We bring to you an interview with Shalini Lakhina, the first year topper from Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management (2014-16) below-
Shalini Lakhina is currently pursuing MBA with dual specialization in Finance and Marketing from Lal Bahadur Shastri Institute of Management. Born and brought up in Delhi, she had done her graduation from Hans Raj College, University of Delhi.
1.Tell us about your educational background. Why did you decide of pursuing MBA? Why did you choose LBSIM?
I am a B. Com Honours graduate from Hans Raj College, University of Delhi. MBA was a part of plan since the time I opted for commerce post my class 10th. Being highly inspired by the likes of Indira Nooyi and Naina Lal Kidwai, entering corporate world has been my dream and MBA was the obvious choice.
From the available options I had for MBA colleges, LBSIM seemed the most viable asit has brand value and the ROI was excellent.
2."To be one amongst the toppers of my batch"- was that a strategy from day one of B- School or something that evolved eventually?
Although I have always been a straight A student ever since school and did have a topper image in school. It was never a predefined strategy. When I came here, the only strategy was to make the best out of these two years. I have been sincere and regular with my classes and assignments. But, I think my commerce background really helped me in scoring so well.
3. Walk us through your academic journey in the first year – How did you pace yourself academically in the first, second term?
My first year at LBSIM has been eventful. The first trimester was the most hectic. Although, the subjects in the first trimester were a mere revision of those in graduation, every day was loaded with some presentations, assignments and discussions. Being a day scholar at a non-residential MBA, managing group assignments and meeting deadlines was a huge challenge. By the second trimester, I learnt to manage these very well. Third trimester has been the most exciting one with all the preparations for annual fest going around. It was a great opportunity to actually implement management in practice.Also, people from varied backgrounds and thought process made my learning experience rich and challenging at the same time in last one year.
4. What is the contribution of your Professors/ college in your success?
The faculty here is extremely good. The classroom discussions have been great learning experience. The best part is that professors are accessible all the time to guide you. My interactions with professors beyond class has been even more enriching. I believe I have found mentors in my professors.
5. Tell us about the most interesting experience that happened in the last one year that changed your outlook towards the B-Schools studies.
Well, in our first trimester, a professor told us that all these papers you will be taking in next two years will come and go. You all will pass them, but your real learning is going to happen outside this classroom. It is going to come from your seniors, your peers and all the interactions you will have with the corporates, alumni. It didn’t make much sense then. But, looking back, it all makes sense. The most interesting part of a B-school journey is this learning that comes from all these people we meet, all the experiences we create, we share together.
6. B- School is mostly about group activities. Were you used to this kind of team endeavour’s or was it a new experience for you? How would you rate your performance during the team activities?
Being a part of group activities was not a completely new experience to me as I had worked in teams prior to MBA as well. However, the emphasis on team work is much more in MBA.I would rate myself as “good” for my group activities as I think I have been able to coordinate well with all the people I have worked with and we have been able to do accomplish some really good projects together.
7. Tell us about your summer internship.
I would be interning at Ernst and Young this summers as a Research Analyst. I am really looking forward to it as it would be my first corporate experience, being a fresher.
8. How important do you think is the involvement in Extra- Curricular activities? Do you think these activities tend to deviate a student's mind from the initial academic goals set?
Extra – Curricular activities are extremely important in B-school as these provide the opportunity to actually practice and exhibit real management, which can never be learnt in classroom. And MBA is not only about academics, it is about the overall development of personality.
I don’t think that these activities in any way deviates one from academics. It is also a kind of management, how you maintain a balance between the two.
9. What would you like to advice to this year's batch w.r.t academics, activities, & in general about the B- School life?
My advice would be not to limit oneself. Experiment, explore all that you want to. This would be the last wing of formal education, make the most out of it. Stay focused and work hard. When in doubt, reach out to your seniors and professors.
And the most important, make friends and enjoy this experience.