"You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can't do something themselves, they wanna tell you that you can't do it." - The Pursuit of Happyness.
Life is like a winding road but has a consistent graph of learning. I learnt from my experience as I never had any guidance for my career and I did what I felt was right. Taking CAT was one of those. CAT 2018 was my second attempt. After the devastating performance in 2017 and scoring just 77%ile, I just had my inner confidence to buttress upon for the second attempt. While my friends had fantastic scores and amazing calls, I was the only one with zero calls. That was the phase when I was juggling with my college exams and my future career plans. Everything seemed bleak.
I tried to shift my focus to my college exams and managed to perform well by attaining the 6th rank, however, I had not decided anything after that. I was being encouraged to take up any college to save a year and complete my education as soon as possible but, I wanted to give another try. I was discouraged by everyone for the decision I had taken except for my parents. Amidst the burgeoning pressure of another failure and absence of a secured job, it was hard to keep myself motivated until the end.
Those were the days when I had no job, no college, no future plans. I just had the faith to improve and perform better. I knew that just preparing for the exam would go against me so I decided to look for internships besides preparing for my exam. After more than 20 rejections, I was selected to work under a professor of IIM Calcutta for 2 months after which I joined my family business to learn the basics of business management.
When I came across MICA, I was very happy to know a place that picks people who have the right blend of both left and right brain. It was the right place for me but getting into it was very difficult considering the rigorous procedure one has to go through. The fact that my mock performance was not great and was getting 80-85%, I had low hopes of performing any better on the D-Day and getting any call thereafter.
I experienced major fluctuations in my mock performance but it became worse after I failed to clear NMAT by a marginal score. I could not get a call from IIFT too. Because of back to back failures, I had low hope of getting a decent score in CAT. When the result was declared, I was overjoyed to see that I had scored a 93%ile. It was my achievement. A jump from 77 to 93 percentile. My parents were extremely happy, especially my father, however, who knew that those were the last few words I could ever tell him. Few hours before my XAT exam, I lost my father. My mother was hospitalised due to the asthma attack she suffered because of my father’s death. In an instant, my family was devastated and I could do nothing.
Nothing mattered after that. My XAT exam was ruined and I scored 42.5 in MICAT. My dream of acquiring higher education came crashing when I was discouraged to study outside and was asked to look for a job to support my family. Everything became dark and I was the only ray of hope for my family. Life took a turn and I could feel everything falling apart. I did what I felt was right at that moment. With my mother’s support and my determination to fulfil my father’s dream, I filled the remaining forms and started preparing for the interviews. I kept all my emotions aside until the interview process was over. I knew, if not this year, then never.
I had calls from MICA, IIM Shillong, IMT, TAPMI, IMI, KJ Somaiya, XIMB and few baby IIMs. Though I had little hope of converting any calls, especially MICA, I gave my interview with utmost diligence and sincerity. This was my last opportunity and everything was ruined. Despite every odds, I chose to be honest and real during my interviews.
The moment of happiness came when I converted MICA. The school of ideas became my school of hopes. My interview that lasted for 35-40 minutes was appreciated by everyone. I also converted IMI, KJ Somaiya, TAPMI and IMT. Though I still await the final results of a few other calls, I got the college that I wanted.
I know I can never see my father again but he taught me everything. I gained the courage to fight for my mother and myself because of his blessings and made him proud. My journey of converting MICA was very tragic but I learnt that if one makes up her mind of achieving something, she does.