[2022] How to write Essay 1 of ISB PGP Application

[2022] How to write Essay 1 of ISB PGP Application

ISB has opened up application for ISB PGP Class of 2024 and as expected, ISB has changed the Essay 1 topic. Historically ISB mostly changes the topic of Essay 1 every 2 years, while the Essay 2 (“Goals Essay”) topic remains the same.

The new ISB PGP Essay 1 topic is as follows :-

“Peer Learning is a major building block of PGP at ISB. Help us in understanding how will you be able to add value to the PGP Peer Group through your personal and professional qualities/capabilities”

The 51-week long ISB Program is not only a fast-track program but also one with an extremely diverse cohort and hence it comes as no surprise that ISB stresses a lot on peer learning. Moreover, every top B-school wants to know from its applicants that how can they contribute to the MBA program and with this essay ISB aims to gauge the same.

Before you go ahead with writing this essay, please take some time and do some self-reflection on your academic and professional qualities/capabilities/achievements- ideally make a list of everything that comes to your mind.

Testimonial from one of my mentees.

Next step

Within 400 words, you can talk about at-most 3 distinct qualities/capabilities/achievement of yours through which you will be able to contribute to peer learning at ISB. Here are the some of the qualities/capabilities bucket that you might want to consider :-

  1. Academic/Scholastic Edge
  2. Professional Expertise
  3. Entrepreneurial Experience
  4. Leadership (Team Management) Experience
  5. Diverse Extra-Curricular Achievements

1. Academic/Scholastic Edge

Choose this if you have,

a) Exceptional Quantitative skills
b) Exemplary Academic Record- college/school/district/university topper etc

c) Patent/Research Papers

d) Subject Matter Expertise- if you have deep and unique knowledge in a particular field

e) International /National level awards and scholarships

f) Significant Certifications

How to write about Academic/Scholastic Edge

Describe your achievements/capabilities in brief and then explain how will you be able to contribute to the competitive cohort by helping your peers excel in assignments, case study discussion, B-school competitions, Live Projects etc.

2. Professional Expertise

Choose this if you have

  1. Years of Experience in a particular industry/domain/functional area
  2. Series of professional achievements – quantifiable impact, promotions etc
  3. Exposure to wide variety of roles, cultures, geographies, domains etc
  4. Early stage startup experience

B-Schools also prefer professionally mature candidates and hence more than 10% of the batch at ISB is comprised of Senior Executives (having more than 8 years of Work Experience). If you have nuanced knowledge of a particular industry/function/domain because of many years of work experience, you can mention that you will be able to help your peers in building their industry knowledge, introducing your own perspective, and thought process during case study discussions because of your years of experience and will help your peers in every way possible leveraging your wealth of experience.

Applicants with tech background can mention that they will be able to help their non-tech peers to understand the nuances of Product Management and Tech Consulting- both of which are sought after jobs at ISB as well as help them in tech-oriented electives.

Likewise, people with specific industry experience (such as Healthcare, Real Estate, Public Policy etc) can mention that they can help their peers who are interested in getting Industry Specialization at ISB to get their foot on the door in a specific industry.

People who have worked in an early stage startup bring unique perspectives and ideas with them and they can also help their peers with their knowledge of building a product and/or acquiring customers for a new product.

Aman is PGP Candidate at ISB, Batch of 2023

3. Entrepreneurial Experience

Entrepreneurs constitute a small but significant part of ISB cohort because they bring with themselves a few unique skillsets that others don’t- fundraising, network with VCs and Angels, investor relations, building from 0 to 1, how to achieve PMF (Product Market Fit) etc.

If you have been an entrepreneur, you can mention how you can help your peers with these unique skillsets who want to build their own startup in the future. You can also mention that you would contribute to the EVC Club (Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club) at ISB.

4. Leadership/Team Management Experience

You should choose this if you have a team/people management experience- something which is highly valued in an MBA Application. Please note that such experience need not be strictly professional- if you have created an impact by leading a group of people even outside a professional setting (such as at an NGO), you can use this topic.

In the essay, convey your potential for making an impact, examples of your achievements as a leader and then eventually mention how can you help your peers at ISB. You can mention that you would take a POR (Position of Responsibility) at the ISB GSB (Graduate Student Body) or at one of the Professional or Social Clubs. You can also talk about any new initiatives that you want to take or a cause for which you want to take a stand for.

Abhidha is an ISB PGP Alum, Class of 2022

5. Diverse Extra-Curricular Achievements

If you have significant achievements outside the workplace (Sports, Arts, Social Work, Content Creation, Language Learning, Toastmasters, Event Management, Fitness etc), you can mention it in the essay. It can help you to fill the gaps in your profile if you do not have very strong achievements to show at your workplace. You can mention that with your rich experience in a particular activity, you bring a unique perspective, can help to organize similar activities for the Social Clubs at ISB (or even lead one of the social clubs) and enhance student involvement in the same.

6. Other Virtues/Capabilities/Qualities

Apart from the above-mentioned capabilities, there are many more virtues that you can mention (if you have strong experience/examples) :-

  1. Exceptional Communication/Interpersonal/Presentation skills- You can mention that through these you will be able to contribute to class presentations, B-School competitions, and similar team projects.
  2. Mentorship- You can mention this if you have mentored people in your professional/personal life. Accordingly, you can explain that you would be able to mentor your peers in specific knowledge areas (for ex, industry knowledge, domain deep-dive, functional know-how etc) if needed.

You can find many other virtues that I had listed in my blog for the past topic of Essay 1 of ISB. You can find them here- https://kumaranshul.com/2020/08/18/how-to-write-essay-1-of-isb-pgp-application/

Structure of the Essay

Once you have decided what all virtues/capabilities/achievements you want to include, you need to start writing the essay in a proper format. The following structure is recommended

Introductory Paragraph

Please summarize your entire professional experience in NOT MORE THAN 2 sentence. Here is an example,

“During my 9 years of working as a Supply Chain & tooling professional for a PSU, I have undertaken key technical assignments & procurement exercises, managed transition during policy & regimen changes (such as CST to GST, tender to GeM portal etc.) and developed a nuanced understanding of government machinery. I have lead cross-functional teams, systematically managed stakeholders (internal & external customers, vendors, agencies etc.) and initiated multiple epoch-making changes in existing practices”

2nd Paragraph- First Capability/Quality

Start with describing your capability with examples from and then end with how you will help your peers.

3rd Paragraph- Second Capability/Quality

4th Paragraph- Third Capability/Quality

Last Paragraph (Conclusion)

The conclusion should firmly conclude that once being a part of ISB PGP Cohort, you will contribute valuably to peer learning. For example,

“I am confident that my rich experience in_____ and/or my ability to _______ will add value to my cohort at ISB and I also hope to learn from my peers, and be a part of the process of personal and professional development”

Want to start your ISB Application with my help?

