From Indore to Indiana, Amrita Ludhwani’s International adventure pays off

Imagine being in a bus filled with International students heading to a field trip in a foreign country and your error leaves the Assistant Dean of the university behind. This almost comical incident happened with Amrita Ludhwani, Jaipuria Institute of Management, Indore as she was on her USA Summer Training Programme. But it’s these experiences that not only make for interesting stories but life lessons you get from living in foreign lands. And Amrita certainly wasn’t going to miss the bus full of life shaping, career defining experiences from the programme.

United colors of peer-to-peer kinship

Jaipuria Institute of Management’s International Relations Committee presented the exciting opportunity for students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), Indiana, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “During the programme I got to interact with students from South India, Norway, Germany and the US, of course. It is the exposure I received while interacting with peers from different cultures that I truly cherish,” she says. And what would the discussions be about? Amrita smiles and says the Cultural differences, environment conditions, arranged marriages; she rattles some of the topics. “In the class, very concept was discussed in relation to Norway, India and America and those used to be the best parts, which also made us aware the happenings around the world.

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Experiences galore

What followed was an intensive learning experience with solid practical exposure. How often do management aspirants from India get to visit the premises of International biggies like Walmart, Bayer and Heinz Field. When you get such an opportunity, you grab it with both hands and make your mark. Amrita did just that when she visited the Walmart Distribution centre of Pennsylvania. “I raised a lot of questions there, which were quite appreciated by the Operational Manager. Those questions and the confidence to ask them came from my training at Jaipuria Institute of Management, Indore,” she says strongly.

Souvik Chandra, alumnus 2019 shares how he unfolds the second opportunity with Deloitte

Souvik, class 2017-19, a number juggler from day one at Jaipuria did not let off the opportunity to en-cash when he was recalled for interview at Deloitte.

Souvik recall his earlier days at Jaipuria during first trimester. It was Prof. Wasan from finance in class, who assigned him with a task, and without any delay souvik wrapped up meticulously. The very instance Prof. Wasan commented ‘take Finance in your 2nd year and I would not be surprised if you are hired by Deloitte by the time you complete your PGDM from Jaipuria,” says Souvik who thinks Prof. Wasan’s words had a life-changing impact on him.

Souvik had arrived at Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida to up his game in Management and especially Finance, and walk out with a placement offer from one of the big fours in Consulting but even after having almost all the blocks perfectly fit in the puzzle, it was not cakewalk. The final stumbling stone arrived when Souvik was not selected at the versant test of Deloitte. However, luck has a way for people who really are worthy of it. “After few days, he was given a second chance for full retest of the Versant and Aptitude rounds. He knew this was the only chance. He left no stone unturned in his preparation, and when the time actually arrived, he cleared all the rounds- one after another,”.

Souvik says, “If you ask me about my few significant achievements in last 2 years at Jaipuria Noida, I would quantify them from a more humane level. I think I changed as a person. I was an introvert, extremely shy. That of course got entirely altered with repeated presentations and team building exercises that we are immersed here at Jaipuria, Noida. You just cannot afford to stay inactive or isolated. Beside that, I grew more sensitive about the environment around me. I have evolved into a more responsible citizen, looking for a greener future for the world,”. Of course Souvik’s transition indicates the kind of managers that are stepping out of a B-school that has been consistently working towards creating conscientious human beings.

Souvik specifically attributes his placement achievement to the exposure he got during his summer internship with Thomas Cook at the Credit Control Deptt. According to Souvik, it taught him the importance of being a go-getter. “My Manager had an elaborate project to wrap within a strict deadline of 3 days. The task needed experience and training, however, I along with my four other colleagues of Jaipuria Institute of Management volunteered to take it up. We asked our manager to train us briefly and summarize it for us and then we delved into the project- divided the work among us, consulted each other, reached out for help and spent our time strategically on it. Within 3 days it was done! And we were ushered in with praises and appreciations from various quarters,” he explains. And it was not just the SIP that decided the course of Souvik’s journey. In fact, the study group approach of Jaipuria Institute of Management has been quite popular among the graduates of the B-school since the time the B-school adopted the method.

