Chandigarh, Punjab, India
Full-time with Co-op
Chitkara University (Computer Science)
Manager, Control Design & Remediation COE, Operational Resilience, Personal & Commercial Banking, RBC
Class of 2019
The DeGroote community and brand is constantly evolving, and I constantly feel that sense of community in the industry when I approach alumni or recruiters.
Tell us about your journey. What were you doing prior to pursuing an MBA? Why did you choose to pursue your MBA, and why at DeGroote?
I worked as a Senior Systems Engineer with a reputed Information Technology firm in India for four years post my Computer Science Engineering. At the end of four years, I was due for a promotion and I eventually realized that I have reached a point in time where it was now or never for a Master’s in Business Administration. So, I decided to take a step back and invest my time into gaining global exposure and widening my horizons. Secondly, I did not want to be siloed into just one aspect of business i.e. programming. In fact, I wanted to become versatile in all other aspects of business like marketing, strategy, finance, accounting, sales, and supply chain – what better course than an MBA to quench this curiosity!
Thirdly, I was certain on pursuing my MBA from a Country which would provide me with a global experience and international exposure – what better country than Canada?! Canada is renowned for its diverse, multicultural and most importantly “welcoming” nature. This really enticed me and I have never looked backed since.
I chose DeGroote, McMaster over the other competitive MBA institutions that I got my admit from, because of the DeGroote brand, sense of community, School values and the quality of programs that they offer (especially the MBA co-op program). As an international student, it is not easy to enter a totally new and unfamiliar territory and shine through. But, the co-op program provides us three amazing work opportunities that enable us (especially international students) to gain experience and become a part of the Canadian work culture before actually stepping foot into the industry. It also gives a terrific opportunity to try out different industries, roles and career paths before settling into one. Overall, being a part of the MBA program builds awareness around what career opportunities one might be interested in and most importantly the career opportunities that probably might not be a good fit for them. Not to forget the inevitable networking connections that one builds amongst classmates, guest speakers, industry and staff which one can leverage.
Tell us a little bit about your experience at DeGroote. What associations or activities were you part of? What did you enjoy at the School?
1. I was an elected member of the DeGroote MBA Association. The election process was quite interesting and helped me build a lot of connections in the school. My MBAA executive title was the Operations Director and my responsibilities included coordinating the MBAA executive election process, managing orders and sale of DeGroote business cards, graduation rings and other branded merchandise and a lot more. I loved being the student representative and best presenting student interests in front of the admin, and addressing student issues to the best of my capability.
I was also an international student ambassador and was constantly in touch with new incoming international students via LinkedIn, emails, texts, whatsapp groups and calls. I tried my best to answer their queries and help them have a smooth transition into the program and into a new country all together. This gave me the satisfaction of giving back to the student community- giving the incoming students the confidence and assurance that there are alumni here to help them settle in, guide them and ensure a smooth transition, makes my MBA experience worth-while.
2. At DeGroote I enjoyed the respect and importance towards diversity in terms of life experiences, professional backgrounds and culture. The student interactions and group work enhanced my team work skills and equipped me with the ability to work with all kinds of individuals catering to all types of situations.
In terms of academics, day-to-day the school provided us a safe environment to test out our presentation skills and networking skills and most importantly get the constant feedback to enhance our skills. The school taught me to achieve results in a team environment in an efficient and respectful manner. The group work in this program were an excellent simulation of real life experiences that one is about to have post graduation.
Alongside my MBAA executive duties, I tried my best to attend all exciting events hosted by clubs and student interest groups. These events not only brought in knowledge sessions and current industry exposure to the table, but also excellent networking opportunities to expand my network to Canada’s top employers like Deloitte, RBC, Scotiabank, KPMG, CIBC and many more.
How did your experience at DeGroote prepare you for your current career?
DeGroote has been a constant source of knowledge and learning from day one. I was introduced to the concept of networking which was a very important contributing factor to getting this job at RBC. Learning hard skills in analytics (excel), presentation (power point), finance, accounting, project management as well as soft skills like leadership and negotiation serve as a simulation for what’s to come in the real world. Multitude of class presentations throughout the program have given me confidence to present my work in front of the senior leadership across the country at RBC. Also, participating in case competitions, both within school and representing DeGroote in other schools, have honed my problem solving and analytic skills which come in handy everyday at my job at RBC.
In what ways have you grown since you started the program?
Since I started the program I have grown in all three dimensions – personal, academic and professional.
Personal growth- I have gained confidence in my presentation skills. The concept of networking was alien to me before I came to Canada- this program has played a pivotal role in building my networking skills. The program has helped me with personality development and enhanced my communication skills.
In terms of academics, I think it is very important to be aware of all the arenas of business even if you are not planning to specialize in one. With two of my co-ops in the banking industry I realized that even having an overview and awareness of different concepts helped me a great deal on the job.
Professional growth – The program provided exposure to the Canadian work culture, working in groups, people skills and networking skills. Every day is a growing and learning experience whether its from the peers, professors or industry professionals.
Any final thoughts?
We hear it almost every day at DeGroote- “MBA is what you make of it.” And DeGroote has really provided the platform to make the best out of my 28 months.
The co-op program, along with the training and networking opportunities provided by school, supports a student in such a way that they feel confident to step into the workforce being well aware of what they want. My work experiences have been varied – I did procurement with Telus, Global business Payments with Scotiabank and now Private Banking – Credit Structures with RBC. I cannot even imagine where else can I get such vast variety of experiences and boast about working with such esteemed employers and such diverse connections.
The DeGroote brand is constantly growing and establishing a name in the industry. The DeGroote community and brand is constantly evolving, and I constantly feel that sense of community in the industry when I approach alumni or recruiters.
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