Apr
07

Learn as much as possible during your MBA days because those lessons will be the solid foundation for your career ahead

Tell us something about your journey in FIIB. What made you choose Marketing? 

“The time I had spent in FIIB was the best time of my life. I made several friends, met several people and it was really wonderful interacting with them all. The professors were very supportive and I made it a point to discover different ways of coming up with solutions for a given problem during my time here.

The major motivation for taking up marketing was the fact that it allows you to think out of the box. For any other specialization, you are kind of bound to follow certain formulae or steps or rules, but in marketing, you can run your creativity in as many ways as you wish to. 

“The major motivation for taking up marketing was the fact that it allows you to think out of the box.”

 What were your expectations from your career, did they differ from reality?

“No points for guessing that what you learn in class varies a lot in what you experience in reality. Classroom is all about examples of past events and reality is all about getting to know something almost instantly. In class you will always have your professor to guide you and outside you are required to have self reliance. You need to be updated with the latest things that are happening around you and be alert as much as possible.”

“In class you will always have your professor to guide you and outside you are required to have self reliance.”

What fond memories did your visit to FIIB awaken?

“The college looks completely different. It feels as if I have entered a brand new place. But despite that, the canteen and the corridors are the places where I spent the most fun filled moments with my friends. The professors who taught me are no more there in the campus but yes I still remember the lessons they taught me.”

“…the canteen and the corridors are the places where I spent the most fun filled moments with my friends.”

 What advice would you offer to students who take #NoHypeMBA at FIIB?

“Well, first and foremost you have to be clear with what you want to do, in case you want to take up marketing, then having good communication skills will take you a long way. Plus, marketing will any day and anyway require you to find creative solutions for a given situation. So one has to act accordingly. Learn as much as possible during your MBA days because those lessons will be the solid foundation for your career ahead” 

“…having good communication skills will take you a long way. Plus, marketing will any day and anyway require you to find creative solutions for a given situation.“

Apr
06

7 Tips on how to choose the right Executive Development Program

Executive Development Programs are one of the best ways to upskill yourselves, particularly when you are advancing your career. These programs not just act as catalysts to your career growth but also act as networking platforms where you meet like-minded people from different sectors. So, how do you choose the right Executive Development Programs for yourself? While it all starts from sketching out your career paths and understanding what skills do you want to learn/upgrade, here are 7 Tips to help you make a better choice yourself:


Choose the right leadership development program for the current stage of your career. There will be different professional development needs for every stage of your career: You have to understand that all programs are not the best fits for you. You have to figure out which one is best suited for the position and field you work on. EDP for a manager is different from the EDP designed for entry-level Executive. So choose wisely.

Search for a flexible design: One you get on there is very little to no time to go for such programs. Hence, it is necessary for the program to be flexible in nature so that you can get most out of it at your comfort. It can be a mix of on-campus modules with distance learning or it could be a short and fast-paced program. Whatever suits you just choose the one.

Seek out executive development programs that encourage engaging learning: A good EDP is more practical than theoretical. It should be a well-organized course. It should give you a hands-on experience on your specific projects.

Select an executive training program that will give you immediate and ongoing value: Select an EDP which gives you immediate results. It should enable you to apply newly acquired skills and knowledge straight away. It should also take out the hidden leader in you.

Ranks of B Schools Offering Executive Education: One of the best ways to choose a good Executive Development Program is by looking at and comparing the ranks of these programs. There are magazines and other organizations that yearly assess the quality of education you can get from different B-Schools/

Location: stay local or go international? : It will always be good to choose an EDP which is happening nearby your place. But many times some special courses are only available at specific B-Schools. Or you may have different plans with the certificate you acquire. So one can always opt according to his/her needs. Whether to go abroad or within the country.

Will the teaching faculty add value to your career? : A very crucial point is who is going to be your teaching faculty. If you do not connect throughout the sessions or if he/she isn’t able to solve your messy problems. Then it might be a wrong decision to go for. Always do a bit of research about the faculty and their biography. This will help you have an impression of who you will allow to help you.

Apr
03

Ah! That Conference Inviting you? Make the best out of a research conference

Confused about attending that big conference next week? Research Conferences are a big opportunity to not only present your work to the larger research community but also to network with peers and collaborate. You can present your work and get feedback to improvise from experts in your research area. Another benefit of attending a conference is a chance to get your research published. However, it can be a tough task to decide which conference to choose from. Here is a primer on conferences:

Choose well 

In the initial period of your PhD conferences can seduce you to distraction. The trick is to not attend too many conferences. So just trim down to the important conferences so that are of your interest area. Again, look at your finances before signing up for a conference as most of them are paid.

