FLAME in the news | June 25, 2021

We have often heard stories about the cultural and gender diversity in B-schools that provides learning opportunities to students beyond classrooms. The collective learning and problem solving provide a window of opportunity to learn things that a normal B-school curriculum can’t provide. FLAME university believes in every bit of it and thus puts emphasis on students from different walks of life while making their final selection for programs. We spoke to three FLAME university students, Kanisha, Nikhil and Sagarika to understand their journey, why they chose FLAME over other B-schools and how they manage their passion and B-school life together currently. Here are the excerpts:

Kanisha Malara

A computer science engineer, who has worked as a Decision Scientist at Mu Sigma, decided to opt for an MBA at FLAME. Why did you choose to shift?

I am a computer science engineer by chance and an MBA student by choice. At 18, I was one of those teenagers who hadn’t had the clue of what to go ahead with in life. Graduation, moreover engineering seemed like a normal thing to do. It was during my time at Mu Sigma, I figured how I love solving business problems. As an analyst, I provided numbers and insights on campaigns, events and digital apps for our client – one of the largest Fortune 100 sport apparel companies. But more than data crunching, I was interested in knowing the impact that is being created by the analysis that I’m providing.
How business functions, how economies run, how countries progress. An MBA, thus, was an obvious choice. Cherry on the cake was the FLAME curriculum that ensured all-round development.

Unlike many, you chose to be a part of Anubhuti School as a teacher where you worked extensively with children from lesser-privileged families for their education. Tell us about your learning from this experience and how you think it is going to help in your career after your B-school?

My experience with Anubhuti school was exceptionally wonderful, one that offered me a fresh perspective towards self-growth. Yes, we all learn tools and devour information during our MBA but what’s more important is how we process this information and use our skills to make a difference. How we implement this in the real world. What factors drive us. Before we choose, we need to be aware of who we are. At Anubhuti, I discovered this self-awareness.
I crave to create a positive impact and help people. Anubhuti gave me that where I discovered my love for storytelling. It taught me to make the best out of what we have got – time, money, people. It brought me closer to my country and nourished my urge to create a positive impact in the field of child education.

How does the FLAME moto or vision align with your thought process and how has the peer support and learning been for you on the campus so far?

I strongly resonate with the vision of life-long learning and giving it back to society. I believe in practical implementation of the knowledge that we build because that’s when progress and innovation can happen. Even if we fail, there will be learnings and an opportunity to try again.

You have a natural inclination towards storytelling and marketing communication is where you are interested in. So where do you see yourself next?

To be honest, I don’t really know. When I applied for FLAME I had HR as a field to delve into, in mind for the simple reason that I am good with people, and can get the best out of them. But eventually as the course progressed, I realized two things – one; HR is a lot more than just managing people, two; my natural inclination lies in marketing and the fact that storytelling is an integral part of marketing communication thrills me more.
This spurred my interest specifically in brand management and communication. Apart from working in the corporate, I also want to create my own brand identity. I see myself becoming an influencer through storytelling, bringing new ideas to the table that will educate and empower people and businesses.

How do you think FLAME is helping you grow through its focus on liberal arts pedagogy? What has been some of your learnings from the campus experience so far?

FLAME’s curriculum is meticulously thought through in which the liberal art pedagogy is helping me build multiple perspectives. It stimulates my creativity and hones my thinking ability. I feel it will be an effective tool to work harder and smarter in the longer run, keeping my goals in sight.

Sagarika Siddabathula

A BBA and then an MBA would have been the most obvious choice for someone? Was it for you as well or you gave it a thought before roping yourself in?

I always wanted to do an MBA from the start. I was just not sure about the degree to pursue before going for an MBA. I had thought about pursuing Mass communication at first, but then I went through the subjects that were going to be there for an MBA and I thought a BBA would be more useful. I would get an idea of what to expect in an MBA. So yeah, it was sort of a natural choice after BBA I would say.

You were working at Amazon for over a year before you decided to get into FLAME. Why did you think that you need an MBA degree and why FLAME?

When I started working at Amazon, I was clear in my head that I want a Master’s Degree at some point in my career. Working at a multinational company like Amazon was certainly fun and I happened to be the youngest in the company back then. I was learning multiple things. The work-life balance there was also on-point. But, it is around this time that I thought about my broader career goals. I always wanted to get into the HR side of things and being at Amazon, it was not going to work out for me. Hence, I quit my job and took some time off as well to prepare for the CAT.
I researched multiple colleges, but for me FLAME stood out because of the importance they give to extracurriculars and focus on the multidisciplinary subjects at flame. It was more than just an MBA; I could take up contemporary dance as a subject and that just did the trick for me.

