Uncovering the Secret of Success in the Corporate Sector: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

Uncovering the Secret of Success in the Corporate Sector: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr ASHISH JAIN

VICE PRESIDENT – RIGHT MANAGEMENT, INDIA

We often take our freedom on social media for granted. We love to show off our brand new purchases, check-in at some of the finest bars and pubs in town, share an insane number of selfies and also express our religious and political views before a large audience. We often forget that we are, in fact, being watched and judged. Our current employers, our prospective employers, nearly everyone who scrolls by our posts builds up an opinion about us.

7th July 2018: It was a bright Saturday morning. The Ninjas –PGPM batch of 2018-19, at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon – were once again decked up in their sharp suits, armed with notepads, pens and laptops, to attend a talk delivered by Mr. Ashish Jain, Vice President of Right Management, India, and his colleagues, Shivpriya G and Ishana Singh. After weeks of exams, project submissions and assignments, an interactive industry engagement event was well overdue. The Ninjas were in for a fruitful learning experience from people who have made the most out of their personal experiences and grown immensely in their professional lives.

Right Management India: Right Management is one of the leading talent development and career management firms in the world. Established in Philadelphia, USA, in 1980, the company has grown by leaps and bounds by establishing its presence in the US, UK, Canada, China and India. It acquired People Tech in 1996 and Coutts Consulting in 2002. It now is a leading brand under Milwaukee-based Manpower Group, one of the largest Fortune 500 staffing firms in the world. Manpower Group CEO Jonas Prising holds a seat at the World Economic Forum. Right Management has participated in the VivaTech Convention, which is a major platform dedicated to technological innovations, where many promising start-ups also come forward to showcase their offerings. The firm is also actively involved in leveraging Artificial Intelligence to ease the hiring process for corporates.

Ashish Jain: Ashish Jain is an alumnus of Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad. An MBA specialized in Human Resources and Marketing, Ashish has also completed the HBX CORe Credential of Readiness certification from Harvard Business School. He began his managerial career as a consultant with Positive Moves Consulting in 2008, and worked with the firm until he joined Right Management India in 2010. He started off as a consultant and has worked his way up to the post of Vice President in a matter of 8 years and is now spearheading various digital initiatives in the firm, bringing Artificial Intelligence to the field of talent acquisition and hiring.

Social Media – A Deal-Maker or Breaker: Ashish Jain and his colleagues took the Ninjas through a 90-minutes journey to show them how the effective use of social media, or the lack of it, can make or break a person’s career or a business. Quoting numerous examples from their personal lives and from around the world, they delivered the importance of leveraging social networking to connect with people in a manner that it opens up new pathways towards fruitful career opportunities.

Social networking sites have their own beauty as well as pitfalls. They give each person a platform to interact with people spread across the globe, to present their talents and achievements before all of their friends, to bask in the glory of their latest acquisitions of property or automobiles or to voice their opinions regarding various socio-political affairs. And this is exactly where we need to tread carefully. Suddenly an obsession to rant on political or religious matters, to post an album full of selfies or boast about one’s capacity to consume alcoholic beverages no longer seem to be one of the best things to do on social media. Recruiters increasingly screen candidates on the basis of their social media footprint to analyze their personality and determine if they are fit to be a part of their organization.

The Big Five Personality Traits – Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism (OCEAN) – form the parameters on which recruiters are beginning to gauge a candidate’s potential to adhere to the organization’s culture, uphold its values and attain its goals. These traits can be measured by conducting personality tests. But sometimes, going through a person’s social media footprint, itself, gives a brief idea about his or her traits. The opinions posted by a person, his or her comments and reactions to contrasting views from others, language, grammar and vocabulary, relevance and importance of the subject in question, and many such factors paint a near-clear picture of how that person might behave in a corporate environment. Sharing posts related to one’s career aspirations and passions, posting relevant and sensible comments on related posts, following influential persons and thought leaders, having a reasonable balance between followers and followed users, following the right people at the right time and steering clear of controversial topics can, on the other hand, help one bag the dream job he or she is looking for.

Social media has become a powerful tool for self-expression and sharing feedback. Corporates are becoming more and more cautious about their interactions with customers, and they have to. We live in an era where a single tweet or a Facebook post from a highly dissatisfied customer can cause a company to lose customers and also cause its share prices to dip considerably. In such an era, a company cannot afford to be indifferent to its customer’s needs and complaints.

In Conclusion: What started as a tool to connect with people, socialize and meet like-minded people has now turned into a major contributor in myriads of aspects of the corporate world. Let us make wise use of this free-of-cost utility to enrich our lives and form beneficial connections. Just like we have learnt to isolate our personal lives from our professional lives, let us also learn to choose among our choices of social networking tools to showcase our personal lives, our hobbies and aspirations, our career progression and capabilities, each in its own best way. As rightfully stated by Ashish, 65% of talent acquisitions take place through referrals. And referrals are created through strong connections with the right people over the right channels. Ashish Jain and his colleagues from Right Management have shown the Ninjas a new perspective towards social media which the Ninjas are keen on following diligently going forward.

