It was a big surprise for me when my name was called by our beloved Dean, Dr. Balakrishna Grandhi, for winning the Global Achievement Award during our Virtual Graduation Ceremony 2020. I knew beforehand that I was part of the Dean’s List from the Consulting Management stream, but the Global Achievement Award was an unexpected and thoroughly pleasant surprise!
Today, I want to share the transformation journey that SP Jain helped me take over the last year that led me to earn this award.
Life Before SP Jain
Before joining SP Jain, I was working as a Senior Manager with one of the largest public sector banks in India. I worked across various regions in India and managed eight bank branches in different capacities – from Assistant Manager to Branch Manager. I learned a lot from my seniors and mentored many new employees during this time while leading various initiatives towards process optimisation and operational efficiency at the branch level. I was fortunate to have worked as a Manager before my MBA, but I wanted international exposure along with a top-quality management degree from a globally renowned business school. Hence, SP Jain happened.
Achievements at SP Jain
I returned to a full-time education set up after over 10 years since my graduation, and hence, I was curious to learn the new business concepts. Many of the case studies discussed in our classroom were quite relatable to me since I had faced very similar situations in my role as a manager. I focused on learning new skills and building my knowledge base, and was fortunate enough to earn good grades and secure a place on the Dean’s list.
The highlight of our Global MBA cohort was that we had students with varying experiences (3 to 17 years) across multiple industries. I was the only one representing the Banking Sector, and I was quite excited to learn a diverse variety of subjects that were new for me. Focused and active participation in classroom discussions also helped me grasp complex topics quickly.
SP Jain has the provision of recording classes so that students can refer to them at their convenience – say before an exam or just to revisit a difficult topic. This was a great help to most of the students from our cohort.
I found the Student Board Room (SBR) discussions to be quite engaging and value-adding, and there were many instances when these discussions helped me understand a problem from a completely different perspective. Moreover, every student in our cohort was unique, and our learning experience became exponentially more effective due to all of their inputs in our classrooms and the SBRs.
Within the 12 months of the Global MBA, we completed three different projects:
Achieving Operational Excellence in Banks (Global Perspective)
Devising a business plan for the launch of an industry client’s mobile application (Regional Perspective – Oceania). Later, we presented our findings from the project to 200 Industry participants in Dubai.
Industry Project in Dubai – Go to Market (GTM) Strategy for a global accounting firm from the GCC region. For this project, our team secured one of the highest grades and received excellent client remarks, and it was so thrilling. The recommendations we shared were also implemented by the clients promptly.
Experience Beyond Studies
Academic Committee: Being part of the committee helps to grow as an individual by taking additional responsibilities to support the school, deliver exceptional quality, and continuously improve the program. I learned a lot about administration, course design, audit, accreditation, and approvals during my tenure as an academic committee member.
Global Learning Activities: These activities helped me understand the culture of different regions like APAC and the Middle East. I ensured full participation in all the Global learning activities across Singapore, Sydney, and Dubai, and documented most of these visits in my LinkedIn posts. These were a mix of fun and learning activities that acted as a breather from our hectic schedules. Dragon Boat Race, Golfing, Parliament Visit, Wine Tasting (Hunter Valley), Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach Surfing, Canberra, ICCA Dubai, Global Village, Burj Khalifa, Ferrari World, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi. Several company visits (Dell, Heineken, Refinitiv, Bloomberg, IBM, Reserve Bank of Australia, Capgemini, Dubai Expo, 3M, DIFC, and many more…), the Global Learning was truly endless!
Alumni Networking: SP Jain’s strong alumni network across all the cities helped me immensely in building my professional network. The School organised several Alumni Mixers, and they were a great opportunity to meet our seniors and learn from their global experiences. I increased my LinkedIn network by over 300% just through alumni networking. The SP Jain alumni also helped us prepare for mock interviews and conducted several workshops. I also benefitted a lot from the “Wine & Cheese” meet-up organised by our Area Head, Dr. CJ Meadows, as it included top industry participants from Consulting.
Tri-City Learning: One of my primary reasons to join the program was its tri-city model. Singapore, Sydney, and Dubai are truly distinct with no cultural similarities, and each of these places played a huge role in shaping my understanding of business. Even today, my tri-city learning is often the talking point at my workplace, and many of my colleagues and clients are eager to learn more about these stories.
Work-Life After SP Jain
With constant support from the career services team throughout the year, I secured a job in my preferred industry (Consulting) through campus placement and was placed two months before the end of the course. I am presently working as a consultant with a global management consulting firm with an established practice in the banking & financial services industry across regions such as the Middle East, APAC, Europe, East Asia, and India. Work-life has been a roller coaster with a learning curve moving upwards. I travelled extensively in the last few months and was fortunate to work for clients from different countries including Malaysia, Mongolia, Oman, UAE, Cyprus, and Switzerland. My seniors/mentors have been incredibly supportive and have been helping me to transform from a banker to a consultant. I moved from a branch banking environment to executing programs involving “Large Scale Digital Transformation” for banks. In addition to large projects, I also developed a Thought Leadership Whitepaper on digital banking with a global perspective that enhanced my knowledge tremendously.
How SP Jain Helped me Achieve my Goal
Each of the activities mentioned earlier helped me slowly move towards my goal of becoming a Consultant in the Banking & Financial Services Industry. My goal was clear – I wanted to build upon my existing experience, and hence, becoming a consultant in BFSI was my first preference. SP Jain starts this transformation from Day-1 (Orientation) itself, and step by step, we start working towards the goal. The session on ‘Real-World Skills’ by Dr. Richard Coller (Director – Professional Readiness Program) and the ‘Passport to Excellence’ sessions by Dr. Bhanu Ranjan have been beneficial for me personally. Industry projects and global learning activities in three global cities adds an entirely different perspective and widens the horizons of knowledge. The SP Jain Program Teams across campuses take full responsibility for the delivery quality of our education and ensure a seamless experience for us in all the cities. The student experience managers and life coaches at each campus also contribute tremendously to the overall well-being of the students.
In conclusion, I’d just like to share one thing – there is no ‘framework’ to win the Global Achievement Award. Once you decide to join SP Jain’s tri-city MBA, make sure that you actively participate in and enjoy every moment of this transformational journey. (‘Every’ moment – including both academic and non-academic).
About the Author: Nitin Kanaujiya
Nitin Kanaujiya (Global MBA Class of 2020) was the recipient of the reputed Global Achievement Award 2020 at SP Jain and is currently working as a Management Consultant at Cedar Management Consulting International LLC – a global consulting, research, and analytics group.
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