From One B To Another: The Transition From B.Tech To B-School

From One B To Another: The Transition From B.Tech To B-School

NIT Rourkela has always been a nascence of hard-working and enthusiastic minds. With correct dauntlessness and perseverance, one can prove that no dream is too big to achieve. Many meritorious students of NIT Rourkela once again proved their mettle by cracking competitive exams at the national level and making their way into the top B-schools of the country.

Common Admission Test (CAT) is one of the most competitive examinations attracting graduates from all streams seeking admissions in the best management institutions. Every year lakhs of students strive to get admitted to top-notch institutions and make a rewarding career in the corporate world with high-pay packages. One reason is the participation of all the top institutes of the country such as IIMs, FMS Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, IITs, IMT, among others, accept CAT score to grant admission to B-School aspirants whereas Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), one of the top-ranked B schools, with a global reputation for moulding corporate leaders, admits students based on a separate examination conducted by NTA.

Time management, speed, and accuracy are the key factors to crack these vigorous competitive exams. Team MM had a one-on-one with the students who made it to the IIMs and IIFTs this year to talk about their hustle, which made it possible for them to come out with flying colours.

Dive in to hear it out directly from the achievers:

KABITA LODHA (IIM AHMEDABAD)

Kavita Lodha

Kabita Lodha, a final year undergraduate from the Department of Food Process Engineering, cracked the reputed CAT exam and is ready to start her journey with IIM Ahmedabad. Below is an excerpt from the interview.

Switching From Engineering To Management

I (Kabita) was not interested in pursuing an MBA immediately after my graduation. I was very sure about appearing for CAT this year as it would be an excellent experience for me in the future. Later, during my preparations, my interest started growing, and I started working hard for the exam. Eventually, the results were favourable, and keeping in mind the present scenario; I decided to pursue an MBA.

The choice to switch from engineering to MBA was quite tough. By the end of the 3rd year, I had developed a great interest in the field of food processing. Then I went for my summer internship at ITC-FCPL, Bangalore. There I saw the real difference between the job of an engineer and an MBA graduate. It was then when I realized that I had the qualities in me which fit better for an MBA.

Preparation Strategy:

I had started preparing for CAT by the end of August 2019. I felt I had started late, and initially, I faced trouble finding the right sources for preparation. Then a cousin of mine told me that one is never too late to start preparations for CAT. I started with Quants (Quantitative Aptitude), that being my strength. My first act was to mark out the topics where I was weak. Then I went through those topics, and strengthened my concepts, learned tricks, and developed a specific approach for different topics.

Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning (DILR) was my favourite. This section needs a sharp analytical mind. There are 8 DI sets in this section, solving 4-5 sets with good accuracy will land you to 95+ percentile in this section. So first, I started learning what different types of DI sets are, how to choose the easy and approachable sets wisely. Another trick for DI questions is that you don’t need to calculate the exact answer. This is where you use your analytical skills and try to mark the answer with the closest accuracy and avoid lengthy calculations.

Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension (VARC) was very challenging for me. You need to be very patient while reading passages and solving RC questions. Keep a habit of reading newspaper editorials and articles. That will let you know how different authors express their views.

I won’t agree that you need to study all day to prepare for CAT. But yes, the preparation for CAT needs consistency.

When I started, I had roughly ten weeks left, so I enrolled in an online mock test series named SIMCAT from IMS. The series had numerous mock tests, previous year questions, and they also provided video lectures for some topics. I also solved mock tests from AIMCAT. Likewise, there are many other online test series, CL’s CAT series, and many more.

Two months before CAT is considered as the most crucial period. During this period, one should be wholly focused on preparation. My strategy was very clear. I took at least one mock test every day and analyzed my scores throughout all the sections. After every test, a report was provided with a detailed analysis. One of the most interesting parts of the report was where they mentioned the average time taken by the students to solve the question, the average number of students who attempted the question, and the average number of students who responded correctly. These were the most important points to observe. I tracked my speed and accuracy throughout the mock tests and tried to make improvements wherever needed.

