By Vikas Chawla, Co Founder Social Beat, DigiGrad, Influencer.in
Growing up I always knew that I wanted to do something of my own someday, but I did not have a vision of what I wanted to do, nor where to begin. After completing my graduation in 2005, I got a job in HR, which interested me at the time. Then after about 3 years, I decided to explore possibilities further and pursue higher education.
Time as a factor
Having worked after graduation, I did not want to spend 2 years in a classroom again. I knew that the ‘opportunity cost’ for a two-year programme would be too high. Today, with added volatility in the job market due to economic slowdown and need for new age skills, it is important for students to think about the bigger picture and get the right creds. A one-year programme is more cost effective and employment friendly as it is able to deliver transformative training within a short frame of time, while also allowing a chance to build networks.
I too started looking for a programme that would deliver value by allowing me to skill up and return to the job market quickly. The availability of a variety of one-year programmes across several world-renowned universities, really made the UK stand out for me as a destination for higher studies.
Benefits of higher education in the UK
The UK has a very balanced approach to education as it treads the line between practical and research-based learning. A lot of the research work at the universities, happens in conjunction with companies and the government, to bring actual change. Also, higher education in the UK really allows you to express yourself by providing a well-rounded education, with a choice of subjects. Another important aspect of studying in the UK is that the pedagogy is far superior to many reputed institutions from across the world.
My tryst with life as a student in the UK shaped me into what I am today. The experience of studying in the UK is just phenomenal as it gives you a very global perspective. The UK is a great place to learn and with a classroom full of people from different nationalities thoughts, ideologies and cultures. With the added benefit of its connectivity, students can visit the picturesque outdoors and travel across Europe.
Most importantly, my education in the UK helped nurture my seed of entrepreneurship and gave me the skills I needed to take my plans off the ground. It instilled me with confidence and shaped my thinking to perceive the opportunities and challenges of the market.
After coming back to India in 2009, I got a job as a Management Trainee in the Murugappa Group thanks to the credentials I earned in the UK. I started off as an executive to Padma Bhushan MV Subbiah post which I managed the product, brand and digital marketing efforts for consumer brands Hercules and BSA. This was my first active exposure to digital marketing which is where I found my calling.
In 2012, I started Social Beat, a digital marketing agency that is now a team of 200 team members across 4 cities in the country, that manages approximately 3% of India’s digital media investment. About 600 crores worth of media passes through us in some form or shape, annually. In the process I started in a few more companies in EdTech and Marketing Technology. Today my team and I, are digital growth partners to brands and help them achieve their business goals through the online space.
From working for other brands to creating one of my own, my learnings as a student in the UK have had a remarkable impact on my journey.