As a Computer Science engineer, Vishnu BK hoped to work in a Tech company in managerial profiles. With his single minded goal, he enrolled for the PGDM program at VJIM, Hyderabad. For two years, he was groomed as a future professional at the institute and it has resulted in his placement with GGK Tech handling Business Development for the company. Here he reflects on how his B School made his dream come true.
Crossing the finish line
Stakes are high for management aspirants during the placement process. For Vishnu they were raised a few notches because GGK Tech was his preferred industry sector, and the placement process consisted five rounds. “The first was aptitude test including basic logical reasoning, verbal ability and quantitative ability. It was followed by Group Discussion, where I think I did well,” he says candidly.
Shortlisted candidates were put through a stress interview with Team Leader, and a company based interview with the Managing Partner. “The final round was a market research task based on two prospective customers. I had done my homework about the company and followed questions asked to seniors to understand the pattern. Besides your knowledge they want to test your communication skills and how you handle stress,” he informs.
From early steps to giant strides
Vishnu remembers his early days on the campus as an anxious student with dreams in his eyes. According to him everyday learning at VJIM, Hyderabad turned him into a finished product. “The ET sessions taught me a lot about news and of course finance, while business communication classes and student forums improved my presentation skills. Being associated with the PR committee taught me networking skills,” he recounts.
While those were his early steps towards his professional goals, Vishnu believes he took giant strides during his SIP. Looking back at the experience he says, “I did my internship with iPublish ATS doing research on ‘Identifying Recruitment Requirement for Startups’. It was quite useful to have done my SIP on market research because that’s related to the job profile I’ve been offered. So it has all worked out for the best and I am raring to go.”
Niharika Bakshi wanted to do her PGDM from a reputed B School because she wanted to build a strong career. That’s the reason she joined VJIM, Hyderabad and it began her upward rise, which has led to her placement with Tech Mahindra as a Management Trainee. “I would say the preparation for placements began the day I joined the B School. All I did was grab the opportunities I was offered and started learning from each one of them,” she says enthusiastically.
Tip that did the trick for Personal Interview
The placement process for the reputed firm involved three stages. Niharika had done well in the first round of Aptitude, Reasoning, Verbal ability and Psychometric tests. “The second round was Group Discussion about a current topic – Uri attack. Right from day 1 at VJIM, we had inculcated the habit of reading ET. So I was aware of the news and mock GDs we had at the institute taught me the etiquette that came handy,” she explains.
Niharika sheds light on the crucial Personal Interview that was largely focused on her resume and SIP. She had done her homework about the company but given the stakes was bound to be nervous. “A day before the PI our faculty advised us to get good 8 hours sleep. That helped me stay energetic, reduce anxiety and have presence of mind during the interview. I am obsessed with Human Resources, so I think that passion showed too,” she explains.
Two year long prep
While the simple tip might have turned things in her favor, Niharika remains mindful of the fact that VJIM, Hyderabad offered her the best platforms for two years, including the SIP. “I did my internship in Mahindra and Mahindra Automotive and Farm Sector. Apart from learning and development, I was also involved with recruitment, which was a huge experience to have. Along with various initiatives at my B School, it helped mould me as a professional,” she claims.
Nikarika admits that in her initial days she couldn’t communicate in English during JAM sessions. But today her communication skills impressed her recruiters. “I think the mentoring sessions helped me get over my weaknesses. I was also a part of the placement committee that taught me multitasking. I was involved in many informal and formal events including the Business Conclave at the B School, which gave me required corporate experience,” she recounts.
M.Com graduate Nagarjun Yadav, who has also done his Chartered Accountancy wanted to equip himself with a degree that would set him apart in the competitive business world. He opted for the PGDM program at VJIM, Hyderabad and hasn’t looked back. As he bagged a placement with Piramal Group’s Shriram Housing Finance Limited and a handsome remuneration package of Rs. 6.5 lakhs per annum, he has a lot to look ahead in his professional journey.