GD/PI and the Ensuing Call

I was lucky enough to have my interview scheduled on 13th March 2020, which was almost a week before the first lockdown. The details of the location, time, and all other requirements were timely communicated to us through email. I didn’t have any such difficulties through the process due to the ongoing pandemic.

The moment of receiving the call was one of the happiest moments of my life. I could not control my tears when I saw the happy and proud faces of my parents. And for this success, I owe a lot to all the seniors, friends, faculties and most importantly my parents. The specialization I intend to pursue is Food and Agri-Business Management. The course name is PGP-FABM.

Dealing With Academics 

Attending four classes every day was quite challenging to manage, along with the preparations. Studying late at night and then running for 8 AM class/lab was the most disturbing part. Apart from this, I was well equipped with the amount of syllabus to be covered for the exams, and I did not face many difficulties in the exams. So yes, proper management of academics, along with CAT preparations, will be tough, but it will also make you robust.

For most of us, the syllabus and exams are not the major problems; rather, the strict attendance policy is.

Future Goals and Message for the aspirants

After B-School, I aim to work in a dynamic and challenging business environment, the one where I can put my technical as well as analytical skills for problem-solving and growth of the organization. I want to work, learn, and grow among the smartest talent pool and food-Agri enthusiasts.

I strongly believe in the saying,

Great ambition is the passion of a great character. – Napoleon Bonaparte.

This is the best time to invest in your preparations. Not only CAT, but students aspiring to appear for any competitive exam must use this time to their full potential.

Never get satisfied with your mock results. Keep practising harder.

SOUMYA RANJAN MOHANTY (INDIAN INSTITUTE OF FOREIGN TRADE (IIFT))

Soumya ranjan

Soumya Ranjan Mohanty, a present final year Dual Degree undergraduate from the Department of Mining Engineering, has become a source of inspiration for everyone in this college and beyond, is all set to join IIFT. Below is an excerpt from the interview.

Switching From Engineering To Management

As a mining engineer, one is more or less trained to take up management courses. Also, the first posting that you get in any fieldwork is that of an assistant manager. So, roughly the entire curriculum is based on economics, project management, and handling the workforce. Thus the initial inspiration was that I (Soumya) would get to do things that will have an impact on a larger scale. I want to go into management activities to tend to control immense amounts of resources, be it capital or human resources. Therefore to have a greater say in an organization, I decided to pursue management. Speaking about IIFT, only a few institutions in India have their entrance examinations, and IIFT is among them. It specializes mainly in trade and finance, but it also enrols students for other domains, except HR. It is one of a kind institute in India offering international business as one of the specializations. If one observes closely, one will find that after starting a career as an engineer, the growth becomes stagnant after a certain point of time until and unless you pursue a higher management degree. I know the technological aspects, and I want to control the resources that drive these technological things. I would not consider it a tough choice, it's something that came naturally to me.

Preparation Strategy

I had started a bit early, around in my 4th year towards the 7th semester. The 7th semester for dual degree students is quite tough. I was doing quite a lot of reading by then. IIFT exam has four sections. The pattern has changed a bit over the recent years. For VARC, I did a lot of reading from different sources that I could get, be it The Hindu newspaper, or the Economic Times. Specifically, I read books on Philosophy, which was a bit difficult to crack.

IIFT has got another section that is the GK section. It is wholly based on current affairs and some other subjects like history, sports, etc. So the daily reading from newspapers will go a long way into helping you crack the GK section. I had friends preparing for GRE. They used to prepare a lot of vocabulary. I used to get their material to prepare on words, their meanings, and their usage.

In the QUANT section, the more you practice from different sources, the better you get.

Regarding time management, I would say there was no uniformity. I was engaged in a lot of activities, including those of SAC and department. At the same time, I was also working for a startup. I also had my academic courses beyond my coursework. So the schedule varied, and it was based on how I was performing in sectional tests.

If I performed poorly in some sections, then I would again go back to them and revise. 

