Utpala Rai on the importance of being prepared for placements and the life beyond
Utpala Rai was in the midst of her Master’s program in English Literature when the feeling of being lost struck. It’s something many students experience, but she decided to look at it constructively and went on a journey of self-assessment. That led her to the PGDM program at FORE School of Management, New Delhi. “Since that day, every step has only further asserted that I was right,” she says. “I have been placed with Hero MotoCorp Ltd. as a Territory Sales Manager and look forward to the future journey with excitement and anticipation.”
Finding her way through
The student of Batch 2015 – 17 compares the experience at her B School – from the induction to final placement – to her favorite genre of Fantasy. Utpala believes that her friends and faculty members at the institute will always be a part of her life and so will her learning. “It’s not just about the curriculum, but I was also interacting with people from different walks of life. There were many unconventional learning experiences, not to forget trips and parties,” she remembers, calling it the perfect student life.
Innovative initiatives have their impact
The mentor-mentee program at FORE School of Management helped Utpala settle in the B School environment comfortably. She was selected for the Corporate Interaction Division, which offered her exposure. Interestingly, it also prepared her for the placement process in a unique way. “In my second year, I was picking new members for the division when I realized the interviewer is not just looking for someone knowledgeable or with good communication skills, but who is also passionate about the work,” she explains. “That insight was handy for the placements.”
How she aced the placement process.
Utpala lets us into her strategy for the placement season. She attended presentations of companies she was interested in working with. It helped her justify her candidature during the interview. “I had done my research about the industry, the company and their products,” she begins. “It helped me connect with the interviewers at a deeper level. There were two interview sessions and in the second one they were trying to gauge my approach to situations. It all began with the GD on the topic of Leadership Skills – Virat Kohli v/s M S Dhoni.”
Looking back, Utpala comments that a flurry of images crosses her mind. They are the moments she spent in the classroom with her ‘always dependable’ batch mates, sitting in the cafeteria and making lasting bonds. Also, her SIP in trade marketing at Pure Media Imagination was another major moment in her journey. She offers a thoughtful parting shot: “If you want to make it into any domain, you have to be prepared. I know that being prepared and failing hurts, but failing because of not being prepared will crush you because it will be your fault.”
FORE School of Management has been designing, developing and conducting innovative Executive Education (EE)/ Management Development Programmes (MDPs) for working executives in India for over three decades.