Author: Bruno Nellissery

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

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Life @ Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

Life @ Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

“Memories are the Timeless Treasures of the Heart….”

The Initiation

It seems as if it was just yesterday when I received an offer letter from Great Lakes and now, in just a blink of an eye, this beautiful journey has come to an end. The Gladiators (PGPM 2017-18 batch) are now well equipped with paramount insights and knowledge to enter the corporate life again with a new and improved outlook. I remember the day when I anxiously stepped into the campus for the first time, feeling like a pond fish that has crossed rivers to land up in a mighty ocean, wondering how I will adjust to this new environment.

Offsite – Rishikesh

The thought of living in a hostel at an entirely alien place with 120 unfamiliar faces gave me jitters. But the ice-breaking offsite trip to Rishikesh, organized by the institute along with Prof. S.K. Palhan, completely erased all my inhibitions. In a matter of just three days, the entire batch of 120 strangers formed an indestructible bond of friendship. All due credits to white water rafting, rappelling and various other team building exercises of which we all were a part of during our trip.

The Fabulous Faculty

Entering a classroom after working for 3+ years was a grilling experience, to say the least, but with less than 365 days on our Great Lakes calendar, there was no rest for the wicked. And thankfully, the faculty did a brilliant job at educating us with their extremely innovative and interactive teaching methods and techniques.

From Professor Umashankar’s quirky and witty marketing classes to learning the concepts of balance sheets and P&L statements with Dr Preeti, the months just flew by. Dr Poornima made the HR classes fascinating by adding a gaming element with lifelines and it was mandatory to go through pre-reads before entering Dr Jones’ classes which coupled with countless other assignments and projects felt exhausting at that time but helped grasp the key concepts in an effortless manner.

Lectures

Being from a software development background, I never imagined I’ll have anything to do with economics in my entire life but our esteemed Dr VP Singh made its concepts clear as a crystal by helping us create a small start-up and run the same in college for 20 days. The exercise turned the entire campus into a carnival. Everyone had their businesses up and running ranging from serving Nimbu-Pani and Bhel-Puri to Gaming zones and grocery delivery units. Later on, we analysed the revenue generated, break-even points etc.

Walking with the Giants

There was more than just classroom learning to Great Lakes as the industry interactions and CXO talks kept us busy throughout the weekends as well. People with extensive industry experience visited the campus and a lot of synergy took place. Being in the same room and interacting with some of the most celebrated names of the corporate world was like a dream come true for us.

Mr Pramod Sadarjoshi – Senior Director, HCM Strategy & Transformation, Asia- Pacific, ORACLE

Though inside the campus but never separated from the business world, we got ample opportunities to discuss the latest upcoming technologies and changes in the global framework of organizations. We participated in various conclaves related to SMAC, Human Resource, Marketing, operations and Finance where we had panel discussions among CXOs of different organizations to get an in-depth knowledge of the industry.

Committees, Clubs & Chaos

During the committee interviews, the entire campus was in chaos. We were all trying to find our strengths and decide where we fit in. Whether we’ll be a good fit for guiding prospective students for admissions or strengthening the brand of our institute? Whether organizing events was our cup of tea or assisting the institute with placements?

Admissions and BPR Committee

With a lot of preparation and cracking a grilling interview, I ended up in the Admissions and BPR committee. I was actively involved in the branding of the institute, writing blogs, handling the social media channels, volunteering for the admission process, answering queries of prospective students on Quora, guiding new admits under the flagship of Buddy Program and travelling to different locations for the same. This has given me a lot of exposure, and today, I am a completely changed and confident personality altogether.

Annual Events

We, as students, were responsible for organizing the events like TEDx, Crest (annual management fest), Sapience (annual management conclave), Foundation Day, Alumni Meet, and Dr Bala’s Birthday etc. Moreover, as a part of the Great lakes family, we also celebrated all the festivals from Onam, Lohri and Ganesh Chaturthi to Independence Day, Christmas and Holi with the same zeal and enthusiasm. Moreover, there were DJ nights, Fresher’s party, Halloween and a lot more parties which were organized to perfection by our student council.

TEDx GLIM Gurgaon

The Endgame

Lastly, not to forget, the point we all were here for – The Placement Process. The CCS team along with Placecom put in a lot of efforts in terms of interview preparation, GDs, resume review etc. Personal effectiveness sessions were conducted and mentors were allocated to students to have a smooth process. The proud feeling of getting placed and celebrating the placements of our friends was priceless.