[2022] Real ISB Interview Questions- November 2022

[2022] Real ISB Interview Questions- November 2022

Find 10+ interview excerpts of real ISB Interviews in October 2022 here- https://kumaranshul.com/2022/10/08/2022-real-isb-interview-questions/

Profile of the Candidate

Academic : B. Tech (Non IIT/NIT/BITS)

Professional Experience : 3 years of Work Ex in Tech Consulting

Post MBA Goal : Management Consulting

Date of Interview : 5th November 2022

Mode : Online

Questions asked :

Interviewer 1 – Let’s jump directly to your introduction and what are you looking out of the 1 year
PGP at ISB?
Interviewer 2 – Sorry to cut you here, since you already have a tier-1 MBA degree, why are you
looking for another MBA so soon and change your specialization? (Interviewer thought that I have
completed, or I am in the final year of MBA)
Interviewer 1 – How will JumpStartIndia help you in achieving your consulting goals?
Interviewer 1 – I would like to know about your experience so far at SPJIMR? How has the learning
been?
Interviewer 1 – Can you talk about the work and the projects that you have worked on while working
with Deloitte?
Interviewer 1 – Can you talk more about the second project that you mentioned?
Interviewer 1 – Since your second project catered to niche population, what implementations did
you do to make it more accessible?
Interviewer 3 – Since you have talked about working with US-Healthcare, what is your thought on
healthcare as a service? (I talked about Telehealth, Virtual care and stopped there stating that is all I
knew)
Interviewer 3 – You have mentioned that you had a 50 point increment in your GMAT score? What
was your initial and final score? How did you prepare for it?
Interviewer 3 – Do you know how are consulting shortlists decided at ISB? How do you plan to get a
shortlist?
Interviewer 2 – I would like to know more about the ECs and committee work that you are doing at
SPJIMR? Were you elected, selected, how many layers of interviews you had for selection?
Interviewer 2 – Have you ever worked as a team? How important are team building and team
dynamics? ISB will have study groups, how do you plan to participate in that?
Interviewer 1 – What was your role in the team during Deloitte? How big was the team?
Interviewer 3 – Consulting revolves around a lot of Hypothesis testing. What if you join ISB and after
6 months realise that ISB is not for you? Will you be again making a move out?
Interviewer 3 – What if consulting doesn’t happen at ISB? What will be your plan B?
Interviewer 2 – That’s all plan from our side. Do you have any questions for us?


Profile of the Candidate

Academic : BTech (no IIT, NIT. BITS)

Professional Experience : 2+ years of Work Ex in Analytics

Post MBA Goal : Analytics Consulting

Date of Interview : 6th November 2022

Location : Kolkata

Questions Asked:

1) Tell us something about yourself
2) Reason for each job switch and which role you liked the best
3) Short Term& Long term goals
4) views on moonlighting
5) impact and day to day work at present company (detailed description)
6) How did you tackle bad managers?
7)Since you’re into tech and analytics why not go into product management?
8) Any questions for us?


Profile of Candidate

Academic : BTech (non IIT/NIT/BITS)

Professional Experience : 5+ years of Work Ex as Developer in Aerospace Industry

Post MBA Goal : Product Management

Date of Interview : 5th November 2022

Location : Hyderabad

Questions asked:

  1. what was the innovation idea you worked on and couple of following questions on the same in terms of technical.
  2. what were your learnings when you worked on this idea.
  3. Tell us about your company
  4. you have taken team lead responsibility from quite early stages of career, what were your challenges?
  5. how did you resolve any conflicts in your team
  6. what were your responsibilities as scrum master.
  7. Did you mould yourself when working in different projects and different people
  8. why PGP at ISB
  9. How will you contribute to the SIG group that you mentioned in your essay
  10. Why product management?
  11. what do you think as good leader should have? (As I have already mentioned in long term goal)
  12. Did you learn Kuchipudi dance?
  13. Any questions for us.

Profile of Candidate

Academic : BDS

Professional Work Experience : 5+ years of Work ex as a Dentist

Post MBA Goal : Healthcare Management

Date of Interview : 6th November 2022

Location : Kolkata

Questions asked :

1 – Tell me something else apart from your SOP.
2 – Why you chose Dentistry?
3 – Why Mba?
4 – what are your short term goals?
5 – What about long term goal?
4 – Why ISB?
5 – Why not pursuing other healthcare management courses?
6 – How will you pay back the fees of college?
7 – What if not got placement from college?
8 – How will you manage the family, clinic etc
9 – Elaborate long term goal and discussed on that.


Want to read my own interview experience at ISB in 2016. Here you go-https://kumaranshul.com/2016/08/28/indian-school-of-business-interview-experience/

Advertisements

[2022] Real ISB Interview Questions- October 2022

[2022] Real ISB Interview Questions- October 2022

Profile of the Candidate

Academics- B.Tech (non IIT/NIT/BITS), M.Tech (IIT Bombay)

Work experience- 5+ work experience in an E-Commerce MNC as a Software Developer

Post MBA Goals- Product Management

Date of the Interview- 8th October 2022

Location- Mumbai

Mode- Offline (In Person)

Questions asked

  1. Any recent projects that you have taken up in Product Management? Detailed follow up on the same
  2. Domain/Company deep dive questions- How do you think X (the company where the candidate works) can do better, especially in the Indian market. What are the possible challenges.
  3. Product Management is a very competitive choice of job during ISB Placement. What makes you unique as a future Product Manager?
  4. You want to take a POR (Position of Responsibility) at a club at ISB. Pitch yourself for the President of BTC (Business Technology Club) at ISB
  5. Extracurricular Project questions- Deep Dive, why was it successful, why do you think people perceive it well, how did it start, how did you get involve in the project, what exactly was your contribution
  6. What projects did you do as a Teaching Assistant during your M.Tech
  7. Hobbies (Chess)- What is your favorite opening in Chess. What have you learnt?
  8. Do you have any questions for us?

——————————————————————————————————————–

Profile of the Candidate

Academics- B.Tech (non-IIT/NIT/BITS)

Work Experience- 2+ years in Analytics Consulting, Fintech Startup and Fintech MNC

Post MBA Goals- Product Management in FinTech Industry

Date of the Interview- 8th October 2022

Location- Mumbai

Mode- Offline (in person)

Questions asked:

  1. What did you learn at the Analytics Consulting Firm? What all projects did you do?
  2. Why did you change your domain from Analytics Consulting to Fintech?
  3. Discussion on Long Term and Short Term Goals
  4. What exactly do you want to do in the long term?
  5. Why ISB?
  6. Being a reapplicant how is your application different this year? What went wrong last year according to you?
  7. Why not continue your current job and get into Product Management instead of pursuing an MBA?
  8. Explain a recent project that you have done at your current job
  9. Hobbies- (Cricket)- Who is your favorite cricketer? Why? (Reading)- Why do you like these 2 authors that you have mentioned? Which books by them do you like? Why?
  10. Do you have any questions for us

Profile of the Candidate

Academics- B. Tech in Electronics & Communication (non IIT/NIT/BITS)

Work Experience- Inspector at Central Board Of Indirect Taxes And Customs, Govt of India, 7+ years of Work Ex

Post MBA Goals- General Management

Date of Interview- 8th October 2022

Location- Mumbai

Mode- Offline (In person)

Questions asked

  1. Tell us anything about yourself- Anything you want to share
  2. Describe in detail about your 8 postings in the Customs Department
  3. Which posting has been your favorite? What did you love about it
  4. Describe one particular incident/example during your posting
  5. What is the most interesting assignment that you took during your favorite posting
  6. You seem to be really enjoying your job. Why do you want to transition?
  7. Is it because you think importance of taxes is fading away?
  8. Why don’t you try for a job in private sector without an MBA?
  9. Why ISB?
  10. Tell us Why ISB without using any catchy phrases
  11. Why General Management? Which companies are you targeting?
  12. You have to start General Management with some vertical. Which vertical would you want to start with?
  13. How will your work ex and skills be relevant in General Management?
  14. What is this Road Safety competition that you have mentioned in the application. Tell us more
  15. What is the safe way to drive on Indian roads?
  16. You are a proponent of Safe Driving and you also like F1 racing. How does that add up?
  17. Why are so many accidents happening every year in F1 races?
  18. More technical questions on F1 (which was mentioned in Hobbies in Essay)
  19. Which is your favorite F1 team? Are you happy with the performance?
  20. Is there a F1 race today? Which circuit? Is the race over? What is the result? Are you surprised with the result? Who came 2nd and 3rd in today’s race
  21. Anything in your profile you wanted us to ask you?
  22. Tell us anything interesting you want to share
  23. Before getting here, how confident were you about your selection at ISB?
  24. What is your Plan-B if ISB doesn’t happen?
  25. Do you have any questions for us?

