A Chronicle Of A Non – Engineer MBA Aspirant

“Wrong again”, the teacher remarks, as the rest of the class titters.

It’s Maths class as you may have guessed.

A lone tear trickles down my cheek covered by the soft, tousled mass of hair which partially shields my face.

Meanwhile, the web of numbers, equations and formulae struggle to sort themselves into neatly compartmentalized boxes in my head; namely ‘Correct answer’- this particular box is practically empty despite several candidates standing breathlessly in line waiting to be sorted into this prestigious, elusive, available-only-to- engineers box; the next box is called the ‘Wrong answer’ box- now this is overflowing with several candidates struggling to find a place to sit where they can hide their faces in shame for the rest of their lives.

“Next question.”

And the age old routine started yet again. I would lift my pen and look at the imposter inked out in front of me. It looked so innocent, so naive, yet I knew the devious intentions of the most angelic of maths questions. I was supposed to jog my poor brain that had heretofore been fed on desserts and fancy dishes like creativity, strategy and marketing. It seems however, that one must start with the basics in order to get to the good part, i.e the mouthwatering desserts.

That brings me to where I am now. A prison that would bring Tihar to shame; with inmates ready to maul you at a hint of weakness, i.e  a CAT coaching class. The AC spreads the cool, minty taste of fear into every student’s mouth. The clinical white of the tubelight seeks to blur out all sense of self worth, as one settles down to the rigorous grind which I’m told is what it takes to get into a good B-school.

CAT is supposed to be an aptitude test which basically means that you’re not supposed to prepare for it. Tell that to the crazed maniacs who prepare for the exam year on year, some even for recreational purposes. Apparently, one IIM student had felt a chilling sense of despondency settle over him and had decided to take the exam again, simply out of habit, despite getting into one of the Upper Crust IIMs. In fact, it becomes a part and parcel of life with the mock exam session beginning in June, the actual exams in October and finally results from December, followed by Interviews and final converts lists.

My personal opinion is that it is in fact very easy to recognise an MBA aspirant in India. They have a maniacal gleam in their eyes, they are prone to zoning out in conversations as they mentally sort through their calls from institutes and rank them in order of preference for the nth time. They’re also prone to surfing through a certain mythical social media site exclusively for such crazed maniacs aptly named ‘Pagalguy’, which helps nourish their thirst for all things MBA.

MBA in India is a race, a race where Lady Luck plays a crucial role in helping you attain your goal. Fortunately for me, my race has almost neared its end but as we all know this is but the beginning of yet another race. Till, next time then.




About the Author:

photo for inside iim

Shreya Agarwal is currently a student of Business Management at XLRI, Jamshedpur. A true blue Mumbaikar, she loves romance and Bollywood. She has studied Mass Media with a specialization in Advertising from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Shreya Agarwal

Shreya Agarwal is a second year student of the Business Management programme at XLRI, Jamshedpur. She is a Bollywood buff, an incurable romantic and a true blue Mumbaikar.