That is the only thing an MBA degree teaches you to think of yourself. You have scrubbed your ass for two years to get a management degree and been rewarded with a job that probably pays moolah equivalent to a mini Swiss Bank (no denying that). Money is important. Damn right it is. Or else what would pay for your daily existance and still leave enough for the simple joys of life (read, I-don’t-need-but-want items). Money holds an extremely important position in our lives and up to a certain degree (apparently, a very high one), money does buy happiness. In comes a management degree, a sure shot way of ensuring that the monthly cash inflow remains as stable as Mount Everest on the face of Earth, and the hikes as exponential as multiplying bacteria.
But this article is not to decide whether MBA is the best career option, or whether people like MBA or don’t like. I’m not an educational counselor. This article is about what an MBA degree does to people. A list of things comes to my mind, regarding the MBAs I’ve met in my life. So here goes:-
1. An MBA degree inflates a person’s ego faster than a hydraulic pump filling a mini-balloon. It’s great if you were bullied as a child or were mentally tortured for a major portion of your life and could do with some ego. But if not, oh boy does it create individuals with as big a false sense of pride as a crow feeling proud of its voice. The intensity, of course, varies with each individual. I will still not care as much about those who obtain a management degree from tier-1 institutions. But I’ve noticed that the institution’s ranking is inversely proportional to the degree of false sense of pride. Hate me all you want, but it’s true.
2. An MBA degree makes people think that they do not require any other knowledge in the world, other than whatever they’ve mugged up in the two years of supposedly attaining professional nirvana. I’ve met people who talk only about marketing strategies, sales (bleh) strategies, this-shit-that-shit strategy in any given conversation. They don’t care what is being spoken about, and whether their MBA jargon is even related to the topic at hand. A strong urge to blurt out stuff about the above mentioned for-all-I-care strategies is the only driving force for them to talk.
3. An MBA degree makes them disregard other people’s proposals or suggestions faster than 300,000meters-per-sec-squared. It might be a result of point#1, but I feel it’s important enough to have its own place as a point. Before even someone can complete her or his point of view, this supposedly-worldly-wise-MBA-person cuts him or her off midway to justify why their idea will not work, or if they are the really bad ones, I-don’t-give-a-fuck-about-what-you-say types, will begin rambling about why the other person’s point is actually worthless in front of what they said. I just switch-off or find an excuse to get rid of the thousand-miles-per-hour pounding on your ears.
4. An MBA degree makes people think that they now have the right to bullshit every other career track. The world, for them is divided into two parts-the MBAs and the non-MBAs. They might not say it on face, but their disregard to other’s chosen means of livelihood is as conspicuous on their demeanor as fake hair on Sehwag’s head.
5. An MBA degree makes even their parents disregard your decision to stay MBA-less (god it’s almost equivalent to deciding to not get married!) as the worst self-inflicted calamities of your life. “Oh, you didn’t give CAT? What are you going to do now??” I feel like laughing and crying at the same time, every time someone asks me this. “Because I don’t want to wear monochromatic pantsuits all day long and strut around like a vain peacock!” is what I would like to say. In fact, that answer would be much more satisfactory to everyone asking me this question. My standard reply, that I am simply not interested in the management side of things, evokes a gazillion more questions. “WHAT?? How can you be NOT interested in what-is-supposed-to-be-the-career-option-that-Dhirubhai Ambani-himself-patronizes-from-the-heavens-above??” or “So what you’re doing now, does it have any future?” The shocked expressions and the jaws dropping as if 10g’s of force are acting upon them make me feel, I should’ve given the entrance exam and scored zilch purposely so that people don’t consider me “MBA material” at all. Which, by the way, brings me to my sixth point.
6. An MBA degree makes people think that they’re “MBA material”, and that’s why they’re pursuing an MBA in the first place. Umm. There is no such thing as MBA material. People can be born with talent such as painting, music, (Mozart, who composed symphonies at the age of three. That kind of precocious talent has certainly not been taught.), mathematics etcetera. No one is born with MBA talent. Anyone can work hard, get into a good college and become an MBA. Nobody says “She/he was born to do an MBA!” So yeah. There’s no such thing as MBA material.
Of course, no one person has all of these less-than-desirable qualities. That would make that one person a highly irritating A-word with which I would not like to dirty my blog. They are evident in people in varying degrees, and may be, it’s not even because of the process of becoming an MBA. May be it’s their inherent quality. I don’t have anything against any career option anyone chooses. Some of the most important people in my life are soon-going-to-be management gurus. I’m not even going to venture into advising because I’m not a counselor. But really, keep your uber-cool managerial skills where they’re most likely to be respected, like your office. I mean, who wants to wants to listen to MBAs shooting management jargon at topics even like “When will I lose my virginity?”?