Breakspace – Preparation For Life
They say that if examinations are fishes, then the CAT Exam is an eel. Slippery and difficult to handle, it’s the kind of fish which manages to surprise you time and time again. There are many who feel that they have managed to get it under control only to receive a ‘shock’ on the day of the examination just like the eel dispenses to over-adventurous fishermen. As both prospective aspirants and ‘veterans’ would tell you, it requires both skills and smarts to crack it.
The examination has a variety of hurdles embedded into it but the GD-PI process is probably the most unpredictable and subjective of the lot. Not only does it require a crisp, clear line of thinking; it also needs polished communication skills and the ability to handle pressure in manifestly stressful environments. If you’re a shy, slightly reticent person (like I was) then it’s a daunting prospect. Far more daunting than the actual exam itself, it must be said.
Hence, when I was doing the rounds of the internet/social media/WhatsApp groups for a preparation institute in Kolkata to tame the beast of GD-PI, the name ‘Breakspace’ caught my eye. Here, I must confess that I had already steered clear of the usual suspects like TIME, CL etc. because their GD-PI training felt supremely generic and having a half-hearted discussion on topics culled from GK compendium in front of disinterested faculty was not MY idea of GD-PI prep.
Breakspace on the other hand, provided an alluring alternative. In fact, it would be unfair to solely shoehorn it as a GD-PI preparation institute. Their weekly classes not only made it easier for me to communicate effectively, in fact they also helped me unlock newer dimensions in my thinking process. There is a difference between having a vague, unclear idea about a topic and having a concrete idea about a subject which can be distilled into a selection of bullet points. Breakspace helped me bridge that gap effectively. The variety of topics discussed during these sessions ranged from social issues to topics related with hardcore business. By the end of the course, every student had been familiarized with almost all the burning issues of the day.
Discussing these events in class during the mock GD sessions also had a knock on effect of making even the less informed amongst us aware about these issues. The potential for ‘peer to peer’ learning (a buzzword used in most B school campuses but not merely a buzzword here) during these sessions was extremely high.
The various group exercises conducted during these weekly sessions also made me primed and ready to face any situation during the GD/GE process. On the actual day of my interviews, I can personally vouch for the fact that I was a hundred percent relaxed (and why wouldn’t I be? I had faced almost all kinds of stressful situations during the simulated sessions already) and knew that whatever happened, I’d be able to handle it.
Apart from the weekly GD session, Breakspace also carries out mock/simulated interviews in different styles (depending on the B School call received) throughout the week. A lot of these interviews are handled by Mr. Partha PD, the Mentor-in-chief and someone whose scope of knowledge and communication skills can and will amaze even the best amongst us. His pertinent questions during these sessions, comprising of current affairs, questions related to academic background, work experience etc. are of such a multi-dimensional nature that one gets the very best from each mock interview. Furthermore, his dispassionate and critical approach to feedback is a big contributor to why the students of Breakspace improve rapidly in such a short span of time.
On occasions when he was busy, another teacher related to the institute, Mr. Shahrukh Moin Khan used to handle these duties for Partha Sir in an able and efficient manner. His timely tips played a very important role in improving my soft skills. It is perhaps due to the consonance in the approach/vision of these two luminaries that Breakspace boasts of a 97.7% conversion rate (when one compares b school calls to conversions)
Needless to say, this institute worked its magic on me too. However, what I’ll remember most about it is not the final conversions or the mock interviews of the WAT practice which Partha Sir made us undergo almost daily. What I’ll remember (and miss) are the life lessons which Partha Sir imparted, his approach while solving any problem (both b school and life related) and his composed nature during times of immense pressure.
This student promises to imbibe your and the institute’s teachings as far as possible in the life ahead. Both in the b school classroom and outside it.