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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Prof. Mariakutty Varkey, with her invaluable industry experience, shapes students at SCMS Cochin School of Business into the Professionals of tomorrow.

IMG_0702Prof. Mariyakutty Varkey is one of the few women of her times who tried to conquer unchartered territories and make a place for herself in the industry. An engineer and MBA, she has around 22 years of experience working in the IT industry, including Keltron. A Kerala government initiative, Keltron was one of the flagship IT industries in India and offered her an opportunity to work with Germany on a software development project. Prof. Varkey has carried her vast experience to academia and, since 2006, has been an invaluable member of the faculty team at SCMS Cochin School of Business.

Prof. Varkey started her journey with the institute as a Professor in Operations and  Systems department , and today she also functions as the HOD of the department. She talks about her journey from the industry to academia, saying, “I was enamoured by the idea of working in the industry, especially on the factory level. Later on, I moved to software and had several exciting opportunities along the way. I joined Suntech Business Solutions, and helped set up their software testing company in Cochin. It was then that I felt I wasn’t able to spend time with my son, who was growing up. Therefore, I decided to take a break and get into academics.”

For someone who thrived on the day to day challenges of the industry, it wasn’t an easy choice; however, it is clear that Prof. Varkey has grown into it and started to embrace the responsibilities. Going back to the first days at SCMS Cochin, she remembers being a bit nervous: “I wasn’t sure I would be able to teach at all. But it takes time and the best thing about SCMS Cochin is that you are able to contribute. Here your industry experience is valued and you are able to change the syllabus by adding latest content. Given our industry experience, we also know what to expect from junior colleagues and together we fine tune the syllabus to give students an advantage.”

And the results are there for all to see, as students from the institute have managed to get placements in top rung companies. Today, the faculty team has a strong mix of individuals with solid industry experience and they try to give students as much valuable industry exposure as possible. However, Prof. Varkey is quick to point out the many things that today’s students should work on to make their place in the industry. “For starters, they need to upgrade themselves constantly because the technology changes fast”, she says. “The IT industry is also a lot about teamwork and your individual brilliance might not account for much. Your flexibility as a professional, however, surely will”.

Prof. Varkey suggests different focus groups, forums, magazines and the Internet as ways for students to continually update their skill sets and increase their industry knowledge. She also highlights the changing industry scenario, saying, “In the 90s in IT, cost was the major factor and that’s why there was a lot of outsourcing. But today, it’s all about providing value to the customer and cost is not the only concern.” As a result of these changes, quality plays a crucial role and SCMS tries to impart that to students by focussing on practical applications, project management and live exposure that prepares them for the transition ahead.

According to Prof. Mariakutty, there are definitely several opportunities for MBAs in the IT industry that do not require programming and coding: “You can become a Business Analyst where you are, in a sense, a liaison between the customer and project manager. The marketing of IT or other hardware products is also another option besides quality testers”. Prof. Varkey is also optimistic about the scope for growth as young professionals can become project managers in 5-8 years, based on their performance. Therefore, she advises students to identify their goals and to keep their focus in order to reach places with  their hard work.

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Posted by on February 24, 2015 in Faculty

 

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SCMS Cochin School of Business gears up for Humane 2015, focuses on the vital importance of Talent Management

SCMS Cochin School of Business will be hosting its popular and highly anticipated Humane ‘15 event on the 20th of February, 2015. The annual National conference has grown in stature thanks to the dignitaries it manages to draw onto a platform and the industry-relevant topics it focuses on. This year will be no different as the theme of the event is “Talent Engagement: Need of The Hour”, which definitely is an important industry issue in present times.

It’s not difficult to understand the significance of this topic since businesses today operate in VUCA, which stands for Vulnerability, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. As a result, there are several economic, technological, demographic and social trends that come with their own challenges. Talent management in organizations thus gains precedence and it’s important to realize that strategies that might have worked well in the past might not do so anymore. The conference strives to seek answers for this and several other questions that impact the industry.

