketing and operations aspects.

Arts & Adventure Committee:

The Culture, Media & Arts committee is formed with the opinion of encouraging talent. It serves as a platform for students to unleash their hidden talent in the varied forms of art such as dance, music, theatre, painting, poetry-reading, musical events and concerts and many more. This committee also holds the responsibility of conducting college tours and getaways for the adventurous lot. There are many who are always enthusiastically and proactively involved in extra-curricular events.

We need a bunch of passionate individuals who believe on living life on-the-go, who have a vision of art and individuals who are creative geniuses in any form of art and culture to help organize events for the institution. One needs to be well connected with his or her peers and make utmost use of the college resources to make every opportunity worthwhile while in campus. One needs to identify special occasions such as National Day, Fresher’s event, regional cultural events, nearby getaways, adventurous tours and places to visit and map and plan accordingly considering the feasibility of students and faculty; not forgetting the expenses involved.

The committee’s prime responsibility involves providing grants for these initiatives. Hence, we need individuals who also are vigilant in terms of expenditure. These extramural activities helps connect with different college students in participatory events held on an inter-collegiate level.

Thus, there are many such committees that form the backbone of any management institution. There is a defined common goal of every committee and committee work should be an exceptionally gratifying experience to both members of the institution and the institution as a whole.

This article has been authored by Amritha Chottakurien from SP Jain Global School of Management.



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