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‘My engineering job inspired me to pursue business management’: Apeejay Kharghar alumnus

Vaibhav Patil, who works with Reliance Industries Ltd, shares how he switched to a managerial role from that of an engineer

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Apeejay Kharghar alumnus Vaibhav Patil, who began his professional journey as a shift field engineer, realised very early in his career that business management, not engineering, is where his interest lies. “I took up engineering after school just because my friends were doing it too,” he says, only to find his true calling once he started his first job. Currently working as a Product Manager in Reliance Industries Ltd, Vaibhav tells us more about his future plans. Read on:

What memories do you have of Apeejay School, Kharghar?

I studied at Apeejay Kharghar till class 10. It was a glorious journey, full of learnings. The school had a deep impact on my overall personality, apart from academics. Apeejay gave me some great friends, who I am still in touch with. Apeejay was like family to me. All the teachers were very helpful and supportive.

What did you pursue after school?

After class 10, I went to Kota to prepare for IIT. But that did not work out, so I joined Bharatiya Vidyapeeth College of Engineering, Kharghar. I pursued Chemical Engineering. At college, I secured a job at Reliance Industries through campus placement. I joined the company after graduating in 2017.

What inspired a shift from engineering to business management?

Initially, I was posted in Jamnagar, Gujarat, where I worked as a shift field engineer. I worked in the Aromatics plant where my job involved managing a team of nine people. In the allotted shift, I had to manage the entire plant as the team leader and fulfill the required objectives. It was through the job role that I developed an interest in business management. I finally decided to explore it as a career option. 

Fortunately, Reliance gave me the opportunity to switch to a similar role for which I moved to Navi Mumbai a year ago. Currently, I work in their petrochemicals business department—I look after the supply chain operations of Paraxylene (an important petrochemical building block).

Are you also planning to pursue an MBA?

Yes, I took the exams for a full-time MBA with my job and am waiting for the results. I look forward to studying MBA from a top Indian college.

Was it difficult to manage MBA preparation with a full-time job?

I realised quite early that I would have to make some sacrifices and set my priorities. I dedicated my weekends to studying instead of hanging out with friends. On weekdays too, I tried to utilise my time after office to prepare. For months, I skipped movies, TV series, etc. The journey was definitely hectic but now when I look back, I think it was worth it.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Senior 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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