The MIT Supply Chain Management (SCM) course, formerly known as MLOG, combines two lethal components – the strong Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) brand and one of the key disciplines that the brand is known for – Supply Chain Management (SCM).
Suraj Dharmadhikari (name changed) already had an MBA in Operations from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). Like many who’ve jumped into their first MBA course early, Suraj soon felt the need for another degree that would open up global opportunities.
He tried his hand at the top MBA programs, but without luck. He then explored the option of gaining a specialty degree in a niche area. The MIT SCM course (MLOG) seemed to be the perfect choice for his career goals.
I already had an MBA from a tier-2 school in India and which I did immediately after my engineering. I was working with a large Indian IT company and it was a pretty comfortable job. But after a point, I felt like I don’t have many career options. So I thought a while and decided to pursue an international MBA for brand/network and skill set development.
Like many internationals I wanted to switch to consulting (preferably) and if not to at least non-IT jobs. I applied to multiple schools (5) and didn’t make it to any. Naturally I was frustrated.
Then I relocated to US and for a year I didn’t even think about it. Then, I thought about alternatives to doing an MBA. Thanks partly to some of my MBA classmates who went to Cornell, Haas, I realized trying for super specialization could be a better move.
There were several reasons that went in favour of a specialized course. It will be easy to justify. It gives me the necessary brand and network. I can tailor the curriculum so I can study exactly what I want. And there is a fair chance that my employer of choice will be recruiting there (assuming it’s a top 10 school). The only risk I saw was I might end up not getting the job I want. And this was ok to me as I can always come to back to my current industry.
So I spent next 12-18 months, planning my finances and family stuff and applied to one year master’s program at a top school. Even the application was easy as I could easily justify my position. I got into it this year and am hoping I would get into the company/roles I want.
With that said, I finally chose to enroll in MIT for their 1 year program in supply chain. (Note: MIT Sloan also offers a MS in Management studies which is quite an interesting program).
My top 5 reasons for choosing MIT SCM MLOG program
1. Brand name and network of MIT.
2. Duration of the program. It is just nine months.
3. Placements. It has good placements including some from consulting (no boutique consulting though) companies. I spoke to multiple alumni to get a feel of placements and was pretty satisfied with what they said.
4. General class population including their qualifications, backgrounds etc. Of course, almost all of them have some manufacturing/supply chain experience. However, I liked the maturity and thought process, when I visited the campus last year.
5. The program has been running for the last 12/13 years, which means it has good credibility levels.
Learnings from my MIT SCM MLOG journey
1. It is very very important to do a fit analysis. Do really need an MBA? Are there alternatives to reach your goal? This goes back to the advice I got from Sameer Kamat: Think hard on how you would achieve what you want, if there were no MBA anymore.
In my case, I realized I didn’t have the justification (and probably some skills too) that are needed by B schools and that I could pursue a specialization to reach my target companies. I also thought about/applied for lateral positions in those companies.
2. Do a good ROI analysis and also plan on how you are going to fund it. The MIT SCM program cost is high. In general, these schools are expensive. And remember, you will spend quite a bit to keep up with the lifestyle also.
3. Getting into a good school like MIT is not an end; it’s probably just the start of a new beginning. Yes, the companies of your choice will look at you. But when you apply (internship interviews start as early as September) the only data point they have is your previous experience to date.
4. Remember, some companies including boutique consulting companies won’t take internationals e.g. P&G, Dupont etc. And yes, you have to be social and be ready to speak up, network etc.
5. Finally, be honest to yourself. Remember we all have different competencies.
Suraj is trying hard to balance his responsibilities as an MIT SCM student, a dad, a family man and a job-hunter. If you have queries about the MIT program or about why a second MBA may (not) be right for you, post your questions in the comments section below.
Update: This is an old post. So Suraj may not be checking this for further queries. Please post your queries on the official MIT Sloan forum. The admissions team from MIT will respond to your queries.
Will you be a good SCM manager? Play our Free Supply Chain Management Game to find out.