To MBA or not to MBA

I have recently gotten admission into the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. It’s an admit to their two years deferred program, YLP 2017 which basically means that I have to spend the next two years doing a regular job and then, I can join ISB for an MBA. Now, ISB is one of the best schools in India and I put in my best effort to get selected but the day I got a selection, a little doubt started creeping into my mind. Do I really want to do an MBA? What is it that I want to do?

Now this isn’t a discussion about the pros and cons of an MBA. This is just me venting out my thoughts for my older self to look at and laugh (if it makes you laugh, bonus points for me).

I grew up thinking of MBA’s as hotshots who would control the world and make problems disappear with the wave of a wand. They seemed to be the ones controlling companies, having all the money, the fame and power. Obviously, I wanted to be one of them. I have always enjoyed working in big teams and spending time helping out other people. Creating new things, competing with my peers, pushing myself to work harder are all things that I enjoy a lot. I speak moderately well and have decent presentation skills. All of this, has always made me believe that I am destined to do an MBA.

This is also one of the reasons why I never enjoyed doing CS. It seemed to be a ‘back-end job’ with little to do with the real world. To me, programmers were little people wearing specs who couldn’t keep up an intelligent conversation even if you pointed a gun at them. They were the ones toiling away while the managers took all the glory. No matter how hard you worked, the manager would always be on top. So, I wanted to be the manager.

Since, I wanted to be a manager, I decided I will try out different fields and see if I find one that suits me. Thinking so, I did an intern in an organization doing research on public policy, took courses in economics, worked hard at coordinating my college’s fest and so on. All of them were unique experiences but I found myself missing the mental challenge and sense of achievement I got while programming. I also found myself disliking the other aspects of management such as personal branding and self-promotion. I just couldn’t get myself to promote my blogs on social media. I guess the fear of ridicule overpowered the hope of praise or more likely, I wanted others to like and discover my writings on their own, not because I told them to.

So here I am. I like working on my own projects, working with teams, giving presentations, handling tough situations etc. I dislike self promotion, sucking up, doing repetitive work. I like the mental challenges that coding throws up and the prospect of being able to create something entirely new on my own. And thus, I am not so sure whether I want to do an MBA or spend that time working on my own company/startup/job and get better at CS. To MBA or not to MBA, that’s the question.

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