I want to pursue my career in Business Management



I am a student of Class 9 and want to pursue my career in Business Management specifically from Harvard Business School. Please tell me about the qualifications and the process by which I can get admission.



Harvard Business School (HBS) attracts the best and the brightest MBA applicants from across the world, basic qualification for which is graduation. T’s better to go for B. Tech. as a large number of Harvard students have a technical/engineering background. Then work for few years. The average work experience for Harvard MBA is over 4 years. Without experience, it will be very tough to get in. then prepare well for GMAT. Harvard’s median GMAT score is 730. The selectivity rate for the Harvard MBA is 12%. So be prepared to work hard and remain focused as the path is long.



 



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In awe of English



I am a Hindi medium student. My knowledge of English is weak but I am keen to learn the language. I am not comfortable with long sentences, essays and reports. I find many errors in my sentences. I wish I could read, write and speak English fluently. How do I achieve this? Can you recommend some books and authors?



It will require a consistent and long drawn effort. Don’t expect immediate results. The first step is to increase your vocabulary and grammar. Improving vocabulary needs a very good reading habit. Start borrowing novels of good authors and reading them. Understand how words and phrases are used (it is not possible to pick up a dictionary for each word). Mentally try to make a sentence with the new word you have learnt. Vocabulary will not improve by mugging up a list of words. Instead, you would have to learn the usage of words and phrases in different contexts. This would be possible only if you read extensively.



To improve your grammar you could go through grammar books and solve the exercises. Wren & Martin is the Bible of grammar. You grip on grammar will improve with steady practice. But again, continuous reading will also help you understand grammar and sentence construction better.



Once your understanding of English improves, you will get the confidence to speak too. Don’t hesitate to speak English, even if you make mistakes in the beginning. It’s better to seek help of a teacher or a relative in this regard. Also listen to the English news regularly, to understand where to pause, how to pronounce a word, etc. If you feel that you will not be able to work on your English on your own, you can even join an English improvement class, after checking its credentials.



 



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Improving English


 



I am a final year student of physics. After graduation, I want to do MBA from an IIM. But I find it as my English and GK are not good. Please tell me what can I do.



For admission to IIM, you will have to appear for CAT. But that will test your reading comprehension and verbal ability. Your proficiency in grammar, word usage and verbal logic will also be put to test. English will also be useful in the interview and group discussion.



To improve your English, read at least one newspaper daily. You should concentrate on five sections- the front page, business pages, world news, editorial page and the op-ed page. Make notes about each article you read, noting down new words, usage of words and phrases. Newspaper reading will not only increase your speed, it will also improve your general awareness.



Apart from that, read good books to improve your vocabulary. One such book is Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis. Also go through current affairs magazines do not hesitate to speak in English. Don’t expect that your English will improve overnight. Only sustained efforts will help.



 



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Matters of Maths

I am a second-year arts student. For quite some time I have been confused about what career to take up but am now gradually coming round to the idea that management would be quite an exciting proposition. My problem is that I am pretty bad at mathematics. What should I do? I have scored average grades in mathematics at the standard IX and X levels. Do you think I can improve my mathematics within a year?



You have enough time to practice and improve your mathematics. Proficiency in mathematics is definitely required for the Quantitative Aptitude (QA) section of the Common Admission Test (CAT) of the IIMs and for the entrance tests of other B-schools. QA covers high school mathematics. QA tests check for threshold quantitative skills that are needed to be an effective manager.



You need to be clear about number theory, percentages, ratio and proportion, profit and loss, geometry, mensuration, basic algebra, quadratic equations, and permutation and combinations. Start off by learning the basics such as tables up to 30, squares, cubes, square roots and reciprocals. Practice the art of mental calculations. Go through your high school books, and try solving all the exercises.



Consult a friend who has been good at mathematics and ask him for more practice books. You could also make that friend your mentor. If you have the time, you could join a reputed coaching institute for that organized effort and consistent practice.



 



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