Manik Goel’s Journey To VGSoM, IIT Kharagpur

I’ll lay down the objective of writing this piece right at the outset to save you the effort of going through all of it before you ascertain its utility for you. From the way I look at it, this piece should be quite useful to those grappling with bad grades in their undergraduate/postgraduate life and aiming to get an MBA degree sooner or later, fairly useful to those who look at CAT as something potentially exciting and worth acing, and probably just about worthwhile to those who are simply curious to know what another aspirant’s journey was like. The others too are, most welcome to read this even if not from a purely utilitarian perspective. That said, I’ll now proceed to narrate my story.

Going just as far back in times as is relevant here, my 14 years of schooling between 1997 and 2011 were spent in the small industrial town of Panipat. I did just fine in school but without really making any waves. I performed decently in both my 10th and 12th standard examinations but screwed up my AIEEE test massively and eventually ended up at a not so widely recognised Institute.

Roughly 3 years down the line in August 2015 was when I became really serious about MBA and thus started taking mock tests to get admission at a top US university. Fortunately for me this time I managed to score quite well in the GRE and was selected for NYU. But unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to the US because of some family constraints and was back to ground zero once again.

Having been advised by some of my friends to take the CAT, I signed up for it and began my preparations for the test. Every night, post my hours at the office I made sure to clock at-least 2 hours a day. As days passed I began climbing up the ladder of confidence one step at a time and my self-expectations began growing substantially. I have no qualms about confessing that at this point, CAT was not only a pathway to a top rung b-school but also a source of redemption. I firmly believed in my ability to crack the test and land up at a desirable place.

A little ahead in time to the D-day, the 4th of December, 2016 – one of those days that I remember for its unparalleled impact on my life. In the course of the examination, things went well till I stumbled upon the DI section – one of the sections which I considered to be a strong point of mine, having scored a 98 plus percentile in DI in the past many mocks before the CAT. DI on that day played a spoil-sport for me in a test that otherwise would have been a truly memorable one for me. With a couple of wrong decisions on my part in selecting questions, I ended up with a really low number of attempts and was in utter dismay.

When the day of the result arrived, I somehow gathered just about enough courage to come to terms with my scores. As things would unfold, I eventually ended up with a score of 92.3 percentile and the dream of getting into a top Institute was immediately shattered.

After an analysis of my chances, I applied to all the IITs offering an MBA degree with little hope of getting a call from any of the top 3 IITs – Kharagpur, Bombay, and Delhi. But luckily for me, my profile won me a call from VGSoM, IIT Kharagpur – a very encouraging moment indeed. Further in anticipation of facing a wide range of questions from diverse topics, I prepared thoroughly for the interview. However, I definitely remember it being a very bad interview but somehow I was WL at 94 when the results were announced a month later. The fun fact about this is I am the last person to get admitted in VGSoM. (Lucky me)

Anyhow, the day to leave the house was finally here and on 14th July 2017, with a very heavy heart, I stepped into IIT Kharagpur. It was raining that day and the sorrow of leaving my family was camouflaged in the rain drops.

Moving forward one week and I am totally in love with this campus. I am not used to seeing this many trees but I absolutely adore it. The faculty is great and so does the seniors. Such a wide range of mix of students representing 19 states from all over India is of great help as it is teaching how to get out of the box and collaborate towards the greater good. All in all, I don’t think any other b-school would be able to provide such a beautiful campus as VGSoM does and this is a really important factor in your MBA student life as you might be stressed most of the times but this natural beauty really takes out all the tensions within a minute or two. I really think odds turned out to be in my favour.

VGSoM Kharagpur

The Vinod Gupta School of Management is a business school in India. It was established in 1993 at IIT Kharagpur and was the first management school to be set up within the IIT system. It was initiated by a distinguished alumnus and a Life Time Fellow of the Institute, Mr. Vinod Gupta. In the year 2018, VGSoM completed 25 glorious years of its existence as a premier B-School of India. Today it is consistently ranked as one of the top 15 Institutes for business management in the country and boasts of a list of illustrious alumni holding prestigious positions in companies across the world.