Compiled By Shubhi Tripathi
As a fashion design graduate from NIFT Chennai, Garima Srivastava had a safe career ahead of her. She worked for four years across the country and became familiar with the corporate set-up. But it was the ambition to boost her personality and take her career a notch further that brought her to Jaipuria Institute of Management, Lucknow. The second year PGDM student has already made an impact after being the topper in Retail Management (she also majors in Marketing), but is looking forward to the bright future ahead.
Garima recounts her journey from being a working professional to a promising student with some nostalgia and a huge dollop of confidence. “I was born in Lucknow and this programme has brought me back here. I have worked in the Retail and Merchandising sectors with renowned brands all over the country. So I am adaptable to change; new situations or people don’t scare me,” she says calmly.
Getting back to studies was also a practical decision for Garima, who realised the need to get her basics sorted as she interacted with corporate companies during her stint as a professional. “Only when you have your basics right can you find efficient solutions to issues that you encounter in your day to day work life. It becomes easier to implement your ideas because you know that they are rooted in solid concepts. A business runs better if your rationality and risk-taking abilities are backed by a strong knowledge base,” she says wisely.
In fact, Garima’s wise approach to situations and, of course, her experience as a professional has become a hit with her friends at Jaipuria Lucknow. This combination has even won her the title of “Corporate Agony Aunt”, which instantly brings a smile to her face. But what was it that brought her to the institute in the first place? Garima gets a bit philosophical as she says, “The farther you stay from your home, the more intimately it calls you back. Jaipuria has students from across the country. I was fortunate enough to get into the premium institute in my home town, so why wouldn’t I make the most of it?”
Today, Garima handles the role of Head Coordinator – Corporate Relations Committee, Jaipuria Institute of Management Lucknow with aplomb. She’s appreciative of the fact that the institute offers students the opportunity to work in teams, which is a learning experience in itself. And she believes that this quality will come in handy when she walks into the corporate set-up as a professional once again.
The big difference this time will be that she will also be armed with the PGDM, which, in combination with her past work experience, should hold her in good stead. Garima has already done her summer internship with TESCO Hindustan Wholesaling Pvt. Ltd. in Mumbai, which exceeded her own expectations. “I made the first manual for Tesco DC and it is being used as their handbook across South India. The entire experience was so enriching and complete in itself. Of course I made mistakes, but I learnt to correct them too, because ultimately you are the only one accountable for them,” she says practically.
With her stints as student and professional you’d expect Garima to have well-rounded advice for her juniors, and she doesn’t disappoint when she says, “Try and understand the concepts because the corporate world is not about bookish definitions, but about the art of implementing one’s knowledge and ideas into a live project. Marks don’t decide your fate.”