Majority of the CAT aspirants want to get into an MBA programme once they begin their graduation. They realise that a simple graduation in a country like India doesn't provide you with necessary skills & qualifications to have a tremendous career growth. But my journey towards dream B-schools began when I was in Class 11.
So if I go about to answer the famous GD-PI Question of 'Why MBA?', the answer is going to be pretty long.
Definitely, the aim of handling a key position in a reputed firm was always a priority, but alongside it always made me wonder how an MBA can give you the opportunity to learn such wide variety of subjects within a short span of just 2 years.
And the best thing is that it's not just limited to studies! Even the peer interaction is so great in these B schools that even when you are enjoying your life, you realise that you have learnt so much. This might be the effect of being around the best minds of the country.
All these aspects truly attracted me to get an MBA from a top B-school of the country.
Now you all must be wondering why the title of the article is based on failure. Yes, I did fail! But some qualities that helped me succeed were -
- I was never afraid of failing. I believe on the principle of 'Fail fast to succeed early'. Failing teaches you a lot more than success can teach. Having a lots of successful moments definitely adds brownie points to your CV, but failures help you craft a beautiful journey towards your success, and that journey always remains close to your heart.
- I believe that you should never accept anything less than you deserve. It's important that you know your worth and your capacity and settle no less than what you deserve!
I first appeared for CAT in 2017 and scored a meagre 77 percentile. For a few months, I was utterly disappointed and felt like everything was over. I wasn't expecting a very good score either, but such a low score sometimes forces you to doubt your capabilities. Half of the times I was even embarrassed to reveal this percentile among my peers.
I was lucky enough to have a job offer in hand, though it was in a different city which was away from my hometown. Accepting the job would have meant shifting to a new city in September 2018 and appearing for CAT in Nov 2018. To add, I knew it was going to be really hectic at the workplace!
I accepted the challenge and tried to put my best efforts. The weekends when everyone around you is resting and you have to study hard were not easy, neither was it easy to wake up at 6 to finish your mocks by the time your room mates wake up so that you can completely focus on the test.
All the hard work helped me get a 94.04 percentile in CAT 2018. Few days after that were good. But getting into a top notch B-school is so difficult that within a few days, you start realising that no score is good enough. When the calls started coming in, I could secure calls only from IIM Shillong and SPJIMR Mumbai because of a low sectional score in QA.
SPJIMR was definitely in my priority list due to the location and brand advantages that it enjoys. I had a profile based call from SPJIMR. Some research helped me understand that around 3000 profile as well as score based calls are made every year by SPJIMR for admissions to 240 aspirants to its coveted PGDM course. That's when I realised that the real fight starts after you secure calls from the institutes.
SPJIMR Mumbai has a very different method of interviewing candidates - Psychometric Test, Written Ability Test followed by 2 rounds of Group Interview. SPJIMR places a lot of emphasis of values of a person.
My WAT topic was something related to the use of Artificial Intelligence in Smartphones and how it can be a threat to personal data safety. About 30 minutes were given to complete the psychometric test as well as the WAT. Psychometric test consisted of questions related to your personality and we had to select 6 questions on which we were ready to be questioned at later stages of the process.
GI-1 was an elimination round and it was more of a technical round. Questions regarding your academics, work experience and basic questions like why MBA and why the specialization you selected are prevalent in this round. One of the things that the panel looks for is the reason why you want to pursue a particular specialization and how convinced you are about it.
I was the only commerce grad in the group of 6 in GI-1.
Luckily 5 out of 6 people from my group made it to GI-2.
Our groups were changed during GI-2. It was a group of 4 people in GI-2. GI-2 iwas full of ethical and situation based questions. The panel wants to judge your ethics and value system and they cross verify the answers you marked during your psychometric test. GI-2 was pretty chilled but it was difficult to judge as to how the interview went due to open ended questions.
Overall the admission process at SPJIMR was very smooth and the admissions committee was really efficient.
On 14 Mar 2019, the results were declared. Though I logged in my portal which showed a Congratulations message, still I was not able to believe the fact that I made it to one of the Top B-Schools of the country. I waited for an email confirmation before telling it to even my parents. The happiness was of a different kind.
And as it is said, the fight never ends. I am aware that SPJIMR will provide me with great opportunities, but the results depend on the efforts I put in these 2 years of school.
I am looking forward to a wonderful learning experience in the coming years.