Warren Buffett, an American investor, business tycoon and philanthropist, once said, "By far, the best investment you can make is in yourself.” Thi
Warren Buffett, an American investor, business tycoon and philanthropist, once said, “By far, the best investment you can make is in yourself.”
This pandemic entirely disrupted an education system that many asserted was already losing its relevance. There were so many speculations around moving to online learning and if it could be the catalyst to create a distinct, more effective teaching method. While some worried that the hasty nature of the online transition may hinder the educational goals, e-learning soon became a part of the ‘new normal’ after experiencing the benefits first-hand – reflecting that the show must go on no matter what.
The new processes furnished students with a transformative, unstoppable and uninterrupted education.
A Changing MBA Education
Before this year, starting a full-time MBA would mean confronting academic conferences, generating group bonding, travel and hands-on career exploration. But the pandemic transformed the landscape for prospective aspirants and schools, as well as for companies.
Schools were forced to rethink admissions specifications, instantly change their curriculums to an online format, assess their diversity and inclusion efforts, encourage international students, and figure out how to deliver maximum value based on business programs.
Corporations are now under the spotlight based on how they support and protect their employees’ well-being and how flexible, inclusive and diverse they are during this time.
The way a course or a program is taught matters. Although self-paced learning is the standard, online courses’ appeal via synchronous classes offers the most in-class-like experience.
The concepts of value and return are two separate things. While return is quantifiable, and you should expect a reasonable payback time, a prominent part of the value from an MBA program comes from the network you create with your classmates and alumni. Being encircled by a group of the intelligent, goal-oriented, diverse and downright creative set of individuals will furnish you with distinct perspectives on how to do your work differently, present you with innovative tools for solving problems and give you connections that will always be with you throughout your career.
Conferences render a platform for future and current MBA aspirants to get in front of recruiters and create a professional network. Honestly, one of the biggest concerns students had about starting an MBA program during the pandemic was the possibility of missing out on actual in-person connections and possible internship opportunities.
B-schools today have created such opportunistic online conferences, live sessions and lectures where students can leverage technology to engage with fellow students and organizations of interest.
Despite so much uncertainty, students secured MBA internship offers from a few Fortune 500 companies. It reveals that it is still possible in times like these to get satisfactorily recruited in top companies, even if you have to meet the entire team and go through multiple rounds of interviews online. Connections are still real and possible.
To be quite honest, millennials are probably the most prepared to handle the virtual world due to the Digital Revolution. We have lived most of our lives connecting in some way or another on the internet using various technologies and mediums, and we are built for this moment!
It’s essential to recognize that the current environment, while challenging and unprecedented, is temporary. The world economy has endured many challenges over its long history. And hence it’s vital to contemplate whether waiting to pursue your MBA is worth the opportunity cost of missing out on the benefits you can start receiving shortly.
Uncertainty prepares you as future leaders
Most importantly, today, businesses are looking for employees and future leaders who can flourish during uncertain times. Almost every firm requires agile candidates who can work under pressure.
Even though no one anticipated this experience, MBA students from the current batch are poised to become some of the most resilient and proficient leaders of the future. They will develop more innovative and robust businesses. They will be able to predict and evaluate situations in a superlative fashion. They will confront such unprecedented challenges at the beginning of the journeys that may have taken other people a few decades to experience.
The Silver Lining
Getting the right opportunity to begin an MBA, even in these times, will give students the precise tools to simply pivot into a career in marketing, health, finance or consumer goods.
An MBA is an investment that will pay off over a long time, in a less tangible way but significant at the same time. Therefore if you’re thinking about whether these tumultuous times are suitable for making the MBA investment, it’s worth considering that this might be the best time of all to go for it.
It is also remarkably comforting to know that you are not alone during this process; it is new for everyone. We are all striving our best and showing up every day to keep our lives rolling along. We must personally work toward accepting that we have already entered a paradigm shift. We all have to be open and ready to influence and take the new normal — whatever that’s going to be.