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‘At ASM, the faculty made learning engaging and relevant using case studies’

An MBA graduate from Apeejay School of Management, Deepak Mohan shares how learning and relearning aid professional growth

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Deepak Mohan, Business Program Manager (Seller & Partner Risk) with Amazon, completed his B Tech in Mechatronics, Robotics and Automation Engineering from Sastra University, Bangalore and subsequently joined Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). In 2016, he decided to pursue MBA from the Apeejay School of Management, Dwarka. Henceforth, his exciting journey with Amazon began. In a telephonic interview, the ASM alumnus shares his diversified experience at the multinational tech giant and his inclination towards job roles that involve people management.

At present, you are a Business Program Manager at Amazon. However, you worked in varied positions in the company. How did you make these transitions? 

Amazon has been quite a roller-coaster ride for me. When I was recruited from the ASM campus, I was hired for a completely different role. It was more to do with people management. But the good part was since  I was a postgrad I was hired for a managerial position and had to handle teams of 17-18 folks. The challenge then was that the role was completely virtual. Today managing a team virtually has become normal. But 3-4 years back, it was completely new for me, wherein I  was asked to work from a remote location and people from my team were working from different places. What helped me at that time was my qualification in HR from Apeejay and it helped me sail through my first role in Amazon.

The second role I took up was more of operations than to do with HR. I was a part of the Amazon Customer Excellence System Team and we were responsible for looking after process improvement and innovation, conducting internal and external quality audits, etc. But in the last two years, I have been fortunate to play a key role in driving the Covid-19 vaccinations for Amazon India.

In my current position, I am a part of Amazon’s Brand Protection Team. I play a core programme manager role. But the best part about this role is it involves interacting  with a lot of teams based in Seattle , Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

Why did you choose to pursue an MBA in Human Resources?

I was recruited in TCS after my engineering. It was during my stint at TCS I got to know that the HR department, especially the learning and development team was looking for someone to build a smart learning solution – an e-learning module. That was my first exposure to the world of HR. Working with the Talent Acquisition and Talent Engagement teams, I got a lot of hands-on experience. I realised that Human Resources including people management, interacting with different people, is something that attracts me. That kind of motivated me to pursue an MBA in HR. I was also lucky to have managers who encouraged me to go for this and Apeejay gave me that platform to pursue a programme where I learnt both Human Resources Management and Operations.

Would you recommend an aspirant to go for an MBA in HR?

I happened to be the only boy in my class (Laughs). People management is something that you may think you know. But you need to go into the depth of it to understand people. Aspirants nowadays usually run behind courses in marketing, finance, ect. I totally agree there are a lot of opportunities in these fields. But anything you do you need to understand the stakeholders and people involved. And human resources is something that entirely shapes you to do so. It nurtures people management skills of an individual. Today, the role of an HR is even more fascinating. HR teams are developing smart systems, creating e-recruiting platforms using analytics.These things did not exist 5-6 years ago. But now things have changed. 

Why did you choose Apeejay?

Apeejay School of Management was a natural choice. I gave my MAT exam and cracked it. Moreover, a few of my friends and engineering college alumni who had passed out from Apeejay recommended me. When I went for my GD round, I could feel the positivity. The first impression of the college is once you enter and interact with the faculty members. They were also impressed by my resume. So, Apeejay was an instant hit.

Share some of your fond memories from ASM?

Something that I boast of even today is I am the only person from ASM who got 10 CGPA in five trimesters out of six. It’s a record that I am proud of. Another one would be synergy.

Your key learnings from ASM? 

Coming from an engineering background I was scared because most people in my batch had commerce or finance background. For me, a guy who had only seen machines, the balance sheet was completely new for me. The initial months were tricky for me . But I was really lucky to have good faculty members. They were great mentors and guided me to work on a lot of practice problems. Faculty at Apeejay is truly invested in the individual who actually wants to learn. I still have my notes with me that were super helpful. 

Another interesting aspect was learning via case studies. The faculty made learning very engaging. Apeejay had also provided a lot of key learning modules. That really kind of helped us in the interview process. It is because when you quote something or make a point and you back it up with data. I really like the idea of integrating case studies into the main curriculum.  

There was a regular emphasis on learning and relearning. In HR specifically, there is nothing to do with data or formulas. It’s more to do with concepts. The key learning was the ability to learn and relearn. It’s important to have the bandwidth to relearn what you have already learnt and apply it. It helps me even today.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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