How S. N. Avinash’s PGDM Renewed His Career

Avinash shares his success story, which he scripted despite the adversities

“Hardships are temporary, but they serve as a stepping stone to success.” This is the precept that young S. N. Avinash, a Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management (VJIM) student, lives by. For PGDM graduates, finding a job that is fulfilling, exciting and better paying than the previous one is typically a critical part of their post-graduation plans.

Avinash, a marketing PGDM student and now a territory sales manager at Crompton Greaves, completed his course this year and said the support and guidance of the institute’s placement group made all the difference in landing his ‘dream job.’

Avinash wanted to extend his career prospects through a new course and superior experience, and enrolling at VJIM drew him in a special way. “VJIM is warm and allows building sincere relationships with faculty and students. It ranks high and puts great stress on offering practical and hands-on experience, which I find is crucial,” says Avinash.

As a part of his curriculum, Avinash and his fellow-students met industry experts from across the country and beyond. Their insights allowed him to get clarity on the industry he wanted to choose and understand the requirements that will make him fit for the industry. “The experience gained from these experts was not just interesting, but valuable too. It was after meeting them that I got clarity about my future, understood the importance of practical approach versus bookish knowledge, and the process of targeting the desired industry,” Avinash says.

Just before his final placement, Avinash landed a role at Syska personal care category as an intern – where he was on a ‘steep learning curve’ and was constantly challenged in his work. He adds, “Learning how large organizations function while setting up my credibility and gaining the trust of my seniors have been important.”

Recalling his college days, Avinash says he will always be grateful to the faculty members for helping him get through the course and preparing him for the future of work. “If there’s one thing that VJIM has instilled among its students, it’s the leadership skill,” he says. Avinash also counts the faculty, co-students, visit to ITC for the big billion day, and internship at Syska among the highlights of his PGDM.

The holistic nature of this course has left a lasting impact on Avinash, shaping his new direction. The events, the peers, and the syndicate environment have also helped to shape his personality during the PGDM.

Avinash and his PGDM experience were much more than the classroom studies and aspirants should embrace all that is available.

5 Reasons To Pursue A New Age PGDM Degree

With the prolonged impact of the pandemic, it was predicted to be a difficult time for entrepreneurs. Interestingly, 2021 proved to be a strong year for startups with highest number of unicorns making their presence felt in India. An article in Economic Times stated, “Employer demand for recent business school graduates, notably those skilled in data analytics, continues to increase.” With the market dynamics evolving at a fast pace, traditional MBAs might not be enough. It’s time to seriously consider and pursue new age PGDM programmes.

We have well and truly entered the digital age in the world of business. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought its own unprecedented challenges and the industry has to come up with innovative solutions on tight budgets. It will require new age professionals, who can not only think out of the box but can also harness the true power of digitization. Moreover they will need to possess skills like Emotional Intelligence, which allow them to be empathetic leaders. New age PGDM degrees will be the training ground for these future game-changers.

Lateral thinking and diverse perspectives

Modern PGDM programmes are designed to offer students diverse perspectives to help them look at business problems from a wider prism. As they gain insights into areas that go beyond their domain and specialization, they are transformed into future managers who can ably collaborate with teams from varied functions to come up with best business solutions.

Agile entrepreneurship for the digital age

New business models are coming into play practically every day and future entrepreneurs will need to be agile and adaptable. Today’s top PGDM programmes encourage their students to experiment with new ideas and test waters in upcoming fields. It results in future entrepreneurs with penchant for risk-taking and the drive to reshape the industry in their DNA.

Inspiring employees and teams

The uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the digitization has to be assuaged by future business leaders. Besides equipping students with the latest skills, new age PGDM programmes also focus on Emotional Intelligence, understanding of different cultures and diversity. They thus enable future leaders who can empower their teams and bring out the best in them.

New age technology skills

The best PGDM programmes around the world have incorporated Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain technologies to keep their students abreast with the digital revolution. They also focus on Data Science and Analytics, which will be some of the most sought after skills in managers of the future.

Unleashing the power of Digital Marketing

Modern technologies have their advantages but they have to be steered in a way that brands can reach out to their target audience. Digital Marketing strategies employed by businesses will be the key to tap into the sea of online consumers. Business leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs alike will need to possess digital marketing skills to innovate in the future.

Imbibing these skills will help you stay ahead of the curve and build future-proof careers, and that’s why it’s important to invest in a new age PGDM degree.

