Adarsh Kundal has completed his Graduation in B.Tech from NIT Calicut in Mechanical Engineering in 2015. At IIM-Lucknow, Adarsh is a part of the Placement Operations team. Adarsh has done his summer internship at Aditya Birla Group. He has been a cricket enthusiast all his life and has represented Jammu and Kashmir State team in Polly Umrigar Trophy (Cricket) U-15. In this article, Adarsh shares how to prepare for General Management placements, the resources one should refer to for General Management placements, and his summer internship stint at the Aditya Birla Group. Read on!
1) Hi Adarsh, can you please tell us how one should start his / her preparation for summer placements?
Summer Placements is one of the most gruelling and exciting times as a first-year student of an MBA Program. It not only provides MBA students with valuable work experience but also sets them on the path to a career.
As a first-year MBA student, summers will also be one of the biggest opportunities to obtain a PPO. Just when you’ve entered Your B-school, you would be so occupied by the new environment, you’ll not even realize when September has come and your summer placement interviews are knocking at your doors!
Therefore, this is the right time (8 to 12 weeks ahead of your summers) for you to start preparing for your MBA summer placements considering the intensity of the competition.
- You need to go back and check the organizations that came to your B-school in the last four or five years. And for all those organizations, start looking for the job roles that they offered. After this, you need to start analyzing these Job Descriptions. Look for the combinations of job roles and the skills that they require. This exercise will help you identify the industries that you’re planning to enter and the job roles that you are aiming for.
- While soft skills are no longer a point of differentiation considering everyone has to have them, hard skills could help you stand apart from other MBA students.
- Once you’ve identified what roles and organizations you are aiming for, you just need to check the skills that they are expecting and you know what skills to acquire. When you are acquiring these skills, it’s also important for you to apply them!
- Learn How to Analyse Case Studies. Because the entire MBA program is structured around cases, hence the least you should know and are expected to know is how to analyze and express a case efficiently.
- Go for mock interviews and prep sessions, you can give practice interviews to your friends and others. You could also practice Group discussions among your friends in order to develop your discussion skills.
- Establish relevant networks and relations in order to develop and improve your skillset, meet potential mentors, stay on top of industry trends or simply gain access to the resources/advice you need to advance in your career ahead.
2) What are the resources one should go through to be ready for a general management role in summer placement?
General Management roles have a very wide scope so I looked for Company updates online, a habit of reading newspapers comes in handy. I didn’t follow any particular document. It is important for GenMan roles that you are thorough with the companies mission and value as these firms place very high importance on selecting candidates that fit their work culture. Do read up well about the company before entering the interview room.
While preparing for such interviews, the personal questions and situational questions should be given utmost importance. In fact, in some instances of the companies, the interviews are limited to personal HR questions only. The situational questions, usually in the form of small business problems might also be asked, which would test both: your functional preference knowledge as well as your decision-making capabilities in an organization. The preparation, according to me, for such interviews shouldn’t be restricted to the eleventh hour as these companies are looking for people who will be able to lead the organization (and not just a function). At the least, you should be able to speak with full authority on topics related to your functional preference.
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3) Having done your summer internship at ABG in a General management role, what according to you, one should do to make the CV more appealing for the summer placement process?
The CV should be well balanced with high importance placed on achievements in academics and work ex. Also don’t miss out on highlighting important POR’s as they showcase your positions in leadership roles.
4) How you prepared for ABG's interview? Did you prepare differently for ABG’s interview?
All the preparation I have done for the summer placement process came in handy during ABG’s interview. Being well versed with HR answers helped me a lot.
5) According to you, what are the specific traits or skills, the organization looks for in a candidate while hiring for a general management intern?
The companies don’t look for any particular specialization or qualifications as such but the candidate is expected to have an ability to make decisions on a logical basis and ensure that decisions are followed through. The ability to get work done with a team requires a great deal of interpersonal skills and this might be tested in the interview. The duties of a GenMan role are spread across the length and breadth of the firm. The candidate should have a holistic skill set therefore to match the needs of the job.
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6) Any advice you would want to give; you wish you would have known before the summer placement process?
If you’re looking for great MBA Summer placements, you should make sure that your goals are clearly defined and that you follow the steps outlined above. A combination of hard skills, case study analysis skills, confidence, and relevant networking along with feedback might help you a very long way in getting a good summer placement and your journey after MBA. It’s a brilliant opportunity for people who wish to work across functions and industries. But in the end, to each, his own and hence interaction with your friends, alums from college might help immensely in giving you a clear picture about nuances, benefits, and disadvantages of any role and is thus highly recommended.