This journey has been fantabulous and completely phenomenal amidst sleepless nights, group projects, assignments, exams, co-curricular activities and much more. The guidance and mentorship provided by faculty members and the staff paved our way for a better tomorrow. All of us have made friends, who will last a lifetime. The beautiful impressions will stay in our hearts forever. I would sum up this beautiful journey by saying,

“I’m really gonna miss this place, I am gonna miss my college days”

 

Author: Sakshi Khurana

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Random B-School Musings

Random B-School Musings

Even as term 4 for PGPM 2018 is underway, it seems like yesterday when I entered the campus of Great lakes institute of management, Gurgaon. I think it will be fair for me to say that by now our learning curve has grown exponentially (I was actually looking for an even more superlative word) for having studied twenty two courses in these four and a half months. In the aftermath, however, we have sixteen ‘not so frequently opened’ yet bulky pillow sized books for our perusal (I honestly don’t know when and how these will actually be used.)

But as I recount the seemingly short experience here, I struggle to describe how awesome this journey is panning out to be. I am unable to elucidate that feeling where, on a Friday night – 11:53 PM to be exact – you are still in the Academic block and ceaselessly trying not to miss the midnight deadline for a class group project and at the same time keeping your subconscious mind alert about the pre-reads you have for next day’s schedule that has an early morning lecture on Statistical methods for decision making and Financial accounting.

TGIF? Nah, not for a B-schools student. (Now I know why corporates crave for Fridays)

But all this seems lame and off-centre without the most important ingredient in this recipe for what I call the ‘B-school Khichdi’ – “The almost ready future Manager”.  Yes, the My B-school herd has been the most entertaining and the most Heteroscedastic (Prof. Bharadwaj, please forgive me for the usage) bunch of individuals. Ok, a quick recap – Heteroscedasticity refers to the circumstance in which the variability of a variable is unequal across the range of values of a second variable that predicts it. Thank me later.

These people have made life interesting and I would be irreverent if I don’t mention the kind of people I have encountered here. So, in no particular order, let me first introduce you to:

  • The Future CEO. No, the batch’s current CEO. PGPM batch of 2018 knows who that is. This person is extremely good at everything without being the best at anything. We all know the phrase – “Jack of all trades and Mas…” (Just kidding. Or am I?) Talking of class participation, this person speaks regularly and intelligently in class without ever saying anything remotely controversial. Diplomacy is the word!
  • Ok sorry. I am getting ahead of myself – In economic theory, and also in lay man’s opinion, there is a notion that whatever goods and services are provided, they must be paid for by someone – that is, you don’t get something for nothing. As Prof. Himadri would say, “There ain’t no such thing as free lunch”. Or as I abbreviate it, Tanstafl.
    But we sure have “Free- wait for it-loaders”. These are the clever ones. They know the knack of delegating responsibility without giving the slightest notion that part of the onus is on them too. But we all sure have a lot of things to learn.
  • Moving on, we have the ‘Friend-setters’ who have continued their trendsetting attitude of being jovial and cordial with everyone. But there are also people from the exact bipolar end.
  • The Solitary Reaper – No, that is too optimistic a phrase for this person who thinks the world is an illusion and human interaction is a mystery. William Wordsworth would never want me to tag such a person with his beautifully written metaphor of a nightingale. The lone wolf would be a suitable phrase, yes. But who knows. Although termed aloof, they are the fiercest of friends and they have their own little world. They are focussed with full intent on one goal. Ok, too much philosophy. Apologies.

By the way, this ‘One goal’ theory brings me to the most important subject of discussion that any B-school has to offer – Placements.

Needless to say, even as I am drafting this, the Pre-Placement preparation scenario is in full swing and it never ceases to give jitters as soon as a JD from a firm that is offering jobs is released. But the most dominant part of this preparation has to be the “Group discussion” prep and it is hilarious at times.

I hope the PlaceComm doesn’t throw me as an outcast when I talk about the observations I have made in these sessions. The observations are actually on the participants. So I think I am safe.

Every group discussion (I’ve observed) has these. And I am one among them (so much for modesty). Here’s a broad categorization of the four typical characters I have encountered in GDs so far:

  • The “Know it all” sort – The genuinely, just, ridiculously smart person of the batch who often brings up unusual and weird (yet relevant) opinions on the table during a discussion. This person sure has a way of getting noticed, for the right reasons. Sadly, all we can do is look up to him/her.
  • The “I agree with you” sort – Always finishes the other person’s sentences and adds the aforementioned phrase. Seldom has unique points but vehemently participates nonetheless.
  • The “Search engine optimist” – This person has gone through that One link on the internet (Invariably the first link that pops up on a basic google search. No matter how remotely irrelevant the current topic of discussion is, this genius will try to bring in some fact or figure from that One link
  • The “Silencer” – The loudest noise this person makes is from his pen when he is scribbling stuff during the initial two minutes that are given to gather ones thoughts. This person has all the right points to discuss, but fails to bring them out in speech. Definitely noticeable when the group discussion is a fish market.