With a lot of reading, one can ace the RC section. One of my friends initially gave me advice regarding the articles, books to follow. In some RCs, the way you comprehend a particular word would make the difference for the answer you get. Daily reading helped the most.

I had referred to TIME material, which I consider to have the toughest questions among all the materials available. It is good enough to study. I had also referred to a book that had past year questions. I gave around 11 full mocks, and they were from August till November. 2-3 months before CAT, I kept on brushing up the basics of whatever I had covered till then. I used to give sectional tests to keep those topics in mind. IIFT exam happens just one week after CAT, so the same preparation goes for IIFT.

GD/PI and the Ensuing Call

IIFT had the advantage of starting early. By January 26th, they had started their GD-PI round. My round was on February 19th at the IIFT Kolkata campus. They conducted everything before the onset of the COVID-19 situation. After placements, I got a bit slack, so my CAT examination was not up to the mark. However, in the IIFT exam, I got a good score. I knew that at least I would get a call for GD-PI. The first call letter that I received was on May 31st. It was already delayed by 1- 1 ½ month due to the COVID pandemic.

That night I was writing my thesis, and the submission due was on June 1st. I was utterly exhausted and out of nowhere, the news broke out.  It was a great relief from all the stress that I had gone through until that time.

My domain of expertise is entirely data-driven. I am a data guy. I have all my research papers, internships related to Data Science, and Machine Learning (ML). I had interned at Phoenix robotics, a startup from our campus. I had also done an internship at an underground mine. So I have had the opportunity to look at the data specs of the decision making people. Therefore  I would love to continue in that domain of a particular trade, and mostly my preference lies in finance, ITES, general management, operations, and supplies.

Future Goals and Message for the Aspirants

I want to join firms that work on diversified products/services. Organizations such as Samsung, Reliance, Goldman Sachs have a large footprint. They can bring a great level of change in society. I wish to join firms that have a cause rooted in societal advances. Organizations such as TATA, Microsoft do a lot of philanthropic work. These experiences would help me when I go back to teach in B-schools and run a business entity to help in education and other causes after a decade or so.

Keep your academics intact and consistent. Take as many positions of responsibility as you can without compromising your GPA. Take academics seriously. Exposure and experience matter a lot, so participate in events as much as you can. Work on your profile. And through Management expertise, try to have a positive impact on this world.


N VIVEK KUMAR (IIM INDORE)

N Vivek Kumar

N Vivek Kumar, a final year student from the Department of Industrial Design, has aced the CAT entrance exam and, subsequently, the interview round of IIM Indore. Below is an excerpt from the interview.

Switching From Engineering To Management

Industrial Design was not my interest, and I (Vivek) planned to give JEE again preparing through my first year, which, of course, didn't work out. In my sophomore year, I started working in fests, and there I realized management could be my forte.

By the end of the year, I was determined to pursue management and joined TIME. Pursuing an MBA was always in the back of my mind, and hence it was not a tough choice.

The main reasons behind this choice were my avid interest in pursuing management and the average placements in my branch.

Preparation Strategy

I started my preparation for CAT 2019 from May 2018, but mostly I could prepare during the breaks. While in college, it was pretty difficult to prepare for CAT due to the amount of work I was preoccupied with. DILR and Quant sections were my forte. The RC section was my weakness. CAT questions follow a pattern and are predictable by regular practice. I would suggest taking out 40mins daily for each section amounting to 2hrs daily for 5-6 Months period. VARC is challenging, and for this section, follow The Hindu Editorials and keep practising daily. I followed only the material provided by TIME and its online test series. Pariksha.co aptitude tests also came in handy. TIME offers 25 AIMCATs, and Pariksha offered around 10-15 mock tests. I attempted them and then analyzed them for my shortcomings.

GD/PI and the Ensuing Call

GD was scrapped from most B-School selection processes. WAT was also scrapped this time as many interviews didn’t happen offline due to COVID-19 restrictions. PI was conducted over the Zoom app in most cases.

