‘To Be Amongst The Toppers Was Never A Strategy. I Knew My Limits & Set Deadlines Accordingly’ – Pooja Doshi, First Year Topper at CIMR

We bring to you an interview with Pooja Doshi, the first year topper of Chetana’s Institute of Management & Research (C.I.M.R.), Mumbai College (2014-16) below-

Brief Introduction:

Pooja Doshi is currently pursuing MBA in Finance from Chetana’s Institute of Management & Research (C.I.M.R.), Mumbai and has completed M.Com in Accountancy &  Bachelors in Accounting & Finance from Mumbai

1. Tell us about your educational background. Why did you decide of pursuing MBA? Why did you choose Chetana’s Institute of Management and Research?

I did my schooling from N.B.W.S. High School, Mumbai. Later, I graduated in BAF (Bachelors in Accounting & Finance) & M.com (Accountancy). I was skeptical about pursuing MBA as I was looking for other financial courses abroad & even had CFA as an option in my mind. But later I realised that there are certain aspects of management, networking and discipline that can be best learnt in a B-school. It was then that I started preparing for competitive exams and eventually cracked it to get into C.I.M.R. Honestly, C.I.M.R just happened to me and I took the decision of entering the institute on the basis of the quality of education, placement records, and its brand value.

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?

To be amongst the toppers was never a strategy. There was a huge difference that I felt in the type of learning that happened in my undergrad and here. I liked the way things were being taught in college as they seemed to be more practical to me especially after my internship with Motilal Oswal Securities Limited (MOSL) as it helped me relate to few concepts that were taught in college. One needs to be determined and focused to get good results and that’s exactly my mantra.

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

First year for me was loaded with experiences. From the very first day post 20 days of the induction program, we were divided into groups of 6 students. We were supposed to stay as a group for the rest of the year for the majority of the projects. There was a considerable amount of effort taken by our professor into forming a group that had students from different streams. Interaction with these group members moulded us into becoming professionals as we were out of our comfort zone while performing various tasks.

Every day was loaded with presentations & role plays. So studying for exams just happened 1 day prior. We had reading lab sessions, alumni interactions, guest speakers, off-summer internships & these activities focused on developing competencies that are practically relevant in the business scenarios. Also, people from varied backgrounds and thought process made my learning experience rich and challenging at the same time in last one year.

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

Professors and administration were very helpful. C.I.M.R has a pool of professors to teach, encourage and review our performance.

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

The way last year went was absolutely perfect & I’m sure about the choices I made a year ago.

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

The concept of working in a group was not new to me as I had worked on group assignments even in my undergrad. Working in a group over so many assignments at the same time demanded us to be on the same page but luckily we didn’t face many issues within our group when it came to doing the work or taking responsibilities. I think I would rate myself decently when it got to group activities.

7. Tell us about your summer internship?

My summer internship experience was amazing. I was an intern at Motilal Oswal Securities Limited (MOSL), Mumbai & was given a project on Advisory, Portfolio Restructuring & Prospects Targeting. Apart from my main project I was also working on optimization of clients portfolios.

One major learning was the realization of my potential and thus making the right career choice. People at MOSL were really helpful and they made my internship experience wonderful. I worked on an actual data of few clients.

Key Learning’s were factors affecting Indian Stock market, To pick the right stock at the right time and sit tight and To hold a maximum of 10-12 blue chip stocks in your portfolio.

I would take this opportunity to thank MOSL & my industry guide for first major corporate exposure. Last but not the least, I would like to thank my family for their support and guidance.

8. 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?

It’s very important for any student to take up some kind of extra-curricular activity. It helps in reducing the stress created by the academic pressure. Also, it’s a good way to interact with people outside your study groups or classrooms. My institute strongly believes in the same and that’s exactly why we had  3 days sports event called Challengers.

Whoever said that school friends are the only true friends forgot to mention the word “B” school. I have made some great friends at C.I.M.R. especially during Challengers. I have literally worked hard, gained an enormous amount of knowledge and partied harder in this one year. So No, extra-curricular activities do not deviate student’s mind from the initial academic goals set if they are focused.

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

Few things that I believe in are:

  1. Stay determined, don’t give up even when things look bad.
  2. You cannot achieve everything alone.
  3. What really worked for me was that the more attention I paid in class and participated, the less time I had to spend to study the subjects later and the better was my understanding.
  4. I knew my limits & I set deadlines accordingly. As soon as I got some work I made it a point to finish it at the earliest in order to not miss out on something important.


All other Topper Interviews posts can be found here.