In this Executive MBA student interview with Ishan Channa of IIM Ahmedabad PGPX 2017 shares that the biggest take away from the programme is that it enables him to connect the dots and come up with unique solutions. He aims to switch his career to corporate finance made him join the 1 year programme at the apex institute.
Prior to joining the programme, Ishan was working for his own venture. He also has experience as Commercial Manager in companies like ITC and Kellogg’s. He also shares his experience of pursuing the programme which follows a busy and rigorous schedule, yet he finds them fulfilling owing to the diverse peer interaction, exposure and pedagogy.
Read the full interview below.
Careers360: Why did you decide to pursue Executive MBA?
Ishan: Having acquired experience in the Commercial and Accounting domain at some of the top corporate houses I wanted to move to a role in corporate finance keeping my long term career goals in mind. As organisations have evolved, involvement in formulating and implementing strategy has become a key role of the modern finance function which requires a thorough understanding of all aspects of a business. An MBA programme will help me build a foundation on which I can enhance my skills and begin a journey to transform from an accounting professional to a complete business manager.
Careers360: What was your role in your erstwhile organization?
Ishan: Before joining PGPX, I was working for a venture that I had co-founded with a college friend of mine. The firm provides finance related and CFO services to start-ups and new businesses. I have also worked as Factory Commercial Manager for companies such ITC and Kellogg’s in the past.
Careers360: Which other B-schools did you apply for and why did you select IIM Ahmedabad?
Ishan: I had applied to IIM–A, IIM–B and ISB. IIM-A was my first choice at the outset given the history of the institute, also considering my experience I felt that it would be the best option for me.
Careers360: Please share your application and final selection procedure at IIM Ahmedabad in detail.
Ishan: The initial application consisted of the applicants’ CV i.e. academic and work experience details. The application together with GMAT scores was used for shortlisting candidates. Shortlisted candidates had to write essays which together with the interview (panel) were used for offering the admission.
Careers360: How have you financed the programme?
Ishan: I have taken a loan to finance the programme. The PGPX is the only MBA programme in India for which a loan of Rs. 30 lakh is available without any collateral.
Careers360: What is a typical day in your life as an IIM A PGPX student?
Ishan: The schedule is extremely rigorous. We begin our day with classes at 8.45 am. After the classes end at about 1.10 pm we meet and plan out the rest of the day with our Syndicate (groups that we work in) mates. This is followed by self-study before we meet up to discuss cases for the next day. We invariably work with our syndicates till the early hours in the morning (2-3 amâ¦sometimes even later).
Careers360: How much industrial and international exposure do you get from the programme?
Ishan: Industry interaction is a regular feature; specifically we have the Speaker Series, Connexions and other events. Apart from these specific PGPX events there are a number of IIM-A events that facilitate industry interaction and also interaction with participants from other programmes at IIM-A. As a part of the programme all students go through an International Immersion Programme which is a 2 week visit to a foreign university where students have an opportunity to learn about the business environment of another country.
Careers360: What different is the teaching methodology of industry practioners’ guest lectures delivered and academicians?
Ishan: All sessions are highly interactive. The lectures are discussion centric and help students understand diverse points of view to arrive at a decision and are based on the case pedagogy.
Careers360: How rigourous is the Executive MBA programme in comparison to the 2 year regular MBA?
Ishan: The programme is extremely rigorous given that there is only a year. It is not a one year MBA, rather a 2 year MBA packed into one year.
Careers360: What is the best aspect of your programme and campus?
Ishan: The faculty and the peer learning are probably the two best aspects of this programme. The campus is vibrant and always alive, whether you go to grab a cup of coffee at 2.00 in the morning or play a game of tennis at 6.00. As one of our professors put it “There is something in the air of this campus that adds to the learning. This can only be experienced when you come and stay here.”
Careers360: Are you willing to participate in the placement process or plan to join your previous organization?
Ishan: Yes, I do intend to participate in the placement process.
Careers360: How would you like to implicate the learning after completing the programme?
Ishan: The programme is a get ready for top management programme and helps develop leadership skills. The rigour of classroom discussion, interaction with peers and the large number of business cases that are discussed help develop a broader and structured thinking to solve business problems in an uncertain and dynamic environment. I believe that this learning that enables you to connect the dots and come up with unique solutions is the biggest take away from the programme. Apart from this the interactions with your peer group help you learn the skill of convincing people, putting across a point of view backed by logical reasoning and altering your own point of view which are critical attributes of a successful business manager.
Careers360: What is your advice to the aspirants of this programme?
Ishan: It is critical that aspirants are clear about their reasons for pursuing an MBA and what they expect to gain out of it. Also I would tell all participants to evaluate their choices carefully keeping their objectives in mind.
Executive MBA Student InterviewsStay tuned to bschool.careers360.com for more Executive MBA student interviews.
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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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