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‘MBA helped me make a career pivot’

Apeejay Kharghar alumnus Dhananjay Sanjeev Dar’s professional journey is all about new learnings



Dhananjay Sanjeev Dar, alumnus of Apeejay School, Kharghar, began his professional voyage as an engineer but soon realised he had different aspirations. After completing an MBA degree, he is now working as a management trainee at HDFC Life. In an interview, Dhananjay, who lives in Roadpali, Navi Mumbai, tells us about his achievements at school, learnings at his job, and more. Edited excerpts:  

What memories do you have of Apeejay Kharghar and what was your experience like?

I joined Apeejay Kharghar in 2003 in class 3; the school was founded in 2000 so I was among the early batches. I studied there till 2012. I had an amazing experience at school. I had a great rapport with the teachers. Not to mention my wonderful bond with friends who I am still in touch with. In school, I was the sports captain for blue house and one of the best memories I have is of winning the trophy for the best house for ranking first in most sports competitions. My teachers appreciated me a lot for my efforts in leading the team.

What did you pursue after school?

I took up chemical engineering at Mumbai University. After completing college, I got placed in Flowserve Sanmar Ltd, which deals in engineered mechanical sealing devices. I worked there for two years after which I went on to pursue an MBA in Marketing and Finance from TA Pai Management Institute. I completed my degree in 2021 and then joined HDFC Life.

Is there a reason why you gave up engineering and went on to get an MBA degree?

My first professional stint in the manufacturing industry as a mechanical engineer soon made me realise the limited growth opportunities in the field. I wanted to move out of the industry and attempt something different. That is how I decided to pursue an MBA to pivot into a new career.  

As a management trainee at HDFC, what have some of your major learnings been?

I feel fortunate to have joined a venture which is quite new. At HDFC Life, I have had the chance to get all-round exposure including budgeting, sales calls, marketing collaterals, communication, and so on. I am lucky that I get to report directly to the head of the channel, who has been a good mentor to me. Overall, it is a great learning experience.

Is there a job that you aspire for?

I don’t particularly have a dream job but I want to work across different verticals in the future like key account management or finance or a core strategic role. I want to move across industries and across roles.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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