The organizing committee of Humane‘15 has ensured that the event lives up to its expectations by getting big names in the industry together on one platform. They will share experiences and discuss ideas. This is crucial for leaders of tomorrow to overcome the challenge of managing differing aspirations and perspectives through engaging individual talent in the need for changing behaviours in the present and future business world.. Thus, the conference aims to be a huge learning experience for all participants.

Of course, the platform presents an opportunity to future managers from the institute to interact with big names in the industry. Some of eminent personalities who could be speaking at the conference include names like Mrs. Swati Datye, Director Human Resource, First Data Pvt. Ltd, Mr. Umesh Kamath,  Director Human Resource, APAC, UST Global, Mr. Rajesh Nair, Associate Director – Markets, Ernst & Young,  Ms. M. S. Sheeja,  Head Human Resource and Administration, Harrisons Malayalam, and more.

Humane ‘15 is ideal for students, academics, industry professionals and researchers who want to know more about Talent Management and strategies that could be the game changers in the near future. The conference also invites researchers to share their analysis and findings with the audience, thereby contributing to increasing knowledge about changing business trends. All of the papers will be selected through a peer review process published in a special edition of the SCMS Journal of Indian Management, which is its quarterly International research journal.

Some of the areas that the papers can cover include Rules of Engagement, Challenges of Engagement, Globalization, Workforce Diversity, Culture, Strategy, Performance Management, and Engagement Activities. Papers based on Empirical Analysis, Literature Review, Background Note, Works in Progress and Case Studies will be accepted and the outstanding paper chosen by the jury will be given a cash prize. That’s just an added incentive at the conference that promises to be an enriching experience to all.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2015 in News And Events

 

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“I wanted a good job and SCMS has helped me achieve it”, exults Sreedevi.

IMG_0925Sreedevi has recently been placed with Ernst & Young, Trivandrum, as a Business Analyst through the SCMS Cochin School of Business campus recruitment season of 2015. She is ecstatic, exclaiming “I could not believe I had bagged the job. The first thing I did was call my father.” This job is a clear result of her dedication and foresight: “I did my graduation in Math from Trivandrum. I always believed that management with math is a good combination that will help me find a good job and it did!”

After her graduation, Sreedevi wasn’t sure about which college to join. She is a girl who likes to stay close to home; so, she had never imagined a life away from home: “The decision to join PGDM at SCMS was really tough for me. I couldn’t stay away from home, but then I realized I had to push my boundaries and explore more opportunities and places if I want to succeed. I was searching for a good management institute and became aware of SCMS through local media. I got in touch with a cousin who had studied at SCMS and is well placed today. On her recommendation, I joined the institute.”

Sreedevi was told that she would have to work very hard at SCMS, and that the program is rigorous; however, that did not stand in her way once she had made up her mind to join the college. Today, those high-wired days have left her with close friends and sweet memories. “I will miss my friends the most”, she says.“And, I will also miss being in a hostel with lots of friends, with everyone helping each other under immense stress, working together at nightand studying together. In fact, I will miss SCMS – even the faculty members who seemed such hard task masters at that time!”

The interviews during recruitment are very intense and the schedule can be very demanding. Sreedevi was the last candidate to be interviewed and her session ended after midnight. Everyone was tired, but Sreedevi displayed a resilience that possibly cinched the job for her. “It’s not easy to have much energy in you at 12.30 in the night, she says. “We all were feeling very stressed out, we had been sitting through various sessions and had been at the venue for 24 hours!The recruiters expected me to be tired, but I decided to gather all the energy I could and put it into the personal interview. Not only did I answer the questions posed to me, but I also asked relevant questions. I believe that’s what got me placed.”

Sreedevi believes the reason she could think through these processes was the work SCMS had done to prepare her for this final selection. “Our faculty made us undergo several aptitude tests”, she says. “We also had group discussions that were carefully monitored by the faculty, and this has shown results.” Sreedevi signs off with a simple advice to her juniors that during a GD, they must remain focused on the topic and be confident.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Placements

 

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“I believe PGDM is a continually updated program in comparison to an MBA, and now I am sure about it”, says Litty who is all set to start her journey with KPMG

Litty Philip“I had a dream. I wanted to work with KPMG and it has come true”, gushes Litty Philip who can’t contain her excitement at the moment. Litty gives the credit of her success to the academic training as well as the professional grooming provided by SCMS Cochin School of Business, “I not only knew my subject well, but was also prepared for the Group discussion and interview. SCMS had me completely equipped for the industry.”

