A very brief description of your current research work and background.
I am Jayanth Parchuri, graduated from NIT Trichy – Class of 2015, department of Instrumentation and Control Engineering. Currently working in Sapient – Bangalore as an IT Consultant in Retail Omni-Channel Commerce domain and my work majorly involves around handling IT implementations of supply chain systems (specifically warehouse management systems) for leading retailers. I will be starting my MBA from Indian School of Business (ISB) in 2018.
What are some things about your career path you wish you knew in college, in retrospect?
My current career path is completely unrelated to my field of study in college. So do not have any unchecked boxes in my college life with respect to my current work. That said, I feel in retrospect there is a need for an information technology club or a supply chain and operations club on campus amongst the plethora of vibrant clubs on campus. There are a number of companies visiting our campus for placements from these domains (IT) or a Lot of upcoming opportunities in the market (Supply Chain). The activities of these clubs would equip the students with right kind of information.
What skills should one develop to follow the career path you’ve chosen? Do include courses, internships etc.
Adapting to latest technologies in the market is necessary for making it big in the IT sector. If you have a goal to do MBA at some point of your career, it is important to cultivate valuable interpersonal and personality traits. If you observe closely, MBA from any good college is a confluence of people from different career paths. For example, ISB is an interesting mixture with a cohort of software and hardware engineers, Indian army personnel, artists, people from development sector, lawyers, sportsmen, entrepreneurs. There is no single career trajectory that is most suited for MBA, instead follow your heart and pursue your field of interest and most importantly be good at what you do.
How can one be sure that a certain career path is right for them? What is a good way to make that decision?
MBA is a field which leverages both IQ and EQ to become successful leaders. I believe most of us ace the IQ part which relates to academic rigor, quantitative and verbal abilities as we all are in the portals of NIT Trichy. That is the reason EQ or emotional intelligence should be emphasized more and be continuously improved. If you are good at interpersonal skills, like to be in a position of leadership, initiative driven, passionate on imparting a change in business world, MBA is for you.
What are the challenges faced during learning new skills and adapting to new environments?
One of the major challenges I faced in the professional work environment is double of the amount of work to be done/learn a new skill in a limited amount of time. In NIT Trichy, we excel in things usually working on it over a period of time, but it is not always the same in the corporate world. Ensuring deliverables, constantly upskilling yourself and networking in corporate environment simultaneously is a demanding task.
What should students know before taking up management studies?
Explore yourself thoroughly. Take up leadership positions in college and at workplace. It need not be leading a team always, try building up initiatives and make sure your ideas hit the ground running. Keep ideating, learn why a business employed a particular strategy in launching their product or why the business ran into losses in-short read lot of case studies, collaborate with people from diverse backgrounds. In all this of processes, you will realize if MBA is the thing suited for you.
How to decide between an Indian MBA and one from abroad? Do we need to have a fixed perspective on this during B.Tech?
US MBA and Indian MBA is completely based on your interests and priorities and boils down to one simple thing, if your post MBA goal is to enter US market and work then go for US MBA, else if you want to stay and work in an emerging market such as India, then Indian MBA is suited for you. Coming to the second part of having a fixed perspective during B.Tech, it is not needed. In my personal example, I always thought on moving to US for MBA but two years of professional work experience has changed my perspective and at this current point of time, I felt Indian market is on rise and a lot of opportunities to explore and hence an Indian MBA is best suited for me. Though I applied to a few universities in US, I ultimately decided to go with ISB over a US university which even offered a substantial scholarship. It is best to treat this question with an open mind than going with a fixed perspective. One thing that is common to both is building your profile. Do it!! Irrespective of choosing an Indian or a foreign MBA, try to build your profile from now.
What must one do after getting admitted into college? How do you feel time must be utilised post-admission?
Chill. On a lighter note, tick off some items from your bucket-list before the hectic and demanding course work begins.
How useful is having work experience before applying for Highers? Is one year time for work experience enough?
The average work experience in majority of top global b-schools is 4 to 5 years. People with lower experience do crack some of the good schools just on the virtue of quality in their work experience than quantity. The quality of work experience in terms of promotions, awards, leading a team, spike in responsibilities speak more than just the number of years. Personally I feel having at-least 2 years work experience helps in building up a perspective on corporate life.
What do you think are the inadequacies in management studies and work in India, and specifically in NIT Trichy?
I cannot comment on this qualitatively as I am yet to start my MBA. But from where I stand and what I have observed India has some of the best b-schools in the form of IIM’s, ISB, XLRI to name a few. A lot of my fellow batch-mates and alumni from NIT Trichy have graduated from these schools and already involved in the process of making a mark in transforming businesses. Work in India is evolving and a lot of investments are pouring in, thus I feel will open up more and more challenging positions for young MBA graduates.
When is an ideal time to start preparations for CAT/GMAT?
The only test I took was the GMAT and I suggest 2-3 months of quality preparation to secure a good score, considering you are handling work responsibilities simultaneously. The ideal time to start the preparation is the time when you have decided to do a MBA after introspection on why you want to do it in first place. I would advise to take GMAT early on (preferably before August), as that leaves a considerable time for writing b-school application essays and preparing for interviews before the round 1 deadlines which are usually in October of every year.
If one plans to pursue management, is it worth learning to code? If yes, then considering the current scenario, which languages or tools should one begin to work with?
The prior career trajectory for securing MBA admission as I mentioned in one of my answers is not skewed towards one career path. If one is passionate on coding and takes up their work experience in that field, it is perfectly fine. The quality of that work experience is the thing that actually matters. That said, coding background (especially machine learning algorithms) and MBA from a top b-school can put you in a good position to become product managers in major tech giants like Google.