Management students often get the opportunity to gain insights from corporate gurus. But rarely do they get practical advice from someone who was in their shoes only a short while back. Dhruv Bansal (FORE School of Management, New Delhi – Batch 2011-13) is now Head of Category, Home Furnishings, Furniture, & Decor at ShopClues. While on campus recently to help students with mock interviews, he offered smart advice that can work wonders for young learners on their future professional journeys.
The initiative by the B-School was meant to help students prepare for the all-important placement process. But Dhruv’s suggestions went well beyond that and can make a difference to their long-term career prospects. As a corporate professional, he shared what was expected of students in the industry: “No one expects freshers to possess skills, but you should be eager to learn and grow. You need to be easily coachable, willing to learn and unlearn. Finally, you should be able to execute ideas of the company.”
Dhruv also asked the students to stay away from the trap of wanting to be a consultant with the Big Four. That’s something he managed to become, even if it meant sitting at home for a couple of months. Asserting that it was rewarding, he said this led to his current position. “In India we have had many startups in the last decade or so. You need to remember that the Big Four will be here forever, but startups are changing the world. You need to take risks to get exposed to something new and grow in your career.”
Speaking from personal example, Dhruv reminded students that all senior managers with ShopClues are in their early 30s. They have reached that place because they took risks. In his opinion that’s the advice B-Schools should give their students. “I understand management students have loans to pay, which is why stability is an important concern. But it’s a myth that money gives us stability. As a teacher, I would advise students to get their hands dirty till they are 30 before looking for stability.”
Since Dhruv was a management aspirant only a few years back, students could quickly identify with his views on the learning experience. He feels institutes should coach students on stability in career as also to be ready to take risks. Having used this strategy to good effect for interviews, he offers it as a mantra to students. Dhruv ended on a positive note: “I used to appear for interviews keeping in mind that the worst that could happen was rejection. That is not something to be afraid of.”