MBA Stories: Bharat S Raj

 Bharat S Raj studied at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai specialising in analytics. He then went to work for Sutherland Global Services, a process transformation company. Bharat talks about his experiences at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai and offers his advice to people looking to do an MBA.

An MBA in India is regarded as a distinguished qualification and comes with a higher social status especially if you achieved your MBA from a top Business School.

However, people have various reasons to pursue an MBA. I decided to pursue a PGDM degree from the Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai because I wanted to pursue a career in analytics. The institution’s analytics programme was ranked highly and this was the best Business School for me.

My PGDM journey was memorable. As part of the Analytics Committee, I organised workshops and competitions. I also got the opportunity to organise a TEDx event and participated in various events and competitions.

I can tell you that the programme has helped me a lot in my professional development and has helped me think about my long-term career prospects.

To all people who are looking forward to doing an MBA, here is some advice. An MBA doesn’t necessarily guarantee a great career, high salary or a dream job. Be ready to invest a lot of time since it is not an easy degree and there are no shortcuts. It is a lifetime investment.

You will have to really put in a lot of hours to learn about new subjects, functions and create new contacts to expand your network. Your network is your net worth. You will realise that management is all about teamwork and collaboration.

You can choose to specialise in various fields like marketing, finance or operations which will help you land a dream job, however, it is important that you align your previous experience and skills with your chosen specialisation.

Before my PGDM, I only had an undergraduate degree and no industry experience. I had to put in extra effort to align myself with analytics. A few online courses, resourceful materials from my professors and quant skills helped me quickly catch up with my colleagues and I went on to learn R programming, SAS, Tableau and PowerBI.

As part of the programme, I got an opportunity to do an internship at Sutherland Global Services. I was able to use my knowledge to help the organisation with a project and this helped me acquire a job offer from the Sutherland Global Services. I realised then that analytics was business oriented, multi-dimensional and data-driven.

I think that in India, it is important to study for an MBA at a top Business School. According to a 2017 report in the Hindustan Times, only 47% of MBA graduates received placements on campus between 2016 and 2017. At this time, jobs for new MBA graduates were at a five-year low. I think this was because even though there are approximately 5000 management institutions in India, most of them have an outdated curriculum, lack of good faculty and poor infrastructure at the time. However, the All India Council for Technical Education is trying to change this.

My last piece of advice is before you pursue an MBA, understand you interest, realise your potential, research programmes and set a goal. Almost all the top Business Schools in India have a career services centre that can help you, however it is you personality and skills the matter.