Aravind Suresh thrives as a professional in Germany, believes the PGCIM programme created the opportunities...
“I would like to thank SPJIMR for opening international doors for me. All I had to do was take a calculated risk and walk in. I believe it has added a lot more value to me than a regular two-year MBA programme in India.” That’s SPJIMR alumnus Aravind Suresh talking about the PGCIM programme offered by the institute. The nature of the programme lets students spend 6-8 months in Mumbai gaining general management training before heading to one of the four reputed Business schools in Europe to complete their MBA. ESB Business School of Reutlingen University where Aravind completed his programme is one of them.
The programme has already created waves, especially since it’s recognised and was initially funded by the European Commission. The programme seemed like the right fit for Aravind’s career aspirations post his 4 year professional journey. “Doing my MBA was always the goal but I didn’t want to do it right after my BBA. That’s why I worked as Client Support Specialist (Indirect Tax) at Ernst & Young before joining The Fuller Life as a Client Manager. Leaving well-paid jobs wasn’t easy but I was clear about my goals,” he says.
Presently, he works as Strategy & Corporate HR Intern at Sennheiser Consumer Electronics, Germany. Given his professional background in various fields, he must feel like an all-rounder. “The ability to view an HR issue through the eyes of a number cruncher or projects through the eyes of a client manager is wonderful. From the day I joined, I was given a very active and independent role to play in the global restructuring process that the company is going through. So I’d say the experience here has exceeded my expectations,” he adds.
Aravind might not readily wear the all-rounder crown but that’s something his batch mates call him fondly. After all, during their days at Reutlingen University, he would hold durbars and enthral the audience with his singing prowess. The memories bring a smile to his face but he is quick to add, “After moving to Hannover for the internship, my musical pursuit is limited to participating in the singing group that we have at work and practising together once a week. But I hope to learn Western Classical Music in 2014.”
That goal seems to gel well with the personality of the man who believes that career development is too narrow a thing to spend the rest of your life on. Aravind is focussed on his overall development and growth, which for him was the most important aspect of his MBA in Germany. “Coming here with the batch was like a new place, but the party continues. We had familiar people to fall back on and were well-briefed about the lifestyle there, by our seniors and professors. That definitely helped and it has been a huge learning experience,” he claims.
Aravind admits that in Germany, classroom learning is a small part of the game. “A lot of emphasis is laid on projects, internships besides cultural, language skills and even fitness. It’s refreshing and invigorating,” he says enthusiastically. However he is quick to add that his classroom learning at SPJIMR created the right platform for him. Making PowerPoint presentations was one of them and it’s integral to all board rooms. He also talks about the diversity in the SPJIMR classroom that created a dynamic environment for learning.
Aravind definitely is relishing the prospect of working in a foreign country and learning along the way. He agrees that there are challenges but he thrives on them. So much so that when asked if he’d come back to India, he quips, “For vacations and retirement.” He is brimming with positivity and the reason for that is the way he puts it best, “SPJIMR and PGCIM did reinforce my trust in good things that could happen to you by chance. I am sure this is something that will stay for a long time to come.”