Says Pratyay Mukhopadhyay, PGDM, GIM (Batch 2015-17)
A former Civil Engineer from Jadavpur University, Pratyay Mukhopadhyay believes that in an ideal world a student should enrol in a course to gain knowledge. But in most cases, one of the main objectives of joining a B-School is the final placement process, with academics and other activities pointing one in the direction of reaching that objective.
So, why did Pratyay join Goa Institute of Management (GIM)? During the course of his studies, he got some experience in site and design work, which led to him to make the decision to move out from the core civil engineering space. Pratyay first joined Infosys and then decided to enrol in a B-school to specialise in the marketing domain. This, he says, was largely due to his interest in organising events, his leadership skills and confidence in his abilities – all of which he learnt while working toward his engineering degree.
He honed in on GIM because, as he puts it, “GIM is a very student-driven college where there are more than 30 clubs and societies. There are many events, talks, live projects etc., which happen throughout the year. There are also multiple opportunities for live projects, competitions and industry-connect programmes that prepare you for upcoming corporate life.” More importantly, as he admits, due to the existence of so many events, everyone wants to put their best foot forward,which leads to a full calendar. Thus, learning does not stop at Goa Institute of Management.
Today, Pratyay is grateful for all those project submissions, case study presentations and simulation games that helped him prepare for the interviews and corporate life. One’s job doesn’t end at cracking a job interview, however; on the contrary, Pratyay feels, it starts with academics. And academics, as he puts it, give students the knowledge and skills needed to sustain a career in the corporate world and grow exponentially thereafter.
Pratyay’s summer internship was with Blueocean Market Intelligence where he was given a project in which he had to develop a tool to enhance the project’s functionalities. “The company had a very flexible work culture and I was lucky to have a great mentor who guided me step by step,” he says. It was here that he got the opportunity to interact with different departments and understand all the procedures. The meetings he attended with senior management and their perspective on various ideas gave him a good understanding of the critical detailing corporate work like this requires in real-life practical scenarios. He learned to apply various tools, understand basic data analytics and how these tools functionedat the back end. “All this helped prepare me for the final interview process,” he says.
When the time came for placements, Pratyay had to submit his CV and a one minute video resume where he had to answer three questions. He recounts how he was very low in confidence that day. But after he saw his name on the shortlist for the Group Discussion (GD), it dawned on him that he had the opportunity to get into one of his dream companies.
Pratyay now began preparing for this next level with determination. He explains that students had to discuss a case pertaining to Durex. Luckily for him, he had done a case study on Durex a few days before the GD and he knew all the data about the product. So, the GD went pretty well for him. The Personal Interview round was mostly based on Pratyay’s standpoint in the GD after which he had to quickly run his interviewers through his CV. Finally, in the Skype interview round, he had to tell them about his internship experience, his sponsorship experiences and convince them about why he wanted to opt for a sales role.
Pratyay was then selected to be in the Sales Leadership Programme at Reckitt Benckiser. This, he says, was made possible only because of the huge opportunities provided by GIM – an institute where learning never stops. “In terms of environment, facilities, quality of education, pedagogy, extra-curricular activities, peer learning, and faculty guidance – GIM truly provides every student with holistic development. If we face a problem, we know which professor will answer our questions or which student might have some expertise in the relevant domain. The same rule applies to any problem one might have on campus. We know which student body to address to get the issue resolved. It is this student-driven environment at GIM that makes it so special.”
Ultimately, Pratyay feels, this environment produces responsible managers for tomorrow, adding that he was brutally honest with the questions in the interviews. He feelsthat the interviewers also noticed this and sensedhis passion for the job. Pratyay’s experiences with WIZBIZ and planning and organising such a large-scale event as a part of MECCA – The Marketing Club – helped a great deal as well. Talking about his responsibilities at his new job, he will be tested in product knowledge, market knowledge, distributor management and selling skills. He will have to manage multiple data sources and generate meaningful interpretations to aid planning and decision-making.
Pratyay advises his juniors, “Fix your priorities on three major factors – role, brand and compensation.” As placements start, students will realise that one needs to compromise on one or the other. “If you have your priorities fixed, then it will be easier to take decisions. Understand how much you can compromise,” he says.
Also, before applying to any role, be very sure of the specifics of that role he advises students, warning that the toughest job during placements is not to crack those aptitude tests, GDs and PIs; rather it is to be convinced that “you are the best fit for this job.”
Sales is a domain where nobody can just be equipped with pages of bookish knowledge. He thus cautions students to take part in live projects and competitions as these will help them hone their public speaking skills and show their orientation towards the role. GIM provides its students with many opportunities so they can take new initiatives and make these happen through the institute’s wonderful support system.
“Always remember that hard work will pay off someday. GIM is a vast ocean of different experiences and knowledge. Try to get as much from it in the short span of two years of your stay in Goa,” says Pratyay signing off.