UPDATE: This post was a rather satirical/sardonic view of BMS at time when I had just finished college. 5 years hence, people in the comments pointed out my views seemed different, however far from it, I actually implored people to stay away from BMS from the start. Reading the title of this post you’d know that this is a cautionary (stay away if possible) post. Regardless, because of the confusion and the number of comments surrounding my views on BMS, I have just recently put up a post completely panning the BMS/BBA courses for reasons mentioned therein. Rest assured I have more than 6 reasons.
BMS or Bachelor of Management studies, is a relatively new course brought out by the University of Mumbai. This is a course designed to give that sharper edge for candidates to manage a business right after they graduate. It’s a very rich course and has a huge advantage over the traditional B.Com degree due to the wide array of topics it covers – from Exports and International Finance to Production and Human Resource, from Finance to Inventory and practical projects etc . This is the all-in-one course designed to make you stand as a ‘demi-MBA’ among the graduates. So if you’ve picked the newly discovered ‘scientophobia’ (fear of Science 😛 ) or if you want to go a level higher than arts and don’t want stick into the rut of Commerce, BMS is the solution for you! All the same you might be that hard-working, talented individual too, but it really doesn’t matter, BMS is a ‘one size fits all’ course.
Before you hop on the BMS bandwagon, please keep in mind the following things. This is just a word of caution for you and all your fellow batch mates so that you don’t find yourself wishing you were doing a simple Arts degree.
Don’t join the course because you’re super intelligent
It doesn’t matter whether you got 90% all throughout your life, or scored straight ‘A’s in every subject. In BMS you need to have the skill to get you through your internals. This, quite often comes in the form of mind-boggling tasks that you have to use the creative side of your brain for. And these projects constitute 40% of your totals. Don’t mess up your internals because you weren’t ‘street smart’ because then, boy you’ve had it!
Caution #2 Pray real hard that you get into a good college
Remember that time when you’re parents used to tell you to study? Well all for a good cause. Getting into a good college will always land you up in a good position at a company after you completed graduation, and will even get you to actually learn something. Some lower-rung colleges don’t really know the value of the course and don’t have a dedicated facility. Hence BMS gets second class value there. So you can get disappointed if you’ve really wanted to learn something. Friends of mine from MMK in Bandra didn’t have a professor for one subject in their Third Year! This happens a lot. So try to get into a good college. (From personal experience, stay away from WILSON’s and MMK!)
Caution #3 It’s not for the socio-phobes and ‘one man army’ type people
Part of every college course is having a bunch of cool and good friends to share the joys and troubles with. I’ve had the privilege of having a good bunch of pals who were together for nearly the whole duration of the course – doing virtually every project together. Staying up late nights, watching our computers crash etc. we’ve done it all.. together! Yes you need to study by yourself and your marks art truly based on your own performance, but one important skill that no other course imparts is being a ‘TEAM PLAYER’. You don’t need to be one when you come in, but you also shouldn’t be averse to it either. The whole of BMS is a team building exercise and if you don’t wanna be part of the fun, keep away.
Caution #4 They haven’t banned Child Labour YET!
Most of you’ll are 18 by the time you’ll get in. Don’t let that be a reason to consider yourself all mature and ready to take on the world! You still want to have fun, late night fun, long games of cricket etc. you’re young only once right? But the guys in Mumbai University don’t care. The whole of BMS covers a minimum of 40 subjects and additionally a minimum of two projects per subject which means a total of 80 internal projects + 40 written papers = 120 things to do to pass in 3 years. That is quite a lot. When the guys in my college started off a term, we were chilled and thought ‘hey, exams are a long way off!’. Not realizing that 3 months is actually a very short time. Although not heavy on the intelligence aspect, BMS makes up for it with the amount of practical hard work that you have to put in.
Caution #5 Not many companies are aware about the course, YET!
Most corporate these days, still advertise for B.Com instead of BMS, and that becomes a big pain in the unmentionables especially if your college doesn’t get you good placements. The course has a major disadvantage of being a bit low on ‘in-depth’ knowledge and hence some companies would prefer hiring manual labor to do the usual meaningless tasks than a smart BMS guy/gal who can add value to his/her process.
Caution # 6 Don’t ruin someone’s life by joining the course because you’re incompetent
So far I’ve mentioned quite a few things on what you need to have before you join BMS. These are not only important for you but also for your colleagues in class. BMS projects and team work run on a synergy concept i.e. if one can pull a thousand kilos, two can pull ten thousand. Also in Synergy, 2+2=5. The point is the whole team together can bring out more value than an individual alone by contributing together. And here comes the problem. Some people in a group or team are so dependent on their peers that the group output remains at 2+2=4. No added value is generated because the group is constantly covering up for that one member playing ‘catch-up’ with the rest of the class. If you see yourself in that place, do your best to get out of there, or don’t join BMS at all. You’ll have more people frustrated with you at the end of the course than ever before.
Caution # 7 The course is costlier
Well there may be some who can afford every expense, but for those who can’t manage the additional fees that BMS imposes anyways ( 3 times more than usual courses), here’s some more news.. projects and the required stuff also add a lot more. One of my groups project costs went to INR 3000+.
These are just a few precautions that you need to take before you join the course. I hope they help somewhat. If you have any word of advice for people interested in this course, please leave a comment and I’ll put a post together based on them. In closing I’d just like to say BMS is a good course, but your performance is really on your own efforts. All the best to you!
April 2016 Update: As some of you may note in my comments, I have recommended staying away from BMS. I have a good reason for it from experience and will be writing a post very soon. Follow my blog to stay updated. Rest assured, It will be an exhaustive list of reasons.