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.

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!

Perfect personal interview preparation – the ultimate checklist

For most people; especially first-time job seekers, job interviews are integrally nerve-wracking situations. Even those that claim to be extroverts and easy-going encounter stress and tension before and during interviews. The best way to face the pressure head-on? Start preparing.

Knowing what’s in store for you and being ready to create a good first impression will certainly boost your confidence and ease your nerves. If you are a student of VJIM or aspirant pursuing PGDM in Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, or any other city with institutes offering this course, tick off the steps on our checklist and prove to the recruitment manager that you are the best candidate for the job.

Conduct your research

It goes without saying that before appearing for the personal interview round, or for that matter the job role itself, do a little research about the company. When you make it to the personal interview round, it’s time to realize that things are getting more serious. That’s the time to take an in-depth look at the business and even more specifically, what the position would involve. Remember, the more you know, the more impressive you are likely to be.

Review your profile

Needless to say, that everything you mention in your bio needs to be a hundred percent true. It’s a given that you must remember every single thing given on your CV so that you don’t miss out on any information. You want to be prepared for everything the employer has to ask about the details you have stated – let it your prior work experience, hobbies, or your academic background.

Connect with existing employees

Want to strengthen your chance of getting recruited? Try getting a referral from a connection working for the same organization. People who work for the company can help you get the job, of course only if you do well in the interview. Hiring managers often give preference to candidates who come via recommendations as compared to those who apply online. Your connection can also tell you more about the hiring process at the organization, which will help you navigate the way easily than if you come in without much insider knowledge.

Know your interview etiquette

Is it good to bring your cell phone or a cup of coffee to the interview? What is the right way to greet the interviewer? And what are things that you should carry with you to the meeting – just your resume, a complete copy of your application, or a cover letter too? Brush up on these facts before you go and save yourself from being caught wrong footed during the conversation. This is particularly applicable to those first-timers who have just stepped out of college.

Make use of this guide and feel more confident while walking into the personal interview, and rest assured that you’ll make fewer or no mistakes that may otherwise cost you the job!

Find out how Management Development Programs (MDPs) give an edge to aspiring management students

Every year, colleges, institutes, corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations spend an abundant amount to train students, employees, and the staff. From simple one-day seminars that help to learn effective work skills to long and elaborate programs like the six sigma that help understand the functioning of a business, tens of hundreds of management development programs exist to offer specialized training to aspirants. Of late, it’s being realized that upskilling is an important growth strategy that can be successfully put to execution with the help of MDPs. Check out how MDPs give the management students an edge in the industry!

Improved skills

An immediate difference between a student who’s attained management development training in contrast to the one who hasn’t is the improvement of knowledge and skills, which can be implemented at the workplace or anytime in the professional journey. When an individual’s skills are top-notch, he or she is able to create efficient processes, the outcome for which can be seen in the business generated. A well-trained student can become a better team member and invariably, a great problem-solver.

Competitive advantage

Having a competitive advantage in your chosen industry is extremely vital. And that’s exactly what MDPs help with! Management training sessions ensure students get equipped with the necessary skills which are required at multinationals and expected from a management pass-out.

Effective practices

Management Development Programs are carefully designed with an aim to change the way students think or approach a setback, which can be very crucial to productivity. Here’s where students having undergone management training stand apart from the rest in terms of working with or reacting to people around them. A lot of MDPs specifically focus on giving guidance to carry out effective practices at work and changing the nature of how a person acts and thinks in order to facilitate a positive environment.

Management success

MDPs facilitate recipients to keep moving forward, even when the inevitable strikes. The training sessions encourage students and make them aware of their duties, responsibilities, and roles. Over time, with experience, the aspirants develop skills of innovation, which ultimately leads the way in business development and improvement.

In addition, students who have endured different MDPs, both long and short format, grow the ability to see a big-picture plan and stay invested in seeing that plan come to life!

Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management (VJIM), Hyderabad, celebrates 26th convocation ceremony on 13th March 2021

Hyderabad, Tuesday, 16th March 2021: Hyderabad’s premier Business School, Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management (VJIM), on Saturday, 13th March 2021, hosted and concluded the convocation ceremony of the 26th batch, in other words, the batch of 2020, at the B-school’s campus after a year of being isolated due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Amidst a feeling of nostalgia that was profoundly evident around the campus, 228 students were conferred degrees in the presence of the esteemed faculty, staff, Council members, chief guest, and alumnus.  Dr. D. N. Rao, the President of Vignana Jyothi, inaugurated the event by lighting the lamp and addressing the recipient batch. What followed the inauguration was a melodious singing performance by 3 students from the 28th batch. The ceremony was further progressed by Dr. D. N. Rao who, in his address, laid emphasis on the importance of industrial revolution 4.0 and how artificial intelligence, robotics, and machine learning is likely to take the world by storm. He also prepared the students by making them aware of these fields and that they should equip themselves with essential knowledge and skills in these areas today, to become better professionals tomorrow. Quoting Johann Wolfgang, He concluded that, “Whatever you do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