How Interactive Classrooms Are Becoming More Crucial For PGDM Students

Covid-19 pandemic had a disruptive influence on higher education around the world. B Schools had to transition from the tried and tested campus training to remote learning in a short span of time. The turbulent and unprecedented year had taken its toll on the learning experience as well as students’ emotional wellbeing. So it was expected that remote learning, if not well-planned would not live up to their expectations. But top B Schools have risen to the challenge with interactive classrooms that are positively reshaping PGDM programmes.

79% college students, who have experienced both, in-person and remote learning, believe that the latter matches if not betters, their campus learning, according to a survey done by Wiley. Eduvantis, a higher education consulting and digital marketing firm carried out its own survey of Business School Deans. Close to 75% of them believe that even after classes go back to “normal” there will be a shift towards remote learning. It’s impossible to envision this world of hybrid learning for PGDM students without a strong emphasis on interactive classrooms.

Hallmarks of interactive classrooms and what they have to offer

• One of the biggest highlights of hybrid mode of learning is that it navigates through any constraints and limitations. It is built on flexibility and offers students more control over the pace of their learning experience. It also allows B Schools more room to personalize teaching based on students’ specific needs. PGDM students can gain crucial skills of adaptability and taking ownership, which have a big impact in their professional lives.

• We have come a long way since the early days of remote learning marred by tech glitches using platforms like Zoom. Top B Schools in India have seamlessly blended the existing platforms; some have created their own, to offer a wholesome learning experience. Educators have embraced these technologies and imbibed modern pedagogies that boost classroom engagement and foster a culture of interaction, discussion, and collaboration.

• Interactive classrooms have also accelerated the involvement of latest technologies, AI, Machine Learning etc. in higher education. They are being incorporated not only for interactions but assessment, project delivery as well. As the industry future looks strongly driven by new age technologies, this firsthand experience that students gain through interactive classrooms, makes them comfortable with the fast-evolving business world.

• Interactive classrooms are making higher education more accessible, equitable, and engaging. They can also make the learning more immersive and offers students a 360 degree view of current business problems. It is something recruiters will be looking for in the future. Moreover, students in interactive learning environments find it easier to share and network with peer groups, organizations, and leaders around the world.

Dynamic in nature and future focused; interactive classrooms are the way forward for PGDM students of today.

What Is The Youth’s Opinion On 3 Measures The Government Must Implement Immediately To Take Care Of The Pandemic Situation

True democracy is one where every voice is heard and opinion respected. A forward-thinking democracy is where the youth plays a participative role in the process. Future-oriented governments will always listen to the voice of the country. And VJIM, Hyderabad played its part by making the voice heard with its YouthOpinion contest that asked them about 3 measures the government must immediately implement to take care of the pandemic situation.

The contest that ran for 10 days received an overwhelming response from the youth around the country. They had a vision for dealing with the difficult situation caused by the pandemic and they made the most of the platform to have their opinions heard. They had taken the efforts to research and form informed opinions before presenting their findings and strategies. Pushti Sampat (3rd year MCA student), Shraddha Verma (3rd year BSc Student, Delhi University), and Ashutosh Pratap Singh (1st year MBA – IIFT) were the top three winners of the contest.

However, it wasn’t an easy call to make as every response stemmed from participants’ deep passion to make a difference and offer a solution to make things better. “One option is to pursue at the global level what has worked at the national level; subsidizing vaccine producers, input suppliers, and last-mile distribution,” said one of the participants in response. Another highlighted the need for primary health centers and hospitals in remote areas.

There is a general perception that the youth is not interested in politics. However, the contest revealed otherwise as participants called out the handling of the crisis and recommended clearly defined responsibilities at the Centre and State government levels. An IIM Indore student added, “The fiscal spending of the Government needs to be increased and small businesses that were affected due to the pandemic need to be supported.”

It was obvious that the young respondents had looked at the situation from political as well as economic and humanitarian points of view. Some of them even offered nuanced scientific responses that offered much food for thought. One of the participants focused on the use of the Geographical Information System (GIS) to track the availability of beds across India. The measure used only in a few states could be a lifesaver in times of a health crisis that leads to panic.

A strong voice for the robust promotion of vaccination drive and equitable distribution of vaccines emerged during the contest. Respondents recommended scaling up and capitalizing on the manufacturing strength of India’s pharmaceutical industry. “The world is going through a tough phase; we need to stand together and fight against it,” said one of the respondents. Through the contest, it was heartening to see that the youth is involved and together in this fight.

Six Ways To Stay Organized And Make The Most Of Your Time At Your B School

Securing your admission at a top management institute in the country is only the first step towards building a successful corporate career. The next two years are going to be packed with learning experiences, inside and beyond the classroom. Not only will you get strong insights on management concepts but also gain practical exposure. And as you engage in extracurricular activities, you will be shaped into an outstanding professional and leader. But to make the most of your time at a B School, it’s important to stay organized.

