Defining the problem: I am currently pursuing MBA at SIBM, Pune.
When I joined thecollege, we were asked to submit our choice of specialization within 10 days. Whatshould be my specialization so that I can successfully pursue my career in thesame? Prior to doing my MBA, I have had a full-time workexperience of 15 months in diverse fields which made it tougher for me tochoose a specialization. For the first 6 months I worked with a startup inDelhi. As it was a startup, I took care of different departments. I wasresponsible for managing the recruitment process of full time employees as wellas interns from a number of Delhi University colleges as well as MBAinstitutions.
I even worked with the Sales department Achieved salestarget for affordable housing projects in Delhi NCR by tying up with CAs andreal estate agents. I then moved on to American Express, where Iperformed operational work. My problem was related to decision making. As per the Simon’smodel, there are 4 steps involved in Decision Making; Intelligence Phase, Designphase, and Choice Phase. The intelligence phase focuses on identifying theproblem and collecting information related to the problem. This phase may takea long time as the decision that needs to be made will only be understood onceyou have all the information related to it. The next phase i.e the design phaseworks on finding possible solutions to the problem.
Finally, the choice phasechooses the solution. I had the below four optionswhich once chosen could not be changed. I had to choose wisely because I wouldbe pursuing my career in that field.a) Marketingb) Human resourcesc) Financed) 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.
Itis 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 HRbecause I am a girl and in the future it would be good if I had fixed officetimings with less of field work. I considered their point of view and thoughtabout how would I be able to manage both work and home in future if I take upMarketing. One of the facts involved in this situation was that if I wouldchoose marketing, I would have to do sales for a minimum of 3-4 years after Ipass out of college. Post that I could decide to make a shift to marketing.
Iwas again worried as to how would I be able to manage such a tiring job. I thenspoke to a few people seniors and those working in the industry. Those who werein the sales field told me that their job was very taxing but they hadeventually begun to enjoy it. Coming to marketing, I wanted to take that because I likedthe job of a marketer. I had a lot of interest in understanding consumerbehavior and formulating strategies accordingly. When I looked at the curriculumof both the specializations, I was keen on studying the subjects taught inmarketing.
They triggered an urge to learn. At the same time, the subjectsunder Human Resources seemed good to study but they did not peak my interestlike the ones under Marketing did. I had even worked on a Marketing Internshipat Ambi Pur during my Graduation. I had loved my work which was to find targetareas to sell ambi pur products, and perform online and offline sales. I evenmade a few campaigns to promote the products. Post that I worked in the salesdepartment of a startup as well. That phase of my life when I had to choose of the twooptions was very stressful and it was about my career. One day I used to bebent to towards one option and the other day towards the other option.
Confusionwas at its peak. Problem Based Research MBAis one of the most popular degrees worldwide. Most of the top management positionsrequire the candidate to be an MBA as it imparts the required knowledge orrather sets a base for managerial positions. Although selecting the rightinstitute is important, the selection of specialization is more important. The right selection of business institute isvery important, but the selection of right specialization in MBA is the mostimportant.
( Din, Anjum, Ullah, & Latif, 2014) Iresearched about the career options available post MBA in HR and Marketing. Anarticle 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. Formarketing I again looked into a number of articles with The Importance ofSkills of M.B.A students seeking marketing positions: An Employers’ Perspective(Arora, 1992) being reallyhelpful. I also looked into how one should go about mapping career decisionproblems. (Kelly, 2002) Solution Plan: As Ihad only 10 days to make a decision, I planned to first consult my immediateseniors in college.
Post that I planned to go through the sessions that thecollege had lined up for us to help us identify our interest. It included aseries of sessions with our Alumni working in different field in the industry. Ourcollege had also organized career counselling sessions with Dheya, which triedto identify our personality through psychometric tests and then suggested asuitable specialization. Implementation and Results stage: I religiouslyundertook all the planned sessions.
However, that confused me even more. Fromthe word that I had with the alumni, I felt that I should take up marketing butas 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 seniorsand alumni about each specialization. I watched a number of videos online, readcontent about both specializations and viewed the LinkedIn profiles of alumnito know the areas they are working in and the companies they are working with.
Icollected the data from LinkedIn, Quora, YouTube and by talking to people. Iused a list to mention all the factors that are important in taking thedecision and compare them for each specialization. I listed down factors likeinterest, what will I be able to do better, my skills, career path, pedagogyand work life balance and analyzed them for each specialization. However, Ifinalized my decision based on the two most important factors- interest andwhere do I see myself working some years down the line. I Finally decided to gowith Marketing because my interest in marketing outweighed that in the others. Thisfield would offer me work that I prefer and see myself doing some years downthe line. Reflection Stage: I believe this is one of the most important stages. I hasbeen about 8 months now that I am pursuing my MBA in Marketing.
I am more thanhappy that I took this decision. From the entire process, I learnt that youmust take career decisions based on your interest because if you do theotherwise, you’ll never be able to justify it in the future. There may come apoint when you will not feel like working and then there will be a regret ofhaving made the wrong choice. Thatperiod made my opinion about myself even stronger that I am a goal orientedperson.
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 arebound by external factors. I discovered that I had the strength to ignoreexternal factors as they were temporary.