The summit brought the CEOs and C-level leaders to discuss the ever-evolving role of CHROs in the business era shaped by the transformation of organizations, cultural change, agile work, and emerging digital technologies. It also helped CEOs put their challenges forward to CHROs and discuss mutual ways forward. They focused on critical concerns encountered by CHROs who operate in complex business environments, lead international teams, and make decisions that hold substantial implications to their profession, industries, and companies as a whole.

Souvik is now with Deloitte as a US Tax Consultant and he is all set to make the most of the initial few years of his professional life before deciding any further.

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The strength of belief and encouraging words- a lesson to learn from Pushpendra’s PGDM journey at Jaipuria

“One of our professor of Information system in the first trimester during our ITM classroom session asked us a simple question- “Is there anyone here who has not worked in any Microsoft tool ever in life,” recalls Pushpendra with a smile on his face. “And I was the only one who had raised his hand, confessing that I had not and it took almost the entire class by surprise. My professor suggested immediately that I have to work really hard to ace up. That particular moment taught me a lot,” adds Pushpendra. By the time he was wrapping up the course, this Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida boy of Class 2019 had scored the 2nd highest in the subject.

The Jaipuria Institute of Management classrooms are really interesting spaces with myriads of life transforming stories and experiences embedded in them. Students come from across entire India, spend their 2 years pursuing excellence and in the process- leave their indelible marks in the growth story of the B-school and students like Pushpendra are perfect examples. However, what makes the learning ecosystem of a B-school like Jaipuria absolutely unique are the people themselves- they celebrate each other, and hold each other up in times of failures and successes. Each and every student contributes to the life of their peers and all of it in absolute humility and earnestness! It almost comes naturally to a Jaipurian- to stand as a rock by its team or teammate, as if it is a part of the b-school’s very DNA. And that is exactly what Pushpendra did for his friends and his friends did for him in return. How?

Be it managing the study group or giving proxy to friends busy in placement processes, Pushpendra did not deter from his responsibilities as a team member or a friend and when his turn came, his peers did not disappoint him either. “I was at the Group Discussion round of Amazon and I desperately wanted to make it to the organization. However, things didn’t work out in my favor despite all the hard work I had put into it and the rejection had me hit hard to the effect of losing all self-confidence. Recruiters were continuously visiting campuses and I did not have any ounce of interest left in me to sit for any other process. But my friends did not give up on me. IDFC First Bank arrived the subsequent week and they insisted I take the test. I was absolutely reluctant but they would not give up and pushed me to go ahead,” remarks Pushpendra who is now one of the new Management Trainees in the Sales Office of the organization. He had not informed his father about it till the HR declared his name among the finally selected candidates. “I was scared of disappointing him the second time, so I went from Noida to Jaipur campus for the selection round without informing him and when I finally got the job and informed him, he was pleasingly surprised,” says the boy who started with IDFC First from April 15, 2019.

However, nothing has been more inspiring for Pushpendra Singh Rathore than his mentor Prof. Ajay Bansal. “He always said- I will do something great in life and not just stop at getting a placement, and I will do whatever it takes to ensure his belief in me does not go to waste,” he says.

Pushpendra believes Jaipuria Institute of Management’s 2 years taught him to be a good human being above everything else. Team work, CSR activities, selflessness are just among hundred other things Pushpendra thinks his PGDM has taught him. He had arrived at the B-school in the summer of 2017 with the hope of gaining as much knowledge as possible in his specialization, perform as many Live projects that 2 years could offer and secure a good placement. And now that he is graduating from the school, he feels “I have almost all boxes of my check-list, ticked green.”

Jaipuria Institute of Management to Amazon- does Ambuja Tandon of PGDM Class 2019 feel ready and why?

