Question 2: How did you perform (excellent, medium, satisfactory) in academics at school and undergrad level and which stream are you from?
Electrical engineering: 70%
Question 3: You were involved in a lot of extra-curricular. How did it help you in b-school and your overall development?
Answer: Overall development might be a different question, but I was always associated with sports that helped me with understanding team dynamics, and how to work together as a team. So, from team building, team coordination and team management point of view that really helped me.
Question 4: How did you come to the decision of doing an MBA in marketing?
Answer: I probably wanted to do Marketing. Back from when I was in school, I was interested in creating and executing an ad campaign and things like that.
B-school related questions (Few lines)
Question 1: Where did you do your summer internship at? Any specific learning that helped you bag a PPI and then a PPO?
Answer: I did my summer internship at Colgate Palmolive. There is nothing specific that helped me in bagging PPO. It's just mostly the everyday work that you do and the understanding. A lot of basic of marketing like stakeholder’s management, inter commercial team working that really helped me understand how things go from ideation to creation.
Question 2: Tell us about your internship interview and project/experience.
Answer: My interview was mostly based on my current (then) CV and my understanding of sales and marketing. It also had a case study and I had to design a marketing campaign for a car. My project was to develop a brand strategy for a brand under Colgate Palmolive for the next year, what we do to on digital platforms, whether it is on social media or e-commerce.
Question 3: What hard/ soft skills do you recommend students to learn in a b-school, and which might help them to bag a PPO?
Answer: One should read as much as possible outside of the course work because it is very limited and people end up reading only Kotler. There are a lot of books, we don't really work on the principals of 4 P's and so on.
There are a lot of websites which tell you what all is happening in the marketing world, follow up on the latest trends. That will really help you in bring value, give you a very good perspective when you come to the table. When you're on a project, you really need to put your mind into it and ideate and tell us the things that probably we don't know. Like we all know Porter's 5 forces but all that is redundant and irrelevant as of now.
Question 4: Which certifications do you think are recommended nowadays?
Answer: I didn't do any, but I'd recommend Google AdWords. There are a lot of certification programs from google that will add a lot of value in terms of digital marketing and a lot of companies are doing digital marketing and e-commerce these days.
Specific Questions (Few lines)
Question 1: Tell us about your current role in detail.
Answer: I work as a Brand Manager and entrusted with the management of 3-4 brands in this company. From the kind of market trends, developing a product, creating the market need. From ideation to creation to 4 P's that make the product. Then how do I advertise the product and how do I amplify the reach and visibility for the product. Everything that has to with ensuring the product reaches the shelf and gets picked up by the consumer from the shelf.
Question 2: Please describe your career trajectory (designations and responsibilities) and the major takeaways from each experience.
Answer: I did around 2 years of sales.
Each stint has given me a different exposure, one stint was in the east, one in the north, one in the west across different types, so one role was entirely up-country rural, second was a business management role, then there was a modern trade business management role. That helped me develop soft skills, as well as hard, core commercial skills.
Question 3: Did you have any other offers while in Colgate and why did you end up not taking them?
Answer: There were offers, I mean the market is always open. But I am pretty happy with the culture of Colgate and the way things are going you know. And the company has been kind enough to give me multiple exposures and different roles at different points in time so it has been a good learning experience for me.
- Which careers are most sought after in the market today by employers and why? What is their gestation period?
- Similarly, which careers are becoming obsolete day by day?
- I think the Brand Management role is always the most sought after because at the end of the day it is the most strategic role available in a company. Sales are very operational on day to day basis whereas marketing exposes you to all kinds of environment from Kirana stores to e-commerce, you have to work for each different thing accordingly. You need around 2 years in one brand to sort of understand the brand, and then you execute your strategies.
- The business environment has not changed much in a country that moves like an elephant. So, there's no role which is obsolete but certainly, the roles like expertise in digital marketing and e-commerce are more sought after.
Question 5: Anything else that you would like an MBA aspirant or an MBA student to know, which you have learnt from experience and might have not come under the purview of any of the above questions?
Answer: When you decide to take up marketing, you need to realize that there is an amount of sales that you need to do. There is a lot of rigour required to actually understand the process, and once you understand only then you start thinking about the consumer. There are some things that you don't understand if you enter marketing directly and that's required to have a holistic perspective once you handle the brand.