I would still count the two years at IIMA as the high water mark of my life so far-Gaurav Singhal- Gold Medalist, IIMA Class of 2012

Gaurav Singhal completed his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and secured the President’s Gold Medal for academic excellence. Prior to that, he completed his B.Tech from  National Institute of Technology Surat. He is also a CFA charter-holder

Currently he works as an Investment Analyst at Davidson Kempner Capital Management, having earlier worked as Asia Credit Analyst with Nomura and Morgan Stanley

Snippets of his conversation with #mymbastory

1)     What prompted you to get admitted into an MBA program? What were the things you considered when you took that decision?

I wanted to do an MBA to learn more about business and economics. I was also interested in meeting like-minded people and building new relationships. I took the decision to apply during my senior year at university.

2)     Tell us about your life on campus, be it academics/non-academics/any interesting happenings?

Life on campus was very busy/fast with academics, student-clubs and meeting new people. I think a two year program is better in this regard as it allows you to pace yourself better than a one year program would. I was part of the finance club and made some life-long friendships through that exposure. Overall, it was one of the best experiences of my life.

3)     Which courses from MBA have been the most useful?

I found most courses useful during the last five years at work. But if I have to pick a few, I’d say:

  1. WAC – Written Analysis and Communication – it teaches business writing and how to communicate clearly and concisely
  2. Financial Markets/Macroeconomics – My first introduction to finance and economics
  3. Marketing/Strategic Management – Most business problems require strategic thinking and the ability to put yourself in the shoes of the owner. I found the case study method in these courses very effective in teaching how to think like an owner.

4)     Tell us about the revered ones – the professors who impacted you the most at the campus.

This is again a very difficult question as all the professors at IIMA are first class and have touched my life in many ways. As I work in financial markets, I’d say Prof. Jayanth Varma and Prof. Siddharth Sinha have impacted me the most in terms of my day to day work.

5)     In retrospect, what has been your expected/unexpected and most cherished gain from your MBA journey?  

I had high hopes from IIMA’s revered faculty and the learning experience during those two years more than exceeded my expectations. The most unexpected gain was making new friends, some of whom have impacted my life and thinking in many positive ways.

6)     Post the course completion, is there any key personal/professional experience which you have been immensely proud of and would like to share with readers?

Working in financial markets and understanding the microeconomics of various asset classes and businesses has been a very fulfilling experience. But I would still count the two years at IIMA as the high water mark of my life so far.

7)     Any words of advice for future MBA aspirants?

I would encourage students to think about their MBA preparation as an exercise in improving their personality. At the end of the day, CAT is just an IQ test and the GD/PI process tests your personality above other things. Improving your command over English by reading literature is a rewarding experience in itself, as is improving your skills in high-school math (that the quant and data interpretation sections test). If you approach your preparation as an enjoyable process, I think the odds of success are higher than if you approach it as work/drudgery.

You can connect with me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gauravjsinghal/

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