A mass media graduate with two years of experience in content creation and strategy, Karishma Bansal had a strong sense of what she was good at and where she wanted to go. She chose MBA (Communications Management) at FLAME University to help her bridge that gap and take things to the next level. "FLAME University helped me fortify my skills further in areas of research, strategy, and creativity so that I could wield them together. It helped me in seeing the big picture and creating and executing an action plan for it," she says. Her reward was a placement with the Digital Marketing Communications team at Finolex Industries. She relives the moments of uncertainty and reveals how her preparation and strategy helped her ace the placement process.
Going into the placement season, how did you feel about your preparations?
From entrance exam coaching to interview training, FLAME University covered each aspect of the process. This training helped me see my blind spots and work on them. For example, during mock interviews, I learned that I need to weave a story around my career graph. I did that during the placement interview by creating a narrative about my past work and internship experience.
How was your internship experience, and how did it impact your placement?
I interned with The Minimalist as part of the digital strategy, content, and account management team. I expected the virtual internship to face some slowdown, but that wasn't the case. I worked on varied areas, including campaign pitches and prospective client decks. This experience demonstrated my skill set as a digital marketer and a content specialist to my employers.
The pandemic has undoubtedly impacted normal corporate functioning, which must have added to the pre-placement stress. How did you deal with it?
When stress gets to me, I try and create a logical plan. I would talk to my professors about my career goals. I'd look at jobs on LinkedIn that I was interested in and work on the elements that would make me the best candidate for them. This gave me a sense of purpose, allowed me to remain grounded and not drive myself into a frenzy.
Any classroom learning experiences that you think helped you transform into the professional that you are today?
As part of the digital campaign planning course, we had enrolled in the GOMAC challenge with Prof. Rohit Tiwari as our guide. This practical experience really helped me in polishing my skills when it comes to paid advertising. Similarly, another interesting classroom experience that helped me gain deep insights as an aspiring Communications professional was the time we spent in the brand planning course conducted by Prof. Sajith Narayanan. The course was built as a robust, real-life simulation exercise where we donned different hats from being the client to the strategist to the creative team. I loved working with my team on this project and many more. The efforts put in by the faculty to help students translate their learnings from the course into valuable professional skills is the topmost key success factor of the FLAME MBA (Communications Management) program.
Can you remember a few key points from your interview and what you did to make the best impression?
The interviews were brief but focused on understanding whether I blended well with the job role and the company culture. The company has started part of our training beforehand, with a data analytics course and a live project, to enable a smooth transition.
From a student on campus to Officer Trainee - Digital Marketing Communications, what has changed in two years?
At FLAME University, I experienced strategy at three levels - advertising, marketing, and business. While doing my research, I realized that most other courses focus on advertising and communication or marketing and business. The FLAME curriculum helps us come out of our bubble and understand how other functions co-relate with ours. Looking at the big picture and thinking like a leader has been the single most fantastic transformation.