When I was asked what my journey at SP Jain Global had been like thus far at the end of Year 1, I described it as a rollercoaster. Little did I know that this theme would follow me around for the next three years. It’s no secret that SP Jain Global offers a truly unique experience compared to any other educational institute out there, but I’d personally argue that the journey it took me on was no short of the Formula Rossa in Abu Dhabi, (the fastest rollercoaster ride in the world) with its crazy twists and sharp turns. Allow me to create a simulation of my rollercoaster ride at SP Jain Global for you.
Phase 1: Getting on the Rollercoaster
As I was preparing myself to enter this extraordinary business school, I felt giddy with excitement, similar to the feeling you get when you wait in line for a rollercoaster. The spirit of competitiveness was taking over, and I couldn’t wait to see what path it would take. With entrance exams and interviews, you are imbued with the idea to stand out and get ahead of everyone. This idea is only further cemented with relative grading and the most celebrated of them all: the Dean’s List. If you’re anything like me, you would also likely be staring at the list with starry eyes. Right from the beginning of my first semester in Mumbai, the rules were clear; each of us knew how to get ahead in the game and how to sharpen our skills. And that’s exactly what we did. Focusing on quizzes and mid-terms, our academic mindset was locked in.
In the midst of this intense first year, SP Jain Global added something unique to the mix: their immense weightage on group projects. At first glance, it might not seem like much, but it completely changed my mentality in the first four months of joining the school. It quickly became clear that if we go down, we go down together, so instead, let’s focus on lifting each other up! Special mention to our amazing Mumbai professors, especially Prof Piya Mukherjee, Prof Shrinivas Shikaripurkar, and Prof Villie Daruwala,for setting the perfect tone with exciting lectures and thought-provoking ideas that made me hungry to come to class every morning.
The reason I’m using Formula Rossa as a reference point is not just that it describes my experiences at SP Jain Global, but it also me! We’ve both lived in the UAE for most of our lives and are really fast. Or at least, I used to be! I’ve competed at the National Level in Athletics, and I had to attend State-Level Selections for the new season during my final exams of Semester 1. Worried sick that I would have to forego either my Business Writing examination or my chance to appear at the National Athletics Meet, I took to Dean Tarun Pasricha’s office. After a quick chat, he allowed me to attend the competition and write my examination once I returned. This level of adaptation truly made me affirm that I made the right decision by choosing to sit on this rollercoaster out of them all!
Phase 2: Ascent to the Top
The ride was going smoothly so far, and as Year 2 was around the corner, it was about time to level up and begin the ascent to the next level with internships and competitions.
I took up three internships during my time in Dubai in the marketing and operations field at three very different companies: Danube, a construction firm that’s been in the business for 30 years; The Kiddo App, an ed-tech startup of which I was the third employee; and Clique Snaps & Films, a photography company of three years looking to expand its reach amongst a more high-end crowd. I was fortunate enough to be able to work directly with the CEOs and Marketing Managers of these organisations, and their golden words of advice are still with me today. Undoubtedly, working with these companies gave me a broader picture of the business landscape and helped me recognise my growing interest in marketing.
The event that took me to the top of the rollercoaster ride was entering the HULT Prize Summit 2020 towards the end of Year 2 with two of my teammates, Chinmay Naik and Abhimanyu Shivaji. The Hult Prize is an annual, year-long competition that crowd-sources ideas from MBA and college students after challenging them to solve a pressing social issue around topics, such as food security, water access, energy, and education. We sheepishly submitted our idea after receiving a mail from our Global Learning and Student Life office, and surprisingly, we got selected to pitch our business idea in Melbourne out of 300,000+ participants from 121 counties.
Achieving this feat wouldn’t have been possible without the immense support we received fromMegna Kalwani, Deputy Director – Global Learning & Student Life, who championed our idea in front of our Deans, Prof Christopher Abraham and Prof Nitin Patwa, arranged for our mentor, Prof TP Anand, and connected us with many more people in the industry whom we could learn from.
After pitching our idea in various business competitions, being recognised for our idea as well as creating a prototype and eventually a functional app, developing this business idea was a mini rollercoaster in itself.
Finally, the event that made the rollercoaster halt at the apex of the ride, making you hold your breath in fear of what was about to come next, was COVID-19. Hitting us at the very end of Year 2 and sending us online, the pandemic left my entire batch unsure of when Sydney would arrive for us.
Phase 3: Going 240kmph
Our collective disappointment of not being able to go to Sydney for Year 3 was quickly covered up by the excitement that our professors brought to our Zoom and ELO classrooms (shout out to Prof Richard and Prof Mo), as well as the overwhelming amount of group projects that came with picking the Marketing Specialisation.
And while extracurriculars took a bit of a hit, we charged ahead at full speed. I joined a creative collective with Amchi Kingdom (started by my fellow batchmates Amara Tan and Chinmay Naik), and we hosted several unique events, competitions, and activities for SP Jain Global students to keep their spirits alive. Music fests, pop culture quizzes, dance competitions, we did it all online! We also produced a lot of content together, which helped me use it as a creative outlet to explore singing, dancing, writing, animation, and graphic design.
What I wanted to highlight here is that SP Jain Global acted as a catalyst in us achieving our creative goals. They supported our endeavours and ultimately helped spread the message of positivity all around.
Phase 4: The Bittersweet Ending
When we got to our fourth year, SP Jain Global had completely embraced the concept of online learning and was thriving. It took in new batches of online students, and this finally gave us the opportunity to merge and exist as a melting pot with all the different batches. This development spread to extracurriculars as well – since it was the first time that students from all four years could exist in one space as we saw the New Age of Student Clubs at SP Jain Global.
I noticed there had been marketing clubs that had come and gone, but I wanted to build one that lasted. Megna guided me in setting the foundation and gathering the tools needed to build a successful club. Within one week of the promotions, more than 100 students were interested in joining! After a rigorous selection process, the Marketing & More Club saw diverse students from all batches united by their love for marketing.
With the help of some amazing juniors (special mention to Sivapriya Ganti, Tanya Kapoor, Jayashree Iyer, Pallavi Garg, and the rest of the M&M Core Team), we created a system that worked. I envisioned a space where ideas could flow freely and the latest trends in the marketing field could be discussed while learning and practising different marketing techniques. We collaborated with CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing, London) and the cherry on top. I could leverage the learnings I got from leading this club to get my first full-time job a week after my final exams as a Brand and Marketing Manager.
After appearing on the Dean’s List 5 times, participating in and winning numerous competitions, and creating lifelong bonds, the ride had now come to an end, and here I was still sitting in the rollercoaster car, breathing heavily, trying to relive every moment. It seemed like the ride ended in the blink of an eye, but it left me with a ton of fun and exciting memories that I’ll keep with me for a lifetime. Because who knows when I’ll get to ride the fastest rollercoaster called college again?
Every year, there were lots of people who supported me on my journey through SP Jain Global. I would like to thank all of my professors for making every class worth it, my batchmates for creating unforgettable memories with me, my group mates for working with me through those long nights, my juniors for keeping the fire alive during my final year, all the SP Jain Global staff members, for their support and guidance throughout.
About the author:
Tanishqa Kambli (BBA 2022) recently graduated from SP Jain School of Global Management. From making it to the Dean’s List five times, conquering competitions, and forming lifelong bonds, Tanishqa considers her ride at SP Jain Global to be nothing short of extraordinary.