‘Step Out Of Your Comfort Zones And Grab Opportunities’ – Khushbu Rajpal – First Year MBA Topper at Fr. Agnel Business School

We bring to you an interview with Khushbu Rajpal, the first year topper of Fr. C. Rodrigues Institute of Management Studies (Fr. Agnel Business School) (2014-16) below-

Brief Introduction:

Khushbu Rajpal is currently pursuing MBA in Human Resource Management from Fr. C. Rodrigues Institute of Management Studies (Fr. Agnel Business School) and is a B.Com graduate from SIES College of Arts, Science and Commerce

1.Tell us about your educational background. Why did you decide of pursuing MBA? Why did you choose Fr. C. Rodrigues Institute of Management Studies (Father Agnel Business School)?

I am a B.Com graduate from SIES College of Arts, Science and Commerce. I did my schooling from Fr. Agnel Multipurpose School. I have been an Agnelite at heart for as long as I can remember. Agnel’s has made me what I am today. So I was instantly drawn towards Agnel’s for pursuing my MBA. Through my personal experience, I knew how dedicated they are towards their students. Agnel’s has always been able to achieve the perfect blend of academics and extra-curricular activities and that was just what I wanted. So, I chose to do my MBA from Fr. C. Rodrigues Institute of Management Studies(Father Agnel Business School).

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? 

My only strategy from day one was to learn as much as I possibly could and be a part of various activities. I never focused on being a topper. In the initial days, I realized that MBA is not about mugging things up and writing exams. It’s all about how much you have absorbed and how well you can apply it. I just followed that path and gained amazing results!

3. Walk us through your academic journey in the first year – How did you pace yourself academically in the first, second term?

MBA is very different from regular college courses. It’s not just bookish knowledge. MBA is all about applying what you have learnt. Books and reference materials just act as guidelines. I enjoyed studying because every day I would learn something new. I would jot down anything that I found interesting during the lectures, even things which were not relevant to what we were studying. I didn’t make notes to prepare for the exams. I made notes that would help me out there in the corporate world. I’m going to preserve my notes forever. In future, whenever I’m stuck, I’m definitely going to go back to my notes. I also took part in a lot of discussions during lectures and asked questions every time I had doubts.

Prior to my exams, I would make a study timetable but I didn’t religiously follow it. I didn’t have any set agenda for studying. I believe that paying attention in class and making notes is what made me do well in my exams.

4. What is the contribution of your Professors/ college in your success?

 I owe a lot to my professors. They have given meaning to the phrase “Friend, philosopher and guide”. They work harder than us students to gather information from so many different sources just so we can gain knowledge. They are a perennial source of knowledge. Their dedication towards our development is remarkable. They’ve always got our backs. I have gained mentors for life!

5. Tell us about the most interesting experience that happened in the last one year that changed your outlook towards the B-Schools studies.

My first year as a whole has been a very interesting experience. Something that changed my outlook towards B-School Studies is the numerous events and projects that I accomplished in my first year. Some of the projects forced me to get out of my comfort zone and explore. I had to do things that I wasn’t very good at/ comfortable with. There has been a huge transformation in me from the first day of college to up till now.

6. If you were to go back in time and change one thing about the last year, what would it be?

 I wouldn’t change a thing about last year. I will carry my experience and build on it.

7. B- School is mostly about group activities. Were you used to this kind of team endeavors or was it a new experience for you? How would you rate your performance during the team activities?

 I am quite versatile in nature so I have been able to function well in teams. I always try to analyze the dynamics of the team first and then see where I fit in. I look for whitespaces. This makes it easier for me to work with others as well as create my own identity in the group.

8. Tell us about your summer internship.

I was an HR Intern at Diebold, an ATM Manufacturing company. My major project was on Process Mapping and Documentation where I had to create SOPs and benchmark processes. Apart from that, I was also involved in various other HR functions. It was a very enriching experience. One extremely important thing that I learnt was that no matter what position or role you are in, you should always have good knowledge about how the company functions. Not just the business that they are into, but how things really fall into place. Everything is linked in some way. Process Mapping meant that I had to interact with every team in the office. This gave me a better understanding of how things work and also the opinions of the employees on various matters. This helped me perform the other HR functions effectively.

9. 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?

 According to me, extra-curricular activities should be given more weightage, especially in B-Schools. Knowledge doesn’t necessarily come only from books. Extra-Curricular activities teach us things that books can’t. In today’s competitive world, organizations need people who can go out there and actually get things done. Extra-curricular activities force students to get things done.

10. What would you like to advise to this year’s batch w.r.t academics, activities, & in general about the B- School life? 

The only advice that I have for my fellow MBA people is “Step out of your comfort zones and grab opportunities”. Don’t worry about exams, career or anything for that matter. Just try to grasp as much as you can. And have fun while doing so. Spend these valuable two years of your life only on improvement and growth and you will be surprised with the results. I know I was!