When Ambuja chose to do a PGDM post her undergraduate degree, she had her eyes absolutely fixed on certain things and getting a placement with Amazon was one of them. It has been 20 months since. Ambjuja Tandon of Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida had to change a great deal about her. She struggled with Mathematics and Statistics as subjects to begin with and Ambuja clearly remembers how tough it was to cope with other students who had Commerce and Science in their higher secondary. “I had to focus on Maths and Stats the most and needed to motivate myself continuously to get to the fundamentals of these two subjects. My mid-term performance in Maths had me absolutely embarrassed but I realized, I have to put my act together and do whatever it takes to up my game,” explains Ambuja as she starts talking about her highs and lows of last two years.

Amazon had multiple rounds before the HR declared the final results and Ambuja clearly remembers how her late grandfather’s face surfaced in her mind, right that very instant. “I was overwhelmed beyond words,” she says and why would not she be? From event management at the B-school, to assignments, projects, internships and spending months preparing for making it to Amazon, there was nothing that this girl did not do to make it to this American multinational technology company. “I started by working on my soft skills, and then developing acumen for managing things through real life situations before I could sit with all my confidence at the Amazon interview,” she says.

Ambuja thinks Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida helped her evolve as a human being. When she got associated with the CSR committee of the B-school, she was not really sure of the enthusiasm she would be able to bring to the Club however, as time passed and Ambuja started getting involved with the Grace Home kids’ well-being. It took her very little time to realize the importance of self-evolution in order to stand amidst the crowd. “Adding to this major take-away was also the constant support that I received from Prof. Shalini and Prof. Nidhi. I remember this one time in my last two years when I was absolutely low on my self-confidence and they called me, counseled me and simply showered some amazing compliments and I was back on my feet- dealing with the issues that had brought me down in the first place,” elaborated Ambuja.

She will be joining Amazon as its Team Manager and she feels she is ready for her responsibilities. Ambuja was once given the task to organize a blood donation camp at the B-school, and lead the entire team from start to end. “I was hesitant! I was new to the entire set-up and something as significant as this could not be a joke. But I kept no stones unturned and delivered a super-hit event,” and Ambuja thinks that the skill-set of leadership is going to come extremely handy at her new workplace. “Almost 80% of our classroom assignments had to do with working in team. And by first year, we had to learn almost all subjects that a manager would need in her kitty, and I think these two edges will act as further enablers for me,” she stresses.

2 rejections in the GD round and the power of bulletproof preparation- Nimish of Jaipuria, Noida talks about his placements with Marico

There’s nothing more stressful for a B-school student than the beginning of the placement season. And adding to that is the steam of being placed with not just a company but also a great one at it! For Class 2019’s PGDM student Nimish Kumar Sangal things have been no different. He started to feel the heat when things stopped going his way towards the end of 2018.

“I sat for two organizations and were rejected in their GD rounds. I was scared beyond words. I knew I have it in me but something was just not working out,” elaborated Nimish as we started asking him more about his lows before the good news from Marico came in. In Nimish’s words- “I was losing confidence but I realized, I can’t simply give up so easy. In fact that was one of the first things I was taught at my Orientation at my B-school. I just should not give up without putting a hard fight. So I started specifically preparing myself for outperforming in GDs. I would read about techniques, practice oration, consume every bit of relevant news, research on the art of speaking, and spend good amount of time to introspect on my weaknesses. Sometimes you see, you got to go to the root of the problem to solve it.” Needless to say, when Nimish sat for his third interview, he had the placement offer swinging in for him- all the way from Marico!

Marico is one of the leading Indian FMCG companies that clearly and boldly states its employer-employee philosophy right at the outset- “At Marico, we have no employees; only a group of members determined to prosper and grow with the company.” And Nimish strongly believes that he could not have hoped for more from the first job of his life. But does he feel prepared enough to join the organization as one of its Territory Sales Manager?

