Don’t be a Jack of all trades and a Master of none

Written by Overseas Education Consultant and Study Abroad Career Counsellor in Mumbai, Karan Gupta


 

When Krishika arrived in the US to study the MBA in Finance degree she was shocked to see the actual finance courses – this is not what she thought finance is. She changed her major to Supply Chain Management and graduated with an SCM specialisation. Certainly Krishika is not the only student who experiences this kind of specialisation confusion. Most students opt for Finance or Marketing would actually knowing what the specialisation entails. It’s imperative that students are familiar with and understand the course content of the various MBA specialisations.

 

You should keep in mind that no matter what your specialisation, most B-Schools will require you to take core courses such as Economics, Financial Accounting Systems, Financial Analysis for Managers, Marketing, Operations Management and Process Improvement, Organisational Behaviour and Leadership, Statistical Analysis for Decision Making and Competitive Strategy. You should also know that in many one-year MBA programmes, you may not have the option to choose any specialisations but instead will follow a pre-defined curriculum. In most two-year programmes, the first year has the core courses and the second year has electives or specialisation courses.

 

Finance


The most popular MBA specialisation for Indian students by far is Finance. A student majoring in Finance will be required to assess the financial viability of businesses, management and valuation of financial resources. A major in Finance will prepare students for managerial careers in corporate finance, investment analysis, portfolio management, financial consulting and so on. Students majoring in Finance can sometimes sub-specialise in Corporate Finance, Investment Management, Banking and Financial Institutions and International Finance.

 

Top B-Schools for Finance


1. University of Pennsylvania

2. University of Chicago

3. New York University

4. Columbia University

5. Harvard University

 

Accounting


Accounting can be defined as “formal system of collecting, organising and reporting financial data that are used in making economic decisions. The users of these data include corporate shareholders, lenders, management, employees, taxing and regulatory agencies, research organisations, and many others. The data shed light on current financial status and liquidity, as well as past profitability and funds-generating capability.” (Wharton Business School website) Most economic decisions require accounting data. People who do not have access to firms may want to know the economic progress of the firm and hence accounting data is required. Most B-Schools will teach you how accounting information is generated and how reliable it is. You will also be taught how to analyse this data.

 

Top B-Schools for Accounting


1. University of Pennsylvania

2. University of Chicago

3. University of Texas at Austin

4. University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign

5. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

 

General Management


If you want a broad business background and you are a “generalist” then the General Management specialisation will be most suitable for you. The main objective of the general management specialisation is to lead others in an organisation, irrespective of the organisation’s purpose. Since this is the main objective, the courses aim to increase your critical thinking and persuasion skills. You will study courses in broad business areas such as Accounting, Marketing, and Finance so that you can be prepared to be an effective manager in a business setting.

 

Top B-Schools for General Management


1. Harvard University

2. Northwestern University

3. University of Michigan – Ann Harbor

4. Stanford University

5. University of Pennsylvania

 

Courses taught would include Organisational Behaviour and Leadership, Leading Change in a Quality Organisation, Social and Political Environment of Business, Management and Career Development, Human Resource Management, and Professionals and Business Ethics.

 

Entrepreneurship


A good idea is an effective way to start a new business but making the business successful, generating income and managing the business effectively is a different ballgame altogether. In the current business environment, it is vital for leaders to focus on pioneering value-based solutions, to expand their creative problem-solving skills and to recognise change as an opportunity. Entrepreneurship is one such field where you can learn how to manage the risks that go along with launching business ventures.  You would be able to identify new business opportunities and pursue them successfully, stimulate growth in the corporate workplace, recognise cultural biases to entrepreneurial behaviour, methods to overcome them, and use entrepreneurial business strategies to shape new ventures. A student who majors in entrepreneurship does not necessarily have to set up his or her own business, but in fact can expand existing businesses or help companies setup new offices.

 

 

Karan Gupta is the leading international education and career consultant in Mumbai, India. Since 1999, he has given career counselling and has helped thousands of students with study abroad and get admission and visas to universities and colleges in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Singapore and EU and also helps them get scholarships, loans and financial aid. In addition to aptitude tests and career counselling, his firm also provides training and coaching for the GMAT, GRE, SAT, ACT, TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE exams. Karan Gupta is the best study abroad career counsellor, consultant and career guidance expert in Mumbai.

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