Academics- B.Tech (non IIT/NIT/BITS)

Work Ex- 5+Years of Work experience in Deloitte, KPMG in Tech Consulting

Post MBA Goals- Product Management

Date of Interview- 9th October 2022

Location- Hyderbad

Mode of Interview- Offline (in person)

Question Asked

  • Tell me about your work?
  • What have you done in KPMG on HCM and Security?
  • Toughest in work and how did you come out of it?
  • What is your happiest moment ?
  • Working with multiple stake holders?
  • Why have you chosen PM and how it is aligning with your experience?
  • What do you want to improve on any Google products?
  • Take any day-to-day App that you use and what will be that you want to implement?
  • How did you manage your team of 3 on ABC project?
  • What is your expectation from ISB?
  • What are your future plans ?

Academics : B. Tech (non IIT/NIT/BITS)

Work Ex- 4+ Work Experience in Healthcare Analytics Consulting (MNC+ Startup)

Post MBA Goals- Strategy Consulting + Entrepreneurship

Date of Interview- 15th October 2022

Location- Delhi

Mode of Interview- Offline (in person)

Questions Asked

  • What will be your specific learning path at ISB. What all courses will you take? What all activities will you do?
  • Can you tell us about a recent project that you have managed? Wasn’t the solution very obvious to the client? Why did they come to you?
  • You’re already doing some aspects of Consulting. Why do you want to do an MBA?
  • You mentioned you want to conduct ISB Masterchef. How does that fit into your story? What learnings would you draw from it?
  • You’re a reapplicant. What went wrong last time?
  • How were you able to narrow down to this point (the reason of reject last year)? What did you do after narrowing down to rectify the errors made during last year’s application?
  • What learnings have you drawn from your cooking hobby and love for food?
  • What learnings have you drawn from your professional life?
  • Why MBA? Why from ISB?
  • Since you are leading a team now, how would you describe your leadership style?
  • How do you manage a conflict within your team?
  • Do you think MBA is a good financial decision for you?

Profile of the Candidate

Academics : B. Tech (non IIT/NIT/BITS Pilani)

Work Ex :- 2+ years of Work Ex in an MNC Bank as a Developer

Post-MBA Goals : Product Management

Date of Interview- 16th October 2022

Location- Delhi

Mode of Interview- Offline (In Person)

Question asked

  1. Tell me about your Job Roles and Responsibilities.
  2. How has the Transition been between initial days of working/ training to shifting to a Project
  3. Product Management – You could have taken an online course and achieved this, Then why this?
  4. What do you identify as your Strengths and Weaknesses
  5. If given the Opportunity, what would you choose OSC or SLC and why?
  6. What have you done unique in your Job Role/ Project
  7. How do you identify yourself to be a Unique candidate as compared to others when it comes for GSB?
  8. Since you have a diverse profile in terms of Co-Curricular Activities, doesn’t it give an impression that you are into everything and not focused into one?
  9. Talk me through various initiatives you have taken in your College / Work life if any?
  10. What makes you a good leader?
  11. Who is your role Model in Cricket?
  12. What have you learnt from your role model and how have you inculcated those values in your life?
  13. Tell me about the hardest thing you have overcome in life?
  14. If you are not selected in a Leadership Role, how will you then go about it?
  15. Do you want to be a MS Dhoni of SLC or Ravindra Jadeja of OSC?
  16. Do you have any questions for us?

Profile of the Candidate

Academics : B. Tech (non-IIT/NIT/BITS)

Work Ex- 2+ years of Work Experience in Tech Mahindra and Cognizant as Programming Analyst

Post MBA Goals : Public Policy Consulting

Date of Interview : 23rd October 2022

Location : Hyderabad

Mode : Offline (In-person)

Questions asked :

1.Tell me something about yourself?

2.Tell us something about your work?

3.What impact your making with Professional experience in your day job?

4.why not UPSC? why did you give up so early?

5.Coming from a family with majority from govt sector why you want to move to corporate career?

6.your conversation with ISB alums who are working as Public policy consultant what learnings from ISB helped them to become a better public policy Consultants?

7.Tell us about few electives which you discussed with Alums to get good wholesale knowledge on public policy consulting

8.Tell us something about the work you done with KEC INTERNATIONAL (internship)?

9.How ISB fits in the picture?

10.on which sectors in public policy consulting you want to work and why?

11.why you want to work for women & poverty?

12.If you want to make some impact in developing women from marginalised sector what about matriarchy society stil existing in north eastern India?

13. Tell us about few monument you visited in Guntur & their history

14.Tell us about one of the old monuments you visited and it’s history did it make impact & its history?

15. Are you aware of any projects in Telangana where public policy consultants are making Impact?

16. As you said Public Policy Consultants have social Thinking Differentiate it with corporate Thinking and name any example of projects where they was100% success according to Social Thinking

17. Beaureaucracy follows Top Down Approach ( as said by me) how do you make impact from bottom up approch?

18. Anganwadi people also get data from grassroot level and makes some impact woth their service help us understanding what else can be added to make the work more effective?

19. What else India need to change to gain equilibrium in Tribal parts and marginalized society?

20. Any questions for us?


Profile of the Candidate

Academics : B. Tech (NSIT)

Work Experience : 4+ years of work ex in Analytics Consulting, Real Estate and Management Consulting

Post MBA Goal : Management Consulting

Date of Interview : 29 Oct 2022

Location : Delhi

Mode : Offline (in Person)

Questions Asked


Please tell me about yourself


Multiple questions regarding my job switch from Company A to Company B and further to Company C

Reason for switching

Highlights of your role

Were these switches deliberate

Your role at EY is boring compared to real estate, is that so ?

Managerial options explored

Why ISB many times


Explain geopolitics within a minute


Since you worked in a motor racing club, any recent highlights from f1 racing ?


Just a basic inquiry about my journals


Why not foreign universities (this question was answered while answering why ISB)


Why not progress your career via jobs and EY (answered while “why ISB” question)


Why switch from real estate to EY


Profile of the Candidate

Academics : B.Arch + MBA from MICA

Work Ex – 5+ years as a Product Manager in Music Media Industry

Post MBA Goal : Marketing in Consumer Tech Industry

Date of Interview- 29th October

Location : Bangalore

Mode : Offline

Questions asked

What’s my exact role
How do I decide if a product is worth investing in
Any campaign that I’m proud of
How does your team work
Why the interest in consumer tech

what is an instance when things went wrong and how you handled it

how do you take decisions ?

learnings and challenges of leading a team

why ISB?


Profile of the Candidate

Academics : BBA

Work Experience – Less than 2 years in Finance and Advertising (EEO Applicant)

Post MBA Goal : Digital Marketing

Date of Interview- 29th October

Location – Bangalore

Mode- Offline

Questions asked

Q1.You’re from Christ? Do you know ritika ( she had interviewed in the morning, same batch of college, worked on the initiative)

Q2. You also tell about project 9 to 5

Q3. Simply tell why do you want to do an MBA

Q4. Why not IIM and Insead ?

Q5. Do you think only an MBA can make you successful?

