“WHAT IFs” that could redefine the business school experience

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Having spent a year at the school, its time to step back and brood over things that oft-occurred to me. Some of these I may have a strong opinion on. Others are questions I am just philosophizing about.

WHAT IF:

Business Schools had only pass or fail courses
Reward drives human behavior. And business school is the most appropriate place to witness this absolute truth. People think, eat, and sleep grades. Sometimes, they romanticize them too. So, WHAT IF the ultimate reward of the Grade Point Average (GPA) is taken out of the system. Would people lose their motivation to learn? How would recruiters narrow down their game? What would fill that top most line on your resume?

Students were responsible to secure employment
It is a sight to wonder at – hordes of top-notch firms catwalk down the school to cherry pick the next set of managers. I imagine it is quite convenient to organize this ceremony. (Presumably that is why it is done that way) However, what it robs students off is the chance to learn and practice the art of networking. So, WHAT IF students had to fend for themselves? Would it make them more confident? Would they make more informed career choices?

Programming courses are part of the curriculum
Business is witnessing a tectonic shift towards the use of technology – the trend amplified with the advent of social media. The argument that “You just got to know how to get work done” seems less persuasive. A hands-on knowledge and understanding of technology is required to effectively start or manage the new-age business. So, WHAT IF programming was a part of business school curriculum? Would it mean more start-ups be born out of business schools? Would it mean a better class profile, since fewer software engineers would join the school? (I am told that software engineers come to school because they don’t like coding)

Now, why don’t you too misuse some of your imagination and come up with your own set of “WHAT IFs”. Also, your comments, and brickbats would be most welcome.

Manuj Khurana

Manuj, fondly referred to as "Khurana Sahab", leads the content management at GradStory. He loves to experiment with his career – having tried Procurement, Consulting, and Teaching before GradStory. Fan of Punjabi and House Music, he wants to learn DJ-ing next. He is often seen philosophising over varied topics and distributing unsolicited gyan.

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Ishan says:

Interesting questions. We could have a few more though:

1. What if the selection process to Indian B schools relied on more than one test ? What if the pattern was more similar to the ones followed by foreign schools ? Will it lead to an increase/decrease in quality of students ?

2. What if every course required the students to do projects..actual real life projects..not the copy paste ones that we do. What if the projects were made the most important component and peer evaluation was introduced ?

In answer to the first question, I feel that a CGPA is important. We live in a carrot-stick world. Unless we find students who are actually interested in the concept of learning, we will have to dangle the carrot of better grades n the stick of bad marks to make them learn. The recruiters won’t have a problem. They will come up with tests of their own. Its the professors who will have the biggest problem as they will have to teach half empty classes.

Manuj Khurana says:

Saujanya – lets start with us and hope others too will get stimulated

admin says:

Sanchit – you are right! I published in a jiffy, so a little short. And you hit the bulls eye with point on SMAC. People who dont upgrade their technological awareness bear a risk of becoming irrelevant in the new age business. I actually found myself in that category and trying to catch up now.

Saujanya says:

Wish more people asked themselves those questions!

Sanchit Arora says:

That was pretty short !!! :P

But definitely interesting. Especially the third what-if that mentions about programming. I think it is coming close to reality. With the rise of the SMAC stack, it becomes all the more essential to keep yourself abreast with the latest in technology, if not know how to code.

Also, courses like Data Mining / Business Intelligence are also gaining importance with the boom in Analytics space.