You have a deep-rooted passion for dance and have been pursuing Bharatnatyam for over 15 years. Does the environment at a B-school allow you to pursue both? What were a few learning that you brought from your dance that are helping you currently manage things at your B-school?

Well, I wish I was at campus, but we can’t change the pandemic now can we? I took up contemporary dance in the 2nd term and it has given me a lot of learning. Presently, I’m still pursuing my dance along with doing my MBA. It gets a little hectic when I have my dance exams. I’m presently preparing for my Diploma in Bharatanatyam and hence I need to make time for both.
According to me it's about time management and teamwork that is a must in any B-school and that is something that I have learned over the years through dance. It helps you in performing better with peers and understanding coordination better.

HR is where your interest lies and you have been exploring other avenues being part of FLAME as well. Where do you see yourself next?

HR was something that I always wanted to pursue, but in your first year when you are exposed to so many avenues in a B-school, you tend to get confused. You meet amazing peers and faculty members from different domains and you feel, ‘wait, should I go for this instead’?
However, I thought about what I wanted for my future and what kind of a role I would like to be in, and thus choose HR as my major. I would like to be able to train people and motivate them to do better in their careers. I see myself working in a mid-level enterprise as an HR business partner post my MBA.
Maybe after a couple of years I would like to join Amazon back, but as an HR.

How do you think FLAME is helping you grow through its focus on liberal arts pedagogy? What has been some of your learnings from the campus experience so far?

Flame has helped me improve my strengths and given me utmost confidence. I created my own story with the dance form and showed it to the world through YouTube. I understand team building much better at this point. The group activities have helped increase my confidence in public speaking. I can converse with people with more confidence and I can put my point forward more intently if I am right or wrong. Flame gives you a place to display your talent and learn from others.

Nikhil Sawant

A B.Com graduate, with a keen interest in playing Tabla. Tell us about your interesting Guinness World Record and how you arrived at it?

Playing Tabla is something which gives me inner peace. The Guinness World Record opportunity came up my way during my school days, when I was done with three years of learning how to play Tabla. The world record was about playing Tabla with 155 other participants non-stop for 1 minute and 45 seconds. The coordination of 155 artists was something which we worked very hard for. We had to excel in our piece and then practice every day to coordinate with others. Then finally, the day came when we had to perform in front of the judges who were going to declare and certify it as a Guinness World Record.
Finally, all the efforts paid off, and now I have a Guinness World Record Certificate with my name on it.

What prompted you to go for an MBA and while you were making your selection, how did FLAME come into picture?

After my Graduation from a well-known college in Mumbai, I did an internship in Marketing for about 5 months. I realized that experience is important but, to get more exposure to my liking, a Masters would be necessary. After scoring decent marks in my CAT as well as CET, I wasn’t really sure about my admissions.
At FLAME, not only the faculty but the infrastructure is something that drew me in, but it also came up as one of the best options for me to pursue my Masters from and I am glad the journey is going strong.

Do you get enough time to practice and hone your Tabla skills, given the busy schedule and deadlines? Tell us a bit about the learning at a B-school like FLAME that is coming your way.

The schedule and deadlines while pursuing an MBA at FLAME keep me busy on weekdays and it's not possible to rehearse every day. But, in a B-school where most of the students are focused on studies and personal development, I think that it is necessary to engage myself in other activities as well. Hence, I take out time on weekends and rehearse whenever it is possible. It helps me manage my time between my priorities and my passion.

You are pursuing marketing from FLAME at the moment with an eye on becoming an entrepreneur. How do you see yourself getting prepared for it?

With an eye on becoming an entrepreneur, it's important to learn the basics of management perfectly. There are a lot of factors which make a person an entrepreneur and I feel that the course structure and outlines at FLAME are designed accordingly. At FLAME, the faculty is extraordinary and professors have vast experience in their specific fields and are industry experts. So, it helps a lot to learn from their experiences. In a University like FLAME, where students come from different parts of India and also from various fields, it helps in growing connections and also understanding varied cultures. In just over a year, it's safe to say that I am on the right track with FLAME.

How do you think FLAME is helping you grow through its focus on liberal arts pedagogy? What has been some of your learnings from the campus experience so far?

The FLAME pedagogy helps us in learning things that are completely different from the mainstream subjects. It allows students to explore subjects and ideas that are not necessarily a part of a B-School curriculum.
Through workshops, seminars, competitions and club and committee work that students take part in, the liberal arts education helps shape the minds of students in a more holistic and creative manner. Learning subjects such as dance, acting, and painting while pursuing an MBA is something unusual and this is what makes FLAME unique.
Being part of the joint events and committees at FLAME, helped me learn teamwork, communication skills, and most importantly, to develop my overall personality.