Management Minor?

Management Minor?

Review by: Dhvaneel Visaria and Anumay Ashish

Why this minor?

I think it would be good to begin this review, trying to answer an obvious question. Why should one pursue a minor in ‘Management’ in an ‘Engineering’ institute? There are different ways to look at it depending upon your short-term or long-term goals. In terms of the long-term perspective, management skills are essential for any person - a student, a homemaker, a researcher, a professional or a leader. Therefore being aware of management basics and principles would be very helpful to deal with challenging situations and/or improving one’s effectiveness in performing a particular task. In a broader context, the growing importance of management education in some form for all professionals, especially engineers like us can’t be ignored. Of course these are instances of management in ‘practice’ but unfortunately that is not what you would be learning in the minor. It is then obvious to think, ‘Then why should I do a minor in management?!’ It is the precedence of theory before practice that comes into play. The management minor courses aim to provide introductory exposure to students regarding various facets of management like marketing, strategy, human-resource, operations, finance, etc. And I believe that this learning experience would be thoroughly complete only at the end of the required number of courses. The profound impact lies in the integration of learning from all the different courses.

Overview

Okay now that I’ve been talking about the different courses, let me give you some more details about them. The management minor is equally suitable for students from all branches but invariably it attracts many Mechanical Engineering majors. Like the other minors, minimum credit requirements for a management minor degree is 30 i.e. five 6-credit courses from a basket of six courses namely, Marketing Management (MG401), Accounting and Finance (MG403), Strategic Management (MG405), Human Resource Management (MG402), Operations Management (MG404) and Project Management (MG406). The former three courses usually run in odd semesters while the later ones are usually offered in even semesters. With the exception of Strategic Management, there are no prerequisites for these courses. In order to register for Strategic Management, one is expected to finish at least one course from the bracket of other five courses. All these courses are offered in the minor slot and the registration limit is usually 40.

Some words of advice …

Now getting back to the motivation to pursue this minor. I previously talked about the long term perspective but sometimes far-fetched pictures are not very motivating. What about the present? Well, ideally students must pursue a minor to explore a domain that doesn’t intersect with their major but reality is generally driven by ‘peer pressure’. Cometh the sophomore year and all sophies are talking about ‘MINOR’. It’s a fad! And I believe it is okay to be influenced although nothing beats clarity of thought. It is a privilege to have identified your inner calling and if you have, you must go all in for it! But if you’re not very inclined to any particular minor but still want to pursue one, a minor in management can be a handy choice owing to the different dimension it adds in one’s academic profile. Also the fact that management minor courses are very light in terms of commitment required to perform decently, will allow you sufficient time to explore your interests while allaying your peer pressure pangs. If you’re sure of pursuing the non-core career after graduation, this minor is an ideal route to build your profile. But that doesn’t mean that this minor loses relevance for the ones inclined towards research and development or core engineering sectors. A word of caution though would be that this minor should not be assumed to be a substitute for an MBA although it lays a nice foundation to help you decide about grad studies in a business school.

How’re the classes going to be?

Coming to the classroom atmosphere, most of the professors are really enthusiastic about their courses. The course curriculum and the lectures are well-planned and structured and usually the entire course plan is handed during the first week of instruction. The students are expected to read the case-studies handed over to them before coming to the classrooms and at times, students are evaluated based on the assigned pre-reading. These case studies are indeed very interesting and the best part of the courses! The atmosphere in the classroom is very different from usual courses with a lot of emphasis on class-participation. Some of the professors even consider class-participation for evaluation and subsequent grading. With surprise quizzes and class-participation considered for evaluation, having good attendance helps a lot in achieving good grades. Most of the courses also have a group project which carries a significant weightage in final evaluation. Looks pretty chill? Yes, it is quite so.

Caution!!

