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Impacting Education: My Journey and UpGrad

Last updated:
27th Dec, 2017
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Impacting Education: My Journey and UpGrad

It was the second year of college when I started writing my first book on the National Level Olympiads. I never knew it was just the beginning of my career in the education sector and something so very special like UpGrad was waiting in the future.
In the third year of engineering, I got a special internship offer from the Planning Department of the Rajasthan Government. The task was to research and study the methodologies adopted to implement the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. This was a huge motivation for me, and I wrote a research paper on ‘how to improve the spread of education in the society’. The research paper received a gold medal in the event Lucknow Conclave held at IIM Lucknow. It was also published in ACU Commonwealth Summer School on the theme – Higher Education, The world beyond 2015.
By that time, I was one of the toppers at BIT Mesra and had published research papers in the Mechanical field. I was the only student in the Mechanical Engineering department to receive a UGC SAP Fellowship. All these led me to receive a lucrative on-campus offer from VECV. However, I was determined to do something which impacts the society largely in the field of education; I quit the company. It was a tough and challenging decision, but it helped me kick-start my journey.
What is the Biggest Form of Job Satisfaction?

Impacting Education: My Journey and UpGrad
Fortunately, I was selected as one of the delegates to represent our country in a global meet held at Kuala Lumpur by University of Nottingham. A few months after that, I got associated with Byjus and had a great experience. I learned about the start-up challenges and also grew more into an educator. Moving forward, I got an opportunity to work as an Operations Manager for an educational e-commerce company. I also worked as an e-learning Product Expert with an e-learning organisation and a Product Manager with an e-commerce start-up.
My journey ranged from creating a vertical to being the first employee of an organisation, from handling projects to leading teams. During all these the most important thing I learned was – to continue working as a passionate individual; it is very important to have a clear vision.
I always had the vision to impact society through education. So, I was finding a passionate organisation in the same sector, aligned with my work profile. At this stage, I researched a lot of companies and had some offers from reputed organisations. It got very difficult to funnel down organisations.
While I was researching, I came across UpGrad. I started researching more about the Ronnie Screwvala co-founded start-up. I was excited to know that the organisation had started to make inroads in the industry and in the minds of the learners in a very short period of time. Going through the interviews with the founders, and Ronnie himself, it was a no-brainer. I said ‘yes’ to being a part of this organisation. The most exciting thing was the vision UpGrad was working with and the team,it was able to build within 2 years. In anticipation of being a part of this culture, I applied through the career section of UpGrad’s website. In a couple of days, I was intimated by HR about the shortlisting. I got to know that there will be 4 to 5 rounds of interviews in the recruitment process.
What Does UpGrad’s Content Team Look for While Hiring?

Following is the rigorous recruitment process followed by UpGrad for a Content Strategist’s role-

  • First Round Interview: Questions are based on past experience, resume, check of motivation level for the role. Puzzles, Guesstimates and out-of-the-box case study questions are also part of this round.
  • Second Round Interview: If the candidate qualifies the first round, he/she is given an assignment to complete in approximately 5-7 days. Interview for this round is totally based on the assignment created. In-depth knowledge of the candidate is checked and how much they have been able to learn and understand.
  • Third Round Interview: If the assignment round goes well, then the third round of interview is taken by the Content Director (Head of Content). This round tests the candidate very meticulously with questions ranging from past experience, personality, attitude and behavioural check, as well as puzzles.
  • Fourth Round Interview: Whosoever works their way out to reach this final round, are checked on the cultural fit with the organisation by one of the co-founders.

After each round feedback is shared with HR and finally, if the person gets through all the four elimination rounds, the offer is made. All-in-all UpGrad has a one of its kind and tough recruitment process. The overall process takes about a month, till the final result is announced to the candidate. My experience in all the four rounds was nervy as well as full of anxiety and excitement. The whole process is designed in a way that the team which is finally built is not only unique in personalities but carries a high level of zeal and enthusiasm.
Impacting Education: My Journey and UpGrad
I was really excited to get on board as soon as possible with UpGrad, and start my journey with the organisation. On my first day itself, I was given a warm greeting from the company. It was really amazing to know that the company believes in an open culture like celebrating success and festivals, playing Darts and other games. Most importantly, UpGrad offers a huge learning platform, which gives serious competition to even its global counterparts.
Are You Dreaming the Right Dream? Build Your Career for Tomorrow

The coming era belongs to edtech, and the Content Strategist role is a unique and coveted one in this space. The clear vision is to empower individuals to reach their full professional potential in the most engaging learning environment. This vision is reflected in the attitude, enthusiasm, and work, of each person on the floor. With such a cool culture, awesome peer group and the vision for solving a major problem in the industry, UpGrad is a name to watch out for in the coming months.
If you want to be a part of this adventure, winning journey and revolution, please visit the career section of UpGrad or send your resume at kushagra.sharan@upgrad.com.

Profile

Kushagra Sharan

Blog Author
Kushagra is an alumnus of BIT Mesra and is currently working closely with the content team at UpGrad. Apart from creating courses, he is involved in lateral and campus hiring strategies. He is a passionate individual, and love working in the education sector. He has authored books on National level Olympiads, worked with edTech companies such as Byjus, eGMAT and have published research papers in All India Seminars and International event. Off the table, he works as a consultant for publishers, loves cricket and reading books.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What are the types of interviews based on the number of rounds?

Every company has its process of recruitment consisting of different rounds of interviews. There may be three, four, or five rounds of interviews. A three-round interview consists of an HR round, a technical round, and a final discussion round. In the first round, HR has a conversation with the candidate adjudging one’s characteristics and soft skills. The second round involves the probe of technical knowledge. This round is based on educational qualifications and experience. The third round includes a final discussion regarding cultural fit and negotiable remuneration. In four rounds of interviews, the last one is with the CEO. And in the fifth round, if there is, a reference check is done.

2What is Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA)?

It is a Hindi phrase meaning education for all. It is a government program commenced with a partnership between central and state governments. It was launched in 2001, spearheaded by former Prime Minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In SSA, the aim is to ensure the holistic development of children aged between 6-14 by making education free and compulsory. Its focus is to achieve the Universalisation of Elementary Education (UEE) in a phased and time-bound manner. Several initiatives are launched under SSA, like Padhe Bharat Badhe Bharat, Shagun Portal, Shaala - Siddhi, and Swachh Vidyalaya, to fulfil its goal.

3What are the challenges faced by startups?

India is the third-largest startup hub in the world, but how many of these will survive? When coal endures the greatest pressure, it turns into a diamond. But not all coals transform; some give up midway. Fierce competition in the market has also made the law of the jungle applicable in the human world. Finding and hiring a purple squirrel and a candidate with average capacity is tedious. Irrational aspiration and market research often lead to the failure of the entire business. Poor financial management, marketing skills, funding sources, and leadership also contribute to the appalling palaver of the startup.

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