Career Workshop iAspire concludes with students’ interaction with industry leaders

New Delhi: Indian School of Business & Finance (ISBF), New Delhi, a leading institute in Economics, Finance and Management in India providing international degrees from reputed foreign universities for over a decade, invited Mr. Deep Kalra, Founder of MakeMyTrip, and Dr. James Abdey, Associate Academic Director at LSE and a Visiting Lecturer at ISBF, for the concluding sessions of its first-ever immersive careers workshop, iASPIRE, for current and graduated class XII students on Sunday, July 12, 2020.

ISBF’s iASPIRE workshop series, a natural extension of its pedagogy and born out of its deep collaboration with high schools across the country, saw over 40 students from top schools across the country participate in sessions led by acclaimed industry and academic leaders.

The last day of the workshop commenced with an address from the ISBF faculty – Prof Aryapriya Ganguly, Assistant Professor of Management, who also recently achieved the distinguished status of becoming a University of London Worldwide Recognised Tutor, and Prof Navni Kothari, Assistant Professor of Economics, on creating online communities to distil information effectively.

In perhaps the most awaited session of the workshop series, participants got an invaluable opportunity to interact with the industry stalwart Mr. Deep Kalra, Founder of MakeMyTrip, who shared precious insights into entrepreneurship as a career and starting up in times of COVID-19.

Talking about the basic characteristics of entrepreneurs, he said, ‘You have to have the attitude of a problem-solver. As an entrepreneur, you can never say no. You have to find opportunities amidst the challenges to progress. I have never seen an entrepreneur who hasn’t seen a long winter!”. He emphasized on resilience as one of the most important qualities of an entrepreneur, especially during unprecedented tough times such as the present situation where organisations are grappling with keeping afloat.

Mr. Kalra also shared his experience of founding MakeMyTrip and how the market leader in the travel industry has adapted to the challenges posed by the worldwide pandemic. When asked to give advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, he simply stated, “Do not quit too early.”

Responding to on the importance of a strong academic background to establish credibility as an entrepreneur, Mr. Kalra, an IIM-Ahmedabad graduate himself, affirmed that there are quite a few skills that a high-quality education equips a person with to aide in their entrepreneurial journey. He went on to say, ‘ISBF itself is a well-respected institution. To be affiliated with LSE is no small thing. I know some of the alumni of ISBF, and the institution is only getting better and better.”

The session by Mr. Kalra was followed by a talk by Dr. James Abdey, Associate Academic Director at LSE, on careers in Data Science. Dr. Abdey, who is a visiting lecturer at ISBF for the upcoming academic year, is one of the pioneers of the data science programme at the London School of Economics (LSE), and is also involved in the extended educational offerings by the institution.

Dr. Abdey relayed the importance of Data Science not only as a subject but also as its far-reaching implications when applied to the field of economics and social science at large. “At the very heart of Data Science is the notion of decision making. It could be a jury deciding whether to find someone guilty or not guilty of a crime. It could be in finance while deciding whether to buy or sell or short a stock. In a public policy setting, it could be deciding whether to have a lockdown in a country or not. Data scientists have an opportunity to assist the ultimate decision-maker by attaching probabilistic estimates of certain events occurring.”

With the growing popularity of the field – Data Scientist was termed as the hottest job of the 21st century by HBR – the role of universities in preparing students for careers of the future is paramount. “This is why you’ll see most top universities offering courses in data science at undergraduate and postgraduate level, that didn’t exist some 10-20 years ago”, he remarked, going on to delve into the high-growth career opportunities in data science.

The session ended with Dr. Abdey opening the floor for questions from the participating students. The last day before the closing ceremony was wrapped by the ISBF faculty and moderators, encapsulating the learning and knowledge forms that had been shared during the tenure of the workshop.

The other three days of iASPIRE saw industry speakers including Dr. Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), Nikhil Arora, MD and Vice President, GoDaddy, Pallavi Malani, Managing Partner and Director, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Pranay Agarwal, Equity Research Analyst at Goldman Sachs India, and Mr. Vikas Newatia, CEO, Royal and Sun Alliance India.

The closing ceremony of iASPIRE is scheduled for July 13, 2020, where the participants will interact with ISBF faculty on their experience of the workshop and receive their certification based on their assignments.

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