Q6. Why ISB and what if ISB doesn’t happen this year for you? Why are you so keen on ISB, you can apply to IIMs ?

Q7. A brands campaign you like?

Q8. How have you managed to change people’s opinions in a meeting room ?

Q9. Are opinions valued in your organization? Do you think you being younger has impacted your opinions in your company in any way?

Q10. Tell more about a Google project!

Q 11. Have you spoken to any alums (was asked from all Panelists) and what was their feedback on ISB

Q12. Who is Mr. Sriram? (was mentioned in my essay) (is an alum and did take a workshop online)

Q13. Write down 3 words as to why should people do MBA ? (Don’t want your personal reasons as we know them)

Q14. Why not continue project 9 to 5 hustle and make it a revenue generating model?

Q15. Why not join your family business?

Q 16. Any questions for us?

Q17. Are you friends with your initiative co founder ? Did you apply together


Profile of the Candidate

Academic : B.Tech (BITS Pilani)

Work Ex : Less than 1 year work ex in Semiconductor Industry

Post MBA Goal : Product Management

Date of Interview : 29th October 2022

Location : Delhi

Questions asked

  1. Give a short introduction about yourself
  2. Can you tell us more about setting up a petrol pump.
  3. Why do you want to be a product manager?
  4. Can you give a specific example where you had some PM experience in your job?
  5. How will an MBA help you?
  6. What are the skills which will help you in becoming a product manager?
  7. Guesstimate: estimate the average litres of Coca Cola consumed in Delhi in a day
  8. Why ISB?
  9. What will you contribute to ISB?

Want to read my own interview experience at ISB in 2016. Here you go-https://kumaranshul.com/2016/08/28/indian-school-of-business-interview-experience/

Healthcare Management Consulting after BDS- Journey of Dr. Karan Madhok

Healthcare Management Consulting after BDS- Journey of Dr. Karan Madhok

Click here for the video of conversation with Dr. Karan Madhok.

Follow me on Facebook | Instagram for live sessions on career guidance for Dentists, blog updates and one-to-one QnA sessions.

Hi, I am Dr. Karan Madhok, a dental graduate from Manipal College of Dental Sciences. I currently work as a Healthcare Management Consultant, with Prescient Healthcare Group, at the post of an associate.

When people ask me, how and when did I choose to walk away from the clinical world, I always tell them about my first experience of treating a patient. As fulfilling as it seemed, I just knew that I couldn’t do this for a living. It just wasn’t something I felt so passionately about. And that is when I decided that I had to come up with something that I really felt driven by. I knew it wasn’t gonna be that easy- after all I was putting in 5 years of my life into something I knew, I wasn’t going to carry forward. Plus, in my case, I had already dropped before, so that apprehension was constantly there at the back of my head. But I remember, I had this conversation with one of my cousins, who told me that after the age of 24/25, one spends about 60% of their time at work, up until the age of their retirement. And if one is not happy and satisfied with that 60% of their lives, then it automatically takes a toll on the other 40%. And that thing, just stayed with me and I knew I had to find out a way.

That is when I started talking to people, anyone who could present me with different options, people who had followed a similar career trajectory of switching, just so I could find an answer. After scouring through various options like hospital administration, marketing, hell even UPSC.. I finally came across the field of management consulting. And I instantly knew this is where I wanted to be.

Now, I knew by the end of my third year itself that I wanted to get into healthcare consulting,
because this way, not only I get to switch to the corporate side of the world but also, get to stay true to 5 years of hard work I was putting into my dental school. But then came the next big question, how would I go about it? For all I knew, healthcare consulting was still not something huge in our country and the only way of getting there would be going through a B-School. So, with that thought in the back of my head, I started preparing for CAT. But one thing I kept trying to do, was just trying to reach out to people (cold messaging/emailing), seeing If any sort of opportunity could be extended to a fresher, looking to switch. I finally lucked out, one day in September 2020, when one of my second cousins reached out to me, asking me if I’d be interested in such an opportunity, as she was already working at Prescient. I knew this was my chance, and I left no stones unturned to make that happen. That is how I landed at Prescient, and I couldn’t be more glad about that!
Now, when I first interviewed for Prescient, it didn’t work out too well (at least, that’s what I thought), since the questions that were asked, I was able to answer the clinical questions, but when the scope shifted to the commercial and payer side, I had no clue, what were they talking about.

I have added few of the questions that I was asked, in my interview

  • Describe the different stages of a clinical trial
  • Describe the patient population enrolled at each stage
  • What are some of the leading drug regulatory bodies across the globe?
  • What is a therapeutic landscape?
  • Can you describe the process of the regulatory approval of a drug?
  • What are some of the different payer organisations in the US?
  • What are patient support organisations?

After getting done with my interview and having been offered an internship to begin with, I started my journey at Prescient in October 2020, and I can say that it has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. Getting into the corporate world, without getting an MBA, which up until a few months ago, had seemed impossible to me, was a real boost for my career. Ever since day 1, I have learnt something new, and to this day, my learning continues. I believe I have evolved as a management consultant, more capable of handling tasks and projects which once would have seemed so out of my league. Now I know, all I want to do is grow as a professional, get even better at what I do, take on bigger roles and responsibilities and excel as a management consultant. I do plan on going to a B-School, maybe some years down the line, but my experience sure taught me that, its not all about an MBA.

Tips for dentists planning to switch over to the corporate side:

  • What we learn in dental school definitely comes in handy, so you need to work hard. Just because you want to switch, you should not take it lightly. Graduation scores are always looked at by recruiters
  • Figure out what side you want to switch to, be it consulting, sales and marketing or something else.
  • Do your thorough research about what attracts you the most
  • Work on your LinkedIn profile, make it recruiter ready
  • Cold messaging and emailing go a long way. Reach out to HRs and employees working in the companies you want to apply to. A referral always helps!
  • Never say no to internships, they add valuable experience to your resume and help you get familiar with the workings of the said industry
  • Good communication skills are very important in the corporate world
  • In the end, what comes handy the most, is your hard work, dedication, and the will to always
  • learn something new and be a better version of yourself each day

I really hope that reading about my journey helps you guys out there, who are going through the same ordeal that I once did, and really helps you make the right choice for your careers. I wish all the very best of luck, and you can always reach out to me on my LinkedIn, and I would be happy to help you out in whatever way I can.

Dr. Karan Madhok

Healthcare Management Consultant
Prescient Healthcare Group

Follow me on Facebook | Instagram for live sessions on career guidance for Dentists, blog updates and one-to-one QnA sessions. 

What to do after submitting ISB Application?

What to do after submitting ISB Application?

ISB Round 1 Deadline just got over on 12th September 2021 and now starts the tumultuous time of waiting for the shortlists! Though it’s quite natural to feel anxious/restless during this period, ideally it should be spent reflecting on everything that you have put down in your application and make yourself ready for the D-day.

I have been mentoring ISB Applicants to help them put their best foot forward with respect to Application writing and Interview preparation since last 5 years and I have realised that this time (between application submission and interview), if utilised well, can be a game changer for your final admit.

I am enlisting a few action items that you must partake in to ensure an optimal use of your time with respect to your readiness for the final interview :-

1. Get rid of all distracting thoughts.

Time and again I have noticed applicants wasting their time pondering on trivial things- most of which they can’t change:-

Is my GMAT/GRE score good enough?

ISB masks your GMAT/GRE score while evaluating your application. Weightage for the interview is added after your interview is over to make the final decision (Admit/No Admit/Waitlisted). Moreover, you can’t improve your GMAT/GRE score now, so thinking about it will do no good.

What if I get to face a stress interview?

