My dream of making it to the top-60 at the most coveted program of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences HRM & LR began with the TISSNET results being declared in the first week of the February and a month-long process of preparing for the Stage 2: The PIT/PI process. I remember being overjoyed for a minute and overwhelmed in the next because for an engineering undergrad, who has final exams soon approaching and the final project due, the pressure of converting calls can really be an unnerving one.
The second stage of selections at TISS starts with a DAF (Detailed Application Form) being sent across to the Aspirants which has to be filled in by hand and brought on the PIT/PI day. Whoever said a parchment of paper can’t decide your future, probably didn't have to write a DAF before. All jokes aside, one of the best things about DAF is that it decides your course of the interview up to a large extent and the only point of contention is that how you filter and present the last 20 something years of your life in one and a half sheet of paper. The key to writing a promising DAF is by undertaking a number of revisions of your write-up. Since my PIT/PI was on the first day of the process itself, I started writing about myself in small snippets whenever I found the time. I remember being completely clueless at times and not being able to write a single word the entire day. What probably helped me that time was reaching out to my family and a few close friends who knew me and showing them the preliminary versions.
For the PIT, I brushed my current affairs, went through a few HR concepts, the Labour laws, recent changes in the Labour laws, Vishakha Guidelines etc. For the deeper understanding of the issues in a limited time, I used mind-maps present on various online forums so that I could have a few novel points to bring about. The distinguishing factor between the PIT/PI at TISS and other B-Schools is that TISS takes the cumulative score of PIT and PI. So the Interview is independent of your performance in PIT and even if you don't have great oratory skills, you still have a fair chance of making it in.
For the PI, the things I focused on were good subject matter knowledge of my branch (electronics) subjects, their practical applications and some behavioural questions pertaining to what I had mentioned in the DAF.
Finally, on the D-Day, I left for the campus early in the morning and ensured that before the process, I was left only to my thoughts. The first round was a written test, followed by a group discussion consisting of 7-8 Candidates. My Group discussion strategy was to enter the discussion 3-4 times, bring about my points and help the group reach a consensus without entering in any feud or altercations. After the GD, I was called for the interview. The panel was very friendly and supportive and as I had expected, most of the questions were on Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering and current affairs. Some of the questions were fairly challenging because they tested my business acumen but the overall experience was very positive and enriching.
The acceptance in TISS was probably the highlight of my entire year and the feeling of seeing my name on the first list of the candidates who made it in is something which still gives me Goosebumps. The most important takeaway which I want to share with all the aspirants facing the same situation in which I was a year back is that don't be overwhelmed by other people's profiles in the final few days and don't lull yourself in the cycle of comparing yourself to others. If you have gotten a call, then you are at equal footing with others. Give your best effort for I assure you that the next 2 years of your life at TISS will be worth it.
I’m hoping on seeing you on the other side! Till then, Au Revoir!
About the Author:
Shipra Yadav is a first-year student of HRM & LR Course at TISS Mumbai. A binge-watcher by the day, president of the memes factory by the night. She swears by good food and night skies. If not found taking quick 7 minute naps, can probably be found enjoying bun maska and chai at some mountainside.