Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: February 15, 2015
Do you think MBA students or grads have different habits or ways to do things ? Here are 11 signs that show these special traits of MBAs :P
1. Deadline of 11:59:59 pm
The deadline for submission of assignment at 11:59:59 pm has so much so imbibed in your mind & heart that when a professor sets any other deadline (say for example 5:00 pm), either you request him to postpone the deadline or think that this guy is new to B-school culture. ;)
Most of the other activities like playing games, watching movies or TV come to the halt when the so dreaded deadline approaches, chaos suddenly appears like a spirit, lot of mechanical sound comes out of the laptops, cues are taken from other groups, last minute brushing up happens & assignment is submitted. Everyone in the room take a sigh of relief & pledges that next time onwards our submission would be the best. But morning onwards, everyone is busy in their own important schedules & says let’s do the assignment tomorrow because there is time left in deadline, but tomorrow never comes. :D :P ;)
2. You become victims of Bell normal curve
Despite of how hard you try, the improvement in your marks, which is generally considered synonymously to improvement in academics is marginal because everyone else is trying harder. :P
Reason behind this mishap is the rule in most of the B-schools that grading is done relative to your peers’ performance. Outliers, in both the directions are identified. This holy task is constituent of several factors like contribution to class participation, performance in quizzes, assignments, case discussions, examinations, group tasks & the last & the most important is your impression in front of the professor. Outliers are given the best & the worst grades, some professors being generous do not award bad grades, and approximately 70% of the class is fitted in the normal portion of the curve.
For the students who are in the normal portion, two things arise & they are two different sides of the same coin. First is, they thank God for getting better than average/average grades relative to the class. Second, a more pernicious question arises, would they ever be successful in beating others who are in normal portion & becoming one of the outliers? :D :P
3. Power point presentation experts are found at B-schools
Everyone tries their hands on experimenting with new ppt styles & formats. Using advanced ppt formats is considered as being smart & intelligent. Also, it creates an impression that the respective person must know something of value and sometimes guarantees more marks.
There are as much tools available as a person can think of.
4. Spreadsheets & Excels become an inseparable part of life
Spreadsheet starts appearing exactly opposite to what it used to seem in school. Who has thought in the school that what used to seem as another simple add on in MS 2007 like MS doc is really really so deep & wide?
Almost, every business involves application of spreadsheet. They are an important tool while calculating financial ratios, operating profits, losses, inventory turnover ratios, pricing of the product, breakeven analysis, and sensitivity analysis and so on.
A person deft at spreadsheet is at advantage compared to his peers. He/she can analyze data, draw inferences &, if required, can recommend next course of action can impress his/her boss in a better way. ;) Chances of promotion or better incentives to that rival increases.
5. Learning through case studies
Every eminent B-school boasts of andragogy that involves learning through case studies. Analyzing the case studies, learning through them & the belief that graduates would apply the learnings derived from cases in real life is considered to be very holy & so unquestionable.
Everyone is expected to be thorough at the case assigned, to participate in the case analysis and to provide constructive arguments. ;)
Cases are distributed in almost every second or third lecture that there is no dearth of practical learning if one really wants to. ;) :)
But the most unfortunate are those who have not come prepared the case & the professor catches them red handed. :P
Adding to the woes of those who have not come prepared, sometimes research associates are present to note down who has & has not participated in the case analysis or cameras are placed which record the activities of the class for further reference.
6. I have entrepreneurial abilities
Taking inspiration from professors, eminent visitors and others, almost everyone on B-school campus tries to think like an entrepreneur. Every idea that comes to one’s mind seems ‘the’ idea that has possibility of creating millions no matter how bad or hopeless it seems to peers.
Innovative thinking is the most prized asset in these turbulent economic times. Businesses are looking for the ways which have the potential to reduce the costs of doing business & to improve top line.
Very simple ideas have the possibility of creating differentiation no matter whether the idea is related to post sales service, supply chain effectiveness, new product, and product enhancement and so on. Businesses are recognizing that an idea which can revolutionize business can be found from the most unexpected of the places.
Entrepreneurship cells are at every B-school campus which promotes innovation & provide fund & collaboration to take further a bright idea. Also, corporations enter into tie-ups with entrepreneurship cells & case study competitions giving real life challenges to promote & find innovative solutions.
7. Lots of analytical tools & sophisticated softwares are boasted
MBA grads have peculiar habit of analyzing anything & everything to the hilt irrespective of the requirement.
Yes, businesses involve loads of data crunching & visualizations. It becomes more complex when problem has several dimensions. Complexity can be reduced to some extent using graphs, pie charts or other visualization tools (from softwares like Tableau). But, sometimes a simple idea is the solution. Crunching data every time is not required, what is required is a simple business sense which generally comes out of our own observations.
And, the most promising solutions do not come out of the data.
8. I am a team player
Everyone recognizes the importance of team work. Outputs from a team fetch better results than an individual’s work. Corporates as well as graduates know the importance of word, ‘team player’.
No one wants to miss the chances of getting promotion or better incentives, more marks or good placement opportunity. In almost every interview or presentation, one would utter these precious two words.
Yes, in B—schools we are taught to work in teams. Professors or so called ‘course facilitators’ try their best to make a team worker out of every individual. They make teams on their own, citing the reason that in life you cannot choose friends every time. You have to work with strangers, so start practicing. :D Besides this, course facilitators, set the marks for working in the team & it mostly depends on the feedbacks from the team members. Some are generous in their feedbacks & give good feedbacks while rest are miser & take advantage of this opportunity to revenge some past mishaps. :D ;)
9. We love TV series & wait eagerly for the next season
Game of Thrones, Friends, Suits are some of the common & most interesting examples that an MBA grad is finding & managing time for. These series are considered to be so holy & stress relieving & for some, they are creativity enhancing.
We are so much addicted to these series & eagerly finish 1 episode after 1 episode & wait for the next season even with higher intensity of eager. Sometimes, the intensity is so high, that we could not stop ourselves from reading whole 600-700 pages novel within 3-4 days.
Free wi-fi’s most useful application can be found here. And, when people are off-campus, they really miss the bandwidth & speed of the campus wi-fi and sometimes resort to social media to register their unhappiness & sadness.
10. Weekday-weekend balance
It doesn’t matter whether you are teetotaler or ‘other’, all you look out for is a weekend and that too on a Friday. No matter how hectic your day turns out to be, somehow you have the excitement & courage to collect yourself and get ready for a Friday late night party.
Grades practice weekday-weekend balance because one weekend night acts as a medicine to heal all your humiliation and pain you have suffered in the past 5 days while it also prepares you for the harsh realities that you are about to face in the next 5 days.
Also, the worst & common thing is that free weekends cannot be guaranteed. It all depends on the schedule of the professor & gradually the line between Sat/Sunday & Monday/Tuesday becomes blurred.
11. Much needed break of 15 mins
No matter how interesting or painstakingly difficult your class is, all you look out for is the end of one and a half hour or more, so that you can take a break of 15mins.
I bet the productivity of the budding managers’ increases manifold in these 15mins. You are able to attend right from your nature’s call to refreshments drink, let it be a tea or a cold drink.
Interestingly, the happiest of the lot are smokers, and why not, as the best gossip and plan comes out during that particular moment which continues until your fellow batch mates shout from a distance that your 15 mins are over, and if you don’t reach the class in time there are only two possibilities, either your attendance is gone or you will be barred from entering the class. Sometimes, professors are generous in a way that they allow you to attend class but after his & class’s entertainment, object being you.:D