Before studying an MBA at one of the UK's top business schools, Amit Mahajan
worked as a Team Leader for CSC in Germany and in his home, India. He was in a leadership role for over four years with one of the top IT services and solutions companies and was responsible for training up to 20 of his fellow colleagues.
Before that, in August 2005, he landed a job with a branch of IBM - the global technology and consulting corporation that operates in over 170 different countries - as a Module Leader. Before leaving in July the following year, he was tasked with the job of sourcing of IBM's global financing. And he did not fail; Amit delivered system enhancements that saved IBM significant costs.
But it is his work outside of the developed business hubs of London and Europe that deserves the biggest accolades. Amit graduated from the full-time MBA program at Cranfield University School of Management
in 2011, an achievement he completed with the QS Top MBA Community Leaders Scholarship. Founded in 2003, the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Education Trust was set up with the aim of becoming the leading independent community-based provider of postgraduate scholarships.
In short, they help MBAs like Amit pay for their b-school tuition in recognition of their outstanding community work and social good. The total fund is now over $1.2 million, all of which is donated by Quacquarelli Symonds and its partner institutions.
Amit was awarded the MBA scholarship for setting up a group called FEAST, which helped feed poor children in the slums of Delhi in India. In March this year, it was reported that one in six Indian city residents live in the unsanitary conditions of slums that are "unfit for human habitation", according to the first census of India's vast slum population. In 2012, India had around 93 million people living in slums. As much as 50 per cent of New Delhi's population is thought to reside in slums.
Poverty is rife in India and this week it's Government passed into law The National Food Security Bill, a program to provide free food to around 800 million Indians. But Amit did his bit to help children back in 2008. "We used to feed the poor children in the slums near the Delhi area in India," he said. "But we also used to help make them aware of how to build a better life."
Amit said that they used to feed up to 100 children on a regular basis at weekends. He started with a team of three volunteers but that number soon swelled to around 50. "Some people want to give you their time initially, but you will find lots more that are willing to help. We were about 150 in our India project team (seperate to FEAST), so we tried to spread awareness and asked them all to contribute 100 rupees a month each.
"You wont believe the kind of response we got back. People are always willing to help and someone has to ask them for that help."
Amit had to move to the UK to study his MBA at Cranfield, but the project lived on and some volunteers are still involved. "The challenge now is to maintain the expenses; even though we had inflows of money it was a challenge to keep the project going, due to the core of the team being split across various parts of the world."
If you believe in karma, then Amit's career success will surely seem justified. After finishing his MBA at Cranfield, he landed a job as as a Management Consultant at Atos Consulting, where he worked on CIO advisory and business technology strategy, to name but a few projects.
In June this year, he succeeded in being hired by PricewaterhouseCooper's, one of the worlds top consulting firms, where he has worked for four months. Consulting careers
are immensely popular in the MBA world and offer some of the highest starting salaries you can get. Originally from India, Amit says there were multiple factors to him getting through the interview process, but the careers team and alumni network at Cranfield had a big role to play.
"Because it was my first time in the UK, the career services team at Cranfield helped me prepare with mock interviews and explained how things worked," he said.
"I also actively engaged with the Cranfield alumni who had senior positions in consulting, in different organizations. Some of them really helped me achieve what I have so far. They gave me the confidence to move into consulting in a new country."
Amit had offers from other top business schools including Lancaster University Management School, Manchester Business School, Vlerick Business School in Belgium, SP Jain in Singapore and Rotterdam School of Management in the Netherlands. But he chose Cranfield because it focuses on the "softer side of business". "I went for Cranfield solely because it focuses on your softer side of business and to how be successful in a management career," he said.
"In my opinion, you have to have an understanding of the behaviours of different cultures to be successful in managerial roles. Cranfield gave me that exposure in a diverse class, as well as in the curriculum. I expanded my horizons not only through my peers' knowledge, but also through the Organisational Behaviour, Personal & Professional Development module. I now understand how different people operate in varied situations, differently."
After winning a scholarship in recognition of his outstanding community work in the slums of India, Amit was able to complete an MBA and go on to world at one of the worlds leading consultancy companies. To find out more about how the Cranfield MBA can benefit you, visit their page here