Abhimanyu Sahai is a 2010-2012 batch MBA from Indian Institute of Management Rohtak. He has majored in Marketing and Strategy. He is currently working as a Business Development Manager with Amazon.in. His previous role was that of an Area Sales Manager at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. Here are a few excerpts from our enriching conversation with him:
What are the important parameters that an aspirant should look for before deciding on a B-School?
It is a common trend that students look for the Placement Report to have a perception on the quality of the institution. But placement reports do not necessarily paint a complete picture. There are three important factors that an aspirant should research on before deciding to join a B-School: –
- Faculty: No matter how important the other factors are, it is the faculty who ultimately make a manager out of an individual. Therefore, one must look for the qualification and experience of the faculty members of a B-School.
- Alumni Network: In the corporate set up, a lot of work is done through networking. Having a large alumni base certainly helps graduates blend into the corporate world.
- Batch Strength: This is a very important factor that is often overlooked. The batch strength of a B-School should be ideal, such that everybody gets a chance to contribute in the various events that are held in the institution, and that nobody is lost in the crowd. A diverse cohort is important to bring in various perspectives during class discussions. Ideally, the strength should be in the range of 150-200.
When should an MBA aspirant ideally decide on which stream to take?
There are two categories of students coming into a B-School – freshers out of college and those with a few years of work experience. An MBA degree is a means to a larger goal, and hence, one should thoroughly ponder upon how doing an MBA will help them achieve their goals. Ideally, one should have a fair idea of the stream they are going for well before joining the programme. One must know their strengths, and should choose a stream that is in line with it. However, there are many instances when students discover their areas of interest after completing a semester. The key here is to keep an open mind and keep learning.
We are just a couple of months into IIM Rohtak. Could you offer some advice to students who are going to appear for Summer Internship Interviews?
It is often the same panel which visits multiple institutes for recruitments. Therefore, they have a fair idea of the quality of students from the different institutes. Structured thinking and communication skills play an important role in the process. This goes a long way in creating an impression about the college as well. Students are not expected to remember complicated formulae, rather they should understand and apply basic concepts to questions.
What should a student expect from his summer internship? And what are the things that companies expect from interns?
Internships are a great way for companies to identify future employees. Attitude and aptitude of interns are both judged by the management. A can-do attitude as well as the ability to think through problems is what companies looks for in interns. No matter the kind of work that is allotted, an intern should accept and go for it. Now to answer your first question, interns will get a first-hand experience of company culture and the job profiles on offer. Most companies offer a project which can be scaled as a program/process by the company in the future.
What were the learnings at IIM Rohtak that have so far been most helpful in your career?
Apart from academic knowledge, you discover and hone your strengths while participating in various B-school events and you also learn to adapt quickly in crunch situations. We learnt to shoulder responsibilities and take ownership of our young institute. I remember an incident where the power went off and then diesel for generators ran out! Our batch mates had to go and fetch oil from the nearest station late at night. This sort of ownership stays with people.
What is your advice to the students at IIM Rohtak?
Take part in as many competitions as you can. In a B-school, time is always a constraint, but you need to prioritize. These competitions also help your institute get visibility in the corporate world. Also you get to test yourself and see where you stand among MBA grads from other B-Schools. Besides, winning or doing well in these competitions is always a valuable CV point and companies do look at those things when they come for recruitment.