Three Feats At The Campus Beats: PPO Journey At ZS Associates.
Excellence is deliberate and so it is intentionally pursued. Although the pandemic has brought monotonicity in our lives, taking steps to learn is the quality of a true philomath. Recently, the renowned consulting and professional services firm ZS Associates, conducted its popular ZS Campus Beats Case Challenge 2020 in which the undergraduates from different colleges all over the country took part. NIT Rourkela did not miss the chance to shine brightly yet again as three students from the college, Simran Chauhan, Shriya Aishwarya Pati and Shubham Ranjan Sahoo, bagged Pre-Placement Offers (PPOs) at the company.
Campus Beats is ZS’s flagship university engagement program, where a series of interactive sessions such as webinars, discussions with industry experts, and case challenges are conducted. Through this, the applicants are prepared for the ZS’s interview rounds. The teams triumphed the case challenge round and advanced towards the webinars and discussions. Out of this extensive testing, three students out of the ten participated, stood up with a PPO in hand.
Two teams with five members in each of them, represented NIT Rourkela in the competition. They were:
The Wit Club
Arnav Katiyar (CH)
Shriya Aishwarya Pati (EE)
Simran Chauhan (CH)
Shubham Ranjan Sahoo (ME)
Shambhavi Singh (CH)
Jagannath Pandit (EE)
Siddhant Mohanty (CH)
Pruthak Swain (EE)
Shruti Jain (CH)
Astarag Mohapatra (ME)
IN PIC: SIMRAN CHAUHAN
Team MM asked Simran Chauhan, from the Team ‘The Wit Club’, about her experience throughout the process and the case challenge. She added:
It was a great experience. There was a lot of learning and unlearning involved. The case study was based on the feasibility of launching electric cars in India and various parameters had to be determined based on the data given. We had a window of 48 hours to solve the case study and submit the answers on the ZS portal. A few weeks later, the results were announced and two teams from NIT Rourkela were ranked in top 100 out of 2700+ participating teams. We thus got a chance to appear for the placement process, which consisted of five elimination rounds.
IN PIC: SHRIYA AISHWARYA PATI
Shriya, from the Team Excelsior, further added to her cognizance about the minutes of the competition, her preparation strategy, and plans;
MM: What was the purpose of the competition? Which colleges participated in it?
Shriya: The purpose of the competition was to check out the analytical and problem-solving abilities of the undergraduate students from the engineering colleges and to check their business acumen by thinking through real-world scenarios. ZS previously had an agreement with the college’s training and placement cell so that was how the colleges were shortlisted. Over 100 popular colleges of India took part in it including almost all IITs, NITs, BITS, VITs, and so forth.
MM: How did you come up with the decision to apply for this competition? How did everything start; the team formation, etc?
Shriya: Owing to the previous lockdown situation, I was not sure about my internship, which was at Schneider, back then (which is going on now), and I came to know about this competition. Through this event, we had a chance of getting a PPO at the company and I had pre-planned pursuing an MBA down the line in my career. Therefore, I viewed it as a good opportunity and hence, participated. The team formation was very informal. We just gathered friends who were interested in this stuff and formed the team.
MM: What was your project/case challenge all about and how did you come up with the idea for the same in pitching the right solution?
Shriya: The challenge was about a motor vehicle company that was looking forward to introducing its e-vehicle in India. We were given some data about the condition of the Indian market and the demand and supply of cars. We had to find the future size of the market if the e-vehicle is introduced. They had given us dome forecasted data taking into account the current market scenario of India and we were asked to analyze the things based on the provided data. They aimed to test our basic data interpretation, logical, analytical skills. Some of our team members were good at Excel sheets and coding and they helped to solve the problem based on these.
MM: Was there any specific preparation strategy you formed before participating in the competition?
Shriya: There was not any actual preparation, but in general, the participants should be good with data interpretation, logical reasoning, and Mathematics. Moreover, keeping in touch with the current affairs and the economic side of the newspaper helps a lot.
MM: Were there any other benefits that came along with the PPO after achieving the feat in this competition? How was the entire experience been throughout?
Shriya: Since the world is going through such unprecedented times, having a pre-placement offer in hand puts you in a good situation. In times where campus placements have not started yet, the offer will help me with being flexible and focusing on the higher goals that I have set for my career. ZS has always been my dream company, as I always wanted to pursue a career in consulting. The whole competition was extensive yet enthralling.
MM: After making the most of this auspicious opportunity, how are you planning your future?
As I got plenty of time now, I am thinking to start my early preparation for CAT. The whole process rendered me more inclined towards consulting and I look forward to striving for achieving excellence in the field.
MM: How would you recommend participating in such competitions to the junta? What skills exactly do the aspirants need to brush up themselves before participating in this competition?
In competitions like these, improvisation plays a vital role. The participant should be well off with logical reasoning, quantitative aptitude, and mathematics as I said before. Teamwork plays an indispensable role, hence, building a team with a wide range of abilities but a single goal is a spot on. Keep yourself aware of economics, global awareness, and have faith in yourself.
Shubham Ranjan Sahoo shared his experience throughout the challenges as;
Each minute of the 48-hour ZS Campus Beats Case Challenge was thrilling. While it gave us an insight into the real world business scenario, it was also a hands-on learning opportunity to hone up our business acumen and apply our analytical skills. Apart from that, it was exhilarating working in a team of five and brainstorming ideas throughout. We never knew how good our competitors are since there were students from both commerce and engineering backgrounds from all over the country, hence without any expectations, our only focus was to leverage our problem-solving aptitude in the best manner. From a point where I thought it was not possible to interpret such large amount of data given to us to end up being in the Top 100 Winners list among the 2700 teams that participated, thanks to my Team Excelsior who did not leave any stone unturned in joining the dots, solving the case and completing just minutes before the deadline. Lucky to get a PPO at ZS, I am waiting to start an exciting yet a challenging journey.
Team MM congratulates the PPO holders for bringing laurels to the institute and wishes them good luck for their future endeavours.