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Why MBA After Engineering? A Grenoble Student Explains

Why is an MBA after an engineering ungrad so valuable? Grenoble MBA student Chaitanya Potabattula, a former software engineer, says he's learned two ways of analysing a problem

By  Carlin Sack

Tue Apr 30 2013

Why is an MBA after engineering so valuable? We asked Grenoble MBA student Chaitanya Potabattula,  who is on that journey now.

As a child, Indian national Potabattula dreamed of becoming a commercial airline pilot, but as an adult he got into IT as a software engineer at InfoSys. 

So then what brought Potabattula to Grenoble for an MBA?

“What I wanted to do was cultivate more of the functional side of a business; I wanted to know, ‘Why are we implementing a system?’” Potabattula said.

As an engineer who is now learning more about company strategy and management, Potabattula is learning to attack issues from multiple angles.

“If you present the same problem to an engineer and an MBA, both of them look at two different things,” Potabattula said. “An engineer only looks at the data and the MBA looks at it in a higher perspective; he catches different things. No approach is wrong, the technical or the functional approach.”

This ability to utilize both technical and business skills to provide solutions is a valuable asset: engineering undergraduates with an MBA are quickly snatched up in the workforce, an Intel talent recruiter told BusinessBecause.

As far as work after graduation is concerned, Potabattula said he is looking for opportunities in management consulting in Europe. But he has his eye on one country in particular:

“My first choice would be Germany,” Potabattula said. “I don’t know why but I am in love with Germany. Maybe it’s the German beer and sausages.”

He said he fell in love with Germany during business trips with InfoSys, but of course he would love to work anywhere in Europe after graduation.

“I am very interested in Europe, especially central Europe,” Potabattula said. “Everyone has been to the US, but experience in Europe is not that common. There is so much history and legacy.”

Out of all the b-schools in Europe, though, going to Grenoble was a fairly easy decision for Potabattula to make.

He said he was attracted to the opportunity to work across industries - his class mates have experience in the music and biotechnology industries - and across borders.

“On the Grenoble MBA we've collaborated with different students across the world,” Potabattula said. “I have worked with students from Austria and Singapore, across time zones and with people’s different work cultures and attitudes. That’s something which I really like about the school.”