My Journey To IIM Rohtak – Oindrila Chatterjee’s Story
“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, Life is a broken winged-bird that cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes
I was in the third year of my B.E course and there was one thing about which I was convinced beyond a shred of doubt – I wanted to do an MBA. How I arrived at this conclusion, what were the events leading to it and how will I get to go into a good college… all these seemed trivial. The only thing that mattered was that I finally knew what I wanted. Like most of the Indian youngsters, I did my engineering first and then gave a real thought to what I actually wanted. Luckily for me, I had the happy realisation quite early. So, like every other aspiring candidate, I set out on my mission to bell the ‘CAT’. It would be an understatement to say it was difficult. When I look back now to that phase of my life, all I can see is a hell of a journey with many bumps and an incessant emotional roller coaster ride that taught me so many lessons and gave me the strength to be the individual I am today.
The first time I gave CAT, I scored a decent percentile, good enough to get into a moderately well college but not a score which would even make me dare to think of those three revered words – ‘Indian Institute of Management’. Just the thought of getting into one of the most prestigious institutes of India used to overwhelm me. Yet, here I am today, done and dusted with the first year of my ‘Kathor’ IIM life and interning at Amazon.com. The road wasn’t easy but I learnt not to let go of my dreams. I prepared another year and with full dedication set out to give my best shot. But life had its own plans to test me.
In 2014, I was working in TCS and was simultaneously preparing for CAT. All was well until just a week before the D day I suddenly fainted. On doing a few tests it was found that I had jaundice. The doctors asked me to take as much rest as I can and not to take stress. But all I could see was my 2 years of hard work and dreams flashing before my eyes and fading away slowly. I had my moments dealing with the disease but I told myself that there is no way in hell I