Conference Organizer 

A well-reputed organizer, for instance, an IIM or IIT means a good opportunity to meet experts and show your work to a well-informed audience.  Keep in mind the sponsorship of the Conference and its history. This looks great on that CV! 

FIIB offers research scholars an opportunity to present their work at the International Management Conference, an annual Conference organized by FIIB in association with global partners. Attended by researchers and academicians from all over the world, the Conference has tie-ups with reputed journals like FIIB Business Review, International Journal of Indian Culture and Business Management,  Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies and publishing partners like Taylor and Francis, and Bloomsbury.

Publication opportunity

Publication of research papers into a Scopus Indexed or UGC Listed Journal has now become a mandatory criterion for PhD. Scholars as laid out by UGC. An excellent way to do this is to participate in a conference which provides publication opportunities in reputed journals which are well-indexed. That way you not only get your paper presented but also get it published. Beware, conference organizers charge extra for publication.

Workshops are an added bonus

Workshops are a great place to hone up your skills on that research tool you are using in your study. Not only do you learn new techniques and ways to apply them, if it comes bundled with a conference you end up saving money on a separate workshop. Look out for the resource person.

Look out for comments

Not just to network, conferences provide an opportunity for a budding research scholar to present their works to the larger research community. This not only helps them in their research but also helps them in getting out of their echo chamber. So look out for panellists and session chairs

Additional tip: Sign up for websites that list the upcoming conferences around you or join groups on Facebook or Linkedin for call for papers and upcoming conferences.

Apr
03

Becoming a SuperConnector: Learning the art of going beyond Networking, to developing Relationships

It is good to utilize your passion in your professional journey, but it’s even better to drive it in a way that it broadens your knowledge, nurtures your professional relations and increases job satisfaction. After all, your relationships come to the rescue when you are going through a 9 to 5 stretch.Nidhi Singh Saini, Head – Employer Relations, FIIB.

Be it executives, professionals,  or MBA students, people have their own reasons to rationalize how uncomfortable they feel while reaching out to people and building connections.. ‘Networking is not my cup of tea!’ is a typical phrase that most people use, often not realizing that they may have missed out on opening the doors to some golden opportunities. “On the contrary, I’ve also seen examples where even extroverts find it difficult to make use of their network to leverage their capacity, status and authority. And, this is what happens when people focus on networking and not on relationship building.”

Networking is 9 to 5; relationships are forever

There’s a big difference between networking with people and creating connections based on shared interests and goals. You initiated a conversation with someone by shaking hands and ended with slipping in a business card – where does that leave you? One more entry into the “stack of business cards” on somebody’s desk! On the other hand, sharing little secrets of success and creating a mutual understanding of growth will help you to connect on a personal level and give a clear idea to them of the values you hold and can bring to a potential relationship. 

As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” You can also take this into action by harnessing the power of building relationships. It is win-win relationships that create everlasting partnerships and not just business connections.

“There’s a lot of power in professional connections, you just need to understand what’s the right time to leap beyond networking and embrace the relationship.”

Collaboration is the key to overcome competition 

Professionals who believe in collaboration are the ones who reap better opportunities in, and even outside, the jobs they’re in. If you’re good at building strong relationships not only with your colleagues but also the ones who you network with, then it triggers many useful connections and authentic opportunities your way. Sometimes, shared experiences also help you to move ahead in your professional aspirations. “I still remember being able to trigger one of the big four accounting firms on board at FIIB to conduct a recruiting session for our Finance (Analytics) batch students by leveraging my personal contacts.” 

Honestly, it is not easy to have a motivational focus and stay relevant to both the things – what your ‘love to do’ and what you ‘have to do’. But I think I have been able to master the art of engaging my passion with my work and it is helping me in getting better results out of my efforts now. “While getting all the students a corporate start that they desire is always a big challenge, but my natural passion for networking motivates me to interact and create meaningful relations with recruiters that triggers a win-win situation for all – me, my job, the students and the wider corporate community I’m a part of.” 
In sum, the mantra of “building relations and not just connections” has always kept me going and growing in my career, and probably should also help you cover your professional journey with ease – “When you have one life that’s interchangeable, often the relationships at work also become your relationships in life.”

