Q: I am in the final year of MSc (physics). I want to do an MBA. What are the good colleges other than the IIMs?
A: I hope you arent turning your back on physics somewhat prematurely. Have you explored options open to you in areas of higher research, defence technology and teaching?
If you are clear that management is your calling, the skills you developed while studying physics particularly the ability to research, evaluate and communicate information will hold you in good stead in just about any field you may choose, be it management, engineering (aeronautical, automobile, instrumentation, computer science, electronics and communication), information technology, or even the armed forces.
Believe it or not, pursuing management education is not the appropriate choice of everyone. Your personality, skills and strengths may just be better utilised in other areas, providing you similar success and satisfaction as an MBA would.
While technically you are eligible to appear for the entrance exams, do question your real motives for an MBA is it money, status, job prospects and so on? If you dont, you can bet that the admission committee definitely will. A well thought-out answer to why MBA? would incorporate your academic background, skills and future career goals.
As for the choice of B-schools, the IIMs are certainly worth aiming for. At the same time, other reputed B-schools that figure among the top 15-20 (XLRI, FMS, MDI, IIFT, NITIE, SP Jain, the IITs) offer a comparable business education and platform to launch your career.
Work to build the right image
Q: What are the prospects in public relations (PR)?
A: A PR professionals job is to promote an organisations image, communicate information about its activities and ensure that correct information is disseminated to the right people. Youll help organisations manage their relations with stakeholders investors, customers, the government, employees and the general public at large.
The qualities required of a PR person are excellent communication skills, including the ability to speak and write well, command of English, the ability to persuade, oodles of self-confidence, adaptability, and good organisation skills.
High cost of success
Q: What does a cost and works accountant (CWA) do? What is the ICWAI? Please tell me about the qualifications, requirements and prospects in this field.
A: ICWAI stands for the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India. Cost accountants collect, organise, collate and analyse the operational efficiency of large organisations, help management evaluate the effectiveness of their products / services, and fix the budget and end price.
CWAs combine their knowledge of taxation and accountancy with that of management and quantitative techniques to evaluate the financial aspects, determine accountability for cost and profit variance, and provide alternatives in monetary terms for the organisation. It is now mandatory for 38 categories of companies to have a cost audit.
CWAs help the management stabilise budgets and standards, evaluate operational efficiency and the effectiveness of production and service management, thus guiding managerial decisions. As a cost accountant, you can find jobs in accounting (internal audits, book-keeping and financial accounting), finance and taxation, audit and costing in industry (at the plant / factory of a manufacturing firm) or move into commercial and administrative functions or look for openings in the government.
You can also set up your own practice by obtaining a licence from the ICWA or go into tax management or financial consulting. You can also teach cost accounting at a university.
The institute offers a three-stage coaching system. Exams are held twice a year (in June and December). You can enrol for the foundation course via postal or oral coaching after Class XII (even if you are awaiting your final results). You must be at least 17 years old. Graduates are exempted from the foundation course. They are eligible for direct admission to the intermediate course at the regional ICWAI centre after completing graduation. Enrolment to the intermediate / foundation course is open throughout the year. However, you must enrol at least six months prior to the month in which the exam commences. For further details, contact the ICWAI Northern Regional Council, ICWAI Bhawan 3, Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi or log on to www.icwai.org / www.nirc-icwai.org.
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