Nagarjun admits that he aspired for the role offered by Shriram Housing because it suited his passions for both, Finance and Marketing. Reflecting on the placement process he says, “I was confident during the pre-placement talk where I answered all the questions. The next round was group discussion on street shopping, mall shopping and online shopping.” He was the only student with Marketing specialization called for the personal interview that lasted 40 minutes.
The rest as they say is history and Nagargun will now be working as a Management Trainee without the renowned organization. He believes it’s a result of his SIP experience to a large extent. “Having done my internship with Thomas Cook selling foreign tour packages and Forex, I could link it to sales and marketing of the housing loans. They had a lot of questions about my internship and my knowledge showed them I was ready for the industry,” he states.
According to Nagarjun, the SIP was one of the many opportunities VJIM, Hyderabad offered him to grow into a professional. “We set up stalls at Chrysalis and made huge profits. It was an experience that helped me learn entrepreneurial skills. We would actively participate in debates and discussions during ET sessions, make regular presentations. These initiatives built my confidence and helped me grow,” he says thoughtfully.
Now as a professional Nagarjun wants to bring his brand of creativity and enthusiasm to his work place. He wants to take the learning from his B School to his professional life. “VJIM, Hyderabad taught me how to do things in an organized manner. I also imbibed decision making skills and can take mature decisions. It has given me the vision and belief to succeed in my professional life,” he says confidently.
“VJIM made me realize that failures can be used to understand and redefine who you are. It also taught me that reaching great heights of success comes from working from your heart and being persevering,” says Elina Ann Mathew, who specialized in HR and Marketing from the institute. Today she has been able to redefine herself and her career as she has had a solid start being placed with Tech Mahindra as Management Trainee-HR.
The Computer Science graduate from Kerala is candid as she talks about the difficulties she had in her graduation college years. They were filled with difficulties and her self-esteem had taken a beating. Elina admits that being at VJIM, Hyderabad helped her rebuild herself. “My B School gave me a chance to heal. I was offered several platforms to learn, grow and come into my own. I can use those learnings into my professional life,” she claims.
Right from the orientation program at the onset to insight into placement process and the SIP, it all helped Elina in getting recruited with a top firm. “I did my internship at Signode India Limited, Rudraram Plant, Hyderabad. It helped me understand the HR processes and answer all the questions during the interview. I also had help from my college since we were briefed about current topics that could be a part of the Group Discussion,” she says.
Elina offers further insight on the actual placement process. “The campus drive by Tech Mahindra consisted of 3 rounds Aptitude Test based on quantitative ability and psychometry, Group Discussion and the Interview. The first round tested us on reactions to real life situations while the subsequent rounds were more about communication skills. My interview was quite unique because I was asked to interview myself and I did that in all honesty,” she explains.
She urges her juniors at the institute to know more about their prospective recruiters as they prepare for the placement process. It’s something Elina did to good effect and won her reward. Now she is ready to make her mark in her professional life. “Tech Mahindra is known for training employees to take critical decisions and nurture leaders. It would be my privilege to be a part of this system wherein I can inculcate my learnings in taking strategic decisions,” she ends.
One month into the placement season at VJIM, Hyderabad and with a number of his friends already finding placements, pressure was on Dhrubajyoti Deka. But he persevered and refused to get anxious. He admits that it worked out better than he had hoped for. “I got placed with T.I.M.E as a management trainee in a profile that I wanted for myself. It’s something I would enjoy doing and not curse myself every morning when going to work,” he says thoughtfully.
After completing his B. Sc in Hospitality and Hotel Administration, Dhrubajyoti enrolled with VJIM, Hyderabad for a head start in the corporate world. “The experience, each and every moment of it, exceeded my expectations. I learned to see things from a different perspective. I can now see opportunities in difficult situations as well. I can take calculated risks and prioritize between important and urgent,” he adds.
The Assam boy went back to Guwahati for his SIP with Amaze Realtors and had an experience of the lifetime. Dhrubajyoti talks about the journey back home and the growth in him as he says, “The SIP was a study about the real estate market in Guwahati and it helped me understand the ground realities better. I could put my classroom learning into practice. Going back also helped me see and reflect on the transformation I had been through.”
