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'It's the attitude that counts' by Mangesh Ghogre
Article » Career Topics
Posted by : Mangesh   May 24 2007
Making the transition from student to employee is about having the right mindset.
One of my articles was recently published in the Hindu Business Line. It is at this link.

The placement season is almost over in all the leading B-schools and going by media reports, management graduates have rarely had it so good. Ballooning salaries and multiple job offers were `business as usual' at all the leading campuses.

However, as you prepare to step into the corporate world, here's some food for thought.

In the initial months afterjoining a company, you usually find yourself dealing with the transformation from student to employee. Having spent almost one's complete life as a student, this process does call for a bit of effort and energy.

While some companies have a full-fledged training or orientation programme to help ease matters, some believe in on-the-job training. Anyway , the B-school graduate will do well to understand that the onus of quickly assuming the employee mindset rests squarely on you. Here, I will discuss the three key factors from the B-school graduate's perspective.

Attitude to work

The most important aspect that the company looks for in the employee is his or her attitude to work. Unless you have worked in a corporate environment before, you must understand that your seniors will be quick to guage how committed and adept you are at completing even the most menial of jobs in time. So, you must be on your toes from the outset and ensure that your bosses never regret their decision to hire you.

Most B-school graduates believe that having slogged for the best part of their lives and having cleared some of the most gruelling entrance exams, they must only do 'quality' work. Well, that is something you may desire, but not necessarily deserve.

From an employer or your boss' perspective, you have done the bare minimum by getting the requisite educational qualification to enter the company.

Moreover, B-school graduates should realise that at the entry level, there are few jobs that are mentally stimulating, or something that really gives you a 'kick'.

Since there are few such jobs, you need to prove to your bosses that you deserve them by performing even the most routine jobs in the most efficient manner. Remember, time-tested qualities such as dedication, commitment, punctuality, attention to detail and resourcefulness have been and will remain the most sought after skills no matter what your field and experience in it.

Attitude to your pedigree

Another aspect that B-school graduates need to realise is that the name of their alma mater is not a licence to corporate success and, more importantly, vice versa.

Owing to your pedigree, you may have a head start over others insofar as your on-the-job performance matches (or exceeds) your seniors' expectations.

Within a couple of months of joining a company, your peers would form an opinion about your value as a professional and will take suitable measures to let you know how much (or little) they value you as an employee irrespective of your alma mater.

Very often, B-school graduates from non-premier institutes develop an inferiority complex and find it an uphill task to work alongside those from premier institutes. To my mind, such an attitude arises from a sense of insecurity.

Instead of fearing to answer the question "Which institute did you graduate from?" they should take it as a challenge to perform so well at their work that their seniors wonder: "Which premier institute did she graduate from?" Instead of banking on your alma mater's pedigree, you should strive hard to create your own pedigree.

Attitude to career

A B-school graduate usually ends up having a job from campus. Notwithstanding the pride and social stature associated with such achievements, this may not be the best thing to happen to you.

When you actually enter the company, you may realise that your skillset and that required for the job are completely different.

Blame it on the hasty placement process or sheer disillusionment, but you must not get frustrated and immediately take corrective measures.

In fact, now that the job situation is favourable and the economy is in good shape, the time to take risks and try something new was never any better.

You need to understand that a B-school degree is just a pack of skillsets you have acquired during the MBA course.

The degree should not restrict your career field. On the contrary, a B-school graduate can afford to enter unknown waters and steer his or her career to newer shores.

(The writer, an alumnus of VJTI and NMIMS, is an investment banker. Views expressed are personal. His other articles can be accessed at his website: ,