‘In the past one year, I achieved things I had never even dreamt of’ – Chetan Khanna – 1st Year MBA Topper at NITIE

This is a continuation of our series on First Year MBA toppers at elite b-schools. NITIE is considered as one of the premier b-schools in the country. With the stellar bunch of candidates it attracts, topping the exceedingly competitive first year of MBA is no mean feat.

Chetan Khanna is a First Year Topper at National Institute of Industrial Engineering. He spared time out of his crazy schedule and spoke to our student team about his first year in MBA.


A Brief Bio:

Chetan is a Mechanical Engineer from Delhi College of Engineering having 45 months of work-ex with BHEL. Travel and sports are the things he is most passionate about.

How and why did you decide to pursue a management degree?

I always had it in mind to pursue a management course and having worked for 45 months with BHEL, I realised the relevance of MBA in my career. With rich experience behind me, I wanted to move into a managerial role. I had multiple options last year but being from operations background I chose NITIE as I felt it was most aligned to my career goals.

How was your MBA Entrance exam experience?

MBA entrance journey was not less than a roller-coaster ride. Spending 2 years before finally making it to a B-school of choice required some effort. From CAT to interviews to rejects to multiple converts, each experience is worth recollecting. If I look back, MBA entrance experience has been a turning point which has taken me from being good to being the best.

How has your NITIE journey been so far?

NITIE, unlike any other B-school, has been a mix of MBA frenzy and a journey full of fun. In the last one year I have come a long way, achieving things which I never even dreamt of. Be it late night assignments, mid-night walks at the NITIE pond or early morning coffees near Powai lake, each day has been memorable and the past one year has given many moments to cherish.

What were your expectations before joining this college and how different has the experience actually been?

I expected stiff competition at NITIE and it was no different. You have to be the best to stand out here and it actually brings the best out of you. NITIE is renowned as the Mecca of Supply Chain and when you spend some time on this campus you realize that every bit of it is true. I never expected to see myself giving this interview but the learning and experience that NITIE has provided will stay with me for long.

The first year of PGP is really hectic. How did you manage your time effectively?

Calling 1st year at NITIE hectic would be an understatement. There were many instances when I was not able to perform or failed, so saying time management and hard work helped me effectively balance everything would be flawed. Prioritising and doing first things first helped me manage my time effectively and achieve whatever I have been able to.

Can you state a few qualities or habits that have helped you thrive in your first year?

I made it a point to participate in each and every activity on campus, whether it was related to academics or extracurricular. I always felt that all the events happening on campus help you improve yourself in some way or the other. I failed at some and excelled at others, but the self-confidence and belief that I gained gradually helped me excel in areas which I was good at.

What aspects do you like the most about your college?

The best thing about NITIE is that I got ample opportunities to reflect on my capabilities and improve my shortcomings. Here at NITIE, the experienced faculty members back you with full enthusiasm. NITIE is a perfect blend of academics and freedom to pursue your passion. All this eventually helped me, apart from academic excellence, in getting recognised among top 30 management students across India – winning the ‘Yes Aspire Scholarship’.

What were your favourite subjects/areas of academic interest in the first year?

Having worked as a production engineer, Operations and Supply Chain Management always interested me. Moreover, NITIE has country’s best faculty when it comes to this field which further made these subjects exciting. Apart from this, subjects with practical application like Personality Development and Organisation Behaviour also came up as one of the most interesting subjects.

How was your summer internship experience?

Interning with Amazon.com was an exceptional experience for the reason that I was working at the core of Amazon’s India operations. I was lucky to travel across the country and understand the functioning of different aspects of Amazon’s operations. Moreover, working out of Amazon Fulfilment centres, which are Amazon’s backbone and source of all innovations was a lifetime experience. The internship was a period where I realised that it takes more than a MBA degree to be successful professionally.

Any advice for our readers/ other MBA aspirants?

Trust yourself and follow your instincts.

– We wish Chetan all the very best in his endeavours!


To read other stories in this series – The Special Ones