1.What was your pre-MBA profile?
Worked as Systems Engineer at TATA Consultancy Services (TCS) Ltd. for 2 years and as a lecturer at a nationally acclaimed college of engineering for a year before joining TCS.
2. Why did you decide to do an MBA?
As a Systems Engineer, I realized, technical field was not what I saw myself doing for many years. I am more a people’s person and love to interact with my clients. I always saw myself doing Marketing or Sales kind of roles. MBA was the best way to make a career switch.
3. Do you think your choice of B school has been proved correct?
Definitely! Kelley School of Business is ranked #1 for the Marketing field. It has the best Marketing faculty and the course is pretty interesting. My overall experience of the school was also great:
- It has the best teachers – many of them are authors of books which are taught in schools including Wharton and Harvard,
- It has a Top 10 ranked Graduate Career Services – which consists of faculties who provide us aggressive one-to-one guidance all through 2 years for resume making and interview preparation, for both internship and full-time jobs
- The academy system, which is unique at Kelley, gives you three one-week long opportunities to visit companies of your interest. You can join academies based on your interest – Consulting, Business Marketing, Consumer Marketing, Finance, Supply Chain Management, etc – regardless of your Major degree
- To top it all – the school is in one of the most beautiful campuses of US. I have visited many other schools, but this one topped them all. The campus is ranked in top 10.
- What are the most important things you learned during the MBA?
- MBA is an “experience” rather than a course you study. You get enriched and realize it only at the end or when you join a job how the course changed you over time!
- Marketing is NOT Sales. In India, we usually connect Marketing with a sales kind of job. But Marketing is a whole different field and you may not have to travel in a Marketing job. Marketing is – Marketing Strategy, New Product Development, Market Research, and much more.
- Marketing jobs can be of two types – B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer). It’s good to come to a b-school with a basic knowledge of the two so that you know where you want to go. For international students, B2B is preferable here. B2C companies, which we Indian students usually prefer working in, require one to have a lot of localUSmarket knowledge. Indians, being grown up inIndia, naturally lack that knowledge/information. Hence, it’s good to know what we might be interested in, before we enter a school.
- Most of the students are confused even by the end of year 2, what they want to do in future. It’s okay to be confused. But, the earlier you make up your mind, the easier the journey is for you.
- Networking is a HUGE part of MBA and finding a job. Start networking even before you enter school. The sooner you find an internship, the better it is for you. Some students had internships in hand, even before they joined the school. MBA first year (the toughest time) was a smooth sail for them.
- Has the B school experience helped mold your personality?
Totally ! I am a changed person and have a much broader view of the world after my MBA. I meet many friends from the IT world and I see how “only-technical” my mind was before MBA. I understand ‘business’ much better now and have the confidence of starting one on my own in future. B-schools not only expose you to all aspects of how a company works, but also to a wide network of people you might need in your journey to a successful career.
6. Where did you do your MBA internship? How hard was it to get the internship? Did you get adequate assistance from your B school?
I interned at Hindustan Petroleum Pvt. Ltd. (HPCL),New Delhi,India. The economy was really down when my batch was looking for an internship. Being a permanent visa holder, I did get interview calls (International students with no work visa had hardly any companies recruiting them), but no experience of US market was a big hindrance for me in finding an internship. Hence, I had to finally come back to India. My school did everything they could to help me find an internship. They encouraged me to look for internships in India and also had academy projects as back-up, in case I am unable to find one in my country. Many students who at last went for academy projects (unpaid) for companies, landed up in job offers in those companies.
7. If you are asked to pick the 3 best things about your B school, what would those be?
a. International trips and project opportunities – GLOBASE and KIPs
b. The option of doing a joint degree e.g. JD/MBA which is joint MBA and Law degree.
c. The option of doing certification in Life Sciences (if you are interested in a job in the Healthcare industry, which is one of the most preferred industries in terms of job stability)
8. What will be your advice to MBA aspirants targeting your B -school?
Three honest points of advice:
- My b-school has more pharmaceutical/healthcare and retail companies (J&J, Con-Agra, Mead Johnson, Walmart, etc) coming to us for recruitment, but hardly any IT companies. We had a hard time convincing IT companies to hire us even though we had IT backgrounds because most of the IT companies are in CA and prefer local students. Hence, better study in a school in CA if you are interested in pursuing a career in the IT industry after your MBA, e.g. Marketing in IT, Finance in IT, etc.
- Also, my school has good number of Finance companies coming to recruit asChicagois only 4 hrs away and is a finance hub. But, prefer NY and Chicago schools as your top priority if you want to enter Finance, even if the school is less ranked than Kelley.
- Don’t come here for investment banking career. This is a Marketing school.
9. And finally, given the current economic slowdown, is this the right time to embark on an MBA programme?
Honestly, if you want to work in the US after your MBA and you don’t have a permanent visa, I don’t think it’s a good idea right now! If you plan to go back to India and work then it’s not a bad idea. But, make sure you have enough financial support else paying back loans, which are available at a really high interest rate, can be a big pain in future. Rest depends on the background/experience you have and how sure you are about your MBA degree from US.