Typically ISB interviews are not stressful and interviewers do not try to put you in a spot. It’s more of a conversation with the objective of knowing you better.

Have I correctly mentioned my short-term and long-term goals?

There is no right and wrong ways to answer the question that asks for short-term and long-term goals in your application. Moreover, there is no way you can change what you have written down once the application is submitted. All you need to do is to justify your goals and explain them (when prompted to) during the interview with confidence and conviction.

Please do not waste a moment by getting overwhelmed with these thoughts. Try to consciously repulse them and convince yourself that you will only use your time in things that you can change and won’t freak out for things you can’t. This is the first step to use this time wisely.

2. Collate and brush up on your Industry and Domain knowledge

You need to deep-dive into the industry ( such as IT, Oil & Gas, Ed-Tech, E-Commerce etc) and domain (such as Marketing, Finance, Software Development, Sales etc) where you work in currently and the industry and domain where you want to work in post-MBA (as mentioned in your 2nd essay). Some of the information that you should collate and brush up on are :-

A) Market size and Market cap of the industries

B) Competitive landscape of the industries

C) All the recent Press Releases by your current and target companies

D) Key trends affecting/driving the growth of the industries/domains

E) Effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the industry/domain

F) Your key learnings from working in a particular industry and domain

3. WHY-HOW-WHAT for each initiative/achievements mentioned in the application

You must have mentioned about initiatives taken at/outside of work and your major personal/professional/extra-curricular achievements in different parts of your application- in Essay 1, in Awards & Achievements section, in Job Achievements section etc. Make a list of all the initiatives and achievements and make yourself ready for the following questions (the questions aren’t exhaustive) for each initiative/achievements:

A) WHY :- Why did you take this initiative? What was your motivation behind starting something new/taking responsibility ? Why did you think your approach was the best?

Through questions like these, interviewers try to understand your thought process and your approach towards problem solving.

B) HOW :- What steps/methods did you take/use to take the initiative. What challenges did you face? Who were the key stakeholders you engaged with? What did you do differently from others?

C) WHAT :- What did you learn from the initiative/achievement/project? Given a chance again, how would you do it differently?

In a nutshell, you need to tear down into each significant initiative/project/achievement that you have mentioned in your ISB Application and be ready for all kind of cross questions around them

4. Case Questions Preparation

In all probability, case questions (where you will be given a business challenge scenario and would be asked what would you do or how would you approach the problem) will be related to your industry/domain. Search for ”Consulting Case Interview” on Youtube and you will find multiple videos to help on this. It’s even more important for applicants who have mentioned ”Management Consulting” as their post-MBA goal in their ISB Application

Likewise, Product Management aspirants should read about typical PM Interview questions available easily on the internet. Though these questions are aimed at someone preparing for a PM job interview, they will give you a fair idea of what is expected out of a Product Manager in his/her full time job

5. Practice to improve your Verbal Communication

During my mock interview sessions with ISB Applicants, I have come across many individuals who have been exemplary achievers in their academic and professional life, but are completely tongue-tied/anxious when it comes to speaking up in an interview setting. Most of the B-Schools consider good communication skills as a pre-requisite for an admit, so please do not take this lightly. Practice speaking in front of a mirror. If you think you are struggling on this front, hire a mentor/consultant who can help you with not only guessing the probable questions that you might get asked during your interview, but would analyse your communication skill and advise you to improve it accordingly.

If you want to get in touch with me to prepare well for your interview or to prepare a holistic application for Round 2 of ISB/IIMs (1 year MBA)/US & European B-Schools, please follow me and drop a message on Instagram

You can read the reviews/testimonials by my other mentees here

Some of my other articles that you might find useful are :-

  1. How to write Essay 1 of ISB PGP Application
  2. 10 Important Tips for ISB Application writing
  3. Most common myths about ISB
  4. Applying to ISB- Everything that you want to know 
  5. My GMAT Debrief (730 in 1st attempt) 
  6. Life at ISB
How to write Essay 1 of ISB PGP Application

How to write Essay 1 of ISB PGP Application

Indian School of Business (ISB) Round 1 Application is open and you need to submit your application by September 20, 2020.

Before you read on, I request you to do these 3 things (for your own good) :-

  1. Follow this blog so that you get an email whenever I post (no spamming otherwise)- BLACK colored FOLLOW button on right side of the screen (if you are reading on Laptop) and on the bottom of the screen (if you are reading on your mobile phone)
  2. Like my page on Facebook – so that you can attend all live sessions
  3. Follow me on Instagram– that’s where I reply to your queries immediately!

This year ISB has reduced the discomfiture that the applicants used to experience while writing the admission and has made its expectations loud & clear- The Admission Committee wants to know what leadership qualities you possess and expects you to enumerate some examples from your personal & professional life that corroborate the leadership quality that you have declared to possess.

 “Describe with examples the most important personal quality that you possess, which significantly enhances your prospects of being successful as a leader?”

According to the Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy and Governance,

“Positive leadership behavior is a set of actions, taken by individuals in a position of power and influence, to motivate and cultivate others through mechanisms of empowerment, engagement, and collaborative assignment to meaningful work”

Needless to say ‘Leadership’ is more of a sense of being and a collection of actionable qualities that you possess, rather than a single or a couple of traits.

The essay asks for ‘the most important personal quality’ and hence it is imperative you choose a quality of which you have multiple examples to elaborate. You must keep it in your mind that if shortlisted, your interview will revolve around the quality that you had mentioned in the essay and the examples that you had provided.

I am enumerating a few qualities, of which you can choose one and then elaborate it with enough examples. Please go through each of the points carefully and then ponder if you have significant examples from your personal life & professional career to choose a particular leadership quality :-

  1. Resilience

A popular Japanese proverb says- “Nana korobi, ya oki” which means “Fall down seven timesstand up eight.” Ever found life hurling multiple setbacks at you and you ended up rising against the wave every single time? Ever lost all hopes because of continuous headwinds but you ended up emerging victorious?  If you think you have done so a couple of times, then Resilience is the personal quality that you can mention. You can mention about a huge financial loss which you recovered from because of your smart (and hard work), personal loss which broke you on all fronts but you were still able to overcome the trauma or talk about a professional setback which you you didn’t allow to linger for long. Please note , you should choose Resilience as your quality not only if you have faced multiple setbacks, but also when you have overcome them successfully.

2. Empowerment 

A good leader empowers his/her colleagues, employees and subordinates. He/she is inclusive during decision making, induces participation from everyone in the team so that each team member gets a fair chance to exercise their expertise, skill and judgement and hence ends up fostering a work environment which is built on trust, team work and equal opportunities for professional growth.

Have you played an important role and have taken a keen interest in coaching, mentoring and advising your team members to help them grow professionally? Have you driven innovation and critical thinking in your team solely by helping everyone to put their best foot forward? Do you think you are trusted by your employees/colleagues/sub ordinates because you have helped them in achieving what they wanted to?

If answers to these questions are in affirmative, then Empowerment is the leadership trait that you should mention in the essay.

3. Taking Initiatives

A successful leader is proactive (rather than reactive), can sense the needs of the target customers, the changes in market dynamics and the steps he/she needs to take to empower his/her team much ahead of time. Successful leaders aren’t afraid to take calculated risks and don’t wait for others to tell them what to do and how to do. They are forward thinkers who plan for future, and at the end they take full ownership and responsibility of their actions, be the outcome a failure or a success.

Have you taken a well-informed risk at your workplace that has reaped dividends (financial or otherwise) for your organization? Were you a part of the founding team of a new society/club/organization that taught you multiple nuances of management & leadership? Have you dirtied your hands while undertaking a functionally pristine project? Have you successfully driven adoption of a completely new product among your customers?

