OPEN LETTER ON MBA AND GGI IMPACT MBA SCHOLARS BY NAMAN AND SHATAKSHI
Updated: Jun 14, 2022
There are many young professionals who trust us and lookup for our views. So this letter is for those professionals who are crumbling under the stress and strain of their career, MBA, and endless GMAT attempts.
There can be few who might take offense to my views - and rightfully so. You have invested a lot of money, emotions, and time in pursuing your MBA. Degrees since time immemorial have been a gateway for the great Indian middle class. But in true honesty, I don’t think all degrees are relevant. I’m sorry, but those are my view. I’d be happy to be proved wrong.
Now here goes my message- I will never advise my younger self to take debt and enroll in a program because it provides a 'degree'. And therefore, I can never advise my LinkedIn community too.
1. First thing first- Is an MBA degree worth it?
A. If you are admitted to Wharton, Harvard, or ISB - it is worth the investment.
At Harvard, you might pay around 1-2 crores. At ISB - it may range around 30-40 Lakh. And it is worth it.
B. But if you are paying a similar amount for a degree from newly formed MBA schools in Gurgaon, or random Australian Schools just because they have a campus - with time it can be hard to justify your choice.
The goal of an MBA experience is 3 fold - to prepare you for not just your 1st job but many more, provide practical multi-disciplinary learning and valuable network for the rest of your lives.
C. India has +5500 B-Schools out of which only 7% are employable. Many of these are money minting machines in the name of the physical campus. It is not their fault as well since that has been the conventional method of teaching and the campus can have its own charm. Moreover, the government requires them to build it so that they can confer degrees.
So if you really want a degree and are not able to get into the Harvard/Stanfords/ISB and their counterparts across the globe- I would advise you to work hard on your Profile, retake the GMAT, and rewrite essays before settling in for a random business school.
Life will be hard - especially when you take big loans for such degrees.
2. Do we confer degrees at GGI?
A. We will never confer degrees at GGI. It is a conscious stand we have taken. Conferring degrees will also make it difficult for us to keep innovating curriculum, learning outcomes, and products with changing market dynamics.
This nimbleness allows us to keep our costs down, allowing us to provide an Alt and Pre MBA at 1% of the cost, making quality business education truly accessible!
B. Many GGIians who desire the formal recognition - end up attending INSEAD, ISB, Kellog... and they perform really well in their endeavors. And we, as a community, are super proud of them. They always come back, and give back to the community!
C. In fact, we are partnering with ISB’s Bhartiya Institute of Public Policy for their work in administrative reforms with the highest office in our country, we have also partnered with Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy for their excellent program in International Affairs.
We collaborate with these universities because their mission aligns with ours, and also we trust that these brands will add real value.
However, our vision is always big. The eventual goal at GGI will always be to make sure GGIians get access to similar job roles that they would get after their Harvard MBA. We are able to accomplish this at a mini scale in Management Consulting, Public Policy, and Product Management. We are also trying to explore associations for Impact Investing and Venture Capital roles- as we grow in the journey.
3. Tall claims about our employment partners and salaries offered
The highest package from GGI was 29 Lakh by two employers (by an investment firm and leading startup) and the average currently hovers around 17 Lakh.
Few people are finding this too good to be true, especially people who are still stuck on the "campus" mindset. And I understand that. But this is when we truly feel we are winning the battle. Employers now trust our program curriculum with CXOs coming to teach and appreciate that good talent doesn't just come out of accreditated degrees and campuses!
Having said this, we don’t promote placement culture - it intermingles with learning, and ruins the beauty of education centered around curiosity.
The important point however is that I don’t want GGI to be associated with these ‘packages’. GGIians support each other, stay curious, research, work hard, and some of them go beyond GGI to upskill themselves. And it is because of their effort - employers at GGI are investing in them. Our office of career service (OCS) works day in and day out in making sure that GGIians outperform every day, and they get served opportunities that they deserve.
4. Would you be recruited by BCG/McKinsey/World Bank after GGI?
Even at ISB, Tuck, and INSEAD- not everyone who enrolls joins Top Consulting Firms. You reap what you sow. Similarly, at GGI, we can’t promise you these jobs, will never promise, nor we have ever promised these jobs. We can, however, promise - to work along with you to nurture a life-transforming experience of learning, growth, and a kind community.
We will always have the 1 week - no questions asked refund policy. We will always allow flexibility, and deferrals will always focus on improving our curriculum, Harvard style case method learning approach and will always ensure that whosoever is associated with us or has trusted us will grow and thrive- not just during their GGI journey but in life.
GGI is a long-term mission for us for the coming 10 years and beyond. However,in the next quarter, the goal is to work extra hard to nurture an international community, build a kind-hearted support system, advance our curriculum, and forge partnerships that GGIians Love us for!(and not merely like)
We are thankful to all the Scholars, Fellows, Partners, Collaborators, Advisors, and well-wishers for their trust and support. ❤️
If you are interested in learning about GGI's MBA Scholar program, you can learn here.
Author- Shatakshi Sharma, Cofounder Global Governance Initiative, Ex- BCG, Advisor, Tony Blair Institute and
Naman Shrivastava, Cofounder Global Governance Initiative, Ex- United Nations, Former Government of India Advisor