My performance in CAT was par and I was not expecting any call from top IIMs. But soon after the CAT score was out, I received my first call from IIM Lucknow, but the specialization was ABM (Agri-Business Management). Although it was my first call, it wasn’t the general PGP, so there was a mixed reaction.  Most of the premier B schools offer PGP (Post Graduate Program) in Management; this is general Management, where you need to opt for electives that suit your interest.

I'm planning for finance as IIM Indore has a good record in Finance, but again it may vary once I start exploring options at a B-School.

Dealing With Academics

CAT preparation is more smart work than rigorous practice. It's working on 10th/12th standard Mathematics and English logically and quickly. Hence I logically devised my preparation and was able to cope up with both the academics and the ongoing preparation without breaking a sweat.

Future Goals and Message for the aspirants

As a short term goal, I plan to learn as much as I can from my MBA experience and solve real-world problems. As a long term goal, I plan to start a company.

CAT is just a small step towards getting into a business School. Many factors come into play in the selection criteria for PI and final admission apart from CAT, which one cannot change. For now, keep all the complexities aside and work on improving mock CAT scores. 


BARNALI PRIYADARSHINI (IIM BANGALORE)

Barnali

Barnali Priyadarshini, a final year student from the Department of Electronics and Communication, has aced the CAT entrance exam and, subsequently, the Interview round of IIM Bangalore. Below is an excerpt from the interview.

Switching From Engineering To Management

Although I (Barnali) belonged to one of the core branches, i.e., Electronics and Communication, I never had a knack for it. I struggled a bit in the earlier days and was not much inclined towards the core companies for placements. Meanwhile, in my sophomore year, I learned about the analytics and consulting domain of placements. I tried to apply for internships in my third year for various consulting companies, but it was tough.  Practically every one of them favoured management students, with work experiences, and I ended up with no luck. But preparing for all those interviews revealed my interest in management studies. And thus, instead of pursuing my career in Consulting, I decided to take proper formal education and explore more about the domains and then go for it with all force. Thus, CAT 2019 happened.

As they say, ECE happened to me by chance rather than by choice. It wasn’t tough for me at all to decide to switch. Instead, I was much more elated to have found something I’m passionate about. 

Preparation Strategy:

I started preparing right from the beginning of April 2019. I enrolled for the online test series of TIME institute. It helped me gain insights into the entire curriculum of CAT and also provided me with the study materials. The video lectures on their website came to aid. Later I also enrolled for the online test series of Career Launcher. It is important to get familiar with different question patterns of question papers. 

QUANT: Quant has five parts- Arithmetic, Algebra, Number Systems, P&C, and Geometry. Most of these can be mastered if your basics are clear. Memorizing the shortcuts to solve questions is a no-go. You have to keep on giving tests after tests after tests and note down the important theorems that you learned, and also keep a check on the mistakes that you commit in each of them. The geometry needs a bit of hard work, and you have to go through as many theorems as possible.

DILR: This section contains eight sets consisting of both Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning. You have to figure out which is your strong suit. It is very important to choose the right sets to attempt in the examination, and getting stuck in a particular set can be your biggest nightmare. I used to scan through all the sets and make up my mind about which sets to attend. Sometimes some DI sets used to look intimidating, but trust me, they were the easiest ones in the paper. The only way to ace this section is by practising as many varieties of sets as possible in the given time limit.

VARC: This is the most challenging part of the exam, the toughest, and the most unpredictable. The key to acing this section is to increase your reading speed, along with developing a deeper understanding of the passage. A stronghold on grammar is a must, and you cannot compromise on that. Least you can do is read! Read articles, editorials from newspapers, non-fiction novels on different streams such as Science, Philosophy, Politics, etc. There are multiple pages on Facebook on CAT preparation and apps on the preparation of UPSC, where they post 4-5 topics daily. 

I referred to TIMES and CL. I appeared for more than 50 Sectional tests from TIMES, and a lot of AIMCATs (full-length tests). TIMES has a huge bunch of test series, and I feel completing those is more than enough. 