Apr
01

Linking Passion With Purpose: Balancing Academic Duties with Research to Transform Inexperienced Students into Money-Savvy Managers

Undoubtedly, money or financial management aren’t something that most undergrad students really understand or seriously talk about till their mid-twenties, or sometimes even thereafter. In this blog, we highlight the various ways through which FIIB’s Finance Area Head, Dr. Asheesh Pandey, seeds the importance of financial management and self-efficacy into the minds of budding managers to enhance their financial acumen and develop them into skilful and versatile future business managers.

Those who think money is difficult to manage must have not heard about the significance of financial self-efficacy. You cannot manage the financial health of an organization well without exploring the relationship between financial leverage and risk. – Dr. Asheesh Pandey, Area Chair and Professor (Finance) – FIIB.

On bridging the “hush-hush till turns 30” attitude

Majority of college students struggle to understand the basic terms related to finance management and often are unable to manage even their personal finance well. With every new batch, “I discover the utmost need of imparting the basic financial literacy – saving, budgeting, investing and basic financial decision-making skills – in MBA students that should be taught in their respective graduation courses.” In effect, Dr. Asheesh has no other option but to start from scratch with every batch. 

With minimal financial management knowledge and capabilities among the freshman students, Dr. Asheesh feels that “it becomes absolutely necessary for me to rely on the more practical teaching methodologies, and I personally lay emphasis on learning by doing and not mere lectures. This is why I always prefer teaching my students by presenting the real corporate world examples rather than emphasizing on theoretical knowledge.” 

On bringing the real world into the classroom

Dr. Asheesh firmly believes that using the case study learning method into your classroom is one of the smartest ways to set the right knowledge milestones and define for the students the learning outcomes they need to focus on. When asked how he ensures applying this effective teaching pedagogy in his classrooms, he explained “I usually make students learn meaningful financial analysis and risks associated through emerging market case studies.  It gives an opportunity to students to understand how a particular decision taken by the management shapes the performance of the organization.

On combining his passion with profession 

Though being an excellent teacher in the eyes of his students, what drives Dr. Asheesh professionally the most is research work. “I’ve often been asked how you manage to continue to be passionate about research work while working as a full-time Finance Faculty and also conducting timely Faculty Development Programs (FDPs) for the wider academician community.” He believes that the secret sauce of maintaining a balance between your  passion and profession is to combine them both and let the community you’re overseeing learn through the outcomes. According to him, this has been a proven trick for him in guiding many of his students with the right set of knowledge and attitude. 

In words of Swati Sethi (Senior Business Analyst – IHS Markit), “Dr. Asheesh taught me corporate finance, investment analysis and valuation, portfolio management and financial modelling at FIIB. He is one of the few teachers I know who is able to generate interest for all his subjects amid students. He focusses on strengthening the basics which further eases the journey towards advanced concepts. His real-life examples help the students in bridging the gap between theory and practical job scenarios. His teaching helped me a great deal in clearing interviews as well. Lastly, he is a great source of inspiration for me and most students at FIIB.

I still feel immense gratitude for being a part of a community that always strives to generate better opportunities for each other. Believe it or not but the community as a backbone is what drives you to pursue your passion, and this is something that I feel almost every day being part of the FIIB Racers community.” 

On unleashing the fruits of his passion

In the hustle of providing his students with the updated financial world trends, happenings and the right tools for doing market analysis, Dr. Asheesh has also managed to fulfil his passion for research work very successfully. He has a highly distinguished record of publishing research papers and cases on a regular basis. Some of his recent contributions to his passion include:

  1. A Pedagogical Research “AMTEK Auto Debacle: Financial Statement Analysis” published by Emerald and indexed with SCOPOUS.
  2. Applied Research – “Catch Them Young: Impact of Financial Socialization, Financial Literacy and Attitude toward money on Financial Well-being of Young Adults” accepted in International Journal of Consumer Studies published by Wiley, ABDC (A category), indexed in SCOPOUS and Web of Science.
  3. Applied Research – “Financial well-being of young adults in India: An exploratory study” – accepted in Strategic Change by Wiley publisher, ABDC (C category), indexed in SCOPOUS and Web of Science. 

Apr
01

The Wonder Woman 2.0 — Managing corporate and personal spheres with aplomb!

