Vikram Mohan

Country of origin: India

Operations Manager, NAVIG8 (Dubai)

Vikram Mohan writes about the steps he took to get a project placement and further his career while at LUMS.

Since writing this profile, he has continued his career in shipping, and now works for the Dubai-based shipping management services firm Navig8.

My search for the ideal placement during the Lancaster MBA started on 26 November 2005 when I sent my first application to McKinsey & Company for an internship placement as an oil consultant. It was a good exercise to start with a rigorous application process like McKinsey's and to work in conjunction with the Career Advancement Manager.

I started early enough with my internship and job-hunting to realise the complexities and difficulties in making even a single job application. I finally got the breakthrough I needed on 19 June 2006 when I secured my internship as well as a future permanent job – with V.Ships, one of the world's largest shipping companies.

When I began my job-hunting I hadn't made a proper segmentation or SWOT analysis. I was applying mostly for jobs which I really wanted to do but didn't have any experience in. It took some time to realise that I would get a better result if I played to my skills and knowledge strengths. Employers value the background you have, which can make switching careers a little more difficult.

I gave the staff at Lancaster weekly grief (!) while I was composing my extensive, variable CV. Later it was hard to spend so much time making applications without much success, but the staff at LUMS were very patient and encouraging. Sometimes I got feedback on my rejected applications that was helpful. By analysing my key skills and matching them with the skills required in my chosen sector I succeeded eventually.

The offer that I got from V.Ships was for both my MBA summer project and for a permanent position post-graduation. I started working in Glasgow in the post fixtures department, managing operations and freight for eight crude oil tankers, and I can see that my MBA will have a lot to do with my future in this company.