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                                              ABHIJEET SONI

                 Concordia University Business School, Canada

 Abhijeet Soni

           

 

BRIEF INTRODUCTION

 I am Abhijeet Soni, a 4th-year undergraduate student of the Geology & Geophysics Department. This year, I did my Summer Internships at Concordia University Business School, Canada working majorly on “CEO Ages and the Performance of Acquiring Firms” and another one in Reliance Mutual Funds. In 2nd-year I interned at the University of Tokyo, Japan mostly dealing with High-temperature deformation of polycrystalline MgO and lower mantle rheology. However, I will primarily focus on my Concordia University Business School internship in this article.

I have always believed that classroom learning is insufficient for an engineering student. To enhance one’s skills and learning, we need to step out and follow how things function. The most convenient way to do so is through internships. They provide us an opportunity to apply our conceptual knowledge into a real-time environment and to gain an experience of working in a professional environment.

 

SELECTION PROCEDURE

Needless to say, application for Business Schools was more of a tedious, time-taking, and painstaking process. Thus started this chapter of my life. I listed all the top Business Schools and the names of professors considering my area of interest and started emailing.

The process of emailing is not easy and one should make sure that all emails shouldn’t be copy-pasted; every email should be specific for the concerned professor, keeping in mind the working domains of the laboratories.

Also, I had to calculate their time w.r.t Indian Standard time such that my mail reached the professors just when they entered the labs or office in the morning. Scheduling all the emails at that time and then checking the inbox continuously, hoping for a mail to pop up – the worst part was awaiting for the replies. I finally got a positive reply in which he asked me to write one “Statement of Purpose” about my interests in his research area.

After writing this SOP, I was up for a grilling one-on-one Skype interview related to various domains I worked upon. On the other hand, the Office of International Affairs (for funding) interview had a relaxed aura. They just wanted to know regarding my expenditure in Canada. I was jubilant when I received confirmation of acceptance as a Visiting Research Analyst.

 

MY PROJECT DETAILS

My project at Concordia University Business School was to mainly examine the impact of institutional ownership on the adoption of poison pills by firms, a widely used anti-takeover provision used by publicly traded corporations. Existing evidence suggests conflicting arguments as to why firms adopt poison pills as a takeover defense. There have significant changes on the use of these anti-takeover provisions over the past three decades. At the same time, institutional ownership of publicly traded corporations in North America has increased substantially over the same time period. My research examines if this was a contributing factor to changes observed in poison pill adoption.

The research involves gathering and cleaning secondary data on public firms from five different databases: Compustat for firms’ financial data, BoardEX for corporate governance data, 13-F filings for institutional ownership data Execucomp for data on executive compensation and SDC Platinum for data on poison pills. From learning the internal structures of these databases to extracting the relevant data and merging them to create a sample for final analysis was a monumental task. It was indeed a remarkable experience.

 

WORK ATMOSPHERE

Concordia University is located in the Montreal. It is the land of morning calm. The serenity of the place washes through your system, leaving you a little breathless. It is considered to be one among the best places for youths having the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city, few peripheral islands on Saint Lawrence River and the perfect weather in summers.

A foreign internship is certainly an advantage to any career and may attract you at first but the work environment that you attend to every day is as important, if not more. A positive, collaborative, creative work environment will be certainly the reason why students usually do research insanely for hours in the laboratories and it will also motivate them to work more and harder.

On my first day, I was assigned a Ph.D. mentor (Ms. Michelle Byrgiotis) who helped me to arrange my stuff in an apartment for my stay. In the university, in the very first week, I was given some research papers that I had to read in order to understand about my project and do a bit of background research. This was my first week’s job.

Then in the next few weeks, I was involved in the analysis of the unreadable data using object oriented data-analysis. With the guidance of my mentor, I soon started loving my project and as days went by, working on it became easygoing and intriguing. Research is one of the few things that has the ability to unite the world, otherwise divided by borders. All-in-all, the entire experience was enriching in several ways. The people I met were some of the most cheerful, fun-loving and genuine folks ever.

The regular meetings held in conference rooms, the presentations and interaction with new people played an important role in improving my overall personality. I got hands-on experiences on new programming languages and writing papers. The work culture at Concordia is simply amazing. Everyone is eager to help you whenever you need them. I managed some time to travel in Canada and Greece (for paper presentation). I visited Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Athens. Interning in Business School was a great experience and changed my entire perspective of academics and directed my interest towards Finance, Strategy, and International Business.

 

CONCLUSION

 It turned out to be a great opportunity for me to gain a very valuable international research exposure. This internship helped me put a step forward towards my understanding in Finance and Strategy. I am inclined towards entering into B-School as soon as I graduate from KGP.

It is okay to realize certain things late in life but you should understand their importance when you do. I found my true calling through this internship. Try to grab every opportunity that comes your way. Explore as many industries as you can because you never know when or where you might discover your passion. The day we start taking these events as a step into our own future and not as a platform to prove yourself to others, is the day you will be able to step ahead confidently.

“Magic happens when you don’t give up, even though you want to. The universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart.” ~ JM Storm.

You always have to go a bit further.

One repetition more. One exercise more. One more hour of studying. One last day of studying. One more attempt. One last plunge. One more day. One more week. One more year.

One last effort…

Then Magic happens…

… You realize after all that effort, the dots connected beautifully!!

For any further information you can reach out to me at abhijeetsoni.iitkgp@gmail.com

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