L’attesa – A Mini Guide For IIM Aspirants Waiting For Conversion
To begin with, I would like to apologise for the long title. L’attesa, in Italian means “the wait” which seemed quite apt for the purpose of this article, and since I had to be clear to whom I am addressing this piece, the title is dangling on the edge of my Word file. Now, onwards to the actual purpose of this article. I am writing this because when I was an aspirant waiting for my results, all I could find online were “Advice for IIM aspirants from IIM students/alumni”. What about those who have already taken the plunge and decided that they do want to join this elite group, no matter the challenges! So this year when I am that IIM student, encountering aspirants determinedly (and somewhat desperately) waiting for the results, I am realising the need for a guide “for those who wait (pun intended)”.
Keep Calm: I know you have heard it bazillion time till now – from parents, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, seniors, mentors, “the-iim-graduate-son-of-the-neighbor-of-the-son-of-the-brother-of-the-uncle”. Trust me, I know. The problem is that your only other option is to go into panic mode, something which will ruin this small window of freedom and leisure you are getting before you start your MBA life (or subsequent preparation for your MBA life). Why this warning? You’ll get to know as you read!
Take A Trip: Post-graduate from IIMs can turn out to be one of the most fun, exciting and enriching experiences of your life. It is something you might have never experienced before, and most probably never will (unless you do an MBA again – from an IIM). At the same time, it is one of the most demanding programs, academically as well in terms of extra-curricular. I am sure till now you would have heard from many souls about the rigour of an MBA program. Multiply it by 2 and you have an MBA program from an IIM. So travel – I visited Hampi, Araku Valley and Goa during this period only and it was a great way to take my mind off of the results. You might not get many chances to do so in the upcoming year, it is better you grab this opportunity now.
Research the IIMs: If you have not started doing this by now, you should. Every IIM, especially the newer ones have their own pros and cons and if you are considering admission into them, it’s important that you do a thorough research on your own. You might be getting advice from multiple sources, it’s very important to listen, read, analyse and make an informed decision. Make lists, talk to people, dig deep into the history, academics, faculty, placements, culture and the student life of the IIMs, – do whatever it takes. This is your life at stake here, not to mention a remarkable chunk of time and a substantial amount of money.
Enhance Your Skills: No skill, and I mean it – absolutely no skill gets wasted in an IIM. It is true that it is a management program with lots of technicalities but everything that makes you different sets you apart is what matters here. If you like dancing, there are lots of opportunities to dance and teach others to do so. If you like cooking, there are food fests and competitions. Do you like graphic designing? Or video editing? Great! There are lots of invites and social media posts to be designed. Painting? Creative Writing? Singing? Quizzing? Name it, and I will tell you how it contributes to your college life and even is a great talking point during interviews (it has happened!). It’s important you take whatever skill you have to another level, it’ll help you a lot during your IIM journey.
Brush Up Your Academics: I can imagine many of you wincing as you read this, but academics are part and parcel of this journey. Remember, that when you land in the hallowed grounds of any of the IIMs, it is a gathering of some of the best minds in the country – you included. No matter what you have faced and achieved in your academic lives till now, tables turn here easily. It is a good idea to brush up on your academics – do some basic statistics, maybe read up on accounting if you are interested in finance. How about that high school Economics textbook? And not just, academics, you can do some basic courses, and read novels. As I said before, no skill gets wasted at an IIM – same applies to knowledge as well. So, whiff away dust from those old textbooks (actually do a Google search) and be better prepared for your new life!
Finally, Keep Calm: Yes, I know it was the first point as well, but it is important enough to be iterated. I understand your anxiety, the fear and the anticipation but opening the IIM websites 10 times a day won’t make the results appear magically. For now, just keep calm (at least try). Make the most of these days – like all periods of time in life, they’ll never come back again.
With that, I end my mini (actually micro) list of advice. You are free to add to it in the comments below. All the best to all the aspirants. Cheers!