I reached out to a few people I had connected with during my volunteering days to prepare for the interviews. Through one of them, I was introduced to the most well-connected person in Varanasi, Artika Shah, my co-organizer and now a close friend who made the event possible. We formed a team of 30 volunteers, grabbed a sponsorship of 5 lakhs, and successfully conducted the first edition.
From there to deciding on doing an MBA in Communications Management at FLAME University, how did that decision come along?
After the TEDx event, one of the consultants approached me to join his organisation, a digital marketing agency in Mumbai called Three 13 Solutions. The team was small, and the role was flexible, which allowed me to experiment and explore different functions like HR, Marketing, Business Development, and understand where I fit. Having tried my hand at all functions over two years and working in digital marketing and advertising, I developed an interest in the subject. I realized that I needed to know more.
An MBA in the subject seemed like the right choice for me, which got me to research colleges that offer a Communication course. After a lot of research, I found out about FLAME where the curriculum and the faculty impressed me the most. That, along with a 100% scholarship, made it an opportunity I could not refuse.
You are a 100% scholarship holder at FLAME University and decided to opt for a major in Advertising and Branding? Not many take this path while choosing their career after an MBA. In hindsight, do you think the step or choice of career was right?
Absolutely. After joining FLAME, I learned a lot about the work and the agency side of the industry. I was thrilled to know more and work at such firms. My interest only grew after a fascinating class conducted by Prof. Sajith Narayanan, a simulation of how agencies work and develop clients’ strategies. A major in Advertising and Branding with a minor in Digital Marketing has worked out very well. My interest in creating positioning strategies using account planning models that help brands solve business problems has increased significantly after my internship at The Minimalist.
You are part of the placement committee and Vice President of the Consulting Club at FLAME. What are some of the learnings on a daily basis that you acquire, being part of these roles?
Being a part of these committees does come with responsibilities and increases the workload on some days, but it is stimulating. Every day comes with a new set of challenges. The most crucial learning these roles have given me is managing time and working as part of a team.
It gives me a taste of how things will be after I enter the industry. Simultaneously managing lectures, assignments, and meetings is a treasured skill that I’ve honed due to my engagements with these committees. Quick decision making, thinking on your toes, and taking the initiative are other life skills that I’ve learned during my time here at FLAME.
In your summer internship, you interned with one of the leaders of the advertising world, Ogilvy. What was the learning like for you there and what were some of the skills that you think you have displayed in your tenure?
Summer Internship for our batch came in during the uncertainty of COVID. As excited as I was for cracking an internship with Ogilvy, I was more disappointed and anxious because I had to do it virtually. The hassles were endless. I could not interact with the larger team. However, amidst all this, I was fortunate to get a fantastic manager who did his best to give me an overview of what happens inside Ogilvy. During that process, I learned the importance of attention to detail and getting things done in a crunched timeline. During my training, the skills that came in handy were my never-give-up attitude and making the most of what I have.
The internship journey at FLAME didn’t just end at Ogilvy, but you joined The Minimalist next. Tell us about the stint that you got with them, and how was this a different experience than that of Ogilvy?
While trying to add more value to my summer and make it more constructive, I stumbled upon an internship opportunity at the Minimalist. I was attached to the Growth and Alliance Manager. My responsibilities included ideating and preparing pitch presentations for prospective clients amongst others. The Minimalist was a completely different experience than Ogilvy. With more teams being autonomous and a broader scope of work, my learnings and contributions were immense. I was able to take up more work that allowed me to use the knowledge I gained during my first year. The experience helped me better understand the kind of work I enjoyed doing and select my major and minor accordingly.
Tell us about three things that worked in your favour at The Minimalist which help you crack the PPO? How excited were you when you got to know that you have converted?
I’ve been very fortunate to have worked with a supportive mentor who helped me close clients for the company. His guidance and constructive feedback helped me during my internship. The Minimalist also has a very conducive and flexible work environment that allowed me to take up more work that interested me and showcase my skills while expanding my scope of work. Most importantly, my inclination towards taking up a challenging role and the Minimalist’s expansion plan worked in my favor. I was thrilled to get that call from HR proposing a PPO. After a few rounds of negotiations, I finally had the offer. Getting an offer when the placement season had taken a dip is the most relieving feeling of my entire MBA journey.
Any final message to all the MBA aspirants who are confused about their calling?
You must have that undying commitment to finish everything that you start and you must do it well. Giving up is not worth it.
Just get up, dive right in and figure out the rest as you go. Every person you meet is, was, or will be confused about their calling. The trick is to acknowledge your indecision and find a way around it.
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