If all the above-mentioned points rings a bell, please go ahead and use this trait in your essay.

4. Integrity

In simple words, Integrity can be defined as “Doing the right thing even when no one is watching”. 

Every large MNC (Multi-national company) has a very strict Legal & Compliance team which lays down the code of conduct & compliance and keeps a strict watch on the employees- the more high you are in the corporate ladder, the more strict will be your punishment if you are found guilty of violating any code of ethics & conduct.

Have you ever noticed something grossly unethical going on in your organization and have raised an alarm? Have you ever faced a situation where you were lured by an exciting offer/choice/chance to help you achieve what you wanted to, but you decided to avoid because those chances fell in the ‘grey/dark zone of ethics & compliance’ ?

Integrity, as a trait, is often associated with kindness, and having good intentions instead of selfish motives. A leader who demonstrates high levels of integrity is well-respected and trusted across the organization.

If you have examples that highlight integrity as your inherent trait, please use it in the essay.

5. Problem Solving

The Covid-19 pandemic has put unprecedented challenges in front of business leaders and they are expected to solve problems that they have never encountered before.  A successful leader is able to anticipate any obstacle, assess the challenge, find possible solutions for mitigation, assess those solutions in terms of their viability, and thereby select the best possible solution.

If you have responded successfully to changing market dynamics, if you have overcome major obstacles in the modus-operandi of your organization with the help of technology/data/effective communication/otherwise, if your manager often relies on you whenever he/she hits a roadblock, then you have a problem-solving mindset and you should mention this trait in your essay.

6. Empathy

Empathy is understanding others’ feelings, perspectives & opinions as if they are your own. More often than not, Empathy is declared as an extremely crucial leadership trait because to put it out simply- you can’t lead someone whom you don’t understand. An empathetic leader is well aware of the fact that listening intently to his team members/employees/subordinates is extremely vital to generate insights which help in achieving well-being of everyone. An empathetic leader often puts himself/herself in the shoes of his/her employees before taking any major decisions that might affect the employees. He/she is responsible for maintaining a healthy and non-toxic work culture and hence has the ability for the long-term success of the organization.

Have you been in any situation where you strove hard to be inclusive and fair to most of your team mates/subordinates? Have you taken initiatives to ensure that your colleagues/subordinates/reportees feel safe, secure in the organization and their justifiable needs are taken care of ? Have you gone beyond your call of duty to help others? If your answer is in affirmative, you must write about Empathy as your leadership trait in the essay.

7. Passion

A passionate leader believes in the core values, mission & vision of the company, inspire & drive others to believe in the mission & vision and is madly involved in ‘making a difference’. The more enthroned you are in pushing your organization towards success, the more passionate you are considered to be. Passionate leaders create zest & enthusiasm in the team, and are vocal and expressive about what the organization aims to achieve.

If you have believed strongly for a cause (social, financial or otherwise) and have taken initiative/responsibility/accountability to address it, you come in the category of ‘passionate leaders’. If you always wanted to achieve something and have put considerable amount of time & efforts behind it, then also you can put ‘Passion’ as your personal trait in the essay.

8. Network & Influence

Do you think you have made a name for yourself as a ‘Thought Leader’ in a particular domain? Do you think your opinion on a particular stream/domain/industry is valued & acknowledged by a large number of people? Do you regularly produce & disseminate content related to your area of expertise and hence are considered ‘well known’ personality. Have you developed a rich network over the years and consider yourself as someone ‘who can get the work done’ just with the help of your network? If the answer is yes, you can consider writing about it in the essay.

I will write more blogposts on Essay 2, filling non-essay part of application and also on tips to crack the interview. To get notified about my future posts,

  1. Follow this blog so that you get an email whenever I post (no spamming otherwise)- BLACK colored FOLLOW button on right side of the screen (if you are reading on Laptop) and on the bottom of the screen (if you are reading on your mobile phone)
  2. Like my page on Facebook – so that you can attend all live sessions
  3. Follow me on Instagram– that’s where I reply to your queries immediately!

I have helped more than 200 applicants realize their dream of getting a Top B-School. Find their reviews here- https://www.facebook.com/DrKumarAnshul06/reviews/

Some of my other blogs that you will like are as follows :-

  1. 10 Important Tips for ISB Application writing
  2. Most common myths about ISB
  3. Applying to ISB- Everything that you want to know 
  4. My GMAT Debrief (730 in 1st attempt) 
  5. Life at ISB

 

 

 

How to find a corporate job after BDS before pursuing MBA

How to find a corporate job after BDS before pursuing MBA

Follow me on Facebook | Instagram for live sessions on career guidance for Dentists, blog updates and one-to-one QnA sessions. 

We aren’t living in an era anymore where pursuing Dentistry in your undergraduation meant that you are destined to be a clinical Dentist- either owning/working at a dental clinic or teaching at a dental college. I personally know Dentists in India who have successfully ventured out into fields which are completely unrelated to Dentistry- Gaming, Pharmacovigilance, Augmented & Virtual Reality, Graphic Design, Management Consulting, Finance and even Software Engineering!

I will be posting the success stories of these Dentists very soon. Follow me on Facebook | Instagram to get notified about those articles. 

This trend is has been more pronounced and prominent in last 10 years, mostly because of advent of Internet and then the increase in its availability and affordability. You can learn a new skill online while sitting in the comforts of your room and can even earn certifications.

Having said that, most Dentists, who want to ‘stray away’ from the conventional career path of clinical/academic Dentistry and foray in the corporate world, prefer to choose the safer & more pragmatic route of ‘pursuing an MBA’. An MBA from a reputed B-School opens multiple gates for you and the tag of IIM/ISB/FMS/XLRI etc stays with you for the lifetime.

Now most of the Top B-Schools in the country accept freshers to their flagship MBA Program (except ISB, where 2 years of Work Ex is mandatory), i.e. you can join immediately after completing your BDS, provided you score good enough in CAT/XAT and clear the GDPI (Group Discussion and Personal Interview) rounds.

But having a certain amount of Work Experience (1-3 years) before pursuing your MBA is always a good idea. Please keep in your mind that just securing an admission in a Tier-1 B School doesn’t mean you will have it easy in what lies ahead. A typical Tier-1 B School’s (such as IIM A, ISB, IIM B, IIM C, XLRI, FMS, SP Jain etc) batch consists of some of the smartest minds of the country (mostly from India’s top Engineering & Commerce courses such as B. Tech from IITs & NITs, BCom from SRCC etc) and most of them will be equipped with proper corporate/start up work experience with valuable contributions to their respective firms. It will be these people whom you will be competing with during the placement season. Hence it’s advisable that you gain a meaningful and relevant work experience before your MBA so that you can explain to your future employer during placement about why you are a good fit for the role you are applying to and how your previous work ex has shaped you and made you eligible for that particular role.

Now when it comes to Dentistry, you might think it’s near to impossible  to get a Managerial Role at a Corporate/Startup just after BDS because we aren’t trained for the necessary skill sets. But in this epoch making era of cheap internet, there is nothing that can stop you from learning a new skill and networking with someone who can help you land a job.

But this article is NOT ABOUT THAT.

This article is about how to find out a corporate/startup job with just your BDS degree (and the clinical knowledge of course), when you haven’t mastered any other skills.

The following list is exhaustive so I would suggest you to read thoroughly and carefully.

