Says Praharsh Jha, PGDM, GIM (Batch 2015-17)
Having completed his Computer Engineering from the University of Mumbai, Praharsh Jha confesses that he undertook some projects related to finance while he was still studying. He was also actively involved in investments during this period. All of this this motivated him to do a PGDM, especially in the area of finance because by then he had realised that a PGDM would be best suited to achieving his long term career goals.
Praharsh joined Goa Institute of Management (GIM) to do a Postgraduate Diploma in Management in 2015, and as he explains, “At GIM, the learning never stops. The whole curriculum is designed in a manner that gives you enough liberty to think in the most unconventional way possible. It provides a lot of emphasis on outside classroom learning and discussions. This, complemented by the many club activities, provide the fun which, when coupled with learning, make GIM a never-ending learning institution.”
GIM ensures the holistic development of any individual. The faculty and student community along with the infrastructure provided within the campus contribute to a nurturing and developing process that ensures that students grow into well-rounded personalities. These are some things he will miss about GIM.
Praharsh says that his placement selection process was like a dream come true, especially after two years of going through the academic rigour of a PGDM and finally reaching his goal. He goes on to explain that when he entered GIM as an engineer, he had a very little understanding of management studies. However, the way in which the academic curriculum moulded and made him industry-ready is something he has thoroughly enjoyed.
This certainly showed in Praharsh’s selection process for the placements where, after his CV was short-listed, a Group Discussion and Personal Interview followed. Based on his summer project performance, a Pre-placement interview (PPI) opportunity was offered to him which he cleared before he was handed a Pre-placement offer (PPO) by Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL).
A placement with HUL is no small achievement. So, what did he do differently? “The most important parameter I believe for any selection is not only giving the right answers but providing logic and a clear point of view on how you arrive at a particular answer. This was something I was able to demonstrate to a large extent during my interview, which did help in getting a PPO at HUL,” says Praharsh.
The learning at GIM helped him both during his internship stint and the PPI because the academic rigour followed at GIM is such that it helps a student appreciate the core concepts in various subjects, rather than having just a superficial view on the said subject. This, he emphasises, gives one’s thought process a lot of clarity and the confidence to answer questions during the interview.
In his role in the finance domain, Praharsh’s key responsibility includes helping deliver better value to consumers and at the same time drive higher growth for the company. “The finance team at HUL operates both independently as well as in partnership with the marketing and supply chain teams to achieve its required goals,” he explains.
Leadership programmes at HUL are very well-structured and give one the right flavour of how things operate in the industry and also tell one what is expected from a management student. Being a fresher Praharsh‘s first experience in a corporate setup and the learning was phenomenal. “Enough opportunity is provided to apply classroom concepts practically and appreciate real-world complexities,” he says. “The entire stint contributed towards my holistic development immensely”.
Praharsh’s advice to his juniors at GIM who are interested in the same domain is simple:“It is vital to pick up key concepts both during the first and the second year and learn how to apply these to real world situations. This will indeed be helpful in the long run.” He goes on to say that it is important that students do not narrow their interest to a single domain of management such as marketing or finance, etc. A manager in the industry is expected to have an overall view about various issues and hence it is imperative that they gain the adequate knowledge if not the expertise in all domains of management.