Tell us about yourself, your educational and professional background.
My name is Debraj Datta and I am working as consultant in PwC India. I completed my PGDM in Rural Management from XIMB. Prior to PGDM. I graduated in Supply chain management from West Bengal University of Technology. I have over two years of experience in the development sector in South Asian socio-economic landscape with a primary focus on Skill development and Corporate Social Responsibility compliance and implementation. Over the years I have worked with various Government clients like National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) and Fortune 500 corporations in large scale policy and strategy formulation, performance standardization, monitoring and evaluation of social sector projects.
What attributes are essential for a candidate to thrive in his/her career?
As a development professional, one needs to stay updated with all the development news and views of this sector. Read and stay abreast on development related themes, follow development gurus on social networks. Understand research, policy formulations and project management from the perspective of all the stakeholders. Strong conceptual knowledge, ability to analyse differently, strong writing and communication skills is what organisations look for in development sector professionals.
How is a typical day at work for you?
Office starts early and the first thing is to get the emails done and be ready for the project team meetings, followed by client meetings to review deliverables like analytical frameworks, process evaluations, impact assessments, research tools etc. Many a times we need to squeeze in changes but also keep track of project milestones and not harm the critical path of a project. The end part of the day is generally devoted to desk research and planning for the day ahead or upcoming site visits.
What part of your experience in your B-school has been most helpful in your career?
Being a coordinator of the Alumni committee and working in various teams was the biggest learning experience; leading and motivating team members to work without any tangible incentives to complete and contribute to the expectations by our own batch as well as the college taught me leadership skills, persuasion skills and developed patience and tenacity. These soft skills contribute to a significant part in building your career.
What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last six months?
The toughest decision was job change, switching from an implementation role to that of a consultant in monitoring and evaluation entailed a different set of job responsibilities. But the decision has been enriching as now I am able to visualise varying dimensions of a project and consult with a realistic perspective.
What did you miss out on doing/trying at your B-school?
Well there is nothing that I missed out on, I was a coordinator of the Alumni committee, member of various interest committees like Litsoc, RMAX etc., I also excelled in academics. So enjoyed each and every moment of my life at XIMB and would love to do the X-Walk given another chance.
What advice would you like to give to the forthcoming batches of your B-school?
Get value out of every second and every paisa that you spend towards your B-school education. Network, participate in competitions and events, be an active member of whichever committee you want to, these team members become your friends for life and your strongest support network. Look at these two years from the investment perspective and make the most out of every opportunity that comes your way. Don't waste time sleeping.