MBA after engineering is one of the most sought after degree combinations in India. However, success in MBA, especially in finance, doesn’t come easy to engineers.

This is why we interviewed Abhinav Kumar Jha, a mechanical engineer, to understand his mantra of success in MBA finance after engineering.

What should engineers do before joining MBA - Abhinav kumar jha

Since he’s in a position a lot of you aspire to be in, let’s take a look at his journey so far to learn something from it.

Q) Why did you choose to go for an MBA after engineering? What inspired the switch?

A) My interest in finance inspired this switch. I was introduced to a few finance subjects during my B.Tech. Later while working for BPCL, I started investing in markets. This motivated me to learn more about them, especially Equity markets, and drove my interest further.

All of this collectively pushed me to go for an MBA and switch to a core finance career.

Q) Students usually have a couple of months free before their college starts, how crucial is this period? What should engineers do before joining MBA to ensure a smooth transition? What did you do?

A)The time before joining MBA is extremely crucial. In fact this is the time that sets the difference between a successful MBA student and the others. I did a few things during these months that proved to be extremely helpful.

Firstly, I was investing in markets. So I got to learn the terms and terminologies commonly used. When you’re investing, your curiosity will further inspire you to dig deeper on these topics and learn about them. But the information on the internet is very scattered, so some terms you’ll learn, but others you’ll only understand with experience in investing.

I also read the newspaper a lot. It is very important for everyone, especially finance aspirants, to stay updated about the economy and various financial sectors. Most of your summer placement interviews will consist of questions related to the current affairs.

During these months, any type of preparation will help you through your degree. The earlier you start preparing, the better. You can also take up certification courses, like the FLIP Finance and Banking Fundamentals course, to get accustomed to the curriculum.

Relevant read: Best short-term courses to kick start your MBA

what should you do before joining MBA

Q) Take us through the first 3 months of your college. What were the challenges you or your batchmates faced?

A)So when I joined SJMSOM, the first thing I felt was that I needed to work on my background. Since I came from a mechanical engineering background, I needed to do some certification to support my interest in finance and FLIP offered some very good certifications.

The first course I did was the FLIP Finance and Banking fundamentals course which was really good. I also did the FLIP Wealth Advisor course.

There are certain challenges in the MBA curriculum also that you have to face. For instance, I was interested in finance but I had to study other subjects like marketing too. If you’re not interested in those subjects and if they are mandatory, you have no other option. In fact, I think I spent most of my time studying for the other subjects rather than the finance subjects.

Another crucial thing to note is that the summer placement process usually starts within two months of joining itself. So students must be prepared for it. This is why doing the certifications before joining MBA is extremely important.

challenges in the first few months of MBA

Q) You’ve landed a great summer internship. Could you tell us more about that? How did you prepare yourself and what was the interview like?

A) Unfortunately, I am not allowed to give you details about my internship. I can only say that I scored an internship in the banking domain. But I can tell you how I prepared for it.

what do summer internship interviews consist of

 They asked me questions like what did I learn in the course, how does banking work, what are balance sheets in banks, explain the NBFC sector etc. Most of the topics asked in the interview were covered by the course so I was able to answer them.

I also read the newspaper regularly to keep myself updated about the current happenings.

what do summer internship interviews consist of

 I was asked questions like which sector do you invest in and why, which sector is distressed right now, which sector would you want to invest in now etc. I even recalled information given in the news a year ago and answered their questions.

So even if the role doesn’t require you to know about the current affairs, you can be sure that your interviewers will still ask you about it.

Q) Given the position you are in, it seems like things are working out really well for you. So what advice would you give to the upcoming MBA batch of 2019-21? Anything that will help them in their journey too.

A) The one thing that I would like to point out here is that we all prepare a lot for the MBA admission interviews, but after that everybody just relaxes. So the point of differentiation comes here.

must do things before joining MBA

And for those who really want to get into finance, it is crucial to know everything about markets. Doing any course related to it would be really helpful in the future.

Well, thank you Abhinav for the amazing insights into your journey from engineering to MBA in finance. We bet a lot of students reading this will be grateful for such wonderful tips!

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Things Engineers MUST do before joining MBA | Abhinav Kumar, SJMSOM

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