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MBA at IIMs: Case Studies | Specializations | Key Skills

Oct 31, 2018 18:24 IST
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Planning to pursue your MBA from top MBA colleges in India like IIM Calcutta? But first, you must understand the key aspects and concepts related to management education in India. To help you understand how the top B-schools of India operate, Jagranjosh.com has started this new series in which IIM Faculty members and existing students will share their experiences and important things that you must keep in mind before joining IIMs or any other B-school.

As part of this initiative, Prof. RunaSarkar – Dean Academic, IIM Calcutta explains the importance of case method and case studies at IIMs. She also talks about the key functional areas in management education i.e. MBA specializations. In her concluding remarks, she explains what skills you will imbibe at the IIMs.

Extracts from the Interview:

Importance of Case Studies / Case Method

An Indian Institute of Management, just by the way of its name is a management school. Management as an academic domain covers a huge breadth of issues that no single person, no matter how qualified or how experienced, will have knowledge about. Therefore, following case method or using case studies, gives students, both experienced and inexperienced ones, the actual instantiations of management theory.This makes case method and case studies very important tool to illustrate the practice of management and the theories that go into it.

Major Functional Areas / MBA Specializations

While pursuing a management programme, students tend to break up the course into different functions. The key thing to focus on is that students break up the MBA programme into different functions whereas IIM Calcutta believes in having a generalized approach to management education. When it comes to major functional areas or the top MBA specializations, it includes marketing, finance, human resources, information systems, operations management, supply chain management and new age domains like business analytics that have become very important for MBA. But all these functional areas are defined by the students and MBA at IIM Calcutta is clearly a generalized program we do not offer officially at least any functional specializations

Key Skills you learn during an MBA

One thing that MBA aspirants must understand about MBA is that it is a professional programme and not something that you pursue at a Polytechnic college. At a Polytechnic you acquire skills, on the other hand when you pursue an MBA you certainly acquire skills, but much more important and far more relevant is that you develop perspective, you get context and when you have perspective and context you can apply those skills better. A common metaphor that is often use to illustrate this is about ‘making a hole in the wall’. Now, in order to make a hole in the wall, you could use a drill or you could use a hammer and a nail, which of the two options you use depends upon the quality of the wall. An MBA programme teaches you to figure out what to use when. Simply put, it is not merely about the tools that you use, tools certainly matter, but that is merely a starting point. An MBA programme gives you the right perspective and context to solve a given problem.

About the Expert:

Prof Runa Sarkar is the Dean Academic as well as the faculty of the Economics Group at IIM Calcutta. In terms of academic background, she is a Chemical Engineer from BITS Pilani and has also earned her Master’s Degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. On the professional front, she has worked with Tata Corp – a subsidiary of Tata Steel in the domain of environmental and energy consulting. Prior to joining IIM-Calcutta as a faculty in the Economics Group, she has taught at IIT Kanpur in its Industrial Management & Engineering Department.

DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

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