There are innumerable memories that are etched on our minds since the past four and a half months and I am sure a lot more is in store for us as we head on to the placement season with vigour and zeal.

Godspeed!

Author: Samuel Johnson

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

365 Days @ Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

Should I start off like any other “typical” narration about “The MBA/PGPM Life” or is there another way? In fact, that is what I learnt first here at Great Lakes. There is another way. All you need to do is stop “running” and enjoy the view because the picture you’ve wanted to paint all along is turning out to be better than expected.

There were obvious apprehensions prior to the dawn of the program, leaving the professional world as we know it in hope of embarking on much challenging journeys in life through unchartered waters. Yes, I know that feeling because I was reading up on schools like you are right now. That feeling will soon be put to rest once you realize that the friends you make here are going to last a lifetime.

The “Ice-breaker” trip we had to Rishikesh drove home the realization that of all of us “are in this together” and made us work that way from that day on. Win or lose, we’d do it together (especially the white water rafting). And, either way we would end up indulging in multiple rounds of “bunta juices: A delicacy of the location”.

The Outbound Trip

The Outbound Trip

I’m writing this post at the very end of my program here at Great Lakes. Well, almost. And looking back I really can’t understand how the time has flown by. Yes, there have been a ton (quite literally) of trainings, classes, exams, late night study sessions, projects, more projects, and the always entertaining group assignments. Watch out! This is when the person you would’ve killed a thousand times over in your mind becomes a friend and you realize that you were judgmental. To anyone in any B-school past / present saying otherwise, trust me they’re trying really hard to be cool. To all the B-school grads that’re reading this, am I right? Or am I right?

Assignments & Fun

Great Lakes, Gurgaon is known for two things in particular. First, we are the front runners in having in our curriculum two of the fastest growing industries in India, Energy and Big Data & Analytics. Big Data & Analytics isn’t just a mammoth sized file with a gazillion numbers but indeed is a thinking business. “Lateral thinking” methodologies are put to the test and all Great Lakers are Analytics minors at Gurgaon. Second thing Great Lakes is known for is the extraordinary faculty- Great Lakes has spared no measures in reeling in the best of teachers who not only cater to other premier schools in India but abroad as well. Having a global perspective of learning has only strengthened the meaning of our motto “Global mindset. Indian roots”.

While I could give a run-down of the academic portion, projects and lecturers of the program it’s also important to describe other critical aspects of the program and that is the out of class experiences that are critical to our development as business leaders in a culturally diverse world. Great Lakes, Gurgaon has a lot (And I mean “A LOT”) of Industrial speakers who take the time out from their busy schedules and interact with the student. Imagine meeting and interacting with HR head of Ikea, the founder of Shopclues and the former MD of Wrigleys within a week of you being in the campus! These interactions are important as they are a link between what we learn in class and what the business world really expects from us. While our “live-projects” and Empirical research projects also gives us such insights, the sheer quantum of knowledge that is shared in these sessions can be compared to none. Uncle Bala calls it “Experiential Learning and insights”. We couldn’t agree more.

Mr. Sankar Ramamurthy, Executive Director - PwC

I was among the lucky three to visit the Chennai campus for three days. Although both campuses are identical in academics and most events are replicated across locations, the student life is completely different. To put it in a nutshell: “In Chennai, I know more people. In Gurgaon, I know people more”.

Let me shed some light on the activities. While some enjoy swimming or working out when we find the time to, there are some who diligently play every day. Yes, every day just by learning to manage their time better.

“Be an opportunist” Uncle Bala’s words were taken a little too seriously. Be it going that extra mile to make things happen in college or quite literally going “the extra mile” to land in Jaipur for a weekend at a classmate’s place! Either way, the fact is that we’re a culturally diverse group and know very little of cultures other than our own. This program also gave us an opportunity to live and experience other cultures. Yes, I am from Bangalore and have now come to realize that “sarso ka saag” tastes a lot better than it sounds.

Celebrating Onam

“The best year of your life” has long been associated with Great Lakes’ PGPM program. Having experienced it myself, I realize calling it “the best year of my life” is merely an understatement. Never have I been exposed to such miscellany, where differences are celebrated and they blend perfectly to form a different kind of culture beyond religion, and other social nuances. A culture filled with humility, respect, and at the same time, courage and tenacity to take on the world.

Group

It has been an honor and I hope this narration has been helpful. From the corner table of the classroom, Yogesh Babu, signing out.

– A Titan