With over 9 years of work experience in Information Technology industry, Amrita Acharya realized that along with technical knowhow, a professional also needs business concepts to develop a product. Amrita shifted base from Seattle, USA to pursue the PGPX programme at IIM Ahmedabad.
Amrita, who has done her Bachelor’s in Information Technology aims to learn about the core concepts of operations, leadership practices and strategic management. After completion of the programme, she aims to be in a position to conceptualize and lead the delivery of innovative technology products.
In this interview with Careers360, Amrita shares her experience of pursuing PGPX from IIM Ahmedabad, future plans and message for the aspirants.
Read the full interview below.
Careers360: When and how did you decide to pursue PGPX from IIM Ahmedabad?
Amrita: After having spent almost a decade in the Information Technology industry, I was confident that I was ready to make the shift from following products roadmaps to defining them. I wanted to utilize my passion and experience in software product development to predict and define new products. I realized that knowledge of technology alone is not enough to build a successful technology product. A successful product does demand knowledge of business concepts and practices. That is where an MBA plays an important role for me.
Careers360: Briefly share your erstwhile role prior to joining the programme.
Amrita: Prior to joining PGPX at IIM Ahmedabad, I was working as a technical consultant in Seattle, United States. I was part of a core team responsible for designing and building a unified travel distribution product to support the electronic travel distribution supply chain of a big travel and hospitality company.
Careers360: Which B-schools did you apply for and why did you select IIM Ahmedabad?
Amrita: I applied to Executive MBA programs at 2 schools – IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Bangalore. I was admitted to both the programs, but chose to join IIM Ahmedabad. I chose IIM Ahmedabad for its academic excellence and brand name.
Careers360: Please share in detail the application and final selection procedure at your B-School.
Amrita: I applied for the programme during the second round of applications. I was shortlisted for interview and appeared for an interview over Skype. The interview lasted for around 30 minutes. Once the interview started, the interviewers gave me a brief idea about the format of the interview, which was very helpful. Interview started with an extempore; I was asked to talk on a topic followed by some discussion on the same topic. I think the interviewers were trying to gauge my overall personality and my reasons behind doing a MBA. They were also trying to see if I will be able to handle the academic rigor, demanded by the programme.
Careers360: The programme at your B-School is one of the most expensive programmes. How have you financed the course?
Amrita: Major part of the courses expenses have been financed through an education loan, which was easy to get. The institute provides information about various public and private banks which offer loans for the PGPX programme.
Careers360: How do you spend a typical day at the campus?
Amrita: A typical day starts with classes in the morning which extend till early afternoon. After a lunch break, I start preparing for quizzes which might be scheduled for the evening. Else, I prepare for the next day’s classes. All the participants are divided into smaller groups for group studies and assignments. In the evening, we meet in groups and discuss various case-studies. Also, we also regularly invite esteemed leaders from different industries to the campus for a talk and interaction with the programme participants.
Careers360: How did you adjust to the campus life after so many years?
Amrita: There were mixed feelings of apprehension and excitement about re-entering student life after a gap of more than 10 years. But I think the course is designed in such a way that you are on boarded gradually. The induction segment at the beginning of the programme aids in the transition. By the end of the first term, you get used to the rigour of the course.
Careers360: What are the non-academic activities you are involved in?
Amrita: There are industry level clubs and the club members meet every week to exchange industry specific knowledge and trends. There are various other activities that happen throughout the year, and are open to everyone on the campus.
Careers360: How much industrial and international exposure does your programme provide you?
Amrita: We are required to be part of an international immersion programme that consists of 2 weeks of academics at an international institution. Industrial visits are arranged offering a peek into industry operations. Industrial visits are also part of the international immersion programme.
Careers360: What are the differences in teaching method applied by guest lectures delivered by academicians and industry practitioners? Please share the best elements from both.
Amrita: Most of what we learn at IIMA is through real world cases and the professors are not really teaching you in the classical sense but pushing you to think like a leader and make decisions. Then the practitioners come in and complement that by sharing their own experiences.
Careers360: How much is the rigour at the 1 year full time Executive MBA programme in comparison to the 2 year regular MBA?
Amrita: The programme is quite rigorous and requires more than 5 hours of self/group study in addition to the class hours, which are usually 3-4 hours per day. It is no less than a regular MBA and covers more than 300 case studies.
Careers360: According to you, what is the best aspect of your programme and campus?
Amrita: The programme is more rigorous than I thought but there is an incredible energy around which fuels you. The campus is alive and bustling with students from various programmes, round the clock. The campus offers all basic facilities that one would need. My 3-year-old daughter stays with me on the campus and I rarely have to go out for anything.
Careers360: Does your programme offer placement? Are you willing to participate in the placement process or plan to join your previous organization?
Amrita: Yes, the programme offers placement opportunities to all its participants. I will definitely make use of this opportunity to find the desired role in an organization. The institute also encourages entrepreneurship and offers a placement holiday for aspiring entrepreneurs. I think this is a very unique opportunity that IIMA provides to the participants.
Careers360: What are your expectations from the programme? How would you like to implicate the learning after completing the programme?
Amrita: I believe this one year at IIMA, will equip me with the core concepts of business, its operational basics, the leadership practices and strategic management, all of which are essential in the making of a business leader. I am passionate about information technology and its impact across business domains. After completion of the programme, I would like be in a position to conceptualize and lead the delivery of innovative technology products.
Careers360: What is your advice to the aspirants of Executive MBA?
Amrita: It is very important to have clarity about why you want to do a MBA, especially after several years of professional experience. This will help you throughout the process, right from choosing the right MBA program to framing the application and eventually landing up with your dream job.
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Dear Akshat, CAT is exclusively conducted by the IIMs. So the selection for admission to any of the 20 IIMs is through CAT exam. Unfortunately no other score except for CAT score is accepted for IIM Ahmedabad. You can check their selection process at:
As you have mentioned that you belong to SC category, you should have a minimum of 60 percent and above to make it into any of the above mentioned colleges. Therefore make sure to get this percent. The course that you have already persued might not add up as your advantage since it is not related to the field you are applying.
The ideal profile for getting a call from holy trinity ABC is 90+ in 10th and 12th and 85+ in graduation and 1.5 years of work experience. After this profile
will fetch you a call from one of ABC and
will definitely get you a call from ABC and FMS also.
However, generally students having graduation from BCOM/ECONOMICS fields can get a call at 75% also as the IIMs give preference for candidates having non engineer background.
Hope this helps. Thank You.
According to the official criteria given by the IIMs, the minimum graduation percentage required is 50% for General category and 45% for reserved category. So, strictly on the basis of that, you'll be eligible. However,satisfying the eligibility criteria is not a sure-shot assurance for admission. IIM A,B,C especially have a very high standard when it comes to taking admissions. So, try to keep your percentile above 97 and good luck.
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