My MBA Experience@ SDA Bocconi Student Experience
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Careers360 brings ‘My MBA Experience’, where students of top B-schools share their campus life, their academic learning and their other experiences. They will also delve on the fact on how MBA has enriched their personal and professional experience.

Nagendra Singh Rawat is currently pursuing his MBA at SDA Bocconi Asia Centre, Mumbai. He shares his campus life, merits of doing an MBA, non-academic experience and his future career aspirations.

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After his Mechanical Engineering degree from IIT Roorkee, and working for 3 years, Nagendra felt a need to enhance and structure his experiential learning through a specialized business program, which made him take admission in SDA Bocconi. Besides having CAT scores as high as 99.07 percentile, Nagendra opted for this top B-school over IIMs, reason, the curriculum, global faculty and the International exchange programs at this campus.

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With an aim to start his own venture, Nagendra shares the challenges, learnings and career goals with Careers360.

Interview Excerpts

Q: You are an engineer from IIT Roorkee, with research experience in similar field. What made you pursue a management programme?

Nagendra: In my academic and professional career so far, I have worked on theoretical and experimental research projects, designed mechanical systems for infrastructure projects in the Middle East and consulted politicians during elections. After working as a professional for 3 years, I felt a need to enhance and structure my experiential learning through a specialized business program. 

Q: With a CAT percentile of 99.07, you could have easily got admission in any of the top IIMs. Why you didn’t opt for IIMs?

Nagendra: My score was competitive, but I wouldn’t say I would have got admission in “any” top IIM. Saying that, whatever options I had through my CAT/XAT score, PGPB at SDA Bocconi suited my requirements the most.

Q: What makes SDA Bocconi different? What made you select SDA over IIMs and other top PGDM institutes in India?

Nagendra: PGPB at SDA Bocconi is totally unconventional and relevant to globalized demands of the industry. It follows an acclaimed accredited curriculum. Majority of our faculty visits from Bocconi, Milan to Mumbai, to share with us their knowledge and global experience. 

Q: As an aspirant, what were the unique elements that you saw in MISB Business programme?

Nagendra: The Bocconi curriculum, global faculty and the International exchange programs make this program truly international, but at the same time we also have faculty from top-notch Indian management institutes such as all the top IIMs, to teach us. There are frequent guest speaker sessions from Indian and International executives who give us insights into the corporate world. A few days back we had an interactive session with Mr. Stefano Pelle, CEO-Piaggio Vehicles. This unique blend of International and Indian exposure gives us the best of both the worlds. 

Q: How are the study schedules at SDA? How balanced are the academic and non-academic activities? What is the ratio of the classroom and non-classroom academic activity?

Nagendra: Each course has 30 contact hours, which is taught over 2-3 weeks. Usually, 2 courses are run simultaneously. Classes are scheduled on weekdays usually from 9:30 am-5 pm. We have around 6-7 courses in a trimester.

Our dean, Dr. Himanshu Rai, has made it very clear that there can be no compromise on academics. So, all non-academic activities are scheduled either post classes or during weekends. To connect our academic learning with the industry there are frequent events organized by marketing club, finance club, consulting club and social club. For example, some of our teams are currently preparing to represent Bocconi at Global Impact Investment competition (MIINT), where top B-schools of the world such as Harvard, Wharton, Kellogg, Chicago Booth actively participate.

Our Student Placement Committee (Placecom) actively works with the management’s career development team to enhance corporate relations. Then there is our cultural club and sports club, which make us constantly realize that life can be fun too!

Q: What are the new things that you learned during the first two months at SDA?

Nagendra: Here I would like to stress on the non-academic learning that I have gained since joining MISB. The program helped me to express myself better, by helping to develop my soft skills. Lastly, earlier I was studying and working mainly with engineers, but at MISB I am getting a completely fresh perspective while working and interacting with not only engineers but with CA, CFAs (both level 1 and level 2) and people with quality backgrounds in Economics, commerce, statistics and even medical also. 

Q: What do you aspire to do after completion of your MBA?

Nagendra: Being an experimenter, I like to explore and learn new things. I see myself working across job roles and industries, in the field of management consulting. Later in life, I plan to start my own venture.

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