I got placed in August, and it came as a relief because then I had a backup, in case the CAT doesn’t work out. Then began the meticulous training for CAT, since it was my only goal now. I started giving tests every day. It became a routine; wake up, attend classes, used to solve questions in the gap periods that I had, hit the gym after classes, and back to giving tests and analyzing them. The journey was filled with ups and downs. Some days were great, and some days would take my morale down to the ground level. But I enjoyed it, not a second that I regret. I was mostly locked up in my hostel. I hardly partied anymore. But it was all worth it. 

GD/PI and the Ensuing Call 

The WAT-PI processes for IIMA, IIMB, IIML, IIMK, and XLRI that I had to attend were completed before the lockdown. IIMC and IIMI conducted their interviews online on ZOOM. The experience wasn't the same as the offline interviews, but it served the purpose. FMS scrapped their GD/PI procedure for CAT 2019 and released a direct shortlist of candidates who converted.

I remember IIM Lucknow was the first to send out the calls for an interview. And to be honest, I was very scared because I knew the amount of pressure that would bring in with it. I had applied for 6 IIMs, including IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Indore along with XLRI Jamshedpur and FMS, New Delhi. I received calls from all of them, and I was over the moon.

I had my eyes on IIM Bangalore all the while, it was my dream college, and having converted IIMB at this point of time, I cannot ask for anything more. This is the biggest achievement of my entire life, and I don't have words that would suffice to express what I feel. Even though consulting pulled my interest the most, I would like to take my own time to explore all the domains before taking the decision. 

Dealing With Academics 

It was very, very rigorous and tough. Being in the final year of graduation, there were the semester exams, the assignments, the everyday lab work, the final year project, and last but not the least only the placement season. It felt like mayhem. But no matter the situation, I made sure I devoted a few hours to CAT preparation. Weekends were the rescue from the chaos. It gave me time to concentrate on the full-length mock tests. That being said, I have the best set of friends who always helped me out, motivated me every time I hit bottom, and let me copy their assignments too!

Future Goals and Message for the aspirants

Consistency is the key! You have to keep going no matter the circumstances. Work on your weaker sections and try improving them with each test that you give. And that doesn’t mean ignoring the other sections, give them equal importance too. Plan your schedule ahead of time. Keep on giving mock tests as much as you can. Once you’re into it, there’s no looking back. Cracking CAT is not the end, rather it’s the beginning of the real destination. Cracking WAT-PI is the toughest part. Profile building is very important. IIMs don’t recognize internships as work-experience, it’s your skills that they consider. Your chances of selection will ultimately boil down to your ability to convince the interviewers of your skills during the interview. Work on improving your confidence. Soft skills and awareness of current affairs is a must. Read anything and everything.

 

ANISH RANPISE (IIM AHMEDABAD)

Anish

Anish Ranpise, a present final year undergraduate from the Electronics and Instrumentation Department, has cracked the reputed CAT exam and is on his way to take admission in IIM Ahmedabad.

Switching From Engineering To Management

In my second year of engineering itself, I (Anish) figured out that engineering life was not for me, so I started looking for other avenues for my career, and I found that management was suitable for me. I found that the CAT pattern was quite suitable for me. Therefore I started the preparation from the beginning of 3rd year. If you look at the MBA colleges, you will find that more than 70% of the students are from engineering. In the management colleges outside India, they usually require a few years of experience, but in India, they easily admit freshers in their institute. So MBA post engineering came as a natural alternative to me.

Preparation Strategy

My preparation started in December 2018. For reading comprehension, the best way I found was reading more books. I mostly used to read fiction. I was making sure to devote at least 3 hours for my CAT preparation every day, one each for VARC, DILR, and Quant. DILR was the section I was very weak at. The only method I found to prepare was to practice; for that, I will be recommending the Arun Sharma book.

I would like to mention is that we usually ignore the number of incorrect questions. We must see and analyze those too.

Mock tests are like bread and butter. I would have given approximately 40-45 mocks from TIME. You have to ensure that every week you have to give at least two mocks from June or July onwards.