  1. Sales or Product Specialist Role in a Dental Product Companies- Unlike yesteryears when many Dental MNC (Multinational Companies) used to operate in India through operators, most of them today have a direct presence. Moreover there are multiple Indian & Chinese companies too that have entered the market in the recent years. You can seek a role of Sales Manager/Product Specialist/Product Manager in these companies. Typically these roles require an MBA degree or a past experience in Sales/Product Management, but if you can convince the hiring managers that your Dental domain knowledge will be a value addition to the company, you might bag one of these roles. Some of the prominent companies are :- KaVo Kerr, Dentsply Sirona, Nobel Biocare, Straumann, Ormco, Invisalign, Vatech, 3M, Carestream, Planmeca etc. You can also find out the details about the major distributors of these companies and seek a similar role at there. LinkedIn is a great place to connect to the HR Leaders of the companies and enquire about any job opportunity
  2. Virtual Scribing :- A Virtual Scribe is a person who  listens to and documents the doctor-patient encounter in real-time. Virtual Scribe will be busy entering notes, CPT and ICD codes, eRx, orders, and other relevant data directly into the patient’s chart — while the doctor is busy seeing and providing care to the patient. These are relevant for US Healthcare but many companies have outsourced this work to India. IKS Health, headquartered in Mumbai is a major firm that employs hundreds of Dentists for this role. Though it’s not actually a managerial role but it still is a good way to enter corporate and get an exposure to US Healthcare norms.
  3. Lifescience/Research Analyst Roles at Consulting Firms :- Consulting firms such as Deloitte (and sometimes Boston Consulting Group too) employ Dentists for the entry level analyst role. Though these roles too typically require an MBA but there is no harm in trying. 
  4. Medical Advisor Role in Pharma Companies :- Though earlier this role used to be strictly reserved for MBBS graduates but lately I have seen reputed firms such as Abbott hiring Dentists too. Your knowledge of basic medical science (BDS 1st & 2nd Year) might come handy to bag such a role.
  5. Medical Underwriting:- Medical underwriting refers to the process by which a life or health insurer uses an applicant’s medical history to decide whether they can offer them a policy, and whether the policy will include pre-existing condition exclusions and/or a premium that’s higher than the standard rate. Insurance companies such as HDFC & Credihealth regularly employ Dentists for the same.
  6. Operations Manager in Dental Clinic Chains and Hospitals :- Dental Clinic Chains (such as Clove, Axis etc) and prominent Hospital chains such as Apollo & Fortis employ Dentists for clinical job but you can also make your way upwards into Operations if you develop the relevant skills.

PLEASE NOTE that some of these job profiles might not be conducive to your expectations. But they open the gates of corporate to a Dentist and then later on you can pave your way upwards with a suitable MBA degree.

Let me know if you have any queries in the comments.

Follow me on Facebook | Instagram for live sessions on career guidance for Dentists, blog updates and one-to-one QnA sessions. 

-KA

1 Year of Marketing Medical Devices- Reflections

1 Year of Marketing Medical Devices- Reflections

May 2nd 2019 marked 1 year of my first post-MBA job. I was recruited for the GMDP Program by Danaher at the campus placements at Indian School Of Business and was placed as a Marketing Manager at KaVo Kerr, one of the medical devices firm of Danaher.

The last one year had been nothing short of a roller-coaster ride. From drafting Go-To-Market Strategy for Imaging Equipment and presenting the same to the entire leadership team at the HQ to getting a Mandarin document translated to have some insights for the Marketing Communication for a newly launched product, this job got my hands dirtied at almost everything Marketing. I traveled across the length & breadth of India (to organize trade events) and a bit of USA (to attend the annual GMDP Conference). From attending the welcome dinner for GMDP Associates at Marriott Washington DC, bonding with colleagues on a rooftop overlooking the beautiful Lake Pichola at Udaipur to checking-in in a shady hotel room without any AC in Vellore that I had to book in a rush because my train reached late- this job added another set of travel stories to my memorabilia.

I have been following this practice of jotting down my reflections, musings and learning after reaching a certain milestone since quite a while, more so because I believe that making an effort to write down the learning in itself allows me to delve deeper and gather some more impactful insights from my own experiences. Here are a few of them :-

  1. Getting the Marketing Communication right is much more important than you think :-  We would all agree that getting the right message across can help a great deal in converting the customer and pushing them to the next step of the buyer’s journey. But in Digital Marketing Campaigns, the correct message can also also help you to save money and prevent you from burning your limited marketing budget. For example, if you are conducting a lead generation campaign on Facebook, where you are charged per impression (instead of per leads generated), you should know what message you should put across on the Ad (through Images & Text), so that those who are viewing the ad end up filling the form (and hence generating a lead for you). A faulty message that doesn’t resonate well with your customer, will just be an impression failing to be converted into a potential lead that you can pursue.
  2. You have equal responsibility towards your internal customers as much as the external customers :-  For a Marketing Managerthe internal customers refers to the sales & service team. Providing adequate support to the sales & service team with appropriate marketing content, leads, product expertise, doctors’ contacts etc is of utmost importance.
  3. Digital Transformation can’t be overlooked anymore :- I worked to build the KaVo Kerr India Mobile App with the help of our National Service Head and a 3rd part Android Developer to streamline and digitize three processes- Filing request for service/repair of an existing product, requesting demo of any product from our portfolio and registering for our Training & Education Events. Once the App was ready in its final form, we realized how much potential it holds to act as a single tool for lead generation and to reduce the service turnaround time.
  4. Continuous innovation even in a small form catches eyeballs :- Apart from Digital Marketing & Marketing Communication, I am also incharge of Trade Event Management. I have noticed that introducing something new and engaging which our customers haven’t experienced before in a trade event, always helped us in gathering footfall. Over the year, with the help of my team, I introduced multiple new concepts- inclusion of a live training room within our booth, standees with our existing customers’ pictures & testimonials, an online quiz about our products which customers can attempt at our booth and win prizes, a ‘Happy Customers’ bulletin board with our customers’ polaroids and so on. Putting the thinking cap on for such events and going the extra mile and can reap rewards in terms of catching a prospective customer’s attention.
  5. Wherever possible, try to hit two (or more) birds with one stone :- Immediately after a joining I launched a Monthly online Quiz for customers with prizes for the winners (Dental Consumables that the Dentists could use in their practice). The participants needed to register for the quiz by providing their contact details and the questions of the quiz were exclusively based on the various differentiating features of our products. Hence, along with increasing the brand & product awareness and driving customer engagement, I was also able to collect our target segment’s contact data. Later once the quizzes got popular, I also used them to campaign for our trade events. After this, I have constantly tried to think of ways to achieve more than one objectives while working on a particular project/campaign
  6. If you will look close enough, you will find where are you burning money :- One of the first actions that I took after joining was contacting our Digital Marketing Agency and letting them know of our expectations. Their contract expired next month and they failed to provide what we asked for. After discussing with my manager, I decided not to renew the contract and take full responsibility of Digital Marketing myself. Though I have no formal training in graphic designing, I also decided to design all the basic marketing collateral such as flyers, event brochures, campaign images etc by myself  (Canva.com came to my rescue here) instead of depending on a vendor. At the end, it not only saved a good chunk of marketing budget, but also saved a lot of time.
  7. Networking ALWAYS helps :- The best feature of the GMDP Program of Danaher was that I got to know many other GMDP Associates from other operating companies of Danaher. I got a chance to learn about various initiatives that Marketing Managers of other Danaher companies had undertaken and eventually learnt a lot from their experiences.
  8. Continuous monitoring of campaigns’ performance is important :-  There are a few campaigns which fail to achieve the desired objective. Hence it becomes imperative that you keep monitoring the performance and stop a non-performing campaign before it eats into your budget without giving any results.
  9. You must always keep the Business Ethics & Compliance policies on the back of your mind :- There is a reason MNCs put so much of emphasis on Compliance Training. There might be instances where your intentions may not be wrong, still your actions can fall under the ‘grey’ zone. Being thorough with the compliance & ethics policies of your company can save you from such unfortunate situations.
  10. Rapport between Sales & Marketing Departments helps in mutual respect & appreciation of each other’s work :- Whenever possible, I tried to attend Sales Team meetings to keep them acquainted of everything that we were doing to drive customer engagement, generate leads and help them with marketing content. We also had a provision of inducting every new sales manager with various initiatives and modus operandi of the Marketing Department.

