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Archana : I'd like to start off with a statement that a realtime work-ex in industry actually shows one the way industry runs,,the problems and scenarios one encounters whereas mere class-room teaching can't give one the complete vision of the actual picture. Having said that, it need not be made MANDATORY because freshers can have a role to play, given the role played by case studies in the course of MBA . A  student with previous work-ex looks at the cases mostly thru the lens of what he's seen in the company he'd been working with whereas freshers have a lot of scope to bring in fresh and innovative ideas. This inter-mingling is what makes an MBA classroom richer. We all know that more than 50% of IIM passouts are those who joined as freshers and still are doing extremely well and winning laurels in the industry

Ravi:  Before I go any forward, let me take the simple analogy of an illiterate farmer and his son.  The farmer would pass on the experience to his son from day1, but then how much would the son understand .  Education in the class room enables a medium for communication so that everyone is on the same ground.  The person who is explaining and the person who is listening to .  The son would definitely be able to start working with his father but he definitely he would be smarter if he would have gone through proper education before.

Manan: Hello All. Yes, I think work experience shall be made mandatory to pursue MBA.   You are better equipped with examples from your own life or probably from one of your peer's life and can understand the basic purpose of teaching those case studies

Ravi : Taking this into our topic, a graduate would have experience in his own area of expertise, For example : Electronics in my case, so before one goes to try out his/her hand in MBA, it would be good if he tries to use his previous education in place to understand how is the education in sync with the industry.  And then adding to it would be his ability to understand an organization and reason of things like processes etc being a pillar for the company.

Archana : Well, considering the actual facts most of the experienced people who go for MBA today are those who've worked in technical or other domains. During this phase, he sees the management process real ingredients of the industry etc before going for MBA which a fresher may not

Manan: Also work experience in his own field allows a person to go through a rigorous life which is expected of him when he'll be at a B school studying MBA.  Experience will teach him how to manage his stress levels , it will give him some basic idea of managing things

Ravi : After having some work experience he would have definitely had some or the other things which can be changed and taking these kinds of experiences into a classroom is what makes it interesting.
Let me take an example from my life.  I have learnt SDLC which stands for Software Design Life Cycle in my college, it was a boring subject and all I read it is to get some good marks at the end of the day.  But then when I entered the IT industry I have realized that I should have given it much more emphasis as it is one of the most important thing or reason for a company's success. If I would have gone to MBA directly without going through work experience, though my mind would be fresh, but it would only take things but cannot foresee the importance of such things

Archana : Yes Ravi, Your example perfectly is in sync with my point, but then again the inputs given by a fresher shouldn't be overlooked here. Also, There are qualities like leadership and planning, which are prerequisites for a manager, which, if they can't be taught in classroom neither can they be learnt from work-ex, they're innate qualities which a person develops by birth or to an extent by volition.

Manan: The best thing which experience allows is that it allows you to look at your peers and seniors (both in age and experience). Proper observations help in understanding that what are the qualities a worker shall have, what are the things he shall do. What are the things a leader, a manager shall do and also what they shall not do. Because you would have seen and observer everything in front of you when you were working, you make it a point and try not to repeat those mistakes when you yourself become a manager/leader. So, a decent work experience allows a person to understand the expectations which an organization or a manager has from his employee...  Also... we shall see that what type of experience shall be counted. I personally thing that only full time work experience helps you...

Ravi: Its as good as saying "I don’t like coffee because I don’t like its taste" even before drinking it.  Before one wants to read bundles of information why one doesn’t like coffee, he/she should try to taste it so that they can have better reasons why the don’t like

Archana : Definitely one can understand what the industry expects of a techie guy. This is what comes into play on the campus. “Exchange of ideas" and experiences during which a fresher gets to know of these through his interaction with an experienced guy

Manan: The student must observer and keeps his mind open to learn all types of things from his experience. The experience shall not be taken merely as work experience . It shall also be taken as a learning experience.

Ravi: In addition to what Manan is saying, Experience is only important as long as it is relevant. and as long as it is a learning phase.  If we don’t do either of these things, then its just not worth the whole time.

Archana : Work-ex is definitely a value-add,  but it's not that fresher  can't do well as managers. As you pointed irrelevant experience is again a waste.

Manan: In order to be able to relate things to your previous experiences while studying in a B School.. you must have observer those things during your work Ex days... mere working would not help. The stress management is not taught to you anywhere better to learn how to manage stress in your work days than trying to  learn that after getting admission in a B school

Ravi: Thats a bingo.  On the same lines, Management is all about correlating the day today life with experiences and trying to envision the solution on the same lines.

Archana : Yes, Management is definitely about... more of...on the spot judgment and reasoning abilities for which a decent work-ex provides an insight  There are many aspects of it which can't be taught in classroom.

Ravi: Exactly, To be on the lighter side, one can't teach what to watch in a movie, it can just be learnt after a couple of visit to the theatres with the friends

Manan: Yes... I agree Archies. Apart from these things, you can learn a lot of things by being just a worker. For example if your own manager or leader used to chide you in front of everyone on frivolous issues, u can definitely learn that you shall not make those same mistakes when you get to their place. Experience also develops your attitude


Ravi: The classroom is a medium of communication with others, so it can only let you speak but it can’t tell you what to speak.  Its all one has to learn from one’s own experiences or one's own imagination.  So if you want to speak more sense you need to feel the heat being in a job before one wants to sit in a classroom .  Work experience is a homework before one wants to enter a classroom

Manan: To conclude, I would say that YES  , a decent work experience is necessary indeed and shall be made mandatory. There are lot of qualities and things which a manager requires but not everything can be taught at a B school. But by experiencing them, you can learn them before entering a B school. This will hel a lot. Apart from this, a decent, experience with alert and watchful attitude helps in retaining some situations of real life and this will help to relate the cases which are being taught in B schools to these real life experiences.

Manpreet : I think freshers should also be given an equal opportunity to compete with those who have work experience. If a fresher can perform well in the selection criteria that is written exam, GD and Interview better than an person with work experience he should not be at an disadvantage of not having work experience. It is like a Chicken and Hen situation. Work experience should be gained before having education or one should be educated first before going out and working in a company.  You may give a couple of points extra to the person with work experience while selecting candidates for MBA course but it should not be made mandatory requirement.

Ravi: Thanks lot everyone for sharing your views on the topic, it was nice to be part of a lively group discussion.  Thanks once again.

Manan: Thanks.. urpercentile

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