Interview with Nagodra Kartik Nileshbhai, a student @ SJMSOM, IIT Bombay
1. How and why did you decide to pursue a management degree?
Coming from a traditional Gujarati family doing your own ‘bujiness’ as we say it was always on my mind. However, when I started my own venture with a couple my friends during the final year of my undergrad, we failed in managing the various management aspects of our venture. As a result, we had to shut our venture down and that is when I decided to pursue an MBA to understand the various intricacies of management.
2. How was your MBA Entrance exam experience?
I started my MBA entrance preparation in my final year of the Bachelor’s degree. I used to work in a group along with 2 of my friends and we ensured that we were able to complete most part of the syllabus before the mocks began. Although I couldn’t qualify that year, the preparation helped for the next year as I only gave mocks and need to prepare the basics from ground up. Giving mock exams regularly and analyzing my mistakes in them went a long way in getting the desired result.
3. How has your SJMSOM, IIT Bombay journey been so far?
It has been full of amazing experiences. In the past 6 months, I have had a chance to interact with people like Mr. Kaushik Basu and Mr. Siddharth Roy Kapoor. Also with the plethora of student activities constantly happening in SJMSOM and IIT Bombay, the campus life has been always abuzz with something or the other. Also because of the prestige of this school, I also got a chance to go for a study tour at TEM University, Paris. So yes, it has been one of the most wonderful journey
4. What were your expectations before joining this college and how different has the experience actually been?
The campus has exceeded my expectations. It is one of the most tranquil places in Mumbai. We have the Sameer Hill from which you can see the Powai skyline and then we have the Powai Lake, which is equally calm and soothing. However, what strikes me the most is the amount of effort people put in various tasks, whether it is a class assignment or an inter hostel competition. That itself motivates to strive and work hard.
5. The first semester of MBA is really hectic. How did you manage your time effectively?
Before joining SJMSOM, I knew that there is not going to be a free meal any day. Studying in one of the finest colleges in the country, you need to ensure that you are always on your toes and grasp as many opportunities as possible. The transition from working in a firm to college is a bit difficult but I used to prioritize my work every day in the morning and did not procrastinate which made life that much easier.
6. Can you state a few qualities or habits that have helped you thrive in your first semester?
I think that if you remain calm and persevere through the initial days in the B school, then you learn to manage and get the best out of your time. I used to attend almost all classes as the instructors are among the best in the country and if you pay enough attention in class you can focus on other extra-curricular activities during the other time.
7. What aspects do you like the most about your college?
In SOM, the student strength in a batch is only 120 and so rather than being colleagues and classmates it is a one big family. There is never a sense of internal competition among the batch mates and everyone will help everyone else. Also the seniors are always there to help us and would selflessly give up their sleep in order to help the juniors. This is one of the most amazing cultures we have at SOM and hopefully will continue in to the future.
8. What were your favorite subjects/areas of academic interest in the first semester?
I really enjoyed the classes on Statistics as well as Marketing during my first semester. In statistics, the cases that we went through helped us in grasping a lot of statistical techniques and their application in daily life. Also in marketing, there were a lot of interesting case studies that were discussed in class. Also the course content is constantly modified to increase its relevance to the current context. When we discussed marketing strategies and its impact for a product as ubiquitous as Parle G, it was quite interesting as well as enlightening.
9. Any advice for other MBA aspirants?
“It's a cruel and random world, but the chaos is all so beautiful”