Ekta Ladia completed her Economics Honours, St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and then went on to complete her MBA from the prestigious IIM Lucknow during the batch 2012-14. She is currently working in ICICI Treasury. Snippets of her ineteraction with mymbastory.com
1) A brief intro on what triggered the MBA decision at that point of time?
During my under-graduation I was unsure of the field I want to be in. Hence I opted for MBA. During the first year I explored various options and went on to specialize in Finance.
2) What were the key tenets of your MBA admissions strategy
The preparation for CAT is quite different from other exams. It begins with self- analysis. We have to identify out strengths to leverage on them and weaknesses to work on them. There is no substitute for hard work. Practice is imperative, aspirants should familiarize themselves with a variety of problems as time management is an important aspect in this exam and we can save time with known questions. It is very important to read a lot to increase our general awareness which will help us with reading comprehensions and give us good talking points for interviews and group discussions. The preparation for MBA is really interesting and with the right approach it can be a lot of fun.
3) How does the MBA course life transform one as an individual? Can you please share your key learnings in course of your professional life?
B-School life transforms one on both personal and professional levels. It gives one an opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds and appreciate various perspectives. The cross functional exposure gives an overall understanding of any business. Numerous case studies covering a wide array of business problems equip one to handle real business problems efficiently. On a personal front it hones ones interpersonal and people skills, enables one to handle pressure and remain calm in adverse situations. It also gave one confidence to speak in front of a large audience and get their point across.
The two years in campus were greatly enjoyable and will always be the most memorable. Curriculum will be rigorous but students should never miss the fun part of a campus life. I, being a fresher from college have immensely grown as an individual.
4) In your view, what are factors a student must consider before embarking on the MBA journey? Aptitude, career aspirations etc.?
I went for MBA as a fresher but I would advise people to opt for the course after some work experience. They will be able to better relate to the courses and have some clarity about their specializations and the career they want. For people not seeing much growth in their current job and wishing to switch to a more managerial or general management role should opt for the programme. Moreover, CAT is not a very difficult exam to crack. If you feel you have an aptitude for it, don’t settle for anything less, give it another try.
5) What would be your advice to future MBA aspirants?
With respect to preparation for CAT, intuitive thinking is the key. We really don’t need a pen and a paper to solve everything and that comes only with practice. To stand out in interviews you should highlight our knowledge, achievements and showcase your will and potential to learn. You should appear humble and confident; not proud and over-confident. Everyone should approach the course with an open mind, not be hung up with any pre-conceived notions and be ready to learn and unlearn. You should have your goals and interests in mind but be ready to experiment and explore more.