Saving the world and balancing work and home is something which we are yet to witness about Wonder Woman in the DC Universe. But, here we have someone for you who has balanced her life in both aspects (and how!) and proved that if one has the passion to drive things forward, no situation or circumstances can stop things from happening. Let’s meet Shweta Chandra, Regional Manager (North India) at Bajaj Finserv and learn how her ‘never stop learning’ attitude made her journey as a corporate pro and as a champion mother so interesting!

Tell us something about the start of your corporate journey

“I started working in 2004 and ICICI Bank was my first engagement with the corporate world. I enjoyed my job and worked day in and day out there. In my first there, I did not even avail one of the 33 leaves that were assigned to me. That was the type of passion I had for work. Meeting new people, interacting with them and learning new things was what I was focusing on as it was a completely new journey for me. Till 2007 I was with ICICI and there I learnt Retail and NRI Banking, Audit, Functional Training and so on. Then, I moved to Kotak Mahindra Bank. This was just after I got married in 2007. I worked with them for 5 years (2007-2012 December). During this time I also became a mother for the first time. My journey was very smooth I must say.” 

How easy does it actually become for an individual to follow his/her passion? (as the world says that you must follow your passion)

“It becomes easy when one enjoys the work. If so, the passion to learn and the curiosity to know never ends.  This way one can grow very fast. My work was appreciated no matter where I was. I became a part of the special talent pool of Kotak Mahindra. Usually people get a promotion after 3 years or more, but I got a promotion after 16 months. All through, what remained constant in me was the drive to learn and explore new things about banking. So yes,”enjoying your work” is a big part of what helps one to follow his/her passion.”

Being a mother is a blessing…still what challenges did motherhood bring, and what made you bounce back into the corporate world?

“Well, I was handling the flagship branch of Kotak Mahindra and then I got hired to take care of the flagship branch of Yes Bank. Eventually I was made the Asst.Vice President at Yes Bank. With Yes Bank, I explored different shades of banking like Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Behavioral & Functioning Training and more. After that I conceived my second child.

I was doing great work wise at that time. But obviously gave more value to my children and decided to nurture them by staying at home. The organization was very cooperative. This is because I left to take care of my lovely family and the organization actually waited for me. It is obvious that the corporate world only allows a performer to stay. Anyway, I knew what my priorities were at that point in time, so I decided to focus on my role as a mother. With the flow of time I started telling people that I do not work any longer and this always took people who knew 

me well aback. They said ‘’It is a wonder that a person like you does not work”. But my highly energetic boys and the rest of the family required me and I wanted to spend time with them to do justice to this role as well. My children were growing up nicely. One fine day I got a call from my boss asking me for a casual catch up over a cup of coffee. There he told me that I must not let go of my potential as an impactful corporate figure. He highlighted that  I was already 4 years into being an amazing mother and my children will need me forever. But in all of this I might somewhere be undermining and missing upon actualizing my professional potential. I spoke to my husband about this. I wanted to do justice to both my corporate and personal self. A lot of brainstorming happened, we gauged the pros & cons, and finally decided that time has come for me to now step back into the corporate world. 

How did you keep your passion for work alive during the initial stage of your motherhood?

“When I was on my parenting break, I took some classes with my children, did some behavioural training, collaborated with some corporates and then I started to write. In this freelancing mode, I felt I was doing ‘everything’. Things that I was missing about my corporate life, I was doing almost all of them while being able to give abundant time to my family. Every time I was with my kids, I was wholeheartedly with them. I played football with them, cricket and tennis and whatnot. So one can say that the fact that my children were growing up nicely was a big boost for me to freelance. So freelancing helped me keep my professional edges sharp while simultaneously I was performing effectively as a mother.”

Where are you currently working?

“I’m with Bajaj Finserv Ltd at the moment. I am working as a Regional Head for North India.“

How was your journey at FIIB?

“It was very nice. I still have fond memories of the time I spent there with my batch mates and with the professors (Dr Meenakshi, Dr.Poornima, Arun Sir from the library, Geeta Takdu Ma’am and more). Apart from this, I’d always focused on my studies and in 2004 I passed out of FIIB as a Gold Medalist and I was quite happy about that.”

On a closing note….any message you’d like to give to fellow FIIBians

Passion drives learning and one must never stop learning! This was one of my key takeaways from my days at FIIB. And with time, in my professional and personal journey this belief has become even more significant and strong.

