Think about IIMs and the first image or impression that comes to your mind is that of typical B-school students dressed in formals and ready to churning out data analysis on PPTs and Excel sheets. Well, it may be the general perception but the reality is quite different. Especially, if we talk about the current PGP Batch at IIM Ahmedabad.
This year’s IIM Ahmedabad’s PGP Batch 2017-19 includes Akanksha Choudhary – who is redefining the gentry that enters India’s premier B-school. This 20 year old is a model and winner of Miss India Elite 2016. Now, that is one thing we don’t really get to read or hear daily - a national level model making it to the India’s most premier B-school while competing against the brainiest MBA aspirants of the country.
Beauty with Brains
Akanksha is the perfect example of the age old cliché ‘Beauty with Brains’. Although the concept of ‘Beauty with Brains’ seems to be sexist and out of touch with the contemporary times, a check on ground reality does make it seem very important. As far as top MBA Colleges in India are concerned, they are highly dominated by male candidates with the majority of them being from engineering background. In such times, Ms Choudhary rightfully stands as an inspiring example for all others.
Career vs. Hobbies
When many aspirants, even with a single minded focus to crack CAT fail to get into IIMs, Akanksha not only managed to break that glass ceiling easily but did it while also focusing upon her passion and hobbies. No one can deny the steep climb she had to get into IIM A while also pursuing her own passion for modeling. Despite her engagement in extra-curricular activities, she managed to divide her time very effectively giving equal time and importance to both studies and hobbies.
Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that she hold the fifth rank among students of the batch at SRCC (Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi).
An International Model by Fluke
Ask Akanksha and she will tell you that being a model that too someone who is nationally known was never on her radar. In fact, she was completely committed to a career as a manger with MBA degree in her pocket. As per news reports, Akanksha auditioning for a management institute and was selected for Miss India Elite contest. She continued her journey on this path and won the competition while also focusing upon her primary goal of belling the CAT and getting through IIMs.
While sharing her journey from being an MBA aspirant to an international model she said “I took part in the event just out of interest. I did not expect to win, let alone work as a model after that. Being a model has groomed me to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle and understand that the beauty lies in the values we inculcate in our lives. The rigorous routine of maintaining a healthy body and taking part in modelling events has even pushed me to manage my time wisely,”
Akanksha will represent India at the Miss Face of Beauty International beauty pageant, that will be held in New Delhi in near future. Taking her modelling career to a new high!
MBA Test Prep with a Modelling Career
After winning the coveted Miss India Elite 2016 title, there was no turning back for her. Post her win, Akanksha has become a common name in the modelling circles across India. As per an Indian Express report, so far she has participated in major events like Blenders Pride and India Showcase Week, while rubbing shoulders with Bollywood bigwigs such as Salman Khan and Malaika Arora.
Anyone who has seen Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Fashion’ can tell you that success in modelling career can be something that can get into anyone’s head but Akanksha was very careful and supremely focused on her goal of getting into IIM. To ensure she didn’t lag behind the competition she made sure she continued studying for CAT even during her modelling assignments and while she was on the move.
Despite being one of the front runners from SRCC (Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi), she was not comfortable letting her guard down. She worked really hard to grab a seat in IIM A through CAT 2016. Talking about her MBA test prep days she commented in the Indian Express report “I aimed to study at IIM-A since I was in school. After bagging a seat at SRCC, I wasted no time and made sure to solve and practice questions on quantitative subjects. I joined coaching classes in my second year so that I could have a firm grasp of the basic concepts. Later, I participated in the test series at the coaching centre and use the material provided for self-study,”
All her hardwork paid off when she managed to crack CAT 2016 with 98.12 percentile making her eligible for selection to IIM Ahmedabad – her dream B-school.
Career in MBA or Modelling
Although she has managed to crack the whip on both the domains that she ventured in, given a choice Akanksha is more likely to pursue a career in management over modelling. This doesn’t mean that modelling is not her forte or prime focus any more, it’s like ‘choosing your favourite child’ for her.
In the IE report she quotes that ““I will never quit modelling because it keeps me fit but I also want to complete my educational goals. My dream is to become a niche consultant. So I want to learn how the entire corporate world works and climb the corporate ladder,”
Although, her journey to IIM Ahmedabad has been very different and unique, it is her commitment, vision and single minded focus on her goal that helped her sail thorough the tough times. Her success story stands as an inspiring tale for all MBA aspirants who want to make it big in the business world while also not giving up on their talents, hobbies and dreams.
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