Journey after completing MBA...is it a bed of roses or a new expedition altogether? How is life working inside the air-conditioned glass walls of a corporate office, amidst the client calls, striding in the business suits? At some point in their journey, every MBA aspirant faces these questions. To get insights from the life of a management graduate, I interviewed Ms. Reena Damani.
Ms. Reena Damani is an alumna of the MMS Batch of 2012. She is an Electronics Engineer from VJTI, Mumbai. She has consistently excelled in her academics throughout schooling and graduation. At JBIMS, she secured first rank among all specialisations in the MMS Batch of 2012. Ms. Damani is the recipient of ‘Maharashtra Talent Search Scholarship’, ‘JRD Tata Scholarship’ and ‘Sir Ratan Tata Scholarship’ for academic excellence.
In addition to academic vigour, she also participated in various extra curricular activities to name a few - member of the winning team at ‘Strategym 2011’, the Annual Business Convention of JBIMS, winner of the national level ‘Sprouting India B-Plan Competition’. She is trained in ‘Bharatnatyam’ and ‘Water Colour Painting’ for 8 years and has received numerous awards for excellence in arts.
Owing to her excellent academic and extra-curricular performance, she was awarded with the ‘Citi Woman Leader Award 2011’.
Describe your role in your organisation. We as students are also highly interested to know about your typical day at work.
At present I work as a relationship manager in the Domestic Financial Institutions team at YES Bank. Being a relationship manager involves end to end client management and coordination with multiple teams within the organisation as well as external stakeholders.
There is nothing like a typical day. Every day is different from the other and definitely more interesting than yesterday. Early hours of the day begin with discussing priorities, meeting clients and checking status / updates on tasks in progress, etc. For a lot of client solutions, we need to interact within teams and discuss strategies / solutions to satisfy customer requirements. This is what I feel is most important in a learning curve at workplace as the actual learning comes only when you’re on job and working on a live project for a client. It also helps when you meet different clients in the same industry and can discuss with them what differentiation you bring on the table for them compared to your peer. It gives confidence to the client about you as their relationship manager and also about the organisation and its capabilities to service them. My role involves cross functional management responsibilities and staying organised and agile is not an option.
Can you shed some light on the differences in your working style or job responsibilities, when you contrast your work pre and post your studies at JBIMS?
Life at work is not much different from what it was at JBIMS, just that the stakes are higher! It includes more responsibilities, co-ordination, handling pressure and working to achieve targets. All in small modules though, is also a part of management students’ life. It is the working style that he/she then developed which helps sail through corporate life easily. From b-school to Corporate office is more of a mindset change than functional change….you need to learn to learn on the go and adapt to the priorities that get set during the course of the day. Its fun to work when you like what you are doing!
How the learning at JBIMS is helping you in your corporate life?
I believe MBA is more of an experience that the subjective learning. JBIMS I would say has taught me those soft skills which form an integral part of my work life and is not possible to learn in any course material. Any job demands focus, ability to take responsibilities and commitment in terms of achieving your targets which JBIMS has offered us in umpteen ways. Be it preparing for competitions, organising events, completing assignments, all of us have faced number of challenges, last minute glitches. It is these pressure situations that have shaped our minds to analyse problems weigh the pros and cons and respond with effective solutions within tight timelines. Also team work is a must because as an individual you might be an excellent resource but it is important for you to motivate and work in sync with your team/ colleagues understanding their limitations, appreciating their efforts, respecting their decisions, learning new view points, different methodologies in order to succeed and deliver.
Coming to the topic of time efficiency, can you tell us how you managed to cope up with the academic rigours, coupled with clubs, committee work and projects at JBIMS? Any tips you want to give to the juniors?
‘Time Management’ is the most heard Gyaan Mantra.I feel you cannot plan to manage time. It’s more a practice that one needs to imbibe in him/ her where you can use the time at your disposal to the fullest.We all start planning how to manage time only failing to execute what we planned. The key to success is to implement more than strategizing. I remember an example that I once read ‘Work is like a game of table tennis, you need to complete your serve and push the ball fast to the other player in the court. It will give you some breathing space to strategize your next move’. Bottlenecks are the biggest challenge, try to identify and remove them, you will find enough time for doing what you need. Try to keep yourself free enough to handle a variety of tasks along with enjoying your life. As we all say Work Hard, Party harder!
Any advice you would like to give to the prospective students or present batch of students at JBIMS?
2 years of MBA are one of the best years of your life. Enjoy them to the fullest. Few take away from my experiences:
- Networking - It’s your net worth. JBIMS gives you the opportunity to interact with a number of senior people in the industry and experts in their field. Connect with them and learn from their knowledge and experience.
- Clubs/ committee work is learning in a way as it teaches you interpersonal skills; academics, competitions, projects teach you real MBA. Both are equally important but most important is to enjoy what you are doing.
- Take risks and decide to do something different. MBA gives you an excellent opportunity to experiment and learn from your mistakes without much at stake.
- There is always a lot you can learn from people around you. Ask questions without hesitation, it’s okay not to know everything.
- Gain confidence in your ability to succeed. If you have decided on something, there is nothing that can stop you from achieving it.