Mar
30

5 Effective Ways To Invest In Your Career

The world of work is getting complex every day, now more than ever is the perfect time to upskill yourself meaningfully. With a little free time in your hand, give a serious consideration about your career. Have something that you’ve always wanted to learn? A skill that you think would accelerate your career but didn’t have enough time to pursue? Now’s the right time. But before you jump into it, maybe you need to evaluate what aspects do you need to focus upon and finally, how to kick start them. Here are 5 clever ways that you can invest in your career.

Build upon your strengths 

Introspect and evaluate what are your strengths, and take courses/webinars that sharpen your strengths

Most people make the mistake of investing in skills or knowledge because they’ve heard from people around them that learning particular skills will help grow in career or lead to a hike. To get the best results, you need to know yourself well. Don’t start a course because someone said it helped them. Start by introspecting and evaluating – what are your core strengths? What career path do you see for yourself? What are the gaps/challenges that are stopping you to get on to that career path? And finally what skills can be built upon your strengths? 

Upgrade your tech skills

Upgrade to essential technical skills when working from remote places and working virtually has become the new norm

All roles today require you to be tech-savvy – of course, the extent of which is dependent on the job role. So, do yourself a favour and invest in being up to date to the technical skills your role demands, build a basic understanding of some online tools that make remote collaboration on projects easier. At the same time, invest in learning tech and tools that make parts of your job less time-taking. Maybe you don’t need it now, but you don’t know tomorrow.

Invest in being mindful

Work and life, lines are frequently intersecting, practice mindfulness and time management skills to balance work-life

Sometimes between managing work and life, it becomes too hectic to draw boundaries. This often leads to not just your personal frustration but also to reduced productivity in your job. If this sounds familiar to you, you should definitely explore investing in learning time management, planning, and project management. You should also seriously try taking some mini-courses on mindfulness and balancing work and life. Believe us or not; Healthy mindset and being sure of where your time goes is a catalyst in career growth. 

Develop the right relationships:

Take time out in building the right professional network for you  – maybe it’s time to relook your Linkedin too

Networking is a skill most people do not recognize as a skill until it’s too late. Whether it’s catching the eye of your senior manager, or a recruiter outside, you need to have them in your network first. Think deeply about your career plan for the next five years – It is important to work on your immediate goals, but equally important to work towards your long-term goals. That too now! So, clean up your resume, start connecting with the network you want to be in, maybe even hire a career coach who can help you do so. Also, don’t forget your existing network. Show genuine interest in people around you, get to know them, ask your boss to be your mentor. Develop a robust working relationship with your peers and boss. 

Strengthen your people skills:

In such ambiguous situations, people skills will come to your rescue to keep you relevant – personally and professionally. Focus on them

See, your core skills will help you get your job, but it is your people skills which are key in determining how fast your career progresses forward. Some of us are blessed with the essential people skills to make all the right connections, but even if you’re someone who struggles in making the best of your people skills – the good news is that you can learn them. Identify your gaps in people skills – maybe you are a great individual contributor, but probably struggle in a team project coordinating with others, maybe you feel you can do better while making that pitch presentation, whatever it is – identify it and enrol in courses that focus on such skills.

Bonus tip: Practise!

A recent Harvard study suggests that unless you start using the skill you learnt hands-on in your job, you’ll forget 75% of what you’ve learnt within a week. You don’t want that, do you? So, crack your knuckles and put the skills you learnt recently to practice.

FIIB’s Center for Executive Education (CEE) works closely with experts across various management domains to help you drive growth for you and your organizations. If you have any queries related to your career growth and want to connect to our experts, please write to ceeinfo@fiib.edu.in.  Good luck!

Mar
27

Meraki over the years – What has changed?

2020 saw the 9th edition of Meraki. Meraki is FIIB’s B-Plan competition that has been designed to provide entrepreneurs with a real-world experience to fine-tune their business plans and elevator pitches to generate funding in order to successfully commercialize their products. This platform helps students to express exceptional venture ideas. 

