MBA: From a fresher’s viewpoint

Much bigger than merely a two-year course: MBA is an amalgamation of a plethora of domains, integrated so astutely that each one of them finds a core point of strength that others can gain from. This is exactly what it means when It is said that MBA caters for an overall holistic development of the students. However, the popular opinion states that the journey is slightly more rugged for the freshers. They are the lot without any prior exposure to a corporate world. Unaware of the adversities and the pre-requisites for the same, they step into this course in reticence. Self- consciousness, shyness and insecurity are some of the feelings that gush through their veins at the beginning, but not for long.

The first step in their holistic growth comes from the diverse pool of peers. During the first few weeks of their MBA journey, they meet a lot of people; some sharing the common apprehension while others who have already paced their journey beyond that. Through healthy and continuous interactions, this is where they learn the know-hows of a corporate life and how it changes and molds one’s personality. 

After a brief glimpse into the kind of life awaiting them, the next step of development comes in the classroom itself. Through experiential learning and case-based approaches that follow, students, irrespective of their academic backgrounds and experiences are invited to speak and encouraged to bring forth their ideas on to the table. None of the opinions are refuted in the classroom. The freshers are said to bring in much more creative ideas as compared to others, reason being their ability to not restrict their thinking in a particular domain. They allow themselves to fly freely. They are the optimistic lot and play the role of risk takers in group tasks and convince their team regarding the feasibility of the strategies undertaken.

The final step, which brings everybody on board and at par with each other on this journey, regardless of their prior corporate exposure, is their commitment to various student bodies. Student bodies are an integral part of an MBA curriculum. They give a glimpse into various aspects of work life that lies ahead. Adhering to the timelines, working in a team, taking leads frequently, dealing with conflicts etc. are the lessons drawn from it. It knows not to see someone from prejudiced eyes. This is the point where all the inhibitions of a fresher shatter and he/she finally starts to believe in being worthy of the course and standing tall with their peers, if not above then at least at par. 

So, it does not matter if you have years of work experience, or you are fresh out of college. An MBA curriculum needs you as much as you need it.

About the Author:
Nancy Raj, a BA honors in Statistics by qualification, is currently pursuing an MBA from IIM Kashipur. She is a part of various student bodies like the cultural committee and Admissions support body. She is fond of reading, writing and travelling. You can connect with her on LinkedIn

An Internship Experience at Agri-Tech Startup and how it converted to a PPO

PPOs are a major aspect for B-School students in securing a qualified and exclusive offer from companies that they wish to work for in the future. The idea to convert your Summer Internship into a full-fledged Placement Offer is not easy but not impossible too. This article provides a better glimpse of what one needs to keep in mind while looking to secure a PPO.

Agrigator, which is a seed-funded Agri-Tech Startup, is involved in Supply Chain and Logistics stream for providing a B2B Marketplace between the Producers and the Buyers. It was duly catering to HORECA outlets (Hotels, Restaurants, etc.) and FPIs by transporting food grains directly from Farmers and related sources, leading to a reduction in transaction costs, time, efforts, and simplifying the operations of such an unorganized system.

Keeping yourself in such a position, there are a few things that you can follow to slowly chart yourself and the learnings you receive in due course. Firstly, it is important to completely familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the concerned organization and the sector that it functions in. Usual ways include following Annual Reports, Sector-Specific News from verified sources, Online Government Resources and Databases, and interaction with Industry Experts and the employees of the organization themselves. This will build up a robust base for you to understand your line of work for your project

Next, you must continue to interact with your assigned mentor or individuals who work in the same fields/organization to also understand the core competency, relative competition, domain-specific business strategies, and business models. This will ensure you are now settled enough to understand the assigned problem statement for the project and the outcomes/metrics that will measure your performance for the same.

Post this, it is time to directly jump into your project and use your acquired knowledge and resources to design a flowchart of your activities to arrive at a solution. This will involve a preliminary plan to proceed, important parameters to focus upon, following up on previously devised industrial practices, framework analysis, and carefully constructed notes on emerging trends and developments in the industrial market.

To make things easier, communicate with various stakeholders and experts that provide a concise view on the strategic feasibility, implementation, and impacts that a step of approach creates to resolve different issues. Gradually, clarity evolves to choose the optimal way to proceed that provides or maximizes the utility of the defined outcome. Typical meetings or regular brainstorming of ideas can greatly reduce doubts and little hiccups that you encounter on the way. Therefore, don’t rush to obtaining a solution without confirmation and thorough research of facts to avoid last-minute crisis. These little things go a long way to ensure that your final presentation is well received by the majority of stakeholders that reflects the ways and values the company aligns itself to.

Last but not the least, be prepared with anticipated questions and doubts that you are likely to face regarding the work you have done, outcomes achieved and the notes on the Final Presentation you will present to the concerned officials. It is no wonder that your Presentation skills should be excellent with the concise textual matter but supporting visual reports and facts that enforce your views and looks to the proposed solutions concerning various scenarios.
Keep a cool mind and be confident. The rest is on your meticulous way to manage your time and efforts to the fullest.

Getting a PPO depends not only on how well you did, but how well you reflect your skills and knowledge to be part of the company!

About the Author:

Som Samantray, a Chemical Engineer by qualification has pursued MBA (Marketing and Data Analytics) from IIM Kashipur. He has been part of various student bodies like the Econs-Economics Club and TEDxIIMKashipur. He is a fresher and is an ardent reader of books and novels and a blogger. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.