Dr. Ch. S. Durga Prasad, the Director of Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management took the ceremony forward.  In his address, he spoke about the institute, its long-standing journey toward excellence and he gave a glimpse of how the first batch began with merely 17 students and evolving today, to being able to host the 26th batch convocation comprised of 228 students. He also announced proudly that “VJIM Hyderabad is the first institute to have followed Outcome-Based Education (OBE), and it gives me immense satisfaction to deliver this piece of news that’s not only special but also extremely important.”

In conclusion, Shri Kode Durga Prasad, Joint Secretary of Vignana Jyothi and Member of the Governing Council, introduced the guest of eminence with charming eloquence.  Dr. Shalini Lal, the Co-founder of Unqbe, Founder of Infinity, and an entrepreneur and a prolific writer.  She congratulated the students and narrated a story that emphasized the vitality of time, values, and education. “Always stand up and fight for what is right,” she said. “These are the most exciting yet responsible days of your life. Do not give up, irrespective of the hurdles. And never feel disheartened even if you fail. I feel immensely proud of each one of you for successfully having attained your higher education degree. Success is a call away, do not lose focus,” added Dr. Shalini.

The first-ever event after a year-long online academic session concluded successfully with great joy and fervour at VJIM!

Hyderabad: The land of Charminar, Education, Biryani, and Nizam’s!

There’s more to Hyderabad than just an IT city. From an insightful history to a strong culture, architectural marvels to tons of parks, and Hyderabadi biryani to top-ranking business schools – there’s nothing this city is not good for! Having evolved as a premier destination for studying management, IT, biotechnology, medicine, pharma, and defense, students and job aspirants consider Hyderabad a treat to attain more exposure, experience, and knowledge to world-class institutes and corporates. The presence of the Indian School of Business, Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management, ICFAI Business School, and Institute of Public Enterprise among other key institutes of national and international standing contribute to making the city a hub of education for the youth. What’s more? Acres of land are dedicated to world-renowned film studios like Annapurna, Saradhi, and Ramoji Film City; thus, making the city a hot spot for the film industry. Not to forget, the numerous overseas consultancies, fitness clubs, sports academies, spiritual centers, film-training institutes, and theatre groups together make Hyderabad a place to live, enjoy, and treasure the value of life.

Will education institutions ever be the same after the coronavirus crisis? Find out how VJIM is prepping up to deliver an enhanced hybrid classroom experience

It takes days, weeks, months, or years, but someday the campuses are certain to light up with the presence of students, professors, and staff alike. Greeting each other, teaching students, taking classroom lessons, going to department meetings, heading into the library, and enjoying time at the canteen will no longer seem strange and uncomfortable. And we will perform these activities without reaching out for masks or grabbing our wipes – also, without wondering if we committed the biggest mistake of our lives.

How and when will colleges be reopened?

We are gradually seeing an increasing number of students return to the classroom. However, over a billion aspirants are still out of schools, colleges, and universities due to partial world-wide closures. Given the difficulty of the circumstances across India, states are in different minds regarding when and how they plan to open educational institutions. At present, the best interest of every student is at the center of every decision, using the best possible alternative, but how this will look will vary from institute to institute.

After months to almost a year at home, students have most probably lost their professors’ face-to-face support. However, the need of the hour at this point remains some extra student support and cooperation. More than ever before, the learning gaps are likely to widen and a lot of students, may perhaps, be found looking at smartphones or being indulged in playing video games.

Some of the practical measures that Hyderabad’s premier institute, VJIM, has taken, include:

  • Holding classes in shifts, to reduce class size
  • Increasing mealtimes
  • Bringing a shift in the classroom seating arrangement
  • Hosting cultural and social activities in temporary spaces or outdoors
  • Special emphasis on improving hygiene and water facilities
  • Setting up guidance on physical distancing, respiratory etiquette (i.e., sneezing and coughing into the elbow)
  • Safe food preparation practices

Students, not just across the country but world-over, have shown how much they are willing to learn. And thus, VJIM has made plans for catch-up lessons to help them bounce back to speed. Given the possibility that the institute may not function full-time or all-days of the week, the institute is looking to implement a ‘blended learning model’ – a mix of remote education and classroom instruction. These are big changes and they are certain to require work, resources, and creativity from administrators, faculty, and students. But at the same time, they are also great opportunities!