How to choose the MBA?
Published on 04/24/2018 in the 2018 MBA Guide – Estadão
Seven steps to take a full dip in studies and get the most out of the job
When it comes to MBA, there are plenty of different topics, curricula, methodologies and durations. The choice requires not only thorough research of the alternatives but also self-knowledge to understand if it is the right time to take the course. If the answer is yes, take the next step: plan the project.
The first step in choosing the right course is to self-assess the professional trajectory and personal goals, identifying characteristics, points to develop and goals. More than a career planning, it is necessary to have a “life purpose”. “Imagine yourself in 20 or 40 years, more or less. Where would you like to be? What story would you like to tell about your last years or decades? “Asks Andrea Lages, coach of Lambent, a company specializing in coaching certification. “When you can think ahead, you do better strategic planning.”
There are three situations where the MBA is most appropriate: when the person is promoted to a leadership role and already has the responsibility of coordinating a team; when the person is about to take up a management position for the first time and when a technical profile professional opens his own business – he will need management techniques to coordinate employees and ensure the growth of the company. “At that moment, we say that we must seek a process of career horizontalization, even because it will change,” says Caio Peppe, graduate coordinator of St. Jude University.
For Lilian Cidreira, a human resources consultant, it is important to talk to experienced market people, bosses, ex-bosses and co-workers. This and peer-to-peer exchanges, team responders, and the leader often bring clarity about how one looks and perceives oneself. “It helps you discover the MBA course and other career demands and developments.” There are more resources, such as skills analysis tools and mentoring and coaching processes. Between the latter two, the differences are significant. In mentoring, the interaction occurs with someone more experienced in the same field as the student chose. Coaching has the potential to set goals, develop skills and make career and life choices. “When you are already at the level of becoming a director, when you begin to have a more strategic vision of the whole of the company, you really need a coach there,” says Paulo Lemos, MBA coordinator of Getulio Vargas Foundation.
An effective plan of action involves good strategies for using time and budget. You need to choose, for example, saving money to pay cash – which can attract discounts and reduce the value of the investment – and pay gradually during the course. It is worth remembering that many institutions offer scholarships and other forms of credit. It is also necessary to analyze personal finances and predict investment costs – installments, tuition, books, transportation. “Make a detailed diagnosis: how much you earn, spend and spare, how much you have invested,” says Alexandre Prado, an expert in economics and finance. For him, planning helps those who are unemployed to bear the costs.
4. How to choose the institution
The choice of the institution may arise before the student defines exactly the course, because details such as infrastructure, reputation, recognition, teaching methods and good grades between the Ministry of Education’s criteria of excellence make a difference and can define hiring. Human development specialist Adriana Schneider stresses the importance of quality criteria for both face-to-face and distance learning courses. “The first step after understanding exactly what you are looking for is to look for which educational institutions exist in your locality and how they have been viewed by the market,” says human resources consultant Lilian Cidreira. “It’s no use looking to take an MBA just to earn the degree and, at the time of the interview, to have no background and depth on the subjects learned.”
5. How to choose the course
With the goals defined in the self-assessment and orientation phases, the search for the most appropriate courses begins. In addition to taking into account the objectives and the investment needed, it is necessary to analyze other aspects: teacher training, networking possibilities, as is the selection process and, if there is one, experiences abroad – besides understanding the modality of the course, their recognition through quality seals (accreditations) and their presence in rankings. A detailed method to inform yourself is to read the menus of each discipline, with a description of what is offered. Another thing that helps: look into the future. The changes in the job market are fast, and the possibilities of MBA range from the classic ones to those that focus on new tools and quite specific skills. “I would do an analysis of what I need to know in order to survive or take on this new market,” says Adriana Schneider. According to the human development specialist, one of the questions the candidate must ask himself is: what skills do I need to have for this new world, which is not necessarily the present world?
6. Study, work and social life
Managing a routine that includes studies – every day of the week, a few nights, or every Saturday for months -, work and family is not a trivial task and requires strength of will, dedication, planning, organization, focus, and discipline. Achieving balance requires assessing one’s own satisfaction with each area of life. Instead of choosing priorities and trying to separate work and personal life, the suggestion is to pay attention to all aspects and avoid overeating. “A well-resolved person in as many areas as possible tends to be a better professional,” said coach Andrea Lages of Lambent. “There is no such ‘leave your personal life outside’ story. It is not possible, we are not fragmented in this way. “
During the MBA, with all the time and dedication demands involved, family commitment and engagement and support in the workplace greatly help achieve the goal and complete the course. “Family members should be aware of the goals and should commit to helping as much as possible,” says Alexandre Prado, a specialist in economics and finance. “The important thing is that they understand that this is a transient situation in which everyone will benefit.”
7. The course is over. What now?
The main MBA apprenticeship occurs in the practical application of the concepts, so the evolution continues even after the course is completed and the results appear in the medium and long term. In general, you need to be patient until you realize substantial differences in day-to-day work, such as new assignments or salary increases. “The professional has the time to make the models he has learned, to make corrections and then to reap the results,” says Caio Peppe, from São Judas University, for whom the positive effects of an MBA start to appear on average , four years after enrollment. For Peppe, if the student wants to get quick results, the most appropriate course is probably not an MBA, but a free course or specialization focused on more technical skills. “There is research that shows that the salary perspective can increase [with the MBA], but one thing does not guarantee the other,” says coach Andrea Lages. “Only one item on your resume might open doors, but what will make you progress is the results you deliver.”
The advantages of having a routine
When you go through the selection process and start studying, take care of your time. Plan the schedules: establish for each day the time available for the things of life (study, work, family). Create a grid of schedules with one-hour intervals between activities and mark the number of hours required. Assigning colors for each appointment will allow more effective visual control.
Organize environments: Study and work places should always be organized and clean. When it comes to being there, you have to feel comfortable and have everything at your fingertips: there is no time to waste looking for what is needed.
Create a study plan: this allows you to distribute the time for study within what was established in the main planning. Involve the family: You can establish together the distribution of household chores or uninterrupted hours during the study. What is important is that the limits are respected.
The situation is fleeting and, in the end, everyone will benefit. Be productive and stay focused: nothing to curl up. Avoid distractions and concentrate. Do not think about what you were doing before or the next task. The focus is on the now. If you get stuck in traffic, take time to listen to a lesson, watch a video, read content. Every minute counts in favor.
Rest is fundamental: Stressed and cheated mind and body do not produce and do not absorb content. The moments for rest are very important, as well as the breaks of five minutes every two hours of activity. This can increase yield. Use technology: technological facilities are allied and can improve productivity and organization. Therefore, identify resources (schedules, recorders, reminders …) that can contribute to better performance and refer to them. Sacred times: make sure you have those times that can not be changed. For example, have dinner with the family X times a week and do an hour of physical activity Y times a week. And so it goes. Use time in your favor. And breathe.
To read the full article on the 2018 MBA Guide website, click here. (in Portuguese)
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