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‘Students must work on live projects to improve their analytical skills’

Financial analyst Rajinder Bhola, an alumnus of Apeejay School of Management (ASM), says the B-school takes the much-needed initiative to help students get internship opportunities

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Apeejay School of Management (ASM) alumnus Rajinder Bhola’s time in college was quite eventful. From managing responsibilities as a class representative to actively participating in cultural events, Bhola believes that each of his experiences taught him various life skills. In an interview, the financial analyst, who works with Cooper Standard, shares what he learned at ASM, tips for management students, and more. Edited excerpts:

What are your best memories from ASM?

I was popular in college (laughs). In my first year, I was the class representative of my section and subsequently for all the sections, in the second year. In my role, I had to meet the expectations of both the teachers and the students, which was a learning experience in itself.

How helpful was the faculty?

The faculty made their best effort to teach us. I am in touch with a lot of my teachers. I had a memorable experience at ASM.

Why did you opt for management in Finance and Marketing?

My interest in Finance developed during college. After my first year, which does not include any specialisation, I realised I like playing with numbers and data. My interest turned into intent when I bagged my first internship, which was in finance, with Cooper Standard. Eventually, I chose Finance as my ‘major’ and Marketing as my ‘minor’ subject.

Did you always aspire to become a financial analyst?

My desire to become a financial analyst was fuelled by the internship. That is why I think internships are very important to evaluate your options and find out what works best for you. ASM takes the much-needed initiative to help students get internship opportunities.

Can you share some tips for the students at ASM?

It is important to set your goal right from the beginning. If you are pursuing an MBA, you need to zero in on the field you want to pursue. By the end of the first year, there should be enough clarity about what you want to do. Second, individuals should take personal responsibility to explore opportunities rather than being completely dependent on the college.

How did ASM prepare you for the future?

I am grateful to ASM for everything I learned there. It is because of them that I am now working as a financial analyst with one of the leading companies globally. Apart from the curriculum, ASM helped me build confidence. I have learned coordination and management skills and leadership qualities. I was also encouraged to participate in several co-curricular activities, from the annual fest to drama and games. I was also part of the organising team for alumni events.

You worked with NGOs too. Can you share your experience?

I wanted to help people and disseminate whatever I had learned. So, as part of a college club, we visited NGOs for children where we donated clothes and engaged them in activities. We also visited old age homes and spent time with the elderly. Even after leaving college, my friends and I continued to collaborate with NGOs to help those in need.

How can students improve financial analytical skills?

I would highly recommend working on live projects, something that has helped me personally. You can use your weekends or your free time to do this. This will also help you set your goals right. Simultaneously, you should learn how to efficiently use tools like Power bi, Advance Excel, Python, and so on. These tools will help you in your future endeavours. Additionally, delve deeper into the projects offered by the college to develop problem-solving skills. Analyse shares deeply, open a Demat account and try trading, for first-hand experience. Start investing early. Just save a minimum amount of money, say Rs 500-Rs 1000 from your pocket money, and start a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP). Just learning about them from books is not enough; you also need to get a practical understanding of how these systems work.

What should beginners investing in mutual funds keep in mind?

Calculate your risks, based on the risk matrix of any company and invest accordingly. There are apps that provide you consolidated statements of a company, which you can refer to as well to plan your investments. 

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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