Embarking on a journey to pursue an MBA from one of the top B-schools in India is a dream that many aspire to achieve. The promise of a successful and rewarding career is alluring. The journey towards fulfilling this dream involves carefully selecting the right B-school, navigating through two years of rigorous academics, earning the degree, and securing placement in a field that aligns with one’s career aspirations. In this inspiring story, PaGaLGuY Alumni Story introduces you to Shivam Kumar, an MBA graduate from IIM Bangalore, who shares his incredible journey of determination, hard work, and perseverance. Shivam takes us through his experience at IIM Bangalore, his journey to the prestigious B-school, and his incredible achievement of landing his dream job during the final placements. Join us as we delve into Shivam’s inspirational story of how he turned his MBA dream into a reality.

 The Road Unseen

Shivam joined BITS Pilani for his undergraduate, getting his major in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Finance. Being from Muzaffarpur – a small city in Bihar, Shivam’s parents always instilled in him the importance of education right from the start. His father worked in the Indian Postal Service, and his mother is a dedicated homemaker. Having a curious mind, he decided to pursue engineering. With no plan of an MBA during his time at BITS, Shivam imagined himself pursuing PhD after his undergraduate. However, destiny had other plans. As part of his research thesis, Shivem did a 6-month internship in Singapore, and that is when he realised that Chemical Engineering wasn’t his domain. He was more inclined towards the business side of things. Following two years of experience in the supply chain industry at Delhivery, Shivam decided to take the plunge and give the CAT exam to pursue a career in business. His dedication to his education and his passion for the business world eventually led him to the coveted flagship PGP program at IIM Bangalore.

“During my time at BITS, I never planned on getting an MBA as I believed that pursuing a PhD was the right path for me. However, during my 6-month stay in Singapore, I discovered an interest in business-related roles. I realised that chemical engineering was not my calling and decided that pursuing an MBA was the best way forward.”

Also Read: My Interview Experience at IIM A & IIM B, Ft CAT’18: 98.82%iler

The Road to IIM Bangalore –  

Shivam Kumar’s dedication and hard work paid off when he achieved an exceptional score in the CAT exam, with a remarkable 99.95 percentile, including 99.93 percentile in QA, 99.91 in VARC, and 96.2 in DILR. As a result of his outstanding performance, Shivam received admission offers from several prestigious B-schools, including IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore Calcutta, Lucknow, Kozhikode and Indore. After careful consideration, Shivam chose to join IIM Bangalore because of his affection for the city and the institute’s well-rounded curriculum.

To gain admission to IIM Bangalore, applicants are shortlisted for personal interview rounds and must submit a Statement of Purpose and two recommendation letters. Shivam’s exceptional academic record and top-20 composite score earned him a scholarship of 4 lakhs, and he wasn’t asked much about his graduation during the interview since he had a decent CGPA. Shivam’s success at IIM Bangalore serves as a testament to his unwavering dedication, persistence, and commitment to his academic pursuits.

Also Read: Success in Digital Marketing: Insights From the CEO of Amitiel Consultants, Dr Shweta Tewari

IIM B takeaways

Shivam also spoke to us about his takeaways from IIM Bangalore in the two years of his MBA program. MBA being a vertical degree, not only helps to improve one’s skills, but it also helps to improve your personality and grow as an individual itself. He believes that being in the institute, academics should be the top priority since that is why initially you are there. It also teaches you management since you have to take a lot of things together and go about it. Another learning for him was not falling for the trap of glorified jobs and doing what you feel is right for you, even if it isn’t the most mainstream or desirable role. And his last takeaway is to enjoy your time there since this is the last lap in the education journey, so take the most back out of the campus.

Also Read: Discover the story of how Harshit Jain used his MBA from IIM Calcutta to land a job at Hinduja Group.

The Internship Run Begins…

Summer Internship, a very important aspect of an MBA program, was where Shivam targeted Finance roles – private equity and investment banking roles for himself. As a backup, he also prepared for Consulting roles. Fortunately, he got into a private equity role at British International Investment, the UK Government’s investing arm. This role was based out of Bangalore. Shivam learnt a lot through this internship. The primary three learnings he had were:

  1. Being thorough – If you’re presenting a PPT of even 4 pages, you should know every single thing mentioned in the PPT.’ He believes being thorough is extremely important since you can be asked questions from anywhere and need to know.
  2. Be very proactive – In Finance, most superiors are occupied with their work, and thus, he believes that being proactive in asking for new tasks and opportunities is something that will keep you in for the job.
  3. Networking – Shivam stresses the importance of networking, especially in fields like Finance and Consulting. This is because networking with the right people helps you advance in your career.

Also Read: MBA Student Bags Half-crore Package With Microsoft, Ft. Harshita Banthia’s Story Of Struggle & Success

Final Placement

Shivam is placed in an Investment Banking firm – Avendus Capital, with an annual CTC of 50 LPA+ a fixed salary of 25 LPA and a minimum 100% annual bonus as the variable pay.

Talking about his interview process during the final placement, Shivam states that the entire process could be categorised into three brackets – Subject matter knowledge, Industry knowledge and HR round. For roles specific to finance jobs, the subject matter knowledge needs to be very strong, such as Corporate Finance, Valuation and Financial Accounting. Industry knowledge consists of the aspect where one needs to pick one industry and know everything around it. The HR Segment of the interview is more of a check for the candidate to see if they are actually in for the money or if they are in because they love the field and want to learn more about it. Having a strong conviction and an apparent why becomes very pertinent in this segment.

Shivam’s interview process consists of 4 to 5 interview rounds starting with a buddy round where the associates in the company take a couple of interviews. Prior to this, there was a small test based on which some people were shortlisted, a buddy was assigned from the company, and you stayed in touch with the buddy. The process ahead works on a referral basis in which, if the buddy likes you, he refers your name to the seniors at the upper-level management. Now, if you can clear these, you have interview rounds with the Vice President and then the Directors. If the directors give it a go post the interview, you’re in for the job.

Also Read: Rising Above the Competition: An Interview with Accenture Consultant and IIM Kozhikode Alum Viresh Singh

Suggestions and Learnings 

After going through the extensive placements process, Shivam tells us about the three major No’s for an interview according to him.

The first is not just to scratch things on the surface. In his words – Do not try to know about ten different things on the surface. Rather, go deep into 3 things and make sure you know them extremely well.

The second, he believes, is being unaware of anything written on the resume. A candidate should know and be able to explain everything mentioned on his resume.

Third, he talks about the fact that since sometimes people are unclear as to what role they wish to do, they join in for any most desirable role, let it be product management, Finance or consulting. Knowing what you want to do and streamlining your options only to that is very crucial.

Advise for the current aspirants

Shivam’s motto is simply to engage yourself in the process, and the rest will follow. His advice for students revolves around choosing the right school for themselves. He believes that looking at the rankings of B Schools isn’t the parameter to go ahead. Rather, identify what is right for you and what aspects you want. For example, the decision could rest on a number of factors like – your need for an academic-driven or balanced curriculum, the city you’d want to be in, your alumni network, exchange opportunities and the diversity of the batch.

These are various factors that play a significant role in shaping your journey, and that is also what made it so clear for him to choose IIM Bangalore out of all his converts.

Shivam has been an active PagalGuy user since his CAT prep journey. Going by the name moriarty319, he has written answers, gotten his queries solved, talked about his CAT journey there, posted his mock scores regularly and used our platform actively to engage in discussions with like-minded people.

This was Shivam’s story of going Big and following his passion.

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