Grant Paranjape

Hi, my name is Grant Paranjape and I am currently enrolled in the Master of Management program here at Tulane University. Prior to beginning this program, I studied neuroscience here at Tulane, graduated in three years, and began this program immediately following my graduation. But enough about me, hopefully the reason you are reading this blog is to find out more about this amazing program, whether you are someone who has already applied, is looking to apply, or has already been accepted. In that case, sit back, and let me tell you give you the inside scoop about the Masters of Management program here at Tulane.

First and foremost, as someone looking at this program, you should know a little bit about what the program is designed to teach you. Those of us currently enrolled in the program describe the program to people who aren’t familiar with what a Masters of Management program as a sort of “.5 MBA”. Basically this program places you with that year’s class of MBAs (around 40-60 people) and has you take all the same classes as they are. The only difference being one or two classes a semesters, not being able to choose electives for the second semester, and of course that our program only lasts one year. Additionally, you are then placed into a team, ranging from 4-5 people depending on your class size, whom you will work on various projects and homework’s with throughout the semester. Now some of you may be wondering, as I was, how a bunch of people who just finished college are going to start a MBA, with absolutely no business background. To that I would say, you aren’t going to do it easy. For me, coming from a science background, I knew absolutely nothing about business, and boy oh boy was it difficult.

To begin the program, you are put through a two week orientation before the semester starts. During these two weeks you are given somewhat of a crash course in business etiquette, the job searching process, and the various resources available to you upon your acceptance to the business school. I personally found these two weeks invaluable, as once again someone who knew nothing about business, I learned more during those two weeks then I could have ever thought possible. Not only that, but those two weeks included delicious meals, field trips to historic and awesome places in the city, and great opportunities to bond with your team. For instance, one of our field trips was to the city park rope course, and let me tell you, but there is no better way to bond with random strangers than to hoist sweaty people up onto tall obstacles. During this time, you also get to meet your personal career management advisor, a single person whose only objective is to help you get the best job possible. I found this to be a very unique aspect of the program that I wasn’t aware of prior to beginning it. Having a personal CMC advisor is incredibly helpful, as they go over your resume, send you updates about potential interviews and on campus recruitment, and all in all help you along every step of the job search process.

However, the real fun begins following these two weeks of orientation. Your first semester you take some mixture of business statistics, microeconomics, accounting, and project management. Once classes begin you are thrust full on into these classes, of which you have had no more background than a basic online excel course that is mandated by the business school over the summer. For me, coming from a science background and knowing almost nothing about business I found it both terribly difficult to adjust to the teacher’s styles of teaching, as well as learning things about subjects that I knew nothing about. However, there are a few saving graces. First, all your classes are curved, but not just curved, they are business school curved. This means that all teachers aim to have the average grade in their class be a B+, something that I found ridiculous, yet utilized to its fullest extent. Furthermore, most teachers are extremely available to work with you in your spare time, especially if you mention that you are a MMG student, and not a MBA student. It’s something akin to be a special student, simply because of how unique the program is and how important it is for this program to succeed. Oh and there is also your teams, however depending on who is actually placed on your teams, they may turn out to be more of a hindrance than an asset. For me, I took it as a great opportunity to learn how to management less than ideal individuals, as well as individuals with varying levels of motivation and dedication to their work. Now while this may be rewarding, it certainly doesn’t make adjusting to a brand new program and discipline easier, but it is still a great representation of what the real world is like.

Following your first half of the semester, things get a little easier with some more lecture based classes and less mechanically applicable classes. I actually found the second semester far more intellectually stimulating, simply due to it being more theoretical and less practically based. Additionally, you might have the chance to have a class taught by Dean Clarke, the very same person who accepted you to the program. This man has more to teach you than any class ever could. Listen to every word he says, write it down, and let it embody how you view business on a day to day basis.

But hey! You’re halfway done then! After these two half semesters begins your international immersion trip, another major draw of the program. For my year, we are heading to China, to meet and present two business plans to individual Chinese companies looking to enter the U.S market for those products.

As I wrap up this blog post, there is something as a prospective business student you should be considering as you read this. How does this program add value to my life? In fact, I considered the very same question as I was thinking of what to do for my year off. I decided that instead of working for a year before medical school, this program would add more value than any amount of money I would have earned while working. Why? Because this program exposes you to every topic of business, it teaches you hands on techniques of business (do you love excel yet, because if not you will). It teaches you how to interact in a business and professional environment, and perhaps even more importantly, it teaches you how to get a job. Even more than all that though, it puts you in a position to grow as an individual, to better find your strengths and weaknesses, and to both showcase and improve on them in a professional and hands on setting. But hey, if none of this convinces you to do this program just remember, its Tulane, its New Orleans, and most importantly it’s warm.

Grant Paranjape, MMG