Every year Meraki receives entries from top colleges of India and South Asia. From all the plans that are received, 10 teams qualify to present to an eminent jury panel comprising top entrepreneurs and VC’s of India Inc. We asked the Venture Capitalists who have been judging India’s biggest business plan competition, Meraki, over the years, on what changed in Meraki and what didn’t. Here’s what they said:

Mr. Amit Khosla, Founder, Valtrust Capital 

With his in-depth knowledge of the market and keen interest in fresh business ideas, Mr, Khosla has been judging Meraki for 8 years. He says that with every year, the quality of the participants has only become better. This year, the quality was the best so far.

So, what has improved in the B-Plans?

  • Plan to capture market share was made,
  • What is their differentiator is well explained,
  • The value proposition offered is clear,
  • Go-to-the-market strategy was implied and
  • Financial Models and Break-Even analysis were captured well.

There were several things that proved that their business plans were quite ‘mature’. Even the team that presented their business plans expressed a high level of maturity. 

  • Both team members were individually prepared about their B-plan,
  • Both knew their areas of expertise in the B-plan and answered all questions clearly, 
  • Critical questions coming from the Product Angle, Technology Angle and Finance Angle were answered with logic and effective examples.

So, overall it was a very good year and the business plans were of a very high quality. 

Manish Kheterpal, Founder and Managing Partner of Waterbridge Ventures

An influencing decision-maker and judge in his domain, Mr Kheterpal believes that the quality and the confidence of the participants was remarkable this time. In his opinion, such strength of quality can only come through the knowledge of what is happening around in the market. He was very happy to witness the enthusiasm and self-reliance around entrepreneurship. It is a matter of significance for him to see the blend of for-profit businesses and social entrepreneurial projects. The process that FIIB follows in selecting the best business ideas as well as for the registration are very polished. “Over the years I have seen Meraki evolve in a productive and positive manner. 

Ashish Jain, Partner, Waterbridge Ventures

He is highly observant and has a fine sense of the market. It does not take him much time to sense the challenges that might shake the market in the near future.  As a judge he was much impressed with the strategy, presentation style and the conviction with which the participants expressed themselves. 

The basic elements of being a successful entrepreneur in the volatile marketplace is to have:

  • Sound market knowledge, 
  • Financial models ready both in the scenario of a profit as well as loss 
  • The confidence to stand with the ideas. 

The participants were highly professional already as they knew when and how much to speak. Their calmness, composure and body language were relaxed even while answering tricky and critical questions.

The judges evaluate the teams and make sure to hold their hands till they become ‘Real World Entrepreneurs.’ Joining the Meraki winners with the early-stage investors and venture capital firms are done by the judges. The one company that the judges would like to invest in the most is ranked accordingly. 

Mar
27

The First Year of Business School Is Tough, But Here’s How I Thrived

Talking honestly, my first year at FIIB was far more challenging than I expected. The grind of class assignments, group projects, guest lectures and presentations, participating in different extracurricular activities, interviewing for dozens of recruiting drives to find a good fit for my social as well as corporate internship, and enjoying FIIB’s cultural fest with my friends – my freshman year of FIIB was truly a year where I  discovered the best version of myself.” –Akash Mathews, 2019-21, MBA-Marketing, FIIB.

Towards becoming a STRAIGHT-A Student

My journey of becoming a ‘STRAIGHT-A student’ started after being elected as a class representative. It made me work diligently for the whole class. Then I took a step ahead and got selected as a club co-head. With these additional responsibilities, I strengthened my personality and management skills. Further, volunteering for a gamut of events organized at FIIB – TEDxFIIB, OPEX Conclave, Finance Conclave, Marketing Conclave, Meraki – helped me also understand the nitty-gritty of managing and organising events. Undoubtedly, this strategy of turning assigned responsibilities into meaningful opportunities for developing my managerial skills also helped me hugely in nourishing my overall personality. 

Challenges along the way

Getting involved in a whole lot of college activities helped me become a multi-tasker. I was able to merge studies and assignments with various experiential learning sessions and responsibilities. I still remember the time when one of my fellow classmates questioned my decision of volunteering in three major FIIB conclaves at a time when I was already working on a case research paper with a faculty. 

However, I chose to carry on with the back-to-back challenges, and in hindsight, I think my resolve to stay put strengthened my command over some of the most critical management skills like time management, planning and scheduling. 

Milestones and the road ahead

Luckily, most of my faculty count me as one of the more confident and dynamic students of the 25th batch of FIIB Racers. With days passing by, my exposure has deepened and so has my ability to self-drive and refine my individuality, skills, and intellect. I have continued to retain my Class Representative role in every term of the freshman year and was also elected as the student coordinator for two of the major college events – International Case Conference and International Management Conference. 

