This seems like a dreadful question for every MBA aspirant right? Some of you might as well argue that it depends on which IIM it is, but you would still get my point. Those moments of self-doubt, that high level of nervousness and those misleading probabilistic calculations of "Will I get through or not?" It's a whole different roller-coaster of emotions. This one question became the reality of my life and it's safe to say that I have the answer to it.
What if you get just one IIM Call? Just one shot at success? Simple, you go out of your way and convert it.
We often read articles for fresh graduates that talk about juggling between campus placements and preparing for CAT. Mine was a similar case. I was a computer engineer-to-be, thoroughly preparing for CAT, taking in every kind of information, tips and tricks that anyone experienced was willing to share. It is a commonly known fact today that preparing for MBA entrance exams takes a lot of dedication and discipline. It is not just an exam that you need to ace. Getting into your dream b-school also requires you to build the proper profile for the course as well as work on your personality and general awareness. However, there may be times when, in spite of putting in all your efforts, you just couldn't perform as well as you expected too. In my case, the performance was not exceptionally well in the CAT and the dream of getting into one of the top b-schools in India looked distant to me.
And then it was the time for those much-anticipated CAT results followed by the much awaited b-school calls. Despite scoring lower than expected, the fact that I had a good profile still gave me some hopes. I waited patiently, after every call list, only to find disappointment time and again. Then, one fine day, I was delighted to have received that magical call I was waiting for. The journey thus began, for getting into IIM Indore. There were several others I knew, who had managed to gather a double-digit number of calls. "Converting calls is challenging", they said. "You just have one shot at it. How will you do it?", some added in. Several others told me, "Start preparing for the next CAT, you never know". It's human nature to get confused and lose focus amidst all the uncertainty. There is just one advice during this situation. Focus, believe in yourself and work hard! Choose to look at things the other way. I took it all as a challenge, as an advantage. Having just a single call helped me focus completely on that one b-school and how it suited my aspirations. I could channel all my energy to prepare exclusively for whatever IIM Indore was looking for in the candidates. The interview was a fair mix of questions about the current affairs and the basic concepts regarding my graduation subjects, since I was a fresher. The thoroughness of my preparation ensured that I sailed through it all and finally got into IIM Indore. The journey of MBA is a long one and getting into the b-school of your choice is just a small part of it. But trust me, the happiness you get from this accomplishment is unparalleled.
In the end, it won't be about your CAT percentile or the number of calls you receive. It all boils down to the efforts that you take to make the most of the opportunities that come your way.
Here are 5 things you may want to remember as an MBA aspirant:
1) Do not run behind that astonishing percentile in CAT. Rather, focus on increasing your scores. Everything else will follow.
2) General awareness plays a very important role when it comes to cracking interviews. Make it a part of your CAT preparation.
3) There will always be others who beat you at every point in life. Measure your own progress while preparing. The comparison will only add to your anxiety.
4) Ask yourself whether you are fully aware of what you are getting into. Life at a b-school is very different from what is perceived by others. Talk to people who have been there, interact and find out things you need to know.
5) And finally, you don't necessarily need multiple calls in your kitty. Just work hard towards making the most of what you have.