5 Misconceptions About CAT, MBA, And B-Schools

Before joining our respective management schools, there was a sense of accomplishment having cracked the CAT and getting admission into one of the premier b-schools. I am sure quite a few of us felt that the road ahead was a cakewalk. Words from our friends, relatives, ex-colleagues and well-wishers only ended up reinforcing such thoughts. All this results in us, the incoming students, harbouring some myths in our minds while joining college.  But, what we think we all know about being an MBA student isn’t necessarily true. Sharing some instances from my own life throughout the last year:

1. One of the biggest shortcomings was thinking that cracking (famously called belling) the CAT is IT. And a smooth sail would follow. Little did I know that surviving here would be a bigger task than getting admission here. Not that it wasn’t fun. The first year of life at IIM Indore has taught me things I might have never learnt, or given importance to, otherwise. It has been nothing less than a joyride, but one full of bumps.

2. Another mistake was thinking we will study about management (what else would you do in a management college, right?). After joining I realised that though I learn a lot of new things in class and get to know about new domains, but the major learning happened outside the classrooms, through friends and group-mates while working on projects and assignments.

3. It is perceived that students at an MBA college are busy with lots of out of class events. And something or the other is always happening around the campus. However, the reality is that there are phases, a phase where you will be so busy with academic commitments that there will be hardly any time for other activities. And then there will be phases, in which your academic schedule would be so light that you would find yourself struggling to pass your time.

4. This, I learnt the hard way since I was hell bent on going into one particular domain. Though students think that being clear in their heads about the domain they want to go in or the job profile they want to work in will take them a long way, but it is better to have an open mind while entering college. Since you get exposure to all kinds of industries and domains in the first year; give yourself the chance and the time to what truly interests you once you have all the information in place.

5. The worst thing that I heard people tell me while I was about to join college, was that in 2 years I would be earning so much that I wouldn’t know what to do with the money. Beware of such people and such thoughts. Getting into a b-school was only one step of the hurdle, landing a good placement requires, even more, hard work. And not everyone gets the best placements. But don’t make the two years only about getting placed. If you have the right attitude and the requisite knowledge, you will be very well placed in life, irrespective of where you get placed at the end of your MBA course.