Q: I am a 32- year-old physics (honours) graduate and I am working with a funding agency as an office assistant. I wish to pursue an MBA. I come from a lower middle class family, hence I am unable to opt for a full-time course. I am also thinking of pursuing BEd from IGNOU. I have also passed the OpenMat exam conducted by IGNOU. What should be my next move'
Goutam Kumar, Ranchi
A: MBA and BEd provide two very different career tracks. You would need to decide whether you would like a career in academics or a corporate career. Accordingly you could opt for either a BEd or an MBA. Since you are already working with a funding agency and have cleared your OpenMat, an MBA seems closer to your current job profile. An MBA with IGNOU would enable you to work and study at the same time.
After you complete your MBA, you would still need to work at finding an appropriate job. You need to recognise that there is a very sharp market differentiation of management institutes. For example, an MBA from one of the IIMs is viewed differently from an MBA from IGNOU. You would be best advised to seek a job in the NGO or funding sector, as you have some experience in that field. Hold a discussion with your present employers and ask them whether they will be able to give you a higher role if you complete your MBA.
Q: I work as a marketing manager in a reputed MNC. I have a total of seven years' experience. When I had joined my present organisation three years ago, I was pursuing a part-time MBA course and had told my boss that I would need to take a break before my exams. At that time he had agreed. My finals got over last December during which I was granted two weeks' leave.
Recently, I requested a week-long leave. My boss got livid and I was told that this one would be held against me. Moreover, he keeps harping on this issue each time he sees me. Should I try to have a frank discussion with my boss or should I put in my papers'
A: It seems from your letter that your exams are over and you wanted to go on leave because you wished to take a break and relax. Your request is justified no doubt. However, if you do consider your employer's point of view, he has supported your request for leave during exams and is turning down your current request because you basically want a holiday.
Do discuss your discomfort and concern with your boss candidly and with an open mind. Thereafter, if you feel the situation is improving, you may continue your current job. However, if you feel that despite your open discussion with your boss you are still not comfortable at the workplace then it would probably be best to look for other options.
Given your qualifications and experience there would be many options and your reason for leaving does not seem to be one that will affect your future employment.
Q: I am 37 years old and working as a clerk in a semi-government insurance company for the last nine years. I am an MA in economics with specialisation in statistics and econometrics. I want to change my job. What are my options'
A: With your background, you could use your skills as well as experience to become an 'actuary' ' a professional who analyses the financial consequences of risk. Actuaries use math, statistics, and financial theory to study uncertain future events, especially those of concern to insurance and pension programmes.
You may work for insurance companies, consulting firms, regulatory bodies or BPOs / outsourcers with insurance back offices. There is high demand for actuaries in India and it is a financially rewarding profession. However, it takes time to become an actuary as there are many papers to pass. For details contact the Actuarial Society of India at www.actuariesindia.org.
You could also consider a role in data mining or analysis support in the BPO industry. Other options could be a similar analysts' role within a market research or social research firm or a research assistant attached to any statistical institute or you could join a third party administration company where experience in an insurance company is seen as an added advantage.
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