There will always be more than one activity on campus that you want to participate in. There will be distractions that can take you off track. The game too has changed since the pandemic as a large part of the learning happens online. If you feel overwhelmed, buried under the responsibilities of projects, presentations, maintaining your GPA etc, then it’s time to put aside your fears and follow these simple steps. These tried and tested tips will enable you to stay organized in your management school and make the most of your time.

• Keep a planner where you make a note of all your important commitments. It can be a physical diary or a digital planner; it will take the burden off trying to do everything by memory. You won’t be missing deadlines and can breathe easy.

• Your days are going to be packed with assignments practically every day. That’s why experts recommend making a to-do list every night. Break down your responsibilities into smaller tasks, which will not only make them easier but build your confidence too.

• Some tasks or activities will always be more important than others. It makes sense to allocate certain amount of time for your high-priority tasks. It could be an assignment or an event you are organizing; allocating time will help you give it your best shot.

• Make no mistake; your B School is a high pressure environment. So it’s important to get enough rest whenever you can. Make it a habit to reward yourself after completing a task. It will help you stay motivated and feel refreshed for the next project.

• Today, as many MBA students are learning from home, it’s important to make your study space comfortable for you. Choose a room with good light and declutter the space as much as possible. Make sure you have a strong Internet connection.

• You will bring your best to online classrooms and assignments if you are completely comfortable. Take the effort to tidy up your work-desk at home and keep the room stocked up with essentials so that your comfort is not compromised.

These six steps help you stay organized and put your best step forward online and offline, in your management school.

Innovation In Digital Learning Comes Of Age At VJIM, Hyderabad

Covid-19 pandemic impacted practically every industry sector as well as academia last year. Many B Schools around the country were caught off guard by the subsequent lockdown. However, some of the top management institutes like VJIM, Hyderabad responded quickly to the evolving changes by creating the innovative platforms for digital learning. In fact, they saw the difficulty as an opportunity to enhance learning in different ways.

The ongoing debate on whether online learning can replace offline learning is futile. With automation, digital disruptions in every industry sphere, online learning in varied forms, is here to stay. By adapting to innovative digital platforms and training faculty members to keep up with the necessary trend, VJIM, Hyderabad moved ahead with online learning seamlessly. And now in its second year, the experience is smoother and more evolved for the benefit of students.

Recently a Sales And Distribution Management class brought real-world experiences to students through YouTube videos as they focused on ‘Value addition to organization’. A video by Ahilya Initiative, HUL, and another one by Facebook content manager, Mr. Shubham Khurana, led to invigorating discussions in the classroom. Similarly, Performance Management System class revealed that only 40% of employees know what their organizational goals are.

Students at the B School learn about crucial management concepts like KRA and KPI with insights on their industry applications. Industry facts and figures are presented through visual illustrations and presentations, which add to the engaging learning experience. To ensure that students’ industry interactions are not compromised during the lockdown, VJIM, Hyderabad has also consistently been organizing guest lectures and webinars with the best in specialized fields.

Recently, Mr. Saravanan delivered a talk on Consumer Behaviour that helped students get insights into the minds of prospective customers. The speaker talked about three celebrities and brands they endorse to drive home the point about perceptions and interpretations of those products. It was an interactive session where students understood that learning is multi-faceted, it happens in multiple ways, and it is continuous.

It also describes the learning experiences students get at VJIM, Hyderabad. Guest lectures by Mr. D. S. S. S. Sastry, Addl General Manager, NTPC Ltd, Secunderabad and Mr. Christopher, Founder, Gratail, have offered students insiders’ perspectives on Logistics And Supply Chain Management, and Retail Management, respectively. Their learning has been multi-faceted, engaging, packed with industry inputs, and uninterrupted, in spite of the pandemic.

Opinion: A faculty’s response to online education

In the past year and a half, the structure of syllabus delivery by a teacher has changed drastically along with everything else that has transformed for everyone everywhere. Whether we are speaking of school teachers, junior college professors, or faculties of MBA and PGDM colleges, the reality remains that online teaching and leveraging educational technology has been a tough assessment. And while the curriculum may most typically be running smoothly, it will never seem the same as in-person learning.

There are both pros, as well as cons, to the online mode of education. When it comes to pursuing specialty courses, like PGDM, the program demands extensive time and hard work, which working professionals find tough to dedicate. However, doing the same virtually leaves a lot of scopes owing to its flexibility and comfortable learning and teaching environment. Plus, the variety of programs students get through online learning is vast and the list only continues to grow. Let it be artificial intelligence, marketing, management, or data science, there’s something for everyone. What’s more? Online education has eased the limitation of location with access to the internet and higher connectivity, which has facilitated both, the teachers as well as students, to teach and learn at the comfort of their homes from any corner of the world.

