An Interview with Umang Khetan, FM University Topper, NM College of Commerce and Economics (85.17%)
- Tell us more about yourself.
I’m a 19 year old chap waiting to graduate and start earning. At NM College for close to 5 years now, I have learnt and grown in the past few years more than the rest of my teenage combined. At BMS, I have realised a lot more about what I will be in my future. I am a traveller, ready to pack my bags and leave. Uncustomary for someone my age, I love teaching. I am associated with Teach India of the Times of India. An avid reader, I play badminton and chess.
- Were you expecting to top in the exams? To whom would you credit this success to?
I have maintained stoicism when it comes to exam result. Much less expecting anything, I actually forget that the exams ever happened till someone reminds me that results are round the corner. So there was no anticipation whatsoever of my having scored well in the exam.
Now that I have secured decent percentage, I credit my professors and my parents who always ensured that I have the best facility to keep my studies going.
- Did you prepare religiously from day One or A few weeks before the exams?
Neither. The pressure starts to build up at around the time of First Internal exam which were sometime in July. The intimidation created by the college made me open the books and start reading about 3 months before the exam. Last minute preparations do not work. Kicking off preparations from day one can be too taxing. The right time to start is when you are neither too close to the exam nor so far that you’d certainly not remember anything that you read for the exam.
- How did you allot time to different subjects?
Yes. A self-made timetable greatly helped me. It brings discipline and regularity in studies. There is no fixed number of hours that you can dedicate to studies. But I made it a point to practise Finance sums almost every day and that helped me top the subject at the University.
- Can you share some insights on how to crack the subjects before exams?
SSF: Daily practise sums and do not rote learn theory. It is important to understand “how” things happen and reproduce the answer as per your own understanding.
FM: Again, daily practise of sums. Understand the logic behind each topic and that forms your theory preparation.
Service Mgmt: The paper this time was unexpected. Only one advice: Stop expecting that the university will repeat questions or even the format.
Logistics: It is a technical subject so know your terminologies very well. Study regularly but don’t mug up from day one. Just understand the concepts and learning will be easy towards the end of the course period.
HRM: Put yourself in the shoes of an employee and an employer and think of the concepts. It will be crystal clear and once you know what is done and why is it done, you are thorough with HRM. There is quite a lot to study in HRM so don’t leave this subject for later date. It is a good subject to begin your preparations with.
Business Ethics: Start your studies 5 weeks before the exams.
Case Studies: They are not reference to context so know your subject well. Apply concepts w.r.t. the case and it is not difficult to score well in case studies.
There is no need of filling up answer sheets in anticipation of getting marks for length. The truth is that examiner does not read matter. Keep your answers of decent length but highlight important points.
- Do you think BMS student require coaching classes or is self-study enough? Had you joined any coaching class for a particular subject?
No, I did not join any coaching class and I think none is required. Even if you cannot grasp well in your college, prioritize self-study over coaching classes.
- Did you participate in college fests or extra-curricular activities? Do you think a BMS student can manage both studies and extra activities?
On yes! In fact I do not think of a month when I was not involved in extra-curricular. If only I had more time, I would participate more. Festivals, Debates, Social Work, Elocution and what not!
ONLY BMS STUDENTS GET THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE. If they kill their time in trifles, no one can help.
- Did you pursue any additional courses/ internships alongside BMS?
BSE’s Accounts and Finance course I pursued in 2011. I interned with a start-up Sutra HR and then with The Reserve Bank of India.
- Today, we often come across students committing suicide out of failure, depression or tension of exams. What do you have to say about this? Did you use any special techniques for stress management?
Any attempt to thwart one’s life must be resisted. Exams come and go but life comes only once.
By nature, I do not take stress. And I try to keep myself busy with extra-curricular activities so that exam stress comes only as a catalyst to help me prepare.
- Do you think the number of Industrial visits should be increased for BMS Students? Which industries have you visited?
We have the (mis)fortune of visiting Forbes Marshall and Camlin. They were only token visits that added practically no value to us. Industrial visits must be more elaborate and well planned. The existing number will do but their quality needs to be enhanced.
- Do you think BMS students are flooded with assignments, projects and internal exams round the clock? What changes would you like to bring in the BMS Curriculum?
Certainly not. There is so much free time that one can do festivals, events, trips and so much more. Internal exams are an irritant but they keep you focused One major change that BMS needs is less theory and more practical subjects. Also, University examination system (paper correction, results etc) is in a mess. If that could be improved, there’s little else to seek.
- What message would you like to give to the next batch of BMS students?
Don’t take University exams lightly. Marks count and those who say they don’t count don’t have them. Enjoy your BMS life and participate in as many activities as you can. Make these three years contribute to your life so that when you graduate, you have more than just a degree in hand.
- What are the future plans post BMS?
Placed at Morgan Stanley and Jones Lang LaSalle. Got to choose from the two offers. Will work for a year or two and take a view on doing MBA or CFA etc. At a later stage, I plan to start a venture.
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