I recently did a guest lecture at one of the local MBA colleges in Hyderabad, India. On one side, it took me back to the days when I used to be a starry-eyed student myself. On the other, it made me reflect upon how we tend to give undue importance to certain things that eventually don’t turn out so.
I remembered how we used to be hopelessly concerned about the subjects to take up as electives. For the hardcore marketing and finance folks, the choice was rather straight forward, though not entirely ideal in hindsight. For the relatively more confused lot which I was a part of, the dilemma used to be intense.
Here, I have compiled a list of subjects/topics that every MBA must take up, regardless of the specialization. These, in my view, are fundamental blocks that will equip you with the right understanding and tools all through your professional careers.
- Financial Modeling – The day you grow senior enough in the corporate hierarchy to evaluate projects and firms, you’ll realize how critical this is.
- Operations/Project Management – Wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that more than 90% of modern corporate work is structured as projects. You’ll start off working with one, and end up handling many, so equip yourself well.
- Data Analysis/Quantitative Techniques – It is no more about capturing data, it’s about what you can make from it – the intelligence you can drive.
- Business to Business (B2B) Marketing – Whatever your area of work maybe (including B2C marketing, finance, IT etc.), you will at some stage end up dealing with other companies.
- Services Marketing – It’s not the product that decides customer satisfaction in today’s world; it’s the experience.
There are others that come to mind, but I will restrict the list to these five. These are subjects that—more often than not—one tends to overlook given the preference for a certain specialization.
- Master of Finance Vs. Master of Business Administration (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
- How to stand out from the crowded marketplace (independent.co.uk)
- The business school for anti-MBAs (money.cnn.com)