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Post-Graduation Series : An Interview with Pavithra Kumar

Pavithra Kumar

Completed Master of Business Administration degree in IIT Madras


Interviewer:  A. Ashwin Kumar (GT)

Interviewee:  Pavithra Kumar



GT: Please introduce yourself and tell us about your areas of interest.


Pavithra Kumar:  First of all, thanks for the opportunity. My name is Pavithra Kumar, and I was born and brought up in Chennai. I did my schooling, UG degree, and masters in Chennai. I graduated in Chemical Engineering from AC Tech Campus, Anna University, and completed my master's degree in Business Administration from IIT Madras with operations IT and Analytics as majors. After Engineering, I worked as an application developer in Infosys, developing web and mobile applications for my clients. After my master's degree, I joined as a senior analyst in the Bank of New York Mellon. Currently, I am focusing on gaining knowledge in finance and data science, which is relevant to my everyday work. During my spare time, I dabble in photography, play badminton, and spend time with my family. 


GT: What prompted you to apply for this master's degree course in IIT Madras?


Pavithra Kumar: This is a great question. When I was in the final year of my undergraduate degree, I thought of pursuing a master's, but I was not sure of which particular stream of master's degree I wanted to pursue. Moreover, I needed some time to understand and evaluate the curriculum of different master's programs. But my stint at Infosys opened my eyes to the possibility of using technologies to solve real-time operations and their problems. So I thought pursuing an MBA degree would make a more significant impact. It would give me the upper mobility I needed and provide avenues to get exposed to real-world business problems and the opportunity to fine-tune my problem-solving skills, leadership, and strategic thinking, and, most importantly, how organizations succeed. Additionally, it's a great way to hone my soft skills, which would help transition me into a successful professional. 


GT: Can you explain the correlation between your UG studies and your master's degree?


Pavithra Kumar: As I said before, my master's was in an area different from what I pursued in my UG study. However, I can say that studying engineering or technology allowed me to break down problems into easily manageable pieces, which is a handy trait in life. Moreover, engineering prepares an individual to face and overcome challenges and teaches other skills like time management, resource management, executing, and multi-tasking. So these are the things my engineering degree helped me with during my master's degree, to solve and submit the assignments and projects correctly.  


GT: Can you explain the admission requirements for listeners who want to apply for this particular course in IIT Madras?


Pavithra Kumar: Graduates who belong to any discipline with a valid score on the CAT Exam are eligible for the MBA degree admission process in IIT Madras. Also, NRI and other international students are eligible for this admission process based on their GMAT Scores. Once the CAT results are published, applications begin at the central common portal (i.e., for IITM, IITD, and IIT Dhanbad). The Batch shortlist and interview process will be based on your CAT score, previous academic performance, and work experience. The final selection for the MBA program will consider your interview and other composite works. 


GT: Have you completed any internships/in-plant training as part of your undergraduate company, and if so, how was your experience?


Pavithra Kumar: I have done quite a few internships. I want to say that internships and in-plant training are essential. I recommend everyone to learn how industries are working. As a fresher, we get exposed to know how the company works, their business processes, the importance of teamwork, targets, timeline, quality procedures, and how committed the individuals and team contribute to the larger goals and revenues of the firm. The experience was enriching academically and motivated me by informing me how individuals can drive growth in a large-scale organization. In one of my internships at ONGC, I learned how crude oil is extracted, tested to analyze its quality, and classify based on test results. In addition, I learned how crude oil gets transported to different regions. At CPCL, I got an opportunity to understand how processing occurs in refineries into various helpful petroleum products. Also, I underwent in-plant training at BPCL and CPCL. Overall all my internships and in-plant training helped me connect the theoretical concepts to practical applications. I also liked that it provided me with an opportunity to work in different departments of an organization. I can interact with many knowledgeable professionals and understand complex business processes in a short amount of time.


GT: We took a look at your LinkedIn Profile. How was your experience as a systems engineer in Infosys?


Pavithra Kumar: It was a wonderful experience since I stayed away from my hometown for the first time, remained in Mysore, and worked in a different environment. The training in Infosys was a memorable and enriching experience. It took some time for me to settle initially, but once I got comfortable, I made friends easily and quickly adapted to the new working environment. I was primarily trained in main-frame technology and python as well. After my training period, I got an opportunity to work as an application developer or on development projects. So, my first client was a US-based retail chain. There, I got the chance to develop web and mobile applications, work on real-world data science, and identify the critical factors that helped build better products. This experience gave me an overall idea of how IT operations work from a fresher's perspective.


GT: How did you learn about the management internship opportunity, and what did you learn from the internship?


Pavithra Kumar: I was made aware of my summer and winter internships through my college. I did my winter internship as a market research analyst for an international attorney firm in Chennai. I conducted market research working directly with the CEO to bridge the gap between clients' expectations and firms offering in the market for client retention. It was an exciting experience which is something different from what I was used to doing. I did my summer internship at ANC ITES LLP, a start-up-based job portal company, where I performed market analysis to examine the market size, segments, and customer expectations. Also, I identified the key performance indicators used to measure the progress. Based on user expectations, I further developed a prototype model. I shared it with the technical team, which helped them develop an application as per the requirements of business stakeholders and customers. In addition, I created a future roadmap with the view that an organization could grow further by achieving its objectives. 


GT: How was your experience in IIT Madras after completing your master's degree?  


Pavithra Kumar: It was a great and memorable experience. It was a lot of learning, and it laid an excellent platform for me to enhance my hard and soft skills. I had an opportunity to learn from the outstanding professor and fellow students. People were energetic and motivated. Also, I learnt a few words from other languages, which made it even more exhilarating. I liked the campus. It was huge, and there were many occasions. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to study the MBA program at IIT Madras.


GT: How did you get the chance to work as a senior analyst at BNY Mellon?


Pavithra Kumar: I was placed through the campus and was very happy to be a part of the corporate treasury unit of BNY Mellon as a senior analyst. In April, I joined the bank right after my MBA program. The team is excellent to work with, and the projects are incredible.


GT: Would you like to comment on the postgraduate series graduate initiative by the Guindy Times?


Pavithra Kumar: To be honest, it's commendable. This series is a brilliant idea from the Guindy Times. A big shout-out to the team because this would be a great eye-opener and would give proper guidance and motivation to the aspirants. I am glad to have shared my insights in the postgraduate series. All the best to everyone trying to realize their potential and make their dreams a reality. Thanks again for this excellent opportunity.


The Guindy Times thanks Pavithra Kumar for sharing her experience with us and wishes the best for her future endeavours.