All the volunteering opportunities, extracurricular participation, and experiential learning sessions that I become part of at FIIB have helped me in improving my overall personality. 

The RACERS Community Touch 

Apart from the individual achievements, the other aspect of my stint at FIIB which I am most proud of is the FIIB RACERS Community. I now better understand the value of ‘being part of a community’ and how it inculcates an attitude of camaraderie and cooperation in an individual. Organizing various clubs activities, celebrating accomplishments together at the Gong Ceremony, engaging with the fellow students, faculty, staff and administration all add up in creating a sense of belonging and fulfilment. In my view, if there is one thing incoming students can expect to learn the most in their first year, it is: 

There will always be someone, or probably even a group of people, rooting for and supporting you.

The teachers, friends and the college staff were a major contributor in making me take the most out of my first year. They were very supportive and encouraged me throughout. One thing that I can say about FIIB after completing my freshman year is that this place focuses on the overall development of its students and gives numerous opportunities to them to understand their strengths and nurture a winning attitude in them. 

Mar
25

“B-School-Passion-Life” Balance: The Lessons I Learned During My MBA

“When I received an acceptance call from FIIB, it caused a 360-degree turn in my personal life as my parents wanted me to travel a different lane. Belonging to conservative middle-class ménage, I knew that making the choice to go back to school to pursue an MBA would be an adjustment. But, isn’t not choosing anything akin to making a choice too?”-Simran Nagpal, 2019-21, MBA-Marketing, FIIB. 

The Real Struggle

I still remember putting ‘convincing my parents’ at the top and hardest of all among the task list that I had put together to turn my MBA dream into a reality. As if this was the only barrier that would have stopped me from pursuing what I desired the most. I knew from the beginning that in order to fulfil my dreams, I would need to bring out the best within me to seize the opportunities coming my way. In the first few months at FIIB, I got pretty heavily involved in classroom presentations, group projects, individual assignments, and out-of-the-classroom activities. With all the hard work and dedication I put in, I was able to get myself a place in the FIIB’s leadership program – my first proud moment that helped me justify both of my decision to join FIIB and my values. 

Reinforcing Self to Bridging Voids

Going further in living my values and proving the worth of my decision, I started participating in most of the extracurricular activities happening at FIIB. But, as time passed, and I completed six months at FIIB, I realised there’s something still missing in my MBA journey. This is when I thought of seeking help from my faculty mentor. When I discussed the void that I felt even after scoring well in my subjects and literally getting selected in all the major management-led student initiatives with my Mentor, Dr. Amiya Mohapatra, he suggested that I should try to figure out and explore “the one thing that electrifies you!””

Since the school times, I was counted amongst the students who never said no to extra classes, participated in extracurriculars with full enthusiasm, and counted communication as my strongest point. Considering Dr. Amiya’s suggestion, when I put thought into what could be that one thing that excites me and would challenge me the most, I got my answer. It was “standing on the podium of my college auditorium.” Yes, that was it! 

Combining Passion with Intellect 

Public speaking is something that always electrifies me and this is the reason why I chose Marketing as my specialization as well. It is what eggs me to present my thoughts and ideas in the most embellished manner. It helps me present and distinguish my personality in a crowd. And undoubtedly, it will give me the shoulder to become a successful marketer one day. “I am lucky enough to have that courage in me and guidance from my Faculty mentor that not only allowed me to continue my passion in a tight program schedule but also  helped me to integrate my confidence with my learnings at FIIB in the best possible manner.

I genuinely believe that a good Public Speaker and successful Marketer possess similar traits. Be it a curious opportunist trying to market a product through words,  or an expert storyteller grabbing the attention of its listeners, or a remarkable observer discovering people’s behaviour and catch their area of interest – each one of them is trying to create value either for themselves or the brand they’re associated with.

Finding the Way Back

I sometimes question myself – would I be able to sustain both the pieces of my identity that mean so much to me? – my passion for public speaking and my desire to be a successful marketer. But at that time, when I honestly focus on my achievements, volunteering opportunities, and everything else that’s yet to come in my way, the doubts start fading. After all, at the end of the day, what matters is that you trust your conscience, introspect your strength and direct your mind and soul towards the chosen path. And that’s how I would describe my ultimate mantra of achieving success!

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