My Source Of Motivation
I was born and brought up in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. When I was in the 11th standard, I developed an interest in computers and technology. That’s when I decided that I would become a computer engineer. I pursued my B. Tech from KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, got placed at Accenture as a Software Analyst. I was working in different technologies – hardcore technical work. I was also very intrigued to learn the business side of it. As a part of my job, I collaborated with people from the US and UK which further intrigued me to go there, and observe how they work and live, their lifestyle, and experience their culture, etc. And that’s how I developed an inclination to pursue an MBA overseas.
And The Hunt Begins…
In 2015, I began hunting for universities in India that offered an MBA. After months of searching, and talking to people, alumni, and even professors from various B-schools, I learned about the Global Management Programme offered by SPJIMR. This programme felt ideal, and tailor-made for me.
The partnership with other B-schools in the US, UK, Germany, France and other parts of Europe was absolutely impressive. I also realised that pursuing an MBA from SPJIMR and then EBS, Germany was working out to be about 55-60% cheaper, as opposed to pursuing the same programme directly from EBS. Instead of paying around Euro 30K, I paid Euro 12K only. Secondly, since the first semester was conducted in Mumbai, peer-group learning was unparalleled. Sitting with a diverse group of people, from different educational backgrounds, and different cultures, the experience was enriching! At SPJIMR, we got a chance to also network with students enrolled in different programmes.
Another compelling reason for joining SPJIMR’s GMP is the coveted Dual Alumni Status it offers. This prestigious privilege, recognised by both SPJIMR and the esteemed partner university, grants unparalleled credibility in India. Embracing this unique blend of credentials sets us apart and paves the way for a graceful and refined career trajectory.
I Finally Got Through!!
Cracking the admissions process at SPJIMR was no easy task. However, one of the positives about SPJIMR was that they didn’t solely focus on CAT/GMAT scores; instead, they considered them as just one of the many elements in a candidate’s profile. They truly valued the candidate beyond their test scores, taking into account their extracurricular activities, new challenges undertaken, acquired hobbies, and involvement in CSR activities.
Thanks to this holistic approach, my profile got shortlisted for an interview at SPJIMR. Unlike traditional interviews where they mainly want to know about the individual, The panel prepared numerous problem statements to assess candidates on various aspects such as IQ, EQ, analytical skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities. They also wanted to assess how well the candidates handled crisis situations—whether they panicked or remained calm and composed.
And I got Through!!!!
Germany, The Netherlands, Or France?
After my first 6 months at SPJIMR, I had the option of going to its partner universities in Germany, the Netherlands, and France. After careful consideration, I chose Germany for several reasons: first, its economy was the strongest among the options; second, while learning a new language is always a challenge, I believed German would be easier for me compared to French. However, getting selected for this opportunity involved a thorough process.
SPJIMR’s GMP students were invited to participate in an interview with representatives from the partner universities, depending on their preferred destination. The selection process went beyond just examining the scores; the management sought to assess candidates on various criteria, such as adaptability to a foreign country, unique qualities, and the additional value they could bring to the table.
Once qualified, we were encouraged to prepare ourselves for the chosen country, considering factors like culture, climate, and, most importantly, the language. SPJIMR supported students in this preparation process during our 6 months on campus and we did nearly 200 hours of German Language.
The prospect of studying abroad through this programme was truly rewarding, and I’m grateful for the opportunities that SPJIMR provided to broaden my horizons and enhance my education.
A New Chapter In Germany
Settling in Germany proved to be quite a challenging yet enriching experience! Let me clarify that it wasn’t because Germany is a difficult country to live in, but because it was my first time moving to a different country altogether. The process of adjustment demanded a lot from me – from learning a new language and adapting to a different culture to navigating a different academic system. Embracing change with an open mind was essential, and I’m grateful that I wasn’t alone in this journey.
There were nine people from SPJIMR who joined EBS, which became a great support system. To facilitate networking and expand our social circle, my friends and I decided to live in a bustling area. While I put in significant effort to learn German, I was pleased to discover that EBS had an incredibly international environment with a diverse cohort. English served as the common language, making networking much easier for all of us.
This supportive environment, combined with the adventure of starting a new life without my family in unfamiliar territory, contributed immensely to my personal growth.
I believe that had I stayed back in India, I would have missed out on these valuable experiences. Despite the initial challenges, I cherish the growth and memories that this new chapter in Germany brought into my life.
Nothing Would Be Served On A Platter!
Unlike in India and Indian universities, where campus placements are a common occurrence, and almost everyone is recruited by a company after completing all semesters, securing an internship or a job can be quite challenging elsewhere. You are required to establish your own network, apply for numerous jobs, attend interviews, and crack them. Initially, I faced difficulties as well, going through multiple interviews and experiencing rejection emails for months.
However, I observed a pattern during the interview process. By using a strategic approach based on my observations, things started to look up. And eventually, one day I woke up with three “Congratulations!” emails. One from EY, one from HelloFresh, and one from a small gaming company in Mannheim.
Each job offer had its unique appeal, but I ultimately chose EY for several compelling reasons. Firstly, they have an outstanding reputation in the industry. Secondly, the opportunity for personal growth was apparent due to their global presence, diverse clientele, and a strong emphasis on excellence – all of which deeply resonated with me. Moreover, EY was offering a role that I was genuinely interested in, consulting in Finance.
Global Experience At Ernst & Young
I have had the opportunity to work with EY in three different countries: Germany, India, and Canada – each offering unique challenges and experiences. The clients I collaborated with in EY Germany had distinct characteristics compared to those in India and Canada, primarily because of cultural differences.
For instance, Germans placed a significant emphasis on clean and green energy, showcasing their advancements in technology and equipment. Whereas, at EY India, I encountered different struggles as the focus shifted towards developing a robust infrastructure, but physical and technological. In Canada, on the other hand, the work culture is much more relaxed. It’s not as competitive and life goes on, on a low gear.
In general, the work culture in Western countries is more individualistic. It is about getting the work done while maintaining the work-life balance. While the work culture in India is more engaging and slow, it was common to find a relaxed atmosphere, with colleagues bonding over a couple of beers during lunch and enjoying games like a pool within the office.
Overall, this global experience at EY has allowed me to appreciate and adapt to diverse work cultures, broadening my perspective and enriching my professional journey.
What Was My Why?
I fell in love with computers when I was still in school because very early in life I realised that by using computers I can build new things and new tools that can help me and the people around me. I love being creative and building new things brings me joy. This gravitated me towards a career in consulting. Every project in consulting brings new challenges and new opportunities to learn, build and grow.
And the desire to create something new and valuable has remained with me throughout my journey. So far I have developed three different products that were featured by YourStory and Product Hunt. Currently, I am working on a product called Fluxy AI.
What Is FluxyAI?
Having a curious mind is truly a blissful experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Embracing curiosity means constantly asking questions and being willing to challenge the status quo. It entails having the freedom to learn at one’s own pace while receiving personalised feedback and support. That’s precisely where FluxyAI comes into play.
With Fluxy, you can learn at your own pace, learn anything, and ask as many stupid questions as you like, 24×7, for FREE.
Connect with me on LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/gauravkverma/