Saturday, 17 August 2013

Importance of MBA for Women Officers

Women Officers: Do MBA, Fly High




An adventurous career for 5 or 10 years  in the armed forces has honed your   ( Women officers) leadership skills and elevated your professionalism to new untouched heights. The diverse roles played by you ranging from leading the troops in stressful situations, accomplishing mission oriented tasks, making important decision related to lives of humans, handling equipment worth crores of Rupees and doing management and administration duties across geographies have  transformed you into a mature leader; a rare class that may be even less than 0.1% of the total number of women in the country.  The unique officers-like-qualities(OLQs), such as leadership, Integrity, Initiative, and  cooperativeness,  ingrained in you right from academy days are the most sought after qualities in the business world and thus you are adequately kitted with the rare munitions required to make an impact in the business world.
We have adequately discussed the importance of an MBA degree for a military officer here. You are requested to read this article  before moving ahead on this one. Click here
While the need of  an MBA degree for military veterans is adequately highlighted , here we will  discuss “Why an MBA degree is more important for  women Officers”, highlighting the specific points that give edge to women officers over others. Here are the five compelling reasons for the women officers to pursue an  MBA degree:-

Most Wanted Leaders
 You were selected after the rigorous interview procedure lasting  over few days which includes the tough psychological tests, group tasks and interview; all  demanding a number of Officer like qualities. Having shortlisted a handful of you  out of thousands who appeared, Military  gave you the opportunity to lead and command troops, make strategic decisions and work in pressure situations. Business world is no different as you are required to work under pressure situations plan policies and make important decisions.
You are much different from your women counterparts in civil street and have an edge over them in terms of such qualities. The diversity  and versatility in you bring better solutions  to the business  problems.  You only lack business acumen that hinders your chances of a good opportunity initially and subsequent  faster  growth. An MBA degree can provide the much needed impetus to your corporate career  with a number of high ranked and well paid  opportunities . Military leadership skills when combined with business knowledge make you the most wanted leader in the outside world.

Lesser Explored Field
A few years prior,  military officers especially women officers used to dive straight into the corporate world without any business knowledge except doing a six-months course run by DGR  and were not exposed to  opportunities other than in administration role because of their lack of knowledge about  corporate dynamics and market turbulence. 
Recently,  Women officers, like their male counterparts, have realized the importance of an MBA degree and have started taking steps towards earning an MBA degree from top b-schools of India and abroad. There are a few women officers who started the GMAT preparation and the B-school short listing during the active service career only  in order to pursue a regular MBA/executive MBA degree immediately after retirement. 
While there are too few women leaders in the market, The field is yet new and open  and those taking the call early  will reap benefits more than those taking the call after a few years. Imagine a scenario wherein only one women candidate with  military profile applies to a top B-school such as Stanford, Wharton or IIM-A and other scenario wherein  five women  candidates of  military profiles apply to these schools. The chances of admission in the first scenario is more than those  in the second. Read this article by mba.com to know why it is great time for women candidates to pursue an MBA .click here  

Financial Help.                
Obtaining an MBA degree can be much cheaper than what you think.  While the tuition fee and the overall cost of an MBA degree may look daunting to you initially, you have probably not read about the huge scholarships that schools extend to the military veterans.   B-schools  encourage women candidates to pursue an MBA and when the women candidates happen to have military experience, the chances of getting a scholarship increases many folds. Also, There are many military friendly schools that extend these scholarships  to military candidates especially women. Thus you are eligible for scholarship in categories of both women and military.  The chances of obtaining an internship during your MBA degree are also good because of your vast leadership experience and professionalism. Thus financing an MBA may not be as difficult for you as it is seemed initially.

Ability to Handle Stress
During your stint with armed forces, you have worked in high stress environment under extreme pressure situations. Not only that you have handled the crisis but also that you made decisions that impacted the lives of the troops under your  commanded.   Such qualities come with lot of effort and refinement and they are equally preferred in the business world too. This is why banks, consulting firms, and program developers recruit women veterans at large rates from U.S business schools. The case is no different in India too,  however  we might be behind in terms of number of women officers taking the MBA route.

Odds of Getting Into Top B-School
Having seen the preference given to military candidates and more so to the women military officers,  You belong to the category of non-traditional applicants. The unmatchable diversity that you bring from  war-room to  classroom along with real life leadership experiences makes you one of the most sought after candidates in  top B-schools. Your chances of getting into the likes of Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, INSEAD or top Indian B-schools such as IIM-A or ISB are much brighter than most of the other candidates .
There are many other advantages of doing a regular full time MBA, however, knowing the family responsibilities and various other constrains,  the option of one year executive MBA program  can pay equally rich dividends especially if the elite program is from a reputed institute. While most of you go for the six-months management course immediately after your retirement, Those of you decided to spent another six months and follow  one year program can pitch you well ahead of your civilian counterparts. 
Women military  candidates with an MBA degree will enjoy maximum benefits post their MBA in terms of overwhelming opportunities with better career  positions, higher salaries and faster growth than their civilian counterparts as well as military counterparts who don’t do MBA.

To know more on the advantages of pursuing an MBA degree, click here
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