My CD/PI Experience At KJ SIMSR, Mumbai

It was a new mail notification from KJ Somaiya! I was waiting for it for days, and here it was. I was in a flea market with my friend and surrounded by hundreds of people. I had all the negative thoughts in mind before opening the mail, but I smiled! I got through. It was a feeling that you don’t get every day.

For many aspirants who are doing the real hard work to crack the best of the B-schools, I want to share my CD/PI experience at KJ SIMSR, Mumbai. I am a typical Mechanical Engineer from Udaipur (Rajasthan) with the work experience of one year in core R&D field. Before going for the interview, I had some challenges on my face: I had to justify my shift from core R&D to marketing. I had practised many mock PI over the call with my friend so that my story seems smooth. I call it the art of storytelling. It is that how well you present your life events as a story that assures the interviewer that this guy wanted to do MBA since birth. But when I say story it should be all true, well most of it! So, after preparing my story and basic HR and technical questions, I was all ready for the CD/PI.

KJ SIMSR wants you to write a Statement of purpose (SOP) before the CD/PI day, and you may be asked to justify every single word written on it during your interview. I will explain all three parts of the process, that is SOP, Case Discussion, and Personal Interview in detail:

Statement of Purpose (SOP): It is a question that requires you to answer “What is your purpose behind doing the MBA?”. To answer you have first to ask yourself several questions. This will include some typical questions like “Tell me about yourself”, “Why MBA?”, “Why Engineering/B.com/BA?”, “Strengths and weaknesses” etc. When you have an answer to all such question, you have to make a story that will include all the events that show your interests and eligibility for doing MBA.  You may write the story in chronological, reverse chronological or in any order, but the primary goal here is to make the interviewer interested in your story.

If we talk about my SOP for SIMSR, I had made nine versions of my SOP before finalizing on one. It was in chronological order and highlighted all the insentience which relates to me being qualified and willing to do MBA. I used to give my SOP to friends to read and asked for their feedback on it. Writing a perfect story for your SOP will also help you in your PI.

Case Discussion (CD): Here at SIMSR, we breathe cases every day, and like you, it was a new thing for me before joining SIMSR. The difference between a GD and PI is that in a GD we talk on a topic with our prior experience, knowledge, and opinions whereas in CD we are given a situation, and a solution based on the given situation is required by the group. Now the benefit of the CD is that all the participants have the same knowledge about the topic.

While I was there in the CD room, we were given a case about the Airline Industry in India. We were given some time to read the case and 30 seconds each to conclude. Overall, it was a healthy discussion. During GD/PI, we are expected to talk sense, speaking for the sake of group participation is a waste of everyone’s time and it is not considered a good practice by the panel.

Personal Interview (PI): I believe is that everyone gets a different PI experience altogether so it can never be generalized that this college will have a particular kind of PI. Talking about my experience of SIMSR PI, it was more of a conversation rather than a personal interview. There were two female panellists. One of them was the faculty and another was an alumnus of the college. They made sure that I am comfortable and asked some questions like “Why MBA?”, “What was the most challenging part of your work?”, “What is the one famous thing about Udaipur that cannot be found in the travel guide?”, “Why you left the job?” etc. My PI went for about 15-20 min, and everything went pretty normal. I was very much relieved after I left the PI room.

Overall, SIMSR’s CD/PI process was the smoothest of all the B-school process I had gone through. The admissions committee was available to answer every doubt I had. I was so impressed by the work of the admission committee that I joined the same committee in SIMSR.

Harshad Patel

Harshad Patel is a part of student team for InsideIIM and a member of the admissions committee at KJ SIMSR, Mumbai. He is a B.E. Mechanical graduate of M.B.M. Engineering College, Jodhpur.

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