I am excited for all the challenges that this year has in its bag for me and I hope I keep adding value to the firm in any which way possible.

Connect with me on Linkedin | Facebook | Instagram 

 

Inside the C-Suite: 21 Lessons from Top Management to Get Your Way in Business and in Life by Jayaram Easwaran

Inside the C-Suite: 21 Lessons from Top Management to Get Your Way in Business and in Life by Jayaram Easwaran

Inside the C Suite

First of all thanks to Harper Collins for being so thoughtful and sending me a copy of this book.
Inside C-Suite is a game changer in the genre of Business Fiction. Unlike most Business Fiction which use plots of frauds, corporate politics, rat race to get ahead etc, Inside C Suite is actually a collection of 21 short stories, which are fictionalized but can’t be any nearer to the truth. If you are a working professional who is always curious about what actually happens at the CXO level, what all go inside the swanky board rooms, why few mid/higher management professionals get ahead while others are left lurking behind, this collection of short stories is perfect to have a tête-a-tete with. There are ego clashes and back-bitching, there are cunning ways to get your way around and hilarious comebacks to save your face. The book will further establish the fact that you possibly already know- your soft skills, people management capability and the communication style has much more far fetching consequences than you can think. I enjoyed reading these stories and I am sure you will too.

 

How I prepared for Marketing Job Interviews at ISB

How I prepared for Marketing Job Interviews at ISB

As I have quoted Mr. Ankur Warikoo multiple times, “Life at ISB can’t be described. It can only be experienced”. And Life at ISB is actually about so many things- the campus, the quads, the quaddies, the study groups, never ending assignments and the list goes on. But one undeniable truth remains- the placement season is one of the most nerve wracking experience for most of us and the relief that one experiences after getting out of it can’t be put into words.

Before I write further, I must declare that you will find MUCH MORE ACCOMPLISHED ISB Alums to give you the much talked about ‘Alum Gyaan’ about Marketing Placement Preparation. Hence, what I am going to write should be read as just my ‘experience’ rather than an ‘advice’ per se.

Even before I had joined ISB, I was assured of the fact that my profile is a bit conflicting. I came from Healthcare background, but I never practiced and went to Digital Marketing (that too for a small bootstrapped startup from non-healthcare domain) straight after graduating. Also, I was pretty sure that I want a Marketing job profile post MBA. I already had Marketing Experience (though Digital) prior to ISB but I tried my best to add more Marketing related stuff to my resume once the course commenced.

Here’s a list of some live/consulting projects that I did :-

  1. MyBataz – A Live Project to launch the MyBataz App was introduced by one of the alums in the campus in Term 1. Many people joined enthusiastically but most of them left in between. The few of us who survived did a myriad of activities for this project- Content Writing, Content Management, Influencer Identification & Marketing, Social Media Marketing etc. This project gave me a good kickstart.
  2. NanoHealth (ELP) :- Getting a Marketing Project for a Healthcare startup as ELP was like a perfect fit for me (and my resume). Though I must say, completing this project amidst endless assignments, lectures & placement preparation was a herculean task but it indeed helped me- both as a confidence booster by the time placement season arrived and as a strong talking point during Marketing Interviews
  3. Unacademy – I got a Paid Digital Marketing project for Unacademy with the help of a friend.

Apart from these, I also did a project that was a part of the Kraftshala course.

Placement Group

I cannot stress enough about the importance of a good & ‘selfless’ placement group. Most of the people in my Placement Group (we were a group of 5) were mere acquaintances but we supported each other selflessly throughout the placement season. Whenever we used to meet, we used to take up 1 or 2 companies and discuss it in and out- The industry to which the company belongs to, its major trends, the entire product portfolio of the company, its major marketing campaigns, deep dive into Core Values and Vision & Mission of the company (very important for AbInBev, JnJ etc). For example, this is what all we covered for AbInBev (One person from our group got a Marketing role in AbInBev eventually) :-

  1. Overview of Beer Industry in India
  2. Market Share of AbinBev in India
  3. All Products of AbinBev with their details
  4. Recent Acquisition by ABInBev
  5. Craft Beer (one of the Alums suggested it and it actually was a GD Topic)
  6. Proposed Marketing Strategy to grow the brand share in India
  7. Major competitors

Similarly, we discussed about Star, HuL, PnG, PhonePe, Samsung, Media.net and so on. Whatever we used to discuss, we used to put it on a Google Doc which was shared among all 5 of us (for future reference). I would like to repeat, ours was actually a selfless group- only 2 of us had Google Shortlists (and 1 of us finally cracked Google Campaign Management job) but we all tried to help them with Mock Interviews a night before their interview at Google Office.

Resources Used

For the group preparation, we majorly used the documents downloaded from the KMP Portal, HR Questions list sent by an alus and Google Search. I personally used some additional resources which are as follows :-

  1. Crack the Marketing Case & Interview like a CMO– I had a free copy of this book since long ago but finally decided to go through a part of it during few weeks before placements. The book introduced me to some good frameworks and helped me to have a perspective and possible answers of typical questions asked during the interviews. This book discussed 18 different Marketing Cases with solutions
  2. Marketing 4.0 : Moving from Traditional to Digital by Kotler : I didn’t buy this book for Placement Preparation but did give it a read before Placements. I didn’t find it much useful and later handed it to a friend who was supposed to sit for Placements in January season. She described the book as ‘magical’ and told me that she discussed the new metrics introduced by Kotler in this book in one of the interviews and the interviewers were quite impressed. The book is worth a read if you have time.
  3. Marketing Whitebook– I bought this book only to realize that it is already present in the LRC. It’s a good source to list down the major trends, market share, new product launch etc of all industries.
  4. Kraftshala- I bought the course that Kraftshala was offering. Though it wasn’t much useful from Placement point of view, it actually helped me to understand the intent & objective of different popular Marketing Campaigns by the popular brands

Takeaways

  1. Make a good placement group and stick to it. Be around for each other till the end. Try to meet as much as possible.
  2. Talk to the recently graduated alums who are working in your target companies. They can give you a clear picture of what the company is actually looking for
  3. Core Values, Mission, Vision etc of the company is extremely important. Do discuss them with your placement group
  4.  Attending all the PPTs (Pre Placement Talk) might be a difficult task but attending the PPTs of the companies you are damn serious about is definitely a good idea
  5. Resume reviews, Mock Interviews etc are useful, but don’t let anyone demotivate you. The alum who reviewed my resume during Alum One-To-One session told me I don’t have any chances in big brands and I mostly will get recruited by a startup. She also told me to focus on Healthcare rather than Marketing. As evident now, everything she suggested didn’t come true.
  6. You never know what will happen on the D-day. All advises and ‘gyans’ must be filtered and taken with a pinch of salt.

Use the comment section if you have any queries (or message me on Facebook). I would try my best to answer them.

-KA