GD/PI and the ensuing call

Fortunately, many interviews were before the lockdown. I also had to give some interviews online because of the lockdown. They were conducted via the ZOOM app, and the duration was around 15 mins.

The call was quite predictable because when you see your percentage, you are pretty sure that you are going to get a call. In my opinion, my paper went bad. Just when I was about to leave my hostel room to write the end semester paper, it was announced that the results are out. So I had a choice whether I should go for the exam or I should wait and see the result of CAT. I chose the latter, sat down, and started calculating my marks, and when I calculated, it was very reasonable. I was approximately 15 to 20 minutes late for my exam.

I am not very sure about the specialization as of now, but most probably, it will be Strategy.

Future Goals and Message for the Aspirants

I hope to get a job in a Consulting firm, and I haven't decided anything like ten years from now. I just want to find out what I am good at. CAT is not as tough as people think. Even if you study for a few hours every day, you can make it to the top management institute in our country.

SWAHA SWAYAMSIDDHA(IIM KOZHIKODE)

Swaha

Swaha Swayamsidha, a final year student of the Department of Civil Engineering, is a perfect quintessence of dedication and diligence who cracked CAT. Below is the excerpt from the conversation with her.

Switching From Engineering To Management

I (Swaha) see engineering as a first step to become a technical manager. I believe that we need more techno-managers in society as that would give one a balanced view of the current world. I feel that it's a meaningful way to gain more knowledge and give something back to society.

Preparation Strategy

I started my preparation for CAT in September 2019. Because CAT has three separate sections, I gave, more or less, an equal amount of time to all three sections. My preparation was not extraordinary, to be honest as college kept me busy with other things. I had some aptitude for these sections. I used to study a particular section for weeks, and then when I used to get bored, I used to switch to the next section. So it wasn't like I was devoting particular hours every day for the entire three sections. I enjoyed preparing for CAT. I had enrolled in a distance learning program, so I followed their material and solved their questions papers. I had started giving the mock test around November.

Message for the Aspirants

Be true to yourself. The exam is difficult, but if one follows a good strategy, he/she would be able to nail the examination. During the PI, one has to stand out; needs to be unique. One has to try their best to ensure that the interviewers remember his/her name out of the thousands of other aspirants they interviewed. Confidence is the key.

HRISHITA SINGH (IIM BANGALORE)

Hrishita Singh, a final year student from the Department of Civil Engineering, has aced the CAT entrance exam and, subsequently, the Interview round of IIM Bangalore. Below is an excerpt from the interview.

Switching From Engineering To Management

I (Hrishita) always wanted to go for higher studies. I believe that studying management would help add more value to myself, would help me develop the necessary skills and will boost my career prospects. Whether it’s joining a company or starting as an entrepreneur, I think studying management would give me tools to help me succeed.

Preparation Strategy

I decided to pursue an MBA in my 2nd year. So, that's when I started my preparation and enrolled for TIME coaching towards the end of 2nd year.

I was more comfortable with the VARC section because I read books a lot. First, I decided to start reading articles on subjects I am not comfortable with, mostly business or economics. I decided to focus on critical reasoning and getting familiar with the type of questions. My main focus was on getting accuracy within the time limit and improving my reading speed.

For DILR, practice is a must. You have so much information, and time is a crucial factor. So, I had to focus on accuracy and approach. And for me, coaching helped me better approach DI questions. The practice is the key to cracking DILR.

For QA, I started with learning the concepts and getting a strong grasp on the fundamentals and practised through study materials. After every topic, I used to give topic-specific tests with different levels of difficulty.

I followed the study materials provided by the coaching centre. There are online study materials and books available that one can use.Coaching conducted regular mock tests. I appeared topic-specific or section specific mock tests during weekdays because I was preoccupied with college studies. I used to give 1-2 mock tests each weekend and spent ample time analyzing them. My preparation strategy 2-3 months before CAT was giving 3-hour mock tests and reviewing the topics or questions in which I was lacking.

