10 things every MBA should learn
by: Amit Grover, Founder, Nurture Talent Academy
Yes, there are so many articles with headlines that speak, “10 strategies…”, “5 tools…”, “101 ways…” and end up being general instructions on management. But this is different – I have been in corporate jobs for 7 years and as an entrepreneur for 2+ years, and I wish to share what I really feel are life-savers for an MBA on a daily basis. Here is my list:
1. Learn MS Excel
Yes, Excel is the most underrated tool in the history of software. There are basics you should be aware of like formats, formula and advance areas like graphs, vlookup, pivot table and macros. All this will help you whether you work for others or for yourself!
2. Learn to take a print out
Often in your daily activity, you will have to take print outs. And it will be embarrassing to hear (plus time wasting) – “Oh, you don’t know how to take a print out or install a printer?”
3. Operate a photocopy machine
Photocopy machine operators are the people who go missing when you need them! Best is to learn the basics of operating a photocopier – insert paper, press 1, and pull paper out (don’t forget to switch on the power plug)
4. Book a travel ticket
Booking a travel ticket seems a simple task – till you are assigned to it. In the last 6 months, I traveled more than 50 cities, and had back to back entrepreneurship workshops. I had to use all my IIT and IIM training on subjects like Operations Research, Supply Chain Management and Traveling Salesman Problem etc. to be able to reach my venues on time at the lowest costs.
5. Make a newsletter
Email can be the most powerful tool for marketing to your customers, and not everyone can afford a creative agency for designing your campaigns. So practice a bit on how to make a HTML mailer, text mail and make sure it passes spam filters.
6. Write 1-page article
Whether it is to introduce to media a new service you have launched or state of affairs letter to your employees, you will need to come up with ways to express yourself in a 1-page format. Write articles on areas of your interest, as you will have to write lots of them in future – including your acceptance speech of Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
7. Write a proposal
Sales is like a bicycle – you have to keep pedaling or you will fall down. In any business, you will have to write infinite sales proposals, follow up proposals, and reply for customer requests.
8. Call an unknown person
This is another important inhibition you should try to come over with – talking to unknown person and making them into friends, business partners or potential customers.
9. Respond to email
I never sleep till I have replied, acknowledged or taken action on my emails. In business, this is critical as work keeps increasing and things are getting more cluttered rather than simple.
10. Learn online marketing
Social media marketing, search marketing, mobile marketing – these are no longer alien terms for MBAs, event those from non-engineering background like CA, commerce etc. You don’t need to be Zuckerberg, but get your basics right.
Author – Amit Grover, Founder, Nurture Talent Academy