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Manage self is management mantra

- IIM Shillong’s first Khasi alumnus laments lack of coaching institutes in city

Shillong, April 30: His message to wannabe management gurus is simple: If you are aspiring to become a future manager, start immediately by managing the most important person — yourself.

That is the message Jeremy Simon Nongrum, the first Khasi to graduate from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Shillong, would like to convey.

A BTech (computer science) from the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Tiruchirappalli, the soft-spoken MBA, who graduated earlier this month from IIM Shillong, has been placed with PowerGrid Corporation of India, the central transmission utility (CTU) of the country under the Union power ministry.

Nongrum, 23, who entered IIM Shillong in 2012 without any previous work experience, told The Telegraph that the initial days were difficult for him. But he gradually gained confidence by increasing his circle of interaction. “The more you talk with other people, the more it helps,” he said.

On the craze for seats in IIMs and IITs, Nongrum was of the opinion that these elite institutions are much sought after. “I believe the craze is still there. I have friends who want to get into IIMs, and they are seeking tips on how to prepare for CAT (common aptitude test). A platform is required where those who have graduated from such institutions can share with the young aspirants the advantages or disadvantages (of IIMs),” Nongrum said.

While there may be many young people who appear for CAT, he lamented that there are not too many coaching institutions in the city to train the aspirants.

“There is one thing that all CAT aspirants must always keep in mind — never lose hope. The performance of any candidate is determined by not only how well he/she fares, but also by how well the rest of the candidates taking the examination fare,” he pointed out.

While praising the young people from this part of the region for their flair for speaking English, he lamented that unlike people from other states, “we start very late in preparing for examinations like the JEE and AIEEE.”

“They (students from outside) have an edge as they start early, and they are also pushed to work hard. Hence, students from this part of the country should also try to start early. Be determined, focussed, and do not get distracted,” the young graduate advised.

On PSUs, Nongrum said most now have management graduates heading important positions. “Most of the PSUs now have a framework where they follow the pattern of a private corporation. This helps in managing the corporation more and be on a par with private players,” Nongrum said.

The young achiever said IIM Shillong is catching up with other IIMs and that the faculty is “really good”.

“It will be better if the institute can have more in-house rather than visiting faculty. Bring in home-grown talent or even talent from outside,” he added.

Armed with an MBA, Nongrum is enthusiastic to put into practice what he has learnt from his experience at the IIM. Although he has achieved a placement with PowerGrid, he has plans to set up his own enterprise later on.

“I will take up something later as an entrepreneur and provide jobs to people,” he said.

“Make yourself your own benchmark and strive to get better. You will realise that questions like how many hours do you study or how much did you score in the mock test are immaterial. If you are sure about why you really want to pursue an MBA, you will be able to get rid of these distractions and focus on your goal,” Nongrum signed off.


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