“I am Anwesha Mukherjee, a graduate of IIM Indore, where I was in the top 6 percentile of the batch. I am passionate about finance & have worked with three bulge-bracket investment banks. I will be joining the Investment Banking division at Goldman Sachs. I have interned with the Investment Banking division of Deutsche Bank. Before MBA, I worked with the Global Markets team at Credit Suisse. I have pursued a dual degree from BITS Pilani: BE in Electrical and Electronics Engineering & MSc in Economics, with department rank 2. My hobbies are reading fiction and watching movies.”
Name an instance where you wanted something and went out of your comfort zone to achieve it OR Tell us the biggest risk you have taken so far in your life.
“The biggest risk I took was not accepting admission to IIM Indore in 2016. I had initially planned to go for higher studies two years back, right after my graduation in 2016. I had appeared for the CAT exam, and I had converted IIM Indore. But unfortunately, my family ran into some unexpected financial difficulties at the time I was about to take admission. I had to take a call whether to pursue MBA, or whether to accept a pre-placement offer that I had, to augment my family’s finances. Not going for an MBA was extremely risky since it would be tough to convert an IIM again in the future. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to go for the job. It was a well-paying job, and I was able to help my family in mitigating their increased expenses. I simultaneously prepared for CAT and other competitive exams again, so that I could pursue higher education later, once my family’s finances were in order. This took around two years. Finally, in 2018, I was again successful in converting IIM Indore, along with many other top b-schools. My risk paid off and I was able to pursue an MBA this time.”
When was the last time someone relied on you? OR What did you do which was purely for someone else - a truly selfless act.
“When I was in class 8, we had employed a lady to help my mother with the cooking. She used to bring her young daughter Shreya with her to our house. Shreya was studying in class 3 and was finding it difficult to grasp what she was learning in school. I decided to tutor her every day, and this was a selfless act I did. I continued this practice for 5 years and was able to help her in improving her exam performance. She went on to become the first graduate from her family and got a decent job. I like to believe that my small contribution during her formative years helped in a significant part towards her growth.”
Tell us about a time when you disagreed with an opinion/idea/decision. What did you do about it?
“The biggest disagreement that I had was with a co-worker regarding an ethical dilemma at a previous workplace. Our team was responsible for calculating the risks involved in the company’s operations. These risk numbers were reported to financial regulators in various countries. Any misreporting of these numbers can lead to serious consequences for the company, including hefty fines and disbarment of operations. My colleague and I had made an error in calculating one of the risk numbers. This incorrect number was then forwarded to senior management for approval, post which it would go to the regulators. Later, we discovered our error. My colleague thought that we should hide our mistake, and send the incorrect numbers to the regulators because he feared punishment from senior management. He thought that no one would be able to discover the error if we didn’t inform them, and we wouldn’t be punished. But I felt that since these numbers are monitored very closely by the regulators, we should accept our mistake, resend the correct numbers, and face the consequences. The company’s reputation and business should not suffer because of our mistake. Therefore, I convinced my colleague to accept the mistake and send out the corrected numbers. The senior management was not very pleased, but we were let off with a warning. I believe this was the right thing to do because an employee’s first and foremost responsibility should be to work in the firm’s best interests. We should always have the courage to own up to our mistakes and make amends in both personal and professional settings.”
What is the one thing you can claim to have some level of expertise or depth of knowledge in - it could be anything - a subject, a sport, a hobby, a venture, an initiative which has led you to do deep work in that field?
“I have inculcated a strong passion and expertise in the field of finance. I pursued a dual degree (MSc Economics + BE Electrical & Electronics) at BITS Pilani. Before my education at BITS Pilani, I was never exposed to finance as a part of my academic curriculum. At BITS, my first brush with finance came with a course that was part of my MSc Economics syllabus. I found the course (Money, Banking, and Financial Markets) extremely interesting and took up multiple finance-related electives on Derivatives, Portfolio Management, etc. I also interned with the Global Markets team at Credit Suisse, a bulge bracket investment bank where I was offered a pre-placement offer. I worked at Credit Suisse for two years before pursuing MBA.
I gained practical exposure to derivative products and equity markets and managed risks for a portfolio worth $1.5 billion. This is where I decided that I will pursue an MBA to further strengthen my knowledge in finance. During MBA, I pursued a finance specialization and studied courses such as Investment Banking, Fixed Income Fundamentals, Valuation, Private Equity, and Venture Capital. I interned with the Investment Banking division at Deutsche Bank where I gained international transaction experience by being a part of the team that worked on the acquisition of a Spanish oil company by an American PE firm. I have accepted a full-time offer with the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs where I hope to further enhance my knowledge of Finance and have an exciting career in a field I am passionate about.”
If 10 Million Dollars (approximately INR 75 Crores) is given to you to use it any way you deem fit what would you do with this corpus?
“I would invest 30 crores INR in a diversified portfolio with a moderate risk-return framework. I would spend a further 25 crores INR buying multiple properties in different Indian cities, which I would rent out for an additional income source. I love to excel academically and would, therefore, save about 2 crores INR to pursue further education outside India in the future. I would give 15 crores INR to my parents, as I owe all my achievements to them. I would give away the remaining 3 crores INR to charities that help in the education and nutrition of underprivileged children.”
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