Never leave an opportunity
Institute of Management Technology, Nagpur, student Kritika Chandra lives by the motto: "Never leave an opportunity to learn new things."
Her philosophy led her to become a foreign exchange student at the ESC Rennes School of Business, Rennes, France, where her academic excellence among international students proved dazzling.
IMT-N's Star Student of the Month was ranked third out of 62 students from around the globe in the third tri-semester of her studies there.
Learning with students from such faraway places as Spain, Senegal, China and Germany, Kritika said: "My stint at ESC Rennes gave me much-needed global exposure in the MBA program.
"Meeting and interacting with international students gave me an excellent opportunity to appreciate different perspectives of people around the world on the current issues affecting the world economy and the way we do business. It was indeed a unique learning experience of being taught by Tunisian, French, English, Italian and Pakistani teachers."
Studying in France was quite a different experience for her.
"It was not as hectic as back home in India," she said, "but a lot of emphasis was laid on the practical approach to learning. The projects carried a huge weightage and we were expected to do thorough research on our assignments."
Did she think she'd rank so highly in that global setting?
"I enjoyed the whole process as a new way of learning," said Kritika, "and I was pretty sure that I would fare well in my exams, but securing third rank among all the international students came as a delightful surprise."
Prior to going for her MBA at IMT-Nagpur, Kritika earned her B-Tech in information technology and joined Infosys "where I got an excellent opportunity to hone my technical knowledge."
But after working for two-and-a-half years, "I realized that to climb up
the rungs of the ladder I would need to understand a holistic approach to running an organization, and what better way than to do an MBA from a reputed institute."
She chose IMT-Nagpur because: "Despite being a pretty young college IMT-N had created a mark in the academic world. It was a renowned brand and I was quite impressed with the faculty description given on the site."
Driven by her passion to learn things, Kritika said: "I was sure that doing a Post Graduate Degree in Management from IMT-N would make a good choice. IMT-N provides an excellent learning medium to its students.
"Under the guidance of well-accomplished faculty members and world-class material available at the Learning Resource Centre, we can enhance our knowledge immensely, making us well-equipped to handle the corporate life."
She's also impressed by the freedoms she found here.
"Apart from the academics, IMT-N gives a lot of freedom to their students to enhance their talents and we have several committees/forums for the same," said Kritika. "We as students are also encouraged to voice our opinions and give suggestions relating to any matter be it academic or non academic."
Her philosophy of never passing up a chance to learn has allowed her to excel throughout her life.
"I have always been a good student throughout my academic life" said Kritika. "I never leave an opportunity to learn and give my best in whatever I do. A sound understanding of basics and a drive to learn has helped me excel in academics."
Her advice to peers and juniors would be: "Evaluation of choices/options is a good thing, but one should be open to experimenting in new things. Never leave an opportunity to try and learn new things. This is one of the main reasons why I opted for a foreign exchange program."
Just participating in the exchange program was an education in itself - and a chance to educate others on life in India.
Rennes, a small yet picturesque city where the college is located, "has an unusual pattern of life," she said. "The shops close at 7 p.m. every day. Sunday the city is dead, as all the markets remain shut, and the weekend (nightlife) begins from Thursday!
"I soon learned the art of managing classes, assignments, cooking meals travelling, making new friends and explaining to people that real India is somewhere in between the extreme ends portrayed in Slumdog Millionaire and Masala Bollywood movies like Kuch Kuch Hota Hai.