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  • Writer's pictureSimran Somani

Executive MBA vs Traditional MBA - That nagging question! ft. Amrita Singh, PGPWE - IIM-L

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

As the blog grows and reaches a wider audience, we are getting tons and tons of unique queries from you guys. Until, of course, we realised that a bunch of questions were popping up more often than others!

“Does a two-year full-time MBA make sense from an RoI perspective?”

“Do I have too much work experience for the traditional course?”

We thought that the best way to answer these questions is by reaching out to someone who made that unconventional choice of going for the two-year course!

I am happy to introduce to you - Amrita Singh. Amrita is a CS Engineer from IGIT (2014 batch) and is currently juggling her full-time job as Lead Software Engineer at Adobe, all while upskilling herself by way of an MBA programme offered by IIM-Lucknow (Noida Campus)!

Important alert! - If you are a Chartered Accountant, Lawyer, Economics or Commerce graduate who wants to make it to the B-School of your dreams, don't forget to subscribe to The Unconventional MBA!

Let us get right into it!


What led you to the PGPWE Executive MBA course at IIM Lucknow? Can you tell us more about it?

After having 5 years of work experience and being in the software industry for a while, I started looking at an MBA as an option to diversify my profile and add more to my skill set.

And thus, began my B-school hunting journey.

While I was looking at all my options starting from GMAT, CAT, XAT, etc., I came to know of the PGPWE executive MBA course being offered by IIM Lucknow at their Noida campus.

To give you more detail into the workings of this course, it’s a two-year programme with faculty travelling from IIM-L main campus as well as those dedicated to the Noida campus.

Now I work and stay in Noida. The campus was nearby and my company was willing to sponsor me! So I thought I should give it a shot.

I appeared for the written test, WAT and PI and eventually got through. The aptitude test consists of a 100 questions in 2 hours.

The campus shortlists candidates based on the score and academic record. The selected students are called for PI and a written ability test which usually involves writing on an abstract or current topic.

A few factors led to this decision. Being a 90+ percenter throughout my academic life, people kept telling me to look for “better options”.

But I loved my job and wasn't prepared to quit. Plus, I would still be engaged in the standard MBA curriculum while being part of a classroom program, and so I hung on to my decision.

How does a weekend classroom program work? How has your experience been so far?

I love it! Classes are held over the weekend starting right from Friday evening and stretch till Sunday evening. For three days you have campus accommodation and get to live a proper student life!

There are even enough societies and activities you can immerse yourself into after classes and multiple Leadership talk sessions for you to choose from.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games. Life after joining this course is definitely hectic with gigantic amounts of stuff to do where you tirelessly juggle between work and studies.

A normal day for me starts with debugging/writing programs and ends with a 50+ page case. No two days ever feel the same!

Since the programme is designed for working executives, there are no placements at the end of this course. Then again, this was never my motivation to begin with.

The best thing about the course is the ability to apply what is being taught in a real setting. While pursuing the course, I got promoted from senior software engineer to lead software engineer and the skill set I picked up here has undoubtedly helped me take over my new role in a more effective manner.

So, a year into the course I am quite used to being overwhelmed between work and studies. It won't lie - I am loving the ride!

What are your take-aways? How does the MBA add value to your present profile?

Hopefully, as I pass out of the 2021 batch, I would be able to make my dreams come true in terms of the nature of the job that I want to get into and by bringing diversity to and adding value to my present role.

Adobe is a company where the freedom to do things your way is always emphasized upon. The learnings from the course are invaluable to me for bringing that extra niche of excellence to my work.

If you love your job but are looking for growth, exposure and an MBA - the executive MBA is your thing. Further, if you want this knowledge to boost your startup, this could be your call.

Lastly, what’s the one piece of advice you’d like to share with your peers in the same boat?

One advice that I would like to give the youngsters out there is - Do not fear to choose an unconventional path if that seems like the viable solution to your needs of growth and stepping the success ladder!

And of course, feel free to reach out in case you have any doubts regarding Executive MBA in general or this course specifically.

Thanks for walking through my journey with me. Good luck with your MBA dream! :)


To stay in the loop for more tips, tricks & experiences from amazing people like Amrita, subscribe to this blog!

Interested in learning about how to approach the CAT? Check out our Strategise the CAT series here!

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