“My two internships in life have been real blessings for me beside the extraordinary delivery of the Jaipuria, Noida’s PGDM,” remarks Nimish. Last year Nimish interned with TATA Chemicals as a Territory Sales Officer. His project was on- “Driving the Efficiency of Salesman and Promoter led Outlets,” and he also had the opportunity to do a Live Project with Big Bazaar where as a sales trainee, he could learn a lot about people skills, how to convince customers, how to cross targets and react to critical analysis or feedbacks from team members. “In fact, my Marico interviewers were highly interested in each of these details. My interview almost revolved around my SIP,” he adds.

With the pedagogy at Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida that stresses highly on national and international case studies, live projects, simulations, learning through market surveys, research and gaining from experiential learning modules, it becomes a given that a Jaipurian evolves as a street smart professional by the end of their PGDM. “And I think the expertise and resources of a premier B-school decides a lot for you,” says Nimish with an air of confidence around him.

Law and then PGDM- how does Shivika think it worked for her?

It’s funny how the little mischievous moments stay in heart far longer than the gravely serious ones. And Shivika Perti reinstates the same feeling as she says- “now that I am all set to step out of campus, all the silly things we did as students make me want to stay more.” Shivika is about to join Godrej as a Management Trainee in a matter of few months and as graduation time is coming closer, class 2019 is wrapped with a sense of nostalgia and Shivika is no exception. “We would wait for the attendance procedure to get over and then try figure out excuses to bunk the lecture no matter how interesting the session is; you know how it is in student life right?” quips the girl from Lucknow who arrived to Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida to pursue her PGDM.

Shivika had completed her internship with Amul and the summer stint needed her to increase the demand of Curd and Buttermilk in South East Delhi. “I already felt prepared for Godrej because the job responsibility corresponds to that of what I had experienced with Amul already,” and complementing that further is Shivika’s Law Degree with specialization in Corporate Law.

When Shivika sat for the interview with Godrej, she was clearly asked- “why did you even opt for joining an MBA while you could have already joined the corporate world with your law degree,” and she was ready with her answer. “I wanted to complete my education in every way possible. While Law taught me about various functional verticals of the corporate world, Management gave me the overall perspective,” answered the girl confidently. In fact, Shivika strongly thinks that her recruitment with Godrej will also help the organization gain from her skill-set and she adds further, “in my opinion, all law graduates must pursue a Management program for fine-tuning their careers and enter the industry with clarity.”

Team Head at Amazon. A significant CTC. The amazing Amazon to begin with!

Starting at a CTC that any young graduate would be envious of, Mishita Singhal of Class 2019 of Jaipuria Institute of Management, Jaipur is embarking on her journey with Amazon as a Team Manager from May, 2019.

The selection round with Amazon was “quite hectic”, as Mishita describes. And why would it not be! After all, Mishita was applying for the largest e-commerce marketplace and cloud-computing platform in the world- Amazon. “There were around 200 people who sat for the process and there were GDs, personal interviews, panel interviews back to back, but then I was free before lunch,” explains Mishita. And the same day she had another interview lined up on campus with Careers 360.

This cheerful Ajmer girl has always been career focused but she had opted for a PGDM in order to specifically learn three things- business strategies, good management and the art of networking. “I was never very confident about my capabilities and I strongly think, my PGDM made me confident about who I am and more aware of my potential. My peers believed in me immensely and my faculty stood as rocks beside me. There was no way that the prayers of so many people could go in vain,” says Mishita while explaining the role of a PDGM program and a premier B-school.

Mishita was asked innumerable questions throughout the selection process but the panelists took major interest in her summer internship. She had interned with ITC Rajputana in 2018, while pursuing her PGDM and her internship primarily revolved around figuring out- “Employee Engagement Activities Impacting Employee Effectiveness and its Direct Relationship to Cost.” However, the trickiest question of the lot was- “why should we hire you when you can easily join your family business and earn way more than what we are offering you?” Clearly, Mishita had some thinking to do!

