Defining be pursuing my career in that field.

Defining the problem:

 

I am currently pursuing MBA at SIBM, Pune. When I joined the
college, we were asked to submit our choice of specialization within 10 days. What
should be my specialization so that I can successfully pursue my career in the
same?

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Prior to doing my MBA, I have had a full-time work
experience of 15 months in diverse fields which made it tougher for me to
choose a specialization. For the first 6 months I worked with a startup in
Delhi. As it was a startup, I took care of different departments. I was
responsible for managing the recruitment process of full time employees as well
as interns from a number of Delhi University colleges as well as MBA
institutions. I even worked with the Sales department Achieved sales
target for affordable housing projects in Delhi NCR by tying up with CAs and
real estate agents. I then moved on to American Express, where I
performed operational work.

 

My problem was related to decision making. As per the Simon’s
model, there are 4 steps involved in Decision Making; Intelligence Phase, Design
phase, and Choice Phase. The intelligence phase focuses on identifying the
problem and collecting information related to the problem. This phase may take
a long time as the decision that needs to be made will only be understood once
you have all the information related to it. The next phase i.e the design phase
works on finding possible solutions to the problem. Finally, the choice phase
chooses the solution.

 

I had the below four options
which once chosen could not be changed. I had to choose wisely because I would
be pursuing my career in that field.

a)   
Marketing

b)   
Human resources

c)    
Finance

d)   
Operations

 

I eliminated Finance and Operations sue to lack of interest.

I now had to choose between Marketing and HR.

 

I had very different reasons for choosing each one of them.

Talking about HR, my sister is an HR at ZS associates and she likes her job. It
is majorly a desk job and she doesn’t have to do much of the field work.

However it is challenging in its own way. My parents wanted me to take up HR
because I am a girl and in the future it would be good if I had fixed office
timings with less of field work. I considered their point of view and thought
about how would I be able to manage both work and home in future if I take up
Marketing. One of the facts involved in this situation was that if I would
choose marketing, I would have to do sales for a minimum of 3-4 years after I
pass out of college. Post that I could decide to make a shift to marketing. I
was again worried as to how would I be able to manage such a tiring job. I then
spoke to a few people seniors and those working in the industry. Those who were
in the sales field told me that their job was very taxing but they had
eventually begun to enjoy it.

Coming to marketing, I wanted to take that because I liked
the job of a marketer. I had a lot of interest in understanding consumer
behavior and formulating strategies accordingly. When I looked at the curriculum
of both the specializations, I was keen on studying the subjects taught in
marketing. They triggered an urge to learn. At the same time, the subjects
under Human Resources seemed good to study but they did not peak my interest
like the ones under Marketing did. I had even worked on a Marketing Internship
at Ambi Pur during my Graduation. I had loved my work which was to find target
areas to sell ambi pur products, and perform online and offline sales. I even
made a few campaigns to promote the products. Post that I worked in the sales
department of a startup as well.

That phase of my life when I had to choose of the two
options was very stressful and it was about my career. One day I used to be
bent to towards one option and the other day towards the other option. Confusion
was at its peak.

 

 

 

Problem Based Research

 

MBA
is one of the most popular degrees worldwide. Most of the top management positions
require the candidate to be an MBA as it imparts the required knowledge or
rather sets a base for managerial positions. Although selecting the right
institute is important, the selection of specialization is more important.  The right selection of business institute is
very important, but the selection of right specialization in MBA is the most
important. ( Din, Anjum, Ullah, & Latif, 2014)

 

I
researched about the career options available post MBA in HR and Marketing. An
article which talked about employability if MBA students with HR Specialization
(Kandel,
2014)
presented a detailed research on the topic and listed out stats for the same. For
marketing I again looked into a number of articles with The Importance of
Skills of M.B.A students seeking marketing positions: An Employers’ Perspective
(Arora, 1992) being really
helpful. I also looked into how one should go about mapping career decision
problems. (Kelly, 2002)

 

 

Solution Plan:

 

As I
had only 10 days to make a decision, I planned to first consult my immediate
seniors in college. Post that I planned to go through the sessions that the
college had lined up for us to help us identify our interest. It included a
series of sessions with our Alumni working in different field in the industry. Our
college had also organized career counselling sessions with Dheya, which tried
to identify our personality through psychometric tests and then suggested a
suitable specialization.

 

Implementation and Results stage:

 

I religiously
undertook all the planned sessions. However, that confused me even more. From
the word that I had with the alumni, I felt that I should take up marketing but
as per the results of Career Counselling, HR was more suitable.

I considered the pedagogy of each course, the placements,
the career path, growth prospects as well as views and experiences of seniors
and alumni about each specialization. I watched a number of videos online, read
content about both specializations and viewed the LinkedIn profiles of alumni
to know the areas they are working in and the companies they are working with. I
collected the data from LinkedIn, Quora, YouTube and by talking to people. I
used a list to mention all the factors that are important in taking the
decision and compare them for each specialization. I listed down factors like
interest, what will I be able to do better, my skills, career path, pedagogy
and work life balance and analyzed them for each specialization. However, I
finalized my decision based on the two most important factors- interest and
where do I see myself working some years down the line. I Finally decided to go
with Marketing because my interest in marketing outweighed that in the others. This
field would offer me work that I prefer and see myself doing some years down
the line.

 

Reflection Stage:

 

I believe this is one of the most important stages. I has
been about 8 months now that I am pursuing my MBA in Marketing. I am more than
happy that I took this decision. From the entire process, I learnt that you
must take career decisions based on your interest because if you do the
otherwise, you’ll never be able to justify it in the future. There may come a
point when you will not feel like working and then there will be a regret of
having made the wrong choice.

That
period made my opinion about myself even stronger that I am a goal oriented
person. I have a strong will to go beyond boundaries and achieve what I want to.

I also realized that you somewhere already know what you want to do but are
bound by external factors. I discovered that I had the strength to ignore
external factors as they were temporary.