Campus Fin-Gods – The CAs – Many Roads To An MBA

Priyanka is a CA and a commerce graduate from Narsee Monjee College, Mumbai. Her interests include reading, writing articles, meeting new people and discovering new places. She is particularly interested in the nuances of the Indian economy. In her leisure, she likes to play badminton.

Are you a commerce grad and confused how to go about CAT prep? Do you want to know what is the campus life for a commerce grad at an IIM? Join this live chat today (4th August,2017) at 10 pm with an IIM Student who is also a CA. Join here.

How does it feel to be one of the few non-engineers at an IIM?

It is a unique feeling. It has the added advantages of being from the finance field, accompanied by hurdles when it comes to Quant. It’s about having an overall view of things and not being confined to any field in particular. Along with enriching yourself it boils down to how a diverse team collectively works to accomplish set objectives in a synergistic way, given time constraints!

What prompted you to take the plunge and pursue a management degree after completing your Chartered Accountancy?

CA is recognized as the top most degree in Accountancy and opens up avenues to the exciting field of finance. Having interacted with the top management of many entities during my professional life at PwC made me realize that there is something more that I can take up. And hence the decision to pursue MBA, which would give me a holistic view of the business operations in a greater depth and would thus refine my abilities at dealing with the greater challenges faced by businesses.

Being from a non-engineering background, how was it to prepare for CAT? What was your preparations strategy?

When preparing for the CAT, I realized that there were some topics that I had been out of touch and needed brushing up. I was reasonable in the verbal section and had difficulties with LR in particular. I prepared in the last month before CAT when I had taken leave from work. I focused on solving chapters that I didn’t know and practiced questions from the past CAT exams. That worked fairly well for me.

Did your academic background help you have an advantage in terms of academics at the Business School?

Both yes and no! Yes, because there have been many subjects that were covered by me during the CA course. No, because there are courses which weren’t covered at all, example, Statistics. Thus while Financial Accountancy, Corporate Finance and Management Accounting were easier to manage, QM-1 and QM-2 gave me a tough time. My academic background has helped me in the sense that it has made me strong enough to never give up. It has made me live up to the saying, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough get going!’

How has your journey at IIM V been so far? How do you think exposure to management education has honed your skills? Do you think there was a gap in your skills which has been filled due to this course? 

Journey so far has been enriching beyond description. It was terrific. Management education at IIMV hasn’t only taught me the academics but has changed me as a person. It has taught me to be able to handle people and situations more calmly. It has made me very conscious about myself and my surroundings. MBA at IIMV has given me the ability to deal with uncertainties. I can now easily juggle between tasks with mental calm. I am now more skilled at managing myself, people, tasks and challenges. In terms of the gaps that have been filled by my journey so far, I have now started making more informed and quick decisions and am equipped with more soft skills. I am now better equipped to assume leadership roles.

Tell us something about your internship experience. Do you think your under graduation help you during those 2 months of industry interaction?

I interned in Transactions Advisory – Valuation Services at Ernst & Young, which mainly deals with valuation of companies for regulatory and M&A purposes. It was a unique experience wherein I could connect the Corporate Strategy and Finance that I had studied as a part of my education. CA degree and experience at PwC helped me handle the finance and people aspect of my job better. It was an interesting experience wherein I understood the nitty gritty of valuations.

What are your expectations after having graduated from IIM V?  What kind of roles would you like to pursue?

I am keen on pursuing a career in a corporate finance role. However, I haven’t zeroed down on it yet. I am still evaluating combinations in finance and strategy.

Any message for the non-engineers aspiring to join an IIM?

It isn’t that MBA is only meant for engineers. With patience and determination, everything can be achieved. Know your weaknesses and focus on your strengths. From my experience, the journey after CAT is every bit worth the effort. A world of opportunities awaits you.

To conclude, where there is a will, there is a way! Do your best and God will take care of the rest! Good Luck!


Are you a commerce grad and confused how to go about CAT prep? Do you want to know what is the campus life for a commerce grad at an IIM? Join this live chat today (4th August,2017) at 10 pm with an IIM Student who is also a CA. Join here.