Life was routine. I used to do the same work day in and day out. I was even promoted in my job. I always felt like I should push myself a little extra and do something extraordinary.
I was working in one of the biggest companies in my field of under graduation. So, initially I had no plans of post-graduation or MBA. I was working in Hyderabad. One of my best friends who was then studying at IIM had his summer internship at Hyderabad. After spending time with him and other MBA grads, his friends & colleagues, I had a thought of doing an MBA. So, I decided to give it a shot.
So, my journey began with a free mock by a coaching institute suggested by a friend. I scored terribly low in that mock. But I am thankful to have supportive friends and family who encouraged me to keep going. I kept giving mocks repetitively. In some mocks I managed to score decently and in few others, I was beaten down to my knees where I hardly scored anything. The lows were low enough to give me the thoughts of giving away. Still, I kept going. So, the first lesson here is simple: just keep going.
I always thought I was not the kind of person who would manage too many things at a time. Yes, Of course at my job I was compelled to do a lot of things at the same time. But now when I was preparing for CAT and working at the same time, I had to push my limits and stretch myself. Even during this period, I was selected for the internal leadership program of my company and was promoted. Still, I did not let that take my focus away from my dream of cracking the CAT exam. So, the lesson here is to have an unwavering focus towards your goal.
I have worked in a civil industry. There was a new project for which I was appointed, and which required me to relocate. I relocated to a different location a few months before CAT and kept studying. As the exam was approaching, I had a constant feeling of my work taking a toll on my preparation. I planned to apply for leave a few weeks before CAT. But my application for leave was rejected. I decided to quit my job a few weeks before CAT. This added to the pressure I already had. Then, the D-day came, and I appeared for the exam. I messed up in the very first section of Verbal Ability itself. Still, I managed to stay calm and approached the other two sections. I scored decent enough to get calls from newer IIMs but far from my target of 99+%ile. So, the lesson no 3 is things may not go as you have planned. Still, you must try to stay calm and do the best you can in the given situation.
Finally, the results came. I didn’t score what I targeted. I got calls from newer IIMs. I prepared well for the interviews. I remember my CAP interview was in the afternoon slot and I was the last candidate to be interviewed. This made me even more nervous. Still, I went in and managed to have a nice conversation with the panel. There were quite a few questions which I didn’t manage to answer well but the ones I answered I was honest. So, lesson no 4 is be who you are in the interviews. That is the only way to impress the panel.
So, in a way I made the best of opportunities I had even after scoring a bit low. Today, here I am. I have converted IIM Raipur and am writing on my journey to IIM Raipur. The orientation and preparatory sessions have started online. I am excited for the journey of the upcoming 2 years and eagerly waiting for classes at campus.
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