Prof. Amita Vaidya (Associate Dean) addresses alumni of NMIMS Sarla Anil Modi School of Economics
Alumni satisfaction is also an important measure of our quality. We now have over 100 alumni who have succeeded at attaining their degree at Sarla Anil Modi School of Economics, NMIMS and each year our most recent alumni tell us how satisfied they are with their academic experience, the skills they acquired and how both are helping them in the workplace and in places they have gone for further studies. We are connected with the Alumni through a portal ‘Alma Connect’.
Out of India
Batch of 2010-13
It has been over 4 years since I graduated from the BSc. Economics programme at NMIMS - some parts seem as clear as yesterday and yet, some feel like decades old. Perhaps, the latter could be attributed to the many life changes since.
After my graduation in April’13, I worked as a qualitative analyst 7 months, moved to a quantitative research firm for about 2 years, and thereafter, joined back university for a Master’s in the quantitative aspects of data analysis. Through all these years, I have discovered my love for playing with numbers and more so, with the codes that make this possible – bringing me to my current work – running quantitative simulations for the Clean Space Team of the European Space Agency (ESA) at their office in Netherlands. It would be not be an overstatement to say the BSc. Economics programme played a foundational role in the same.
Though putting down learnings from three years of undergraduate study seems like a monumental task, I list down the highlights here.
• Rigorous – This was one of the first and most-often used words used to describe the BSc. Economics programme. I remember the then-director’s introductory words – ‘you are like a sponge, and we are going to empty a bucket-full of water on you – absorb as much as you can.’ And, oh, he was being honest!
We had assignments, class tests, quizzes, presentations, group activities, and eventually a seminar paper and a bachelor thesis – and in short, I cannot be more thankful now. Week after weeks of presentations and rigorous workload prepared me for the same in my work life. My classmates and I often joked that work life would be a cake walk if we managed to pull through the course load. It is when I started working that I realized the head start I had over even MBAs from other universities in not only making and giving presentations, but also managing multiple tasks – both of which are essential in most fields.
• Application-based – I still get calls from relatives and friends of friends asking about my experience in NMIMS, and BSc. Economics in particular. One of the things I proudly say is how relevant the programme felt while I was learning through it – the course material majorly comprised of lecture slides, loads of reference material, and the Economic Times! We rarely had mandatory textbooks – something that surprises all who hear about it – after all, the traditional Indian educational structure has been more based on books than class participation. I could not have been happier that I was studying a programme that was different.
• Covering not only the traditional aspects of economics – As everybody who has studied economics knows – its applications are endless. Varied courses in the programme – from traditional courses of Developmental Economics, Game Theory and Econometrics, to the lesser known courses of Economics of Infrastructure and Geopolitics – ensured we knew about all aspects of economics before we had to decide on our future-paths. I have seen very few programmes since that offered such an experience through the world of economics.
• Guest lectures – About 5% of all courses were comprised of external guest lectures by individuals from industry or academics. This was one of the best ways for us then to meet professionals working in a course we were then only studying – it added a practical perspective, often helping some of us decide if we wanted to be in the shoes of those speakers.
• R – Among the three specializations offered then – Business, Finance and Economics – I chose Economics with a further focus on Econometrics. It is here that I learnt the R-software which has stayed with me since. One of the teachers used to tell us the that when we would go on to study a Master’s programme, we would find a lot of components overlapping with what we have already studied in the bachelor’s programme – most of us dismissed this then as an exaggeration. Only now, while studying my Master’s programme, do I realize how right that was. I have a hard time finding a programme that offered me something entirely additional to what I already knew – and even when I got admitted to my current programme at Erasmus University – I met so many fellow students who had no clue about R (even after years of work experience as data analysts). Of course, I skipped the introductory R course that was offered in my Master’s, but instead I spent time working on R projects with my professor, and helped others solve their R queries. As far as the course was concerned, I had aced it, and eventually received a fellowship from the European Space Agency (ESA).
• Bachelor Thesis – currently, as I work on my Master thesis, I often remember the time I wrote my bachelor thesis – after all, it was the first time I wrote a complete academic paper. The experience then did not make me grow any fonder of academic writing, but I owe a lot to my learnings then – without some of which my Master thesis with ESA would not be at the expected standard. This, and so much more, I carry with me from the BSc. Economics programme at NMIMS, adding on to the foundation through various stages of life since.
Batch of 2013-16
Warwick Course name: M. Sc. International Business
Scholarship name: Warwick Business School Scholarship
While commencing the B. Sc. Economics program, I knew that I was up for a taxing journey; however, little did I know that it would be so enjoyable and fruitful at the same time. During the start of my first term here, it honestly felt like someone woke me up from my slumber. Over time, some of the modules not only helped me get an insight into Economics but also helped me really enhance my interest. A key part of this course is that it is much updated. To quote an example, we had a course module called, ‘Ecode’ which was completely dedicated to current economic affairs; something that is unheard of in Indian universities. In our final year, we had to choose an elective between Economics, Finance and Business; this forced us to think about which area we wanted to explore ahead that eventually helped a lot of us find our calling. Even the assignments given by our professors were very unique, some of the most interesting assignments that we’ve had involved analysing movies from a certain economic standpoint, analysing policies and its impact on various parties, finding out pure retaliatory trade barriers between countries and analysing corporate cases and critically solving their problems.
Since we were a small group of students, there was also scope for everyone to take part in organising co-curricular activities, which helped us learn a lot about group dynamics and the world outside college. A combination of good course content, innovative teaching, close faculty interaction, co-curricular activities and a brilliant peer group makes the B. Sc. Economics program, a perfect fit for anyone wanting to explore the world of economics, finance, business or policy.
Year of graduation: 2013
We were the first batch of the school and I am proud to be part of Sarla Anil Modi School of Economics. The inter-disciplinary choice of courses, professional approach, attention to detail, practical application of theory, constant revision, and different learning methods, all equipped me with skills that helped pave the pathway to my career ahead. The school, especially the professors, made a constant effort and shared their knowledge, gave us timely feedback, engaged us in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and encouraged us to explore our varying interests. I took a keen interest in development economics which led me to pursue my Masters in Public Policy at the Hertie School of Governance, Germany. The approach of the school is at par with international standards and that really helps me cope with my studies now.