It was evident in the placement process with T.I.M.E, a renowned name in the education sector. The process involved pre-placement talk, group discussion, personal interview and an interview with the Director at the head office. “They were trying to test my communication skills, attitude and importantly, my passion for working in the education sector. They also were keen on knowing what kind of values I would bring to the organization,” he says.
Dhrubajyoti had done his research about the organization and the job profile before the interview. He advises it as a strategy to his juniors as he says, “I also went through the social media profiles of the recruiters to know their personalities and understand the kind of values they would appreciate. You should read newspapers regularly and think beyond classroom learning if you want to make an impact during the placement process.”
Govind Kumar Sharma, PGDM student of VJIM, Hyderabad made his presence felt during pre-placement talk. According to him that meant the technical round interviewer had already noticed him and that eventually led to his placement with Invesco. “It was the confidence that I had gained during my time at the institute that helped me stand out through the rigorous placement process. It has made me realize my dream,” he says with a twinkle in his eyes.
His placement as Trainee, Investment Services with the renowned name was indeed filled with challenges. “There was a written test followed by two rounds of interviews – the technical one on finance and one with HR. Finally there was a case study at Invesco office. They are stress interviews and you have to be confident but not overconfident. I gave answers to all the questions and made my mark,” says Govind, looking back at the process.
Govind also believes that his employers were interested in his knowledge of finance concepts, capital market and overall seriousness for the job. While his interest in stock market and few certifications helped him in making an impression, he says it wouldn’t have been possible without his B School “Not only has it boosted my communication skills but also taught me to focus on what you want from life. It helps me stay steadfast,” he adds.
Time management, respect for deadlines, being hard working and action oriented are some of the important attributes that Govind believes have been imbibed into him by VJIM, Hyderabad. “I also learned a lot from my internship at Aditya Birla Money Mart Ltd. I was a part of Straight Talk Acquisition Team there and it helped me understand the practical implications of Finance concepts I had learned at my B School,” he says thoughtfully.
Govind also has practical advice for students during placement interviews. Treat the interviewer as faculty during the Viva, he says cheekily. The young one made most of his time on campus and encourages his juniors to do the same. “The knowledge you earn is important, not just the GPA; so don’t be tensed about it. Let your hair down and enjoy everything life has to offer here including the company of your seniors like I did,” he ends on a bright note.
As a Computer Science graduate and having worked with Wipro for 8 months, Sai Vijay Kotamraju had a solid career ahead of him. But he wanted to take things to a higher level, which is why he joined Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management, Hyderabad. Today after completing his PGDM with specialization in Marketing and Operations, he finds himself on the threshold of the corporate career he desired. He has been placed with a top brand like ITC and understands that this is just the beginning.
Sai will be working with the company as a Sales Trainee and tells us how he bagged the placement. “To start with, there was the Yuva challenge where I topped a group of four. It was followed by a written test and a personal interview. Honestly it was quite a stress interview where I was asked about economics’ concepts rather than marketing and sales concepts. Thankfully mock interviews at the B School had prepared me for such challenges,” he says.
Sai reveals that throughout the interview he was aware of the fact that ITC was his dream brand to work with, but he didn’t let the pressure get to him. He points out how his PGDM has imbibed certain qualities in him that made him industry ready. “Confidence, management skills and networking are three most important things I learned during my PGDM. The institute ensured that we were getting enough practical experience to not be unnerved at any point,” he claims.
Besides industry interaction sessions and visits Sai talks of the importance of SIP that VJIM, Hyderabad got for him. “I did my SIP with Triumphant Institute of Management Education as marketing intern. I was in the core marketing team of the company working closely with the professionals and that really helped me a lot. I would like to advice my juniors to focus on the SIP experience along with all the industry exposure initiatives to boost their prospects,” he adds.
In his professional life Sai plans to apply his theoretical knowledge to gain practical exposure which can benefit both him, and his company. As he walks down his career path he misses his student days. “These were two most interesting years of my life where I enjoyed every moment to the fullest. Silly jokes, friendly bonds, sharing food and deadline stress, birthdays and fests, the hostel; I am going to miss it all,” he ends on a nostalgic note.