Litty was surprised when she was offered the job. It was only when the interviewer asked her to call her parents to confirm whether she would sign the bond that she realised she had done it! She was ecstatic and her father supported her. However, she became confused when she became aware the location of her posting. It was her mentor who guided her through that time, “Not only was the package below my expectation but the place was also not Bangalore. I wasn’t sure I could stay in Cochin. But my mentor advised me to take up the job. She helped me take the right decision of choosing a great work place and learning opportunity. I am really thankful to her.”

Litty is going to join KPMG as an Audit Associate. She would be working with the Global Auditing team. The job is an achievement for Litty who shares that she actually started working seriously on her career only after tenth grade. She wasn’t sure which college to opt for and was advised by her senior to join SCMS Cochin School of Business. He was also instrumental in her choosing PGDM over MBA, “I was told that PGDM is a continually updated program in comparison to an MBA, so I opted for it.” She knew that if she worked hard she would get results at SCMS and that has come true for her, “SCMS has changed my way of thinking. I am more confident today and can hold my own in a professional situation.”

However, she smiles when she remembers the drastic changes that came to her with her admission to SCMS, “I was used to a relaxed world. SCMS was so professional and disciplined. I have learnt time management and truly value my mentor for her guidance throughout my stay here”. She says she is going to miss everything, including the discipline that seemed so tough initially!

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Placements

 

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Aswathi Krishnan gets placed with HCL Infosystems; drives home the importance of taking the placement process seriously.

aswathi“Working towards getting the PGDM degree is great, but the most exciting part so far has been  the placement process. Being selected by the first company that I had interviewed with was a fantastic achievement. I can’t believe that I could make it in the first go.” These are the words of Aswathi Krishnan, who was recently placed with HCL Infosystems. You just cannot miss the excitement and enthusiasm in her tone as she managed to achieve her goal with her first ever job interview.

Aswathi had every reason to be upbeat after her placement interview where she made quite the impression. “Not only was I backing up the statements I was making with examples, but I also struck the right note by saying how important a job and career is for women,” she remembers. “Even when I was told that I was selected, I couldn’t believe it. I was expressionless till the final briefing by company personalities.”

The high of being involved in the placement process might have subsided, but Aswathi’s memories of it are still fresh. In particular, she mentions the contribution of the placement officer and team that worked tirelessly to bring top rung recruiters to the institute. “We were guided through the entire placement process ably,” she notes. “That’s how we were prepared for what we were going to face in the interviews – that made all the difference.”

Now that the buzz around the process has reached its peak, Aswathi looks forward to her new job in Sales with HCL Infosystems. Her profile entails managing a store or group of stores distributing HCL’s products. She is quite up to the task, saying, “Client relationships will be crucial. I am not an ‘I ran too’ kind of a person. I believe in chasing my dreams and goals, which I will do in my job too.”

Clearly, Aswathi is achievement focussed and her confidence has been boosted with her stint at SCMS Cochin School of Business. She admits that she had heard a lot about the institute and its PGDM program, which made her join it in the first place. And, the choice paid off as SCMS Cochin gave her a cutting edge advantage. “It gave me a whole new level of exposure as I could interact with eminent personalities from different disciplines and industries,” she says. “It was a great learning experience.”

Describing her journey at the institute Aswathi says that it was a smooth ride; however, it did have several surprises along the way. She vouches for the fact that SCMS Cochin offers students new avenues to learn at every step of the way: “It not only builds you as a professional, but a well groomed individual as well. I was lucky to be a part of so many initiatives that opened my eyes to the world.”

If you ask Aswathi if she has any advice for her juniors at the institute, she is quick to reply: “Placements are prestigious; not only for us but our loved ones as well. That’s why you should pay due attention throughout the entire process. Your seniors are only too happy to guide you; make the most of the advice they give you by consulting with them.” From someone who has come through the process with flying colours, that’s sound advice.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Placements

 

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