An engineering degree complemented with an MBA is important for professional excellence.

Today’s market is arguably the most demanding it has ever been. A strong grasp on the basics, excellent communication skills, ability to think outside the box, capacity to manage large teams have become standard requirements for any job applicant. Possession of a wide skill set has become more of a basic necessity than an added advantage.

In such a competitive scenario, having a master’s degree is becoming a necessity for various reasons. I am a Marketing Manager at Asahi India Glass Limited, Bangalore, with a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering and a Dual MBA in Marketing and Operations. After completing the engineering course, I worked with procurement division of an engineering consulting firm specialising in petrochemical projects. My role required me to understand not just the technical aspects of projects, for which I was trained for, but also to be highly adept with its commercial aspects as well, with the proficiency to manage multiple projects and work with teams of large numbers.

Inference: an engineer has to be not just proficient technically, but also should have the capacity to plan, organise, execute and monitor the activities, his own as well as his team members. Increasingly, I felt the need for a master’s degree. Post my stint at the engineering firm, I went through an MBA course specialising in Marketing and Operations. The course helped me understand the holistic aspects of businesses and the most important mantra for any successful business — decision-making.

An MBA is all about graduating from a theoretical perspective to a more real-life one. Multiple case analysis and problem-solving sessions have helped the engineer in me understand that although the fundamental theories are of high importance, the ability to apply them to situations in real-life is what sets one apart, and the MBA has given me the tools for exactly that purpose.

Post-MBA, my entry into the corporate world has been largely guided by the expertise gained through the degree and my prior experience. The experience gained during my MBA combined with the technical knowledge imbibed through engineering has helped me to a considerable extent perform these tasks with ease. The loads of real-life exercises I worked on during my MBA have allowed me to approach these tasks with a sense of familiarity. Hence, my MBA degree has perfectly complemented the technical expertise I gained during engineering.