Military to civil transition : Which MBA to choose and from where

MBAClub User QuestionsCategory: MBA AdviceMilitary to civil transition : Which MBA to choose and from where
Avadhesh Vashishtha asked 9 months ago

Hi, I am am Indian citizen and am presently serving in military in senior middle management role. I plan to change career after 20 years of service (compulsory under permanent commission). I wish to do MBA from one of the worlds best schools but I am not sure which ones would like to consider my application favorably. I graduated as engineer in electronics and communications engineering in year 1996 with 8.7 CPI (scale of 10). Thereafter I joined Military. In service during training I was in top 5% and received system of my choice to work on. Got engaged in maintenance management of fighter Aircraft. Graduated from O -Level (field level) to I-Level (in hangar detailed maintenance) maintaining an old fleet of ageing Aircraft. Worked against odds to keep them flying using best critical path and project management techniques to raise productivity of those under me (team of 250 technicians). My efforts were appreciated by Chief of Air Staff. I also diversified my skills under military norms to manage Airfield Services (electronic equipment) as overall in-charge with a team of 50. I learned differences and soon build a robust infrastructure (within limited resources) to provide services all time and meet all users expectations from equipment. Nine ears back I was chosen for a transformation project within organisation which is basically and MRO/EAM implementation to help better manage assets and their maintenance programs providing visibility and ensuring accountability. I worked from initial stage of generating interest among vendors, to RFP formulation, to technical evaluation, contract negotiation and now I am working on pilot implementation. I have also done post graduation in engineering in year 2005-07 from one of India’s best Indian Institute of Technology, where I was third in department with 9.34 CGPA. I had earlier taken GMAT in 2012 and scored 690. I am planning to re-take GMAT and am targeting a higher score and feel it is achievable. My only trouble is which schools to target and to understand if my focus and efforts are in right direction. I find myself at crossroads and need direction. I was considering MIT Sloan, Kellogg, Duke , Darden, IMD, IE, HEC From one of the school on my initial inquiry I got a clear message that application of a candidate with my sort of experience is unlikely to be considered for full time MBA and suggested Executive MBA. I staying in India can not attend many of the part time requirements of executive MBA and many best schools just don’t have them in India. Further, Its going to be a big change in career for me. I am keen to absorb needs of business world and a global perspective by being full time immersed in the course curriculum. Post MBA, I feel I may be most suitable in general management function and can easily become effective in tech company. Strategy and operations attract me but I still need to understand their full expectations in business world. Please advise, is it worthwhile to try? Regards, Avadhesh

1 Answers
mbaclub Staff answered 9 months ago

Your best option would certainly be to do an executive MBA or one of the accelerated MBAs from either one of the IIMs or the ISB. Doing it from an international B-School like the ones you mentioned will definitely be better. Yes, if you need to do an exec MBA from the US, you would need to move there. Regarding the most relevant job profile, I believe you will find the best fit in a related field – specifically commercial aviation. This would make use of your knowledge and experience gained over the last 2 decades and will also be your best bet in terms of position and salary. The next best option will be general management, though I must say that this will not be as easy since the culture in the armed forces and in the corporate world is quite different and your success here would be governed by your ability to adjust to the lower levels of discipline. Regarding your last question – well, yes, it is always worthwhile trying something that you believe in 🙂

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