Interaction with Industry expert: Usha Subramanian (Head- Graduate Hiring, MphasiS) on ‘Bridging the Skills Gap’

Students attempting the Elevator pitch during the session

Ms. Usha Subramanian (Head- Graduate Hiring and Technical learning, MphasiS) spent a day with the students of IIM Kashipur. She conducted a guest lecture covering the emerging trends in Talent Acquisition among IT companies.

Ms. Usha dons multiple hats at MphasiS. As the head of technical learning, she leads domain learning for multiple business units including the market units. Her team takes care of campus hiring and subsequent training of the graduates. She is also the head of HR Excellence and looks after HR policies, process governance and managing external and internal audits. Additionally, she is the HR CIO and manages system requirements from different HR functions.

Interacting with the students of IIM Kashipur, she reminisced about the start of her career in 1989 as an administrator in Birla Institute of Technology and Science and her emotional connection to the field of teaching. She spoke of the need to have a risk-taking attitude, and mentioned how she and her husband ventured into unknown territory by launching an internet-based start-up during the tumultuous time of 2001.

Students attempting the Elevator pitch during the session

                                        Students attempting the Elevator pitch during the session

Having worked in both the academia and the corporate HR field, Ms. Usha compared the two fields and showcased the nature of the gap which exists between the students’ skill set and the expectations from the Industry. Students themselves drew on their prior work experiences in which they found themselves to be lacking in some aspect of technical competency as a result of flaws in the curriculum. Later, Ms. Usha conducted an impromptu session on the ‘Elevator pitch’. She asked 3 students to sell their favourite brands and then sell themselves effectively to a corporate head in 30 seconds. It was seen that the students did quite well in promoting their favourite brands, but came up short when asked to sell their own competencies. The result did not surprise Ms. Usha at all, for she has witnessed the same incident happening each time she conducts a session on the same.

The students at IIM Kashipur quizzed Ms. Usha on the competencies required to make it as successful managers in the IT industry. In reply to this, Ms. Usha stressed upon the need for better communication skills and the ability to lead effectively by inspiring others. She also expressed the need to have a substantially more number of cases based on Indian context, as business scenarios depicted in Western case studies have a lot of cultural differences when compared to the actual business scenarios in India. She also provided the students with insights on MphasiS and its work culture along with the various career opportunities in MphasiS, such as its Future Leaders Programme. The students of IIM Kashipur enjoyed the session as it provided them with a clearer picture of what will be expected of them in the near future, as they step into the role of managers.

A few words by Ms. Usha: –

“It is my pleasure to be amongst young minds raring to make it big in their professional world. I wish each one of you all the very best.”

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