Dreaming big and aiming for the sky, from Krea to Vayana Network: Akshaya Shankar

Akshaya Shankar is on a quest, of leaving a mark in the world of marketing and setting her best foot forward on a path that could well be trail blazing. Her dreams are ambitious and fearless, one of the top goals being attaining leadership roles and becoming a CEO of a large, global organisation. For this young Krea graduate, even the sky is no limit.

The Opportunity

Akshaya joins as Management Trainee with Vayana Network, India’s largest network for trade financing. She is also one among the three at Krea who at the time of writing this article had been offered the highest compensation package for the year.

 “I received the flyer for the opportunity through the Career Services Office (CSO) at Krea and the entire process was smooth and fast. We had two rounds, the second being with the CEO of the organisation. The podcasts I worked on at Krea, the writing samples and the articles I had written, all of them came in handy in showcasing my portfolio that eventually landed me the offer.”

At Vayana, Akshaya will be involved with various initiatives that revolve around marketing, strategy and content. Vayana Network aims to accelerate the GDP growth of supply chains by unlocking affordable and easily accessible trade credit for every member of the supply chain.

Mission Marketing

When asked about a goal that Akshaya wishes to achieve down the road, she responds, “At the moment it probably seems far-fetched but I hope to be the CEO of a stellar agency, I want to leave a mark in the marketing industry and do it as early as I can.”

While Marketing has been Akshaya’s core interest, the intent of choosing Psychology as a Major was out of sheer interest and so was choosing Literature as a Minor, all these choices today have aligned to lead her the road ahead. Akshaya believes all the subjects have equipped her with creative and analytical thinking and not just that, they have also trained her to combine each of the skills obtained at ease with technology, extremely critical for the world of today.

The Interwoven Adventure that’s Krea

“The Krea journey has been extremely helpful. The faculty at Krea are world class and their constant feedback and encouragement has been significant contributors to where I stand today.”

Akshaya emphasies on how each time a paper is turned, or a reading is prescribed or research methodologies are instructed, each step helps hone skills and improve. Every day gradually building in an exercise in evolving and advancing.

“I hadn’t given much thought to the term Interwoven Learning and even though I experienced it through the days at Krea it’s when I was having the first conversation at Vayana and I spoke about Interwoven Learning at length that I realised how important it really was for the 21st century. The team at Vayana were amazed at how a student with Majors in Psychology knew History, Philosophy, Data Analysis and Literature too, some of them which conventionally had no relation to my subject.”

Akshaya believes that the skills she picked up at Krea are essential for the corporate pathway. “I know how I stepped into Krea and how I am leaving, the evolution. Just the amount of knowledge I have gained is unparalleled. Beyond the classroom setting too the faculty at Krea have guided and enabled me to make career decisions, they are approachable and supportive in so many ways.”

The Evolution

“I am so much more comfortable in my own skin and more confident. I don’t need to pretend to be anyone, I know that I can speak out, speak what’s going on in my mind,  present confidently and not be stressed, take questions and not hesitate or be awkward while receiving feedback.”

Akshaya says that carrying out so much of reading, writing and all the creative assignments is something she wasn’t prepared for but has empowered her with different skill sets.

“Many skills we pick up are not just from classrooms but from outside, from our peers who are doing Majors distinct from our own.” Not just those, from editing someone’s paper, giving them feedback, working from leadership positions in clubs and committees and playing a role in building Krea from scratch as the founding cohort has definitely added few lessons to the kitty.

“I was the club representative for the Recreation Club and was actively involved with the Outreach and Admissions team too. Three of my closest friends and I brought ‘Her Campus’ to Krea, reporting to a team at Boston and managing our team in India; these experiences were all different, unique and yet pivotal.”

Akshaya affirms that all of these experiences in one way or the other have finally fallen into place like fitting into a jigsaw, and have culminated into the career pathway she is set to explore.

Of memories and moments

“There are so many incidents, each different from the other but one that I really hold close to my heart is an activity in the Creative Expression course, where we spray painted a wall. And not to forget, the perimeter walks with my friends as we sat to have Maggi during the day, and watched the sun fade away at dusk.”

Though the sunset may be one of her favourite memories from campus, Akshaya is ready to seize the day and carve her niche in the chosen career path. Mission Marketing calling.

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