Graduate Story - Hitesh Chellaney - MScBA MIM

Graduate Story - Hitesh Chellaney - MScBA MIM

“ I never got the chance to apply to any other companies because I was lucky enough to get my first choice”

Hitesh Chellaney graduated December 2013 from the MScBA Master in Management programme at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Position: Management Consultant in Financial Risk Management at Capgemini Consulting 

Age: 26

Nationality: Dutch


How did you decide what you wanted to do after your studies?

I had a background in fundamental mathematics before I joined the MScBA Master in Management (MiM) programme. I considered the switch from mathematics to management as broadening and strengthening my understanding of the domain to apply my quantitative skills to current business practices.

I was clear about what I wanted to achieve with the MiM programme, and equally clear about where I would position myself in the workforce; not in a particular job, but in terms of the value I could best add in my future career.

I think this is the best way to ensure your career is led by your talent and the way you choose to develop it, because where you add value there will always be demand.

For me, it led almost automatically to being a consultant or a business owner with an emphasis on quantitative skills. That’s how I decided that working as a consultant in big data and analytics, or within financial risk management was the right thing to do.


How did you get your current job?

I studied the job market during my thesis semester, ignoring the fact that the market was difficult. I made a list of suitable positions and the companies that offered them. I ended up with Capgemini Consulting and its competitors as a second priority, and the 'generalists' such as Bain and McKinsey third.

I prioritised Capgemini because it endorses responsibility and flexibility rather than hierarchy, and the fact that I believe that recent developments will lead to a huge growth there in the next three to eight years. In addition, the head of the big data and analytics department is also a part-time professor in Financial Risk Management, so I reasoned that the department would be a stimulating place and open to propositions as is the case in academia – always a bonus!

I applied to Capgemini during my thesis semester, two months before my graduation date so I wouldn’t waste time applying to companies after graduation if they decided not to hire me. As it turns out, I never got the chance to apply to any other companies because I was lucky enough to get the opportunity that I was hunting for.


Did your MSc or RSM play a role in finding this job? How?

Yes, it most definitely did, particularly in the third round of the application process with Professor Marco Folpmers, who I mentioned earlier. That conversation was scheduled for an hour and a half, but lasted a mere 25 minutes because I was able to show him my master thesis; the subject was exactly the activities in his department. That’s the most concrete instance, but most importantly, it was my knowledge and soft skills gained from the MiM that naturally shine through when I have a business conversation. My conversations now don’t sound anything like the conversations I had before the MiM.


What are your main tasks and what tasks you like the most?

My main task is to solve all kinds of problems for clients. The challenge could be a shortage of human resources in a quantitative setting because of temporary changes in regulations, or project-based implementations.

Sometimes the client may not recognise the problem, in which case it’s interesting to put your point across and show why a certain scenario may present a real problem that needs solving.

The most interesting projects arise from real problems that do not yet have a solution; that’s when the client appreciates a free imagination; creative solutions are valued most. Creativity and people are the two factors that make this job something I would definitely do.


Based on your experience as a new employee on the job market, what kind of advice would you give to students starting their bachelor or master now?

There are two mantras that stood out for me; ‘blessings in disguise’ and ‘learning instead of studying’.

Blessings in disguise are the challenges thrown your way during the programme. You’ll encounter difficulties and see a lot of stressed classmates during the challenging phases of the programme, but it makes you resilient to pressure at work – depending on your pay and expectations, of course! The only way to take full advantage of what you have been given is to face each and every challenge as if it were a blessing; these challenges will eventually make your job easier so that  'just meeting expectations' turns into something a lot less challenging than it could have been.

Learning instead of studying is exactly that: studying does not always lead to learning and  sometimes other activities or hands-on experience gives much better retention of knowledge and skills. On the other hand, a keen interest and faith in RSM faculty leads to much better learning than just looking for high grades and speculating about what might be in the exam. Proper learning leads to much easier conversations and almost instant recognition at work. Only  studying leads to good grades and a CV, which will get you started in the work field but not much further.

RSM gives you valuable resources in the form of excellent professors and a database of articles. It’s a playing field.


Three Words to Describe Yourself : entrepreneur, go-getter, dreamer

Favourite course from MSc: Can I name only one? That's a bit unfair...

Favourite Summer Activity: I love to work only when others aren't. I have a competitive nature.