The most power 10 2 letter words is “If it is to be, It is up to me.”-Rohit Agarwal,XLRI Class of 2010

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Rohit Agarwal completed his MBA (Finance) from XLRI Jamshedpur in 2010. Prior to that he graduated in Business Administration from St. Xavier’s College Kolkata.

In his post MBA journey spanning 6.5 years, he has been associated with the Project Advisory and Structured finance team of SBI Capital Markets and is presently managing the corporate credit  portfolio (Large Corporates, Eastern Region) of Axis Bank.

Snippets of our conversation with him

What prompted you to get admitted in MBA Program?

Majority of the people pursuing MBA (mainly engineers, if I might say) usually enrolls into an MBA college to change their stream and for availing better opportunities through skillset additions/ improvements . For me, coming from a business family, an inclination towards Finance and accounts was inbuilt from a very early age. After going through the future prospects of various courses, I decided quite early (while taking up Commerce in Class XI) that I will pursue a MBA. Hence, I took up BBA in my graduation so as to have a foundation and to be ready for the MBA experience.

In retrospect, what has been your expected/unexpected and most cherished gain from MBA journey/?

Had heard people saying that getting in a B-School is tough and getting through is easy. But I don’t think that the same is true, for the 1st two terms atleast. The amount of rigour was totally unexpected but once you get through the initial two terms it should be smooth sailing forward. The unexpected and most cherished gain was that I ended up helping many people in 1st term accountancy which not only enhanced my knowledge but also helped me to make new friends.

The expected gain from a MBA college is that it gets you “Corporate World” ready. The experience and journey was no less and it taught us at every step. The academic rigor and professor’s way of teaching and approach is helping us till today. Everything makes sense when you sit back and think now.

What is your favourite aspect of campus life and why?

For a person who gets the taste of campus life for the first time, the experience is a bliss. XLRI Jamshedpur is one of the very few campuses with very less restrictions. The Campus is lush green located near Jubilee park where one can go for walks/run (which I managed once in every 6 months due to peer pressure), JLT area with benches, Dadus (canteen), Bishu Da (Night Canteen), Wet nights, last minute project submission, 7 day accountancy assignment  (which may even give a CA a run for his money), countless night outs, Bodhi Tree performing, playing Risk, DC ++ (lifeline for any campus) and so many other things are to be cherished apart from the friends you make for life time.

How do you think life would have been different had you not opted for MBA?

Actually, I never dreamt or aspired to do anything else apart from opting for an MBA. I did not have a plan B in place. I am the most non-creative person, most inflexible person (play a sport or dance) so doing anything apart from cracking numbers is difficult. If had not opted for an MBA, I would have been working alongside my Dad in his business and might have added to the Law of Diminishing marginal gain. Or who knows may be I would have pursued CA (which I always wanted to do, actually I had filled up a form also once) and life may have been very different.

Any words of advice for future MBA aspirants?

The biggest question that one needs to ask oneself is why I want to do an MBA. Is it because your class mate is doing it, for degree sake or you want to do MBA. MBA has become an expensive affair. The person must be clear about the MBA colleges he/she is targeting (because there are ‘n’ number of colleges that no one even has heard of or are famous for other streams) and the time/money he would want to invest in (1 yr/ 2 yr programme or Study in India/abroad). However, when it comes to preparations, just stick to basics and logical reasoning and appear for as many tests one can take. I think taking tests help you more than studying the books that these training institutes provide.

When you reach a campus, first two semesters are the one where the entire batch puts in effort and after summers everyone calms down. So don’t get boggled down by the amount of work and effort you see in the first two semesters. Things would be easy after that. Network as much as you can and choose your courses based on your strengths and likings which may help you in future. All in all keep things simple and you will achieve all that you aspire for.

You can connect with me at https://www.linkedin.com/in/rohit-agarwal-0364b713/

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