GD/PI and The Ensuing Call

Most of my interviews were conducted before the pandemic reached a  critical stage in India. So there weren't a lot of safety procedures in place. Interviews after lockdown were held online through Zoom. Since it was not possible to take WAT online, some colleges decided to exclude it, and only the PI was taken into consideration.

I never thought that I would receive an IIM call. I was shocked and couldn’t speak for a few moments and then I started crying. I called my parents and my elder sister. They were very happy. However, the happiness was short-lived because I knew the most important and dreaded part was yet to come, on which the whole admission was dependent upon, “GD/PI”.

Dealing With Academics

It wasn’t difficult managing academics and CAT preparation simultaneously. I had regular coaching on weekends. I took topic-wise tests or went through the study materials on weekdays. I tried to complete my college work on weekdays to keep my weekends free for whole 3-hour mock tests.

 Future Goals and Message for the Aspirants

My ambition is to become a consultant in a prominent consulting firm.

The key to cracking CAT is focus and practice. You need to identify your strengths and weaknesses section-wise and work accordingly. Give mock tests regularly and focus on improving speed and accuracy. To improve VARC, start reading articles, newspapers daily.


AYU JAIN (IIM AHMEDABAD)

Ayu Jain, a final year student of the Department of Food Process Engineering, has been successful in making it to IIM Ahmedabad and has cleared CAT with flying colours. We bring you his success story.

Switching From Engineering To Management

While working in Aasra, I (Ayu) managed a few events and also worked in Innovision. This is when I found that I am good at management. Therefore, I opted to go for an MBA.

After MBA, you get a high paying job as compared to engineering. While doing engineering, I was not getting that zeal. Therefore I decided to go for an MBA. My MBA is in Food and Agribusiness Management, so they are mostly connected.

Preparation Strategy:

I started the preparation in August 2019. I chose self-study as the best method, and I started preparing. I found that I was weak in English. I had opted for a test series from IMS. Noticing that I was bad in the comprehension part, I always used to leave that, and CAT is an exam of time management, so I started attempting easy questions first. If I found that some questions were lengthy or the chances of getting it correct were fifty per cent, I used to put flags on that and after some time, when I was done with easy questions, I came back to those questions. The RC section is a bit difficult but it's easy for those who read a lot. Reading speed also matters. I wasn't very good at reading or reading novels. 

I solved books by Arun Sharma and got enrolled in ISM. I appeared in 20 to 25 mock tests and solved previous year papers. I used to devote 2-3 hours per day and 1 month before the examination, I started devoting 5 to 6 hours per day. I had to compromise on my sleep hours, but it was worth it.

GD/PI and The Ensuing Call

I was pretty lucky that my PI was scheduled before the lockdown that was on 13th March. There were two rounds the first one was analytical writing, and the second one was an interview. You need to be prepared with general knowledge questions for the PI. One also needs to be aware of the general issues and current affairs because few of my friends were asked the same.

I did not perform well in CAT, and I was very sad after receiving my CAT score. But when I was coming back to my hostel, I suddenly got a message from IIM Ahmedabad that I was selected. I called my parents to tell them about all this. I was very happy at that moment.

Dealing With Academics

In the fourth year, the time table is very favourable for the one who is preparing for the exam. In the morning I had classes from 10, therefore, I could do late-night studies.

Future Goals and Message for the aspirants

I will be working for 2 to 4 years in a company after graduating until I get enough capital to start my own business.

Always stay motivated. Try to find internal motivation rather than going for an external one. Follow a disciplined routine and try to stay away from several distractions. As a fresher, try to do at least two internships and secure a CGPA of at least 8. Don’t be scared of GD, AWT, or PI rounds, just try to be confident and do not lie in your CV as well as in personal interviews. Prepare well, take several breaks, enjoy the time,  and at last, do what makes you happy. Focus on the journey, make it memorable, and I am sure the results will be good. All the best for your future.

Team MM wishes all aspirants the best of luck in their future endeavours!

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