On the other hand, with excessive exposure to technology, the attention spans have decreased. Thus, the idea of attending a 90-minute webinar or 30+ minute video lecture seems tough for students as compared to a 60-minute classroom lecture, where the attentiveness is much higher and better. Many students have shared how they find personal interaction to be more engaging in terms of learning, and that it’s hard to interact and participate over a zoom call or team’s meeting. Other than this, for highly technical and informative programs like PG courses in India, delivering a series of shorter, targeted, and core-concept videos seem to be working more than longwinded ones. From a faculty perspective; especially those conducting lectures the workload is higher with the onset of online education than it has ever been before, more so for professors who cover different subjects in each of their lectures.

This isn’t to say that online education lacks obvious advantages, but when faced with a unique situation as this, there remains no option but to deliver the best learning experience possible. The key is to evolve, adapt, and overcome!

Here’s how we can leverage digital learning strategies for better education

We live in an age where technology has touched all the spheres of our lives. Airports, particularly, have begun setting up hundreds of kiosks in the terminal to help travelers take advantage of this digital technology to order food, check flight status, shop, or even play games while waiting to board their flight. If something as simple as a dining experience can undergo a drastic change, it comes as no wonder that the digital age has changed the way we learn.

Digital learning methods have removed the constraints of place and time imposed by old-school classroom arrangements. Students can undertake the training anytime they want, from any part of the world, whenever they find an inclination to do so. Leading digital learning platforms like Udemy, Coursera, Futurelearn, and LinkedIn Learning have made it easier and even more possible for aspirants to access both, information and seek quality education by choosing how, what, and when they learn.

The ability of these education platforms to serve students globally has encouraged a lot of institutes to go all out with a digital approach. Let it be Standford, University of Michigan, or Indian School of Business, or Indian Institute of Management – Calcutta. Not denying the fact that this way of education has made learning personalized, which fits individual needs and preferences.

The downside, however, of the fact that the digital age has contributed to the decline in the attention span of students has pushed more and more academics to embrace training techniques that are crisp, powerful, short, and simplifies complex concepts making them easier to digest.

It’s safe to say, digital learning is no longer the future anymore; in fact, it is the present! Have you been doing enough to leverage this powerful mode of education?

Virtual summer internship experience narrated by VJIM’s skilled students

One of the key experiences suggested during your time in college is doing an internship. Attaining work experience is key for strengthening your employability, particularly as a management student. And thus, at Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management (VJIM), Hyderabad, students are encouraged to take up internships in both typical corporate sectors, as well as unconventional areas that are receiving growing acceptance in the last few years.

We bring to you the experiences of different students from the PGDM batch, who made contrarian choices during their internships and seamlessly dared to look beyond the traditional definition of a successful career of a management graduate.

Uday Bhaskar, PGDM, Batch 2019- 2021

Uday Bhaskar has always been fascinated by the world of Marketing and did not want to miss the opportunity. Sharing his internship experience at Tempest Agency, Bhaskar said, “My decision to work at Tempest proved to be a great step to attaining a lifelong worth of knowledge and skills. Marketing has been a passion and I know I couldn’t have gotten a better platform than this to explore, learn, and understand the subject matter practically. Not to forget, the support given by managers and peers has been incredible. I would recommend the junior students to try their luck and grab an opportunity to work with Tempest if they wish to grow their skills and advance in their careers.”

Gollepelly Srikanth, PGDM, Batch 2019- 2021

Gollepelly Srikanth, who specialized in Finance and secured an internship position at IHA Consulting, talks about his experience and says, “Working at IHA was a wonderful experience. I was surprised and at the same time, impressed, to witness how efficient the employees and systems are. This internship offered me with a tremendous learning opportunity that wouldn’t have otherwise been possible. My suggestion is, anyone who gets the chance to seize a job at this company, take it up for the experience.”

For T. S. Pranathi from the VJIM HR batch, bagging an internship with Lifestyle International was nothing less than a dream come true. In her view, the two months at Lifestyle allowed her to grow both personally, as well as professionally. To this, she also adds, “I gained a better understanding of the HR industry, gained a few new references for the future, and made a new network. Most importantly, I gained a sense of professionalism and realization of how the work world functions. So, my advice to everyone would be to do an internship and take every opportunity that comes along the way, even if it’s not necessarily in the sector that you wish to work for. There’s a lot to learn about yourself, the business world, and the future!”

