Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jargon... Is that what it is???

When does an MBA student get converted to an MBA??? does anyone have the answer to this question??? I may be able to answer this about this time next year, but for now i seems to have stumbled upon a very disturbing but true fact of becoming an MBA...
In one of my recent interviews, i was barraged with a range of questions, which flummoxed me to no end. I had been stumped for the first time in a very long time. I call that interview a crash course in humility. But now that i think back, the questions did not stump me at all. It was the jargon that kept me guessing. And no, it wasn't that they used too big words or too technical. It was just that i am so used to over-simplifying things at work to explain to others around me and even to myself, that i lost track of many of the most common jargon used in and around.

Just to name a few words that left me gasping... Geoengineering - very common i must say, considering i have even watched all the parts of X-men released in India, i should have known this, but since i come from the O&G sector, I misunderstood this with geotechnical engineering. Now if you go to wikipedia, they also state that you can very easily confuse these two terms. Other time i got confused was when i was talking about my aims on progress and usage of energy to reduce wastage, i was asked whether i knew how e-wastage was affecting us. Okay this i must say is another simple topic, but again since it went a bit out of my focus content, i was stumped and was groping, and then when the discussion of how India and China are dumping grounds for e-waste, i was again shocked that i knew that. My mind went couldn't you have spoken about the reference with context. That's high school english right. But i guess with me now embarking upon my MBA, by default i have to be prepared to answer any and everything. I am supposed to be superman now.

One more example amongst the many that were there, was a question on whether i knew what "gallium nitrate" is??? again this pertained to energy consumption and conservation. If i were an Electrical Engineer, i would have shot back with an answer that, its one of the older components used to make LEDs. Then again, it does not matter i am a mechanical engineer anymore, remember, I am SUPERMAN. i wish i knew the answer, because no one in the panel knew about it, that its one of the older materials. They thought it was a breakthrough that has been done in Cambridge this winter. They mistook the new technology of using this material in a new wafer to empower LED bulbs to a new material itself. Wish i knew these words.

I must say that the interview was a tough one on me, and i will not base this only because i was taken back by the sharp jargon used by the panel, but overall, even after mentioning that i had a previous experience in Oil & Gas sector and with manufacturing and project management in particular as my focus, they insisted on talking about the environmental norms and latest technology in energy conservation.

This made me realise one thing. I was no longer 'only' an engineer. I was now becoming an MBA. World where you are expected to know any and everything remotely related to the topics or infact words you utter from your mouth. I must say its not rocket science and its not too much to ask for the with the kind of positions you will be applying for in the future and the kind of responsibilities you will handle. Let me quote one more example i heard from Deepak about an MBA hired at his workplace as Business Development Manager. He isn't the most experienced guy and he does not possess many years of experience in different companies to garner contacts to develop business the way the organisation wanted. But since he got one degree from a very well established Indian Univ with an MBA stamp, he is expected to know the top honchos of his industry and get more and more business by the day. But unfortunately, it seems till date its the contacts of the old horses of the organisation who have been getting the phones ringing and business in as compared to our dear MBA. I do not believe its his fault at all. I understand he got the skills from his school. But unless he is under tutelage of some senior BDM at his organisation he will not be able to get grips and progress for his own sake and his business sake.

So a stark reality hits me hard on my face. I have to de-simplify the things i do in my daily life. forget about the definitions and focus on the jargon to keep my language short and management-like. Somehow manage to confuse the people around me and make myself look like a walking talking dictionary. Somehow i doubt i can do that.

Somehow i doubt i will succeed in that. I still think Simplicity is the best way to get a point through. Simple like Ross Lovegrove's Designs, who is my latest google topic. go look at the DNA staricase and the car on a stick concept.

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