Her work at Amazon would test her in People Management and her number crunching abilities. “I have specialized in HR and Marketing and think my work is in absolute sync with what I studied and what I majored in,” mentions Mishita happily while talking about the way Jaipuria, Jaipur has prepared her to face the modern-day corporate humdinger.

Joining the Swiss transnational food and drink company- a conversation with Kartik, PGDM Class of 2019, Jaipuria, Indore

Kartik took a deep breath when the recruiters from Nestle asked him- “so imagine yourself as your best friend. Now, how would you describe Kartik Khandelwal- things about him which are great and things which aren’t so?” Of course it was no ordinary question, especially when you were actually expecting your domain knowledge to be under scrutiny from right, left, center and out. Karthik gathered his thoughts, and tried to look at himself as a detached observer. Entire 35 minutes on phone was about his personality. “Nestle first round of interview was all about figuring out their potential employee’s humility, team working spirit, honesty, commitment level and attitude towards life,” says Kartik of Jaipuria Institute of Management, Indore.

Raised in Indore itself, Kartik Khandelwal arrived at the B-school with the objective of making a mark for himself. “I was confident that I will get a good placement but I never thought that it would be one of the highest salary packages from my class,” elaborates the man who is joining the Swiss transnational food and drink company headquartered in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland. Kartik had already interned with Britania in the year 2017 and has interesting ideas around boosting Sales in the FMCG sector. He did another internship during his PGDM with Jaipuria Institute of Management, Indore at Feedback Business consultancy Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi. The summer internship project was on market research and served as great help during this placement process. His key work at Nestle would involve Setting and achieving sales target, developing of assigned territory and addition of new outlets.

So how does it all feel to Kartik now that he is about to join Nestle? “I got the news on 18th December, 2018 roughly around 3.30 P.M and I just remember hugging a colleague from Jaipuria who was standing right next to me,” remarks Kartik who then ran to find his phone and make a call at home. For Kartik, it was not just about being placed at a great company but also about the relevance of the profile he was offered. “My specialization is in Marketing and Finance and the office offered at Nestle is in a great sync where marketing as a specialization will make me understand the market better and finance will help me in managing sales, discounts, and preparing market intelligence report,” he adds.

And now with days coming close to graduating from the school and walking into the corporate world, what are the few things Kartik is going to miss about his Jaipuria Institute of Management, Indore life? “Oh plenty! But the most memorable moment from hostel life has been the night we friends played pranks on others by pulling on ghost avatars. We created insane scare and goodness, that was crazy fun!” chuckles Kartik who means to preserve all the memories and lessons experienced at the B-school and make use of them in the highs and lows of life.

Making it to Deloitte- how did the B,Tech. + PGDM with dual specialisation combination act as the perfect fit?

Kushagra Saxena was the first person called inside the interview room when interviewers from Deloitte had arrived on the Jaipuria Institute of Management’s Jaipur campus. He sailed through the Technical Round and was made to wait for 6 long hours till his turn came for the second interview round. Every bit of his body was hurting from fatigue and immense anxiety but he knew, his patience will take him to the organization he has been preparing for, since so many years of his academic life.

This Jaipur boy had once read the American Charismatic- Joyce Meyer’s quote that stressed- “Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting,” and that day, during the interview, he just could not shrug Joyce Meyer from his mind. He felt his interviewers are observing him and he needs to keep his calm and poise, no matter the circumstances. And Kushagra waited patiently.

Finally, his name got announced and he was the second last person to enter the interview room. “Even though I expected they might be exhausted by then, but it was completely on the contrary. My interviewers had multiple questions coming my way but the trickiest of them was- ‘What do you think makes you fit for the position of Associate Solution Advisor because you had also chosen marketing as one of your specializations?’ I knew this particular answer would decide the outcome of this interview and will make or break my dream.“

