With an exceptional academic career, with internships in organizations like ONGC and premier institutions such as IIT Bombay during her graduation as a petroleum engineer from University College of Engineering Rajasthan, Akanksha Sharma has been a versatile individual throughout her life, achieving academic excellence and co-curricular accomplishments in tandem. She has been a University topper during her graduation, along with being a part of the Music Club, the Eloquence club, the Dance and Dramatics club as well as the Editor of her college magazine. She graduated from Tata Institute of Social Sciences in 2017, completing her Masters in Human Resource Management and Labour Relations, interning with National Stock Exchange of India and Cipla during her course. She is presently working as a Human Resource Leadership Associate with Aditya Birla Group.
Rajat Yadav from the Placement Committee had a chance to interact with Akanksha Sharma discussing her journey at Aditya Birla Group. Here are some of the excerpts from his interview:
Rajat: Hi Akanksha! Hope you’re doing great. We wanted to know, how has the Aditya Birla Group Leadership Program helped you as an individual and a professional?
Akanksha: The ABGLP puts a participant in a demanding role from the first stint itself. This has helped me push my limits and challenge myself in my professional life. I then take these learnings from work to my personal life and try to become a better version of myself.
Rajat: So, it has undoubtedly been a transformational journey for you. Could you elaborate further on the nature of corporate exposure and challenges that you have had in your stint with ABG?
Akanksha: For my first stint, I am coordinating with various plants across one whole continent and working with various stakeholders, that too in a country new to me. Understanding a different corporate culture at such a large scale is quite a challenge.
Rajat: Different conglomerates offer several such programs, how can ABGLP be compared with the other leadership programs in the industry? What makes it unique?
Akanksha: Having a career in Human Resources, I feel fortunate to be at ABG as it provides me with a structured program to have a stint at a plant location for two years. It is a very important learning step for an HR professional. Other programs might not provide this opportunity in such a structured manner.
Rajat: That is so much diversity; managing employees in a plant environment & office environment. So according to you what are the skill sets needed to enter and excel at the program?
Akanksha: According to me, to enter the program, one should come across as a confident person, can work with others and can handle challenging situations. Given the size and diversity of work being done in the group, one should be able to reach out to more and more people to learn about the work being done and should be able to adapt well to different situations.
Rajat: ABGLP is clearly one of the most sought-after leadership programs in the country. What is your advice for the students who are preparing to be a part of the ABG family?
Akanksha: Know yourself and your interests well. Identify your strengths and build on those. Learn more about the company and prepare your subjects well. These things will only help you get in. Once you're in, you have to keep learning every day.
Rajat: Now that we have spoken a lot about the important aspects of the program, we wanted to know what has impressed you the most about working at the highest level at such a huge conglomerate?
Akanksha: The most impressive thing I have observed so far is the humbleness of the leaders. They stand in a queue in the cafeteria to get food like anyone else. You can go up to them and speak with them. They have deep knowledge even about the processes happening on the ground level. This is something I find very admirable.
Rajat: That was very insightful, Akanksha. We are sure your valuable insights into the program shall be a motivation to a lot of students who endeavour to be a part of such a cherishing experience. We wish all the best for your career at Aditya Birla Group.
Akanksha: Thank you.