Other than getting exposure to the real world, the internship provides an excellent learning curve for young students and graduates to gain experience and increase their marketability.

Working for a big company versus working for a startup: Weighing the differences

Choosing where to work is challenging and complex: you’ll be spending the majority of your day there, so it’s crucial to make the right choice. But how can you be ascertained you’re applying or working for the right place? One key distinguisher is whether you’ll be working for an established company or a startup? In both cases, there are advantages and disadvantages, and both the models suit different kinds of people.

Generalist or Specialist

A big factor that differentiates a startup and a global company is that the latter typically get you in a defined job specification. They are mostly looking for specialists who are exceptionally professional and knowledge in their chosen area of function. On the other hand, startups offer more opportunities. For instance, if you like the field of advertising and are interested in working on websites, mobile application development, or data infrastructure, startups should be more ideal for you. Though startups require specialists, they prefer having employees with an entrepreneurial spirit who want to get involved in all the facets of the business.

Leadership or Perks

Would you want to make a huge impact in the company or rather have a paid time off and free healthcare? What is sure is that startups demand a lot of accountability and responsibility. The compensation is usually lesser as compared to what is offered at an established company, but the ownership and equity in the business are much bigger. On the other side, it may take a few years or even a decade to get a higher position in a company or see an increase in salary, but the advantage is that you are likely to have access to an array of resources, from corporate trips to training courses, child-care to an on-site gym, company-sponsored meals to educational workshops. So, if this does not interest you, go for a startup where you can take risks, explore, and learn. If you want to be exposed to an already-available vault of knowledge and advance to the position of your dreams, you might find a corporate job more lucrative.

Structured or Laid-Back

We have all probably heard about the startup culture already, something on the lines of “fun, casual environment with a lot of personal freedom”! Typically, startups do have a vibrant, high-energy vibe, where employees are easygoing and hours are flexible. Wherein, established companies have well-defined processes and set schedules. The structure does offer perks, in which, it offers more stability and work-life balance. On the contrary, things change quickly in startups, including desk assignments, designations, reporting structures, and project plans. Unlike big companies that have formal lines of communication, startups have closely-knit teams and consistent collaboration opportunities.

So, if you are pursuing PGDM and look forward to attaining your career goals, identify where you are going to be most motivated and driven to work. The ultimate objective is to determine which environment best suits you!

How management students can make the most of their work from home and virtual internships?

Being a student amidst the COVID-19 pandemic means you are most probably doing a work-from-home internship. Working remotely has become a positive trend and more and more people are now realizing it’s not only easy to do but is also economically and environmentally friendly. Although there are some setbacks to overcome when it comes to doing an internship from home, such as lack of interaction with the staff and relatively lesser hands-on experience, which can get frustrating sometimes, there are many ways to still have a successful internship to land a full-time job of your dreams!

Set Goals

If you are pursuing masters program and are about to begin your work from home internship, know that setting goals for yourself is extremely important. Think about what you aim to achieve through your role and what you would want to take away from it. Let it be any internship, you should make a list of goals, and particularly more when working from home. This will not only help you stay on track but also focused while interning. It won’t take long enough to slide by but a goals list will help in holding yourself accountable.

Connect with Mentors

In a remote internship setup, there’s no scope to encounter colleagues or have unplanned meetings and the only source that remains to stay in touch with others is via emails, zoom calls, or phone texts. To supplement this, request an introductory video meeting with your manager or a quick phone call with the team to get to know employees in different functions. You may even consider connecting with peers to learn about the path ahead and help build connections within your industry. Remember how proactively you’d approach your classmates when your lectures commenced? This goes the same way, except for the fact that it’s all virtual.

Practice Communication

It’s imperative to build connections with people you work along with while serving your internship. Usually, this is done by being at the workplace every day or gathering at the cafeteria for a cup of coffee or in meetings, but remote work setup calls for a different approach. The first step is to have consistent meetings with your mentor or supervisor. Line up a weekly, or daily, if possible, meeting to talk about the tasks you are working on as well as to establish a rapport with him/her. Besides, the way you’d participate in team projects take an initiative here, too, to know if you can contribute something meaningful or important. Since working from home has become the “new normal”, organizations are trying to introduce activities that help co-workers bond well virtually!

Ask for Feedback

The idea of an internship is to prepare yourself for finding a full-time job and gain experience. Ask your manager if they have feedback for you about your work, approach, or performance during your internship. Leverage this critical recommendation to improve your work and habits. There’s no harm in becoming aware of what you should work on.

If you look at the situation with the right attitude, there’s no reason why working remotely should hold you back from any of the perks of a traditional work environment!