After completing her graduation in Oman, where her parents both work as corporate professionals, Karen Saldanha decided to come to India to pursue higher education. She was keen to pursue a career in management and believes that KIAMS has helped her in a big way, borne out by her placement with HDFC Bank.
Karen admits that it took her a while to get over the initial shock of being chosen as a Relationship Manager by HDFC Bank because there were several other right candidates for the job. She also thought her interview wasn’t going too well but managed to turn things around for herself. “Initially it was going all wrong and I think I gave some wrong answers. At one point they even gave me a chance to learn the correct answer for one of the questions. I came back having prepared for more than that, which might have impressed them,” she says with a smile.
She also talks about the efforts taken by her institute to prepare her for the placement process. According to Karen the courses in GD, interviews and business communications groomed students and instilled confidence in them. “Besides that the modules where we were taught what the industry expects of us were very helpful. They had included courses on Customer Insight, Digital Marketing, Strategic Management, International Business, Brand Management, Consumer Behaviour etc and they helped us tremendously,” she adds.
Karen also points out that though she had got placed in her very first attempt she chose to not accept the offer as she wanted to make a bright start to her corporate career. She expects it to happen with a big name like HDFC where her job responsibilities will include, “Meeting clients and addressing their problems, ensuring cross selling of banking products and overall maintaining good relationships with them. I did my internship with Reliance Retail, Chennai and believe that experience will come handy in my job,” she asserts.
While Karen is on cloud nine at the moment, she also feels a hint of sadness knowing that she won’t be spending time on campus with friends. She states that one major advantage of a residential PGDM program is that you make friends for life. Ask her if she has any advice for juniors and she says, “Take efforts to match industry’s needs of skills and knowledge, pay attention to classes and do your assignments diligently. The secret to my good grades is 100% attendance. You might also want to create a LinkedIn profile because networking is the key.” Speaking like a true professional, she already is.