As the batch of 2022 gears up to start a new phase of their life in these unprecedented times, it is a bittersweet feeling that we have to meet all our peers virtually and can’t go and enjoy the so deserted campus life at the moment. I hope that the situation improves and things can be back on track as soon as possible. Before starting the MBA life, I wanted to stop for a moment and think about how it all came together for me, a person who had thought that BE degree was the last he was going to get.
I passed out from engineering landing a job one of the “big 4” companies. My job location was Hyderabad. I had struggled hard in my engineering. It’s a typical case of doing something which you never wanted but you just went with the flow and it happened. Maybe that’s why I could never be a good student or let’s just say I could never be an interested student in engineering. Once I got the job, in my head I thought that’s about it for the studies. I have gotten a job in a company that was way above my league. The ambitions were so low that at that moment I couldn’t think of any goals that could’ve been reached.
The job started in August 2018. We were 9 friends living in a 4 BHK. Although we were from the same college, most of us had met each other for the first time. As time passed, 4 of us grew a very strong bond with each other. And probably that’s when the Journey of CAT 2019 started in a way. I had never seen a group of people who were so adamant about their futures. One of the guys had planned out a career in management for him, the other guy wanted to do Masters in his core domain and the 3rd guy had already his eyes set on setting up a business for him. Living with these guys made me realize that there was a host of opportunities in the world and we should always look to push our limits. Hence I started exploring, started looking out for interests, and finally arrived at a decision that I’ll sit for CAT2019.
Now began the tussle, I decided to do the preparation along with my job and it made it even harder. When you’re working in IT, you know what your “in-time” is but you can never be sure of your “out-time”. To manage studies along with the job was a rigorous task. You had days when all you were working till 1 in the morning. To continue the rhythm was a task but my friends kept motivating me all throughout the journey. They kept refueling me whenever required.
For the initial 1-2 months, I began by brushing up the basic formulas and their application in Quant. I focused on my weak spots and tried to gain fluency in those parts. After that, I started with Verbal and DILR in which I was fairly confident in my abilities. I did everything without keeping any time constraint and just focused on getting the concept right. With time, I gained confidence in my question-solving skills. So, I decided to buy a test series. I went with TIME Institute's Test Series.
It was during July mid that I gave my first test of the series. I scummed to the newly added time pressure. I wasn’t able to complete even half of the questions. So, I decided to buckle up. I gave a few sectionals to catch up with the speed. Alongside this, I was still giving full-length exams. The most important factor during this time was the analysis of the exam. A thorough analysis and revision of the concepts that were incorrectly done was the major focus. It slowly started to show improvement in my results. During the final month, I increased the rate of giving full-length tests. I gave more attention to the concepts I was going good in. Also, by this time I became clear about the approach I wanted to have during the exam so that I am able to easily see all the questions and attempt the ones I am confident about.
My exam was in the afternoon slot on November 24th. I remember being all nervous before leaving my home for the exam. But then wishes from the family and friends helped me. I reached the test center well before the starting of the test. This helped to settle all my nerves and be well prepared to give the test. The test went as per my expectation. And after that, I came home and thought to switch off for a while.
The results came in the first week of January. Now, a long streak of the interviews lined up. The interview experience was very different, taking leaves from office, then giving back to back interviews in a day. Then in the middle of this, lockdown happened due to coronavirus and everything came to a standstill for a month and a half. No new interviews, no news on the pending interviews. This was a very tough phase. But from May onwards, things slowly started to fall back into place. All the interviews were shifted to online mode. Some colleges annulled their previous offline interviews and asked everyone to sit again for online interviews. Then the results started flowing in. It was a mixed bag of emotions as it always is. Some good results, some not so good. Finally, I converted 6 of the colleges including some Baby IIMs, IMI, IIT-K. After much of the thinking and taking advice from the seniors, I decided to join IIT-K at last.
Now, as I start my Journey with IIT-K, I want to take this opportunity to thank all my friends, who have been an integral part of this journey. Without them, I wouldn’t even have thought of daring and exploring my interests. I want to wish everyone joining me at IITK all the very best. Hopefully, we make a lot of memories, learn a lot, and evolve as a person after 2 years. Cheers!