06 Jan 2021 20:16 IST

‘MBA is not just a course but experience of a lifetime’

Modesty is important for you to build great relations and networks for the future

    Aman Jain passed out in 2017 from SPJIMR and currently works as a Product Manager with PayPal on its global products. He looks back on his MBA years.

    Did you study for an engineering degree? And, how did you decide to pursue the management field after that?

      Yes. I completed civil engineering before I did my MBA. Quite frankly, it was an option I had in mind since my engineering days. My post-engineering job as a project manager just reinforced the need for a post graduate MBA for personal and professional growth.

          What does your role entail currently and how has the pandemic affected the nature of your job?

          I work as a Product Manager at PayPal, which is a leading fintech company across the globe. The daily work is around product discovery, rapid prototyping and experimenting product ideas, managing the entire product team right from experience designers, engineers, project managers, and policy teams, across the globe to deliver the product outcomes. Though there has not been any financial impact of the pandemic on my job, I believe it affected our working hours initially when everyone was trying to adjust to the work from home regime. However, over time, and with company policies focussed on work-life balance, we have been able to find an equilibrium.

            Looking back at both your engineering degree and your MBA, how would you say that it is helping you in your work life and career now, if at all?

              Engineering helped build the analytical mindset and first principle thinking which are extremely helpful, even in my current job which entails a lot of customer research and data crunching to build hypotheses and so on. The MBA has helped in building the soft skills, which are extremely important to communicate and navigate your way in the organisation.

                What are the B-school learnings that you are applying in your work?

                  Having done my major in marketing, understanding consumer behaviour was an important theme we were taught. This is crucial to my job as a product manager right now. Apart from the tactical stuff, my major learning from the MBA which applies to various instances in my work life is understanding the organisational behaviour to navigate and communicate effectively, understanding people's motivations to drive them as a group, and maintaining the highest standards of ethics in work and life.

                    Do you think there was something missing when you did your engineering and MBA that you feel should have been included/taught? And which would have helped you in your work life?

                      Not particularly work life, but there could be more focus on things which could help us personally like financial planning. MBA puts you in a high salary bracket and you are in that stage of life where funds have to be managed well. This also indirectly impacts our future job and work decisions. Exposing students to the world of financial planning would be great.

                        What would you like to say to students looking to pursue an MBA?

                          MBA is not just a course but really an experience of a lifetime. Go with an open mind. Keep in mind everyone around you is there because they have achieved something in life, so modesty is important for you to build great relations and networks for the future.