What skills should one acquire before joining a B-school ? - Deepak Mehta, IIM Ahmedabad
Deepak Mehta is a man out of time. He wanted to be born a few decades earlier, before the advent of the computer, when times were simpler and people were more content. Unfortunately, he wasn't. So, to compete in today's time, he has equipped himself with 2 degrees - one each from BITS Pilani and IIM Ahmedabad. He cracked CAT with a 100 percentile score. In his spare time, he likes to write on random website on random topics and for random people.
Making an effective presentation: You are going to be doing this a lot. And I actually mean a lot. Like literally everyday. So know your way around MS Powerpoint, Prezi and other similar software. Know how to make a business presentation - the structure, which fonts to use and which ones to not, how to make the most impact, and other DOs and DONTs.
Managing, scheduling and prioritizing activities: Unless you are a vampire that does not need sleep, you will be short of time for the next 2 years. Know how to optimize what time you have.
Email management: Use filters, labels, priority inbox, archive etc to maintain a clean mailbox that is not an eyesore and only highlights the really important stuff. When you get hundreds of mails each day, its very likely that you miss out on something critical. Don't let that happen.
Networking: How to make a good first impression, asking the right questions, making an 'elevator pitch', keeping in touch.
Some basic technical skills like MS Excel, VBA, Data Visualization, Statistical Analysis: Will come in handy in most of the courses.
Soft skills: Try and become a better orator. Start practicing speeches. Know how to control you intonation, when to take pauses for dramatic effect, how to break the ice with a humorous anecdote etc.
Develop leadership skills. Join an NGO and take up the responsibility for a decently sized team task.
Other "basic" courses: These courses will help you build a foundation for the things that will be taught during the MBA program.
Let's take them one at a time.
1. Business and management (mostly beginner courses)
2. Economics and finance
Financial markets: A must take. The course is being taught by the renowned Nobel-laureate and Yale Prof Robert Shiller and will cover a lot of concepts of Financial markets and their machinations. Apart from the basics, it will also cover certain aspects of behavioral finance and financial crises and the role of regulations.
Microeconomics: Will cover the basics of Microeconomics from supply-demand, market efficiency, types of competitions, market power and public goods and externalities.
Introduction to finance: Basics - time value of money and valuations
3. Statistics and data analysis
Regression models: The course looks at the various regression models and special cases like ANOVA. All of which is taught in the 1st year.
Data analysis and statistical inference: Estimation, confidence intervals, decision making based on data analysis etc.
Data visualization: Will be helpful both during and after the MBA. How to present the data in the most impactful manner, use software to make complex designs etc.
Other useful courses: