05 Oct 2020 17:51 IST

'Frameworks have been super handy'

Source: @jessie_paul Official Twitter

Jessie Paul, CEO, Paul Writer, wishes she had gained more financial literacy from her MBA at IIMC

Jessie Paul founded Paul Writer, a marketing advisory firm, in early 2010 with the goal of raising the bar for marketing in India. The former chief marketing officer of Wipro’s IT Business and global brand manager at Infosys is considered an expert in services marketing and frugal marketing, on which she has authored a book called ‘No Money Marketing’. Paul did her BE in Computer Science from NIT Trichy and a PGDM from IIM Calcutta. Here she talks about her learnings from her MBA.

How has your MBA helped you in your corporate life, if at all?

It helped me transition from computer science to marketing. Two years is not really sufficient to learn everything you need to know about business, but it was a great starting point. The rest has been learnt on the job or by researching. I learned how to make presentations and understand data points and research during my MBA which has been of enduring value.

What have been the key learnings from your MBA for you?

Frameworks are really important. They can save a lot of time. When you’re on campus perhaps the true value of these frameworks wasn’t visible but they have been super handy later on.

If you had to re-visit your MBA what would you have liked to have been part of your course?

Financial literacy

What have been the chief ingredients in your success / road to the top?

I have had great mentors along the way. I have always been pretty clear about what I would and would not do and that helps me stay focused. And, lastly, I have tried to focus more on enjoying the role than maxing the money.

What have been your best and worst moments?

I really enjoyed the whole Wharton Infosys Business Transformation Award programme that I put together while at Infosys. I got to pitch it on my own to the Dean and a number of very important people at Wharton, and they agreed to partner with Infosys after that. A recent thrill was that while googling the “inventor of the mobile phone,” Martin Cooper, I saw that he has this same Wharton Infy business transformation Award in his Wikipedia list of achievements! I have cold-called for jobs three times in my life and those were very uncertain times.

What would be your advice to young MBAs who are joining the corporate sector?

Map out a three-year career plan and stick to it. And focus on hard skills - “managerial” skills will be over-rated as automation becomes mainstream.

Are you happy with the way the MBA is structured / taught today?

It is much better than before at least at IIMC. More case studies and real-life examples. I’m doing a panel discussion for the class next week along with IIMC alumni who are marketers so certainly the professors are trying to make the syllabus more relevant and engaging.

What would you advise young MBAs to read?

My newsletter - I’ve been writing it for 10 years now!

Link here: https://www.paulwriter.com/category/insights/notes/