B-School Director Interview:  We assess MBA aspirants on their confidence and commitment level, Dr. Dayanand Pandey, Director, UPES CoMES
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UPES College of Management & Economics Studies (CoMES) Director Dr. Dayanand Pandey talks about industry focused programmes offered by the institute. In this interview with Careers360, Dr. Pandey discusses about the differentiating factors of programmes, and qualities looked for in prospective students of UPES Dehradun.

Dr. Pandey also shares the placement trends and how the institute integrates with industry to make the curriculum in sync with the demands of the market. Read the detailed interview of Dr. Pandey below.


Careers360: What are the USPs of the management programmes offered by UPES?

Dr. Pandey: The biggest USP of our management programs is that these are domain specific programs and strongly linked to industry requirements. College of Management & Economics Studies (CoMES) of UPES is driven by academic and non-academic activities as we believe that students can’t be holistically groomed in a classroom environment. We do not focus only on knowledge but equal emphasis is given on developing overall personality and soft skills without compromising on industry interface.


That is the reason placements of our management students is over 90 per cent in companies of repute both in India and internationally.


Careers360: According to you, who are the right candidates to pursue BBA and MBA programmes with the specialisations offered by UPES?

Dr. Pandey: For our BBA programmes, any student who is a 10+2 is eligible to apply. There are some BBA programmes like Auto Marketing or Financial Analysis & Services where a student with science background or commerce background can do much better. Similarly, graduates with engineering background find it comfortable when they pursue our specialised MBAs like MBA in Power Management, Urban Infrastructure or Energy Trading. However, a particular education stream is not an eligibility criteria from our end. In fact, we have seen exceptions as well in terms of students with non-related education stream doing well in their chosen specialisations.


Careers360: How important it is to have work experience for the applicants?

Dr. Pandey: Any student who is aspiring to pursue an MBA work experience can add tremendous value but it is not a pre-requisite. We have seen that some corporate experience brings relevant perspective and they try to make the most of their curriculum, faculty, academic and non-academic activities. Fresh graduates take some time to settle down and work harder. However, it completely depends on an individual as there are always exceptions and that’s why prior work experience is not an eligibility criteria to apply for an MBA at UPES.


Careers360: UPES CoMES conduct UPES-MET for admission to MBA programmes. What are the factors that are tested across the sections?

Dr. Pandey: In UPES-MET, a candidate’s numerical ability, written communication skills, comprehension and command over English language, reasoning and aptitude is tested. Numerical ability means how well a student can read data and graphic representations to derive insights. It is extremely important because as managers they have to go through a lot of reports, understand data, derive insights and take high-stake decisions.  A student’s verbal communication skills and other soft skills are tested during group discussion and personal interviews. Once students join UPES we further hone these skills besides providing them sector specific knowledge.


Careers360: Apart from the performance in the entrance test, what are the other factors which you assess and what qualities do you look for in the prospective students?

Dr. Pandey: We assess MBA aspirants on their confidence and commitment level also as MBA programmes are diversified and students have to go through 30 to 40 different subjects in two years. Management skills and how well a student works in a team while respecting team ethos are also important.


Careers360: How has been the application trend for the BBA and MBA programmes over the past few years? Please share data if available.

Dr. Pandey: Application trend for BBA and MBA programmes has been positive especially for specialised programmes as both students and recruiters see a lot of value in these programs. Overall, these are professional courses and hence are related to the health of the economy and job market. In future, as primary sector gets more organised there will be increased demand for professional management graduates. Job structures and profiles may be changing with automation, better machines etc. but nothing can replace a professionally qualified, well-skilled human resource.


Careers360: Please share the placement trends in terms of the top recruiting sector, domain, companies and average salary offered for the 2017 batch?

Dr. Pandey: Last year 96 per cent of our eligible MBA students and 100 per cent of our BBA students were placed and we are aiming similar numbers this year as well. All our domain specific MBAs are doing well that includes Aviation Management, Energy Trading, Business Analytics, Infrastructure Management, International Business Management, Logistics & Supply Chain Management, Oil & Gas Management, Port & Shipping Management and Power Management.


If an education institution is providing good academic infrastructure and grooming different aspects of an individual I don’t think finding a right job will be a problem. Organisations need employees who are good in hard skills (domain knowledge, technical knowledge) and soft skills (communication, team building, leadership etc.)


Careers360: What are your plans for industry integration?

Dr. Pandey: College of Management & Economics Studies (CoMES) of UPES already has a robust industry integration programme under which we have many MoUs and agreements with leading organisations and industry bodies like CIMA and ACCEA. Our flagship program MBA (International Business) is affiliated with NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) through its Sector Skill Council, AMHSSC. The department shall train and develop the skills of the selected students to be “Certified Export Manager” by the Government of India. This will be an added certification for the MBA IB students once they qualify the assessment examination to be conducted by NSDC. It will help the students get premium jobs in the exports/imports sector not only within the country but also globally as this certification is acceptable world over.


Careers360: How often do you update the MBA and BBA curriculum? Do stakeholders from the industry play any role in curriculum development?

Dr. Pandey: We update the curriculum on yearly basis. Minor changes happen every year and major changes are made every three years. All updates in curriculum happen as per Consultative Committee Meetings where we bring industry and academic experts to update our courses. 


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