Time to develop a work ethic
I am a first-year student of BCom. My marks are average. I scored in the 90s in Class X and in the 60s in Class XII. Now my marks have dropped further. I can’t blame anybody else for this; I don’t study as much. My mother is very angry with me all the time for not studying. I don’t see the point in studying as I don’t think I will ever need to use these subjects in real life. Can you help me convince my mother not to get so angry? Once I get into an MBA in marketing course, I will study really hard and get a good job. Right now I am watching movies, playing online games and having fun so that I can study really hard for MBA when the time is right. My parents just need to trust me.
I am really glad to hear that you are committed to working hard on a programme to which you still haven’t got admission and are getting all the fun in right now. It seems to me that you want to be that athlete who never ran a single race and then signs up for a marathon without any practice and hopes to take the gold home. We all know that in athletics we need to build our muscle and stamina before we go for the big race if we want to finish successfully. And we need to prepare extra hard if we want to bring the gold home.
The reason your mother is angry with you may have something to do with the knowledge that a typical MBA admission will require a student to have at least 55 per cent marks in graduation. The entrance exam for an MBA will require you to have speed, comprehension and problem-solving capabilities. A typical MBA student will also need self-discipline, ability to organise information, critical thinking, ability to analyse data, time management skills and so on. Usually, students learn these skills during their school and college days. Since you are choosing not to study during college, it seems to me that you are missing the opportunity to develop these skills. Additionally, the more focussed students are also attempting to qualify as a CA or CFA while doing BCom. So even if you get into an MBA in marketing programme, an employer will look at your past academic record, additional qualifications you have and internships you have done during your college. Employers have a tendency to give preference to candidates who have performed consistently in academics, have taken the time to develop key productivity skills and so on. My suggestion would be to talk to a few teachers and several people who are working and ask them how best could you utilise your time at this stage. It might also be worth checking if any MBA school admits students on the basis of number of movies watched or their online gaming score. I understand that you are not looking to pursue accounts during your MBA. But if you are ambitious, scoring well in BCom is a good way to convince future employers that you are capable of hard work and persistence.
Shivani Manchanda has master’s degrees in career counselling and child development. She has been counselling about opportunities in India and abroad since 1991. Mail your queries to telegraphyou@ gmail.com with Ask Shivani in the subject line