Says Avinash Nayak who has completed his PGDM from IIM Ahmedabad in General Management. He is graduated from UICT specialized in Chemical Engineering. He was a fresher when he was selected in IIM Ahmedabad. He is an avid reader, debater & most sought after public speaker. He is currently working as an Analyst in Accenture Management Consulting.
Can you share a little bit about your experience when you were there in IIM Ahmedabad ?
It was an amazing experience on many fronts – meeting with some real “studs” an AIR 11, a violin player who was asked by A R Rehman to be a part of his band. Opportunity to study from some fabulous professors last but not the least an amazing student life.
Has your perspective towards looking at MBA, entrepreneurship & future prospects changed during two years in IIM Ahmedabad?
In some ways yes – you realize that after IIM A opportunities will come to you but it is about your willingness to take them up.
Everybody knows that consulting job is highest paid ,highly respectable & highly sought after job. You are currently working with one of the top 5 management consulting firms. According to you , what’s that single thing that helped you the most to excel in your job : knowledge you gained outside the classroom, knowledge you gained inside the classroom, your internship experience or the books you read on relevant topics apart from what you were instructed to read?
Haha, I am not sure if it is the highest paid job! Sought after yes… All that you have mentioned helps because on different projects different skillsets are needed. Some of them might be academic some of them might be contextual.
What is your biggest takeaway from IIM Ahmedabad?
Guess the degree☺. I think it is the support system that IIM A offers you – your peers, juniors seniors, alums, faculty that will hold you in good stead in your career.
Did MBA provide you with any skill apart from bookish knowledge which helped you to perform any part of your job efficiently or effortlessly?
I think a good MBA college will also train you to become efficient and more professional. The difference in professionalism is quite large. In some ways they groom you to become better professionals.
You were excellent student in your engineering days, you were good in studies, co-curricular & extra-curricular. According to your observation, who has the highest chance to beat the competition ?
- Highly intellectual with very less or no co-curricular activities,
- Having more experience working with the top firms,
- Having graduated from IITs or
- Someone who is average in studies but very good at co-curricular & extra-curricular activities?
The ones most likely to succeed are the ones who are exceptionally good at what they do. But in Indian B-schools the bias atleast for companies is for people who have had better academics as good academics in some ways act as a proxy for willingness to slog (a trait hugely admired and rewarded by the industry).
Also, I was not that good in studies ☺.
Any challenges you faced during 2 years of rigorous studies which defined your career path?
Not necessarily…it was a pleasant internship experience that led me to continue in consulting.
What do you think, the main reason students want to get associated with IIM Ahmedabad? Is it fame, better job prospects, better quality of education or alumni network or anything else? What was your reason?
I think before you do an MBA it is about job prospects…but after an MBA the reason you want to be from IIM A is for its alumni network.
So when you were preparing for CAT, what was your goal at that point of time (Apart from getting into IIMs)? What did you do differently to achieve it?
Goal was more on not getting in to a factory job and live in god forsaken cities…CAT was the only option out.
How did you feel, when you got into IIM Ahmedabad on your first attempt? We know, many students couldn’t get it even after 2-3 attempts?
It was an unreal experience – I had two calls one from A and the other from K so I had very limited options. I do not think it matters if you got in the first time or the 5th time for every person who comes in has his own experiences.
What are your long term plans?
Plans were made during job interviews – currently I am taking life as it comes.
How do you feel about professors, infrastructure & colleagues? Any noteworthy thing you would like to mention?
Like all institutions IIM A has it share of exceptional, good and ordinary faculty. But some of the faculty are just great – you have faculty teaching you economics who have been a part of the budgeting exercise, faculty teaching you about infra who is also a part of committee on railways…I could go on but lets say it is something to experience.
Colleagues are great and as I said very diverse. It is a humbling experience.
What did you expect from IIM Ahmedabad when you joined it? Did your expectations(Academics, infrastructure, faculty, extra-curricular) meet? If not,what things you want to change to benefit students more?
Honestly the first time I saw IIM A (during my interview) I was like the red bricks are not that attractive. But after 2 years they feel like home. The infrastructure while not flashy is exceptionally good and is adequate to ensure that you are not left wanting for more.
Most people think just getting into IIM-A suffices the purpose but there is cut-throat competition inside IIM, so any tips how to handle the competition in a better way. Do experienced & IIT guys really dominate when it comes to summer placements, Job offers or starting something on their own?
I think it depends on how you view it. There is competition but if you decide to get too involved in the rat race you lose out on a lot of things in life. I was of the view of doing my best and not being too perturbed how my best ranked with the others.
If there is one piece of advice that you would give to MBA aspirants “if you remember nothing else remember this”.
Placement figures! Please do not take this on face value. There are many qualitative aspects of placements that you realize once you enter B-School.
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