But one should be carried away if things are too hunky-dory. Here’s a catch! Unlike most of the other minor courses, management minor courses can’t be later re-tagged as a department or an institute elective. So in case somebody is unable to finish the minor, (s)he might not be able to capitalize upon any good grades achieved in any of the courses. Also, usually the enrollment cap is kept very tight so the CPI cutoff is quite high (you’re safe with 8.5+) and waitlists almost have zero hope. At times, the course content seems too trivial but getting good grades becomes a tough task due to a fairly comprehensive evaluation methodology (predominantly application-based and less rote learning) adopted by instructors. Based on the reviews of my batchmates, I would suggest anybody who isn’t serious about this minor to at least go for a course on Accounting and Finance . For people who are really serious about this minor, starting with Marketing Management can be a really good idea owing to really amazing professors and relatable course content. One final word of advice for people taking up this minor. There might be times when you may be tempted to think along the lines that most of the things being taught are fairly straight forward and it’s not a big deal. Just hold on for sometime and remind yourself that once you land up in a job or in a corporate setup, these seemingly basic things will prove to be a big deal.

Review by: Dhvaneel Visaria


Minors In Management

The minors in management courses are run by the Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management for the BTech students. It has a set of 6 courses offered for the BTech students, and you can take up any 5 to complete and secure a minors degree. Also, each course has its own project part, which kind of gives you the opportunity to apply whatever you have learned in theory.

Benefits:

There are loads of benefit of taking up these courses: The minor courses are a great way to introduce yourself to this field of study, especially for all those students who consider management as their further course of study or eye at non core jobs The subject is different from the core engineering stuff that we learn at IITB, thus gives you a different experience and also stands out in your resume. Also, some of the courses have close links to IEOR, & having completed these minor courses beforehand helps you have an edge in those core courses or department electives that you take later in the final years.

Disadvantages:

The biggest one that comes into my mind is that the course cannot be tagged as an institute elective, and so if you do not complete the 5 courses, you cannot use them for your required IE credits.

Coming over to the courses:

Accounting and Finance - MG403

Introduces you to the basics of accounting and methods that will help you understand what is going on in the financial markets. The first part deals with the different accounting techniques, basically class 11th accounting for the commerce students. The second part deals with all kinds of financial ratios, evaluation, and rating techniques. A third and optional part is done based on the availability of time and majorly deals with the ideas behind the implementation of different financial management techniques.

Trust me, the course will help you in a number of ways., the greatest of which will be an increase in your ability to read and understand financial news or economic times! Also, the basics of financial evaluation tools taught in the course are used extensively in different courses.

Marketing - MG401

The course deals with two different parts of marketing; the first is qualitative, and the second is a more quantitative aspect. The two deal with different marketing strategies, techniques, and mathematical methods that are generally used by marketers.

Project - MG405

The project and operation courses are closely linked and have a lot of quantitative modeling and analysis. However, they do not involve any high-level mathematics, and the models are interesting to learn and apply. These models are very useful in making choices and even evaluating different scenarios.

Operations - MG406

I personally was able to apply a lot of different models learned in these two courses during my internships as well as other course projects in the institute.

Strategy - MG407

One of the best courses in the entire section. The same is full of case studies and practical knowledge. I would advise taking it up only after you are done with the above 4 courses, which is in the 7th or the 8th semester. It kind of uses the concepts gained from the other management minor courses and teaches you how to apply them in a cross-disciplinary fashion. The course is set up in an environment very similar to B schools, and the evaluation is also conducted on similar lines. In my year, the same was taken up by the previous Dean ( Alumni and External Relations), IIM Ahmedabad, Prof. Atanu Ghosh and it was a great course to do during the final year.

Also, it has a great advantage in case studies, as students are exposed to a practical way of solving cases rather than rote-learning models and bookish methods. It is kind of a great course to end your entire minors in management journey.

Human Resources - MG402

Deals with the HR part of organizations discussing different aspects of human resource management. The course is theory intensive, and have personally not seen people being too eager to take it up. Unless of course if you have an interest in the field specifically

Concluding Remarks

Finally, I would like to say that the entire course has a lot to offer, but the best way to utilize the same is by showing the utmost interest in whatever is being taught. The professors are some of the best you can have and they are really experienced to help you build network as well as knowledge.

Review by: Anumay Ashish