Kushagra had picked his specialisations very carefully. He opted for IT as one of the area and Operations & Marketing as another. And he used his foresight to even do a very strategic internship with Mahindra Special Services Group (SSG), New Delhi. Mahindra SSG is a corporate security risk consulting firm that helps organizations reduce risks and enhance competitive advantages and our boy from Jaipuria Institute of Management, Jaipur completed his summer internship project on- “Analysis of Risks and Risk Consulting Firms of India”. While Deloitte came in search of its Associate Solution Advisor – Financial and Risk Advisory, Kushagra’s summer internship experience seemed like an obvious fit to the position on offer. But what did Kushagra exactly answer to make his specialization in Marketing seem like an instant hit to the Deloitte interviewers? He said in simple words- “Knowledge in Marketing is a value add for all profiles, across all organizations. Plus, my internship being highly relevant to the job on offer and my specialization bringing the Midas touch, I believe I am fitter for this job than any other applicant present here today.”

On 5th September, (yes, Teachers Day!) the results were finally announced. A lot of students had sat for the process and 35 were selected for the first interview round. The numbers went on decreasing one round after the other and till the ultimate round- Kushagra survived. “Deloitte is almost every Management students’ dream company. When I had first joined Jaipuria, I did not know my PGDM would help me to reach this far. And the good part is, I will be utilizing both my qualifications- B.Tech. and PGDM at this profile offered by Deloitte.”

Kushagra’s profile will demand him to have sound knowledge of different computer languages alongside various Management skills to execute his daily tasks around identifying and evaluating complex business risks, testing and analysing emerging IT areas and much more!

“But having all said and done, I will miss my B-school for billion reasons. The fest, the conclaves, my responsibilities as the SPOC of MRC, pulling all-nighters to complete assignments, the Singapore trip, bunking class for Nahargarh fort, the silly conversations with friends, being awed by teachers and lecturers, Jaipuria, Jaipur has been everything for the last 2 years of my life,” says Kushagra nostalgically. The boy is now all set to become the new Associate Solution Advisor – Financial and Risk Advisory of Deloitte- the largest professional services network of the world.

Love for automobiles- Zaid talks about his PGDM that helped him gain the extra mileage out of his B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering

Zaid of Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida grew up in Patna, fascinated by cars and automobiles. He spent a lot of time watching car advertisements on television and asking questions around engines, axles, transmissions, etc.  His heart craved for knowing more about them and he started taking keen interest in pursuing his higher studies in Mechanical Engineering. As soon as he completed his Bachelors in Technology (B.Tech.), he was hired by Spaco Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. Spco is known for manufacturing over 2.5 million Carburettors annually for various two & three wheelers, as well as for stationary engines in India. Zaid was working as the Production Supervisor at this 40 years old company but his dreams would not let him settle.

As an engineer, and an ardent lover of automobiles, Zaid Nasar wanted more. He applied to Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida in the year 2017 and was selected by the B-school. Even though Zaid had the know-hows of technology very clear in his head, he had some other concepts to clarify. For two years, he dipped himself in various domains of Management including- Accounting, Financial Management and Human Resources. “You see, I am an engineer essentially therefore I had to walk the extra miles to up my game in my PGDM classroom, and with 2 years of PGDM training supporting me now, I think I have developed my knowledge in the areas that I could not have otherwise,” says Zaid who is now the new Territory Sales Manager of TVS.

Zaid has been offered a CTC of 7.3 lakhs to begin with and he remembers the exact moment when the Placement Cell sent him the email announcing his selection by India’s third largest motorcycle company. “I felt extremely empowered and accomplished. It is one thing to get a job, but quite another to get one in your very field of interest. I will be using both my knowledge of Mechanical Engineering and Management at my new job and try bring the best to the desk,” mentions Zaid emphatically.

Now that this ambitious, handsome young man is all set to embark on his journey as TVS’s new TSM, who does he want to convey his sincere gratitude? And Zaid had his answer ready- “Dr. Shalini Shrivastava actually! Her domain knowledge and attitude to work have always inspired me. Being my mentor for last 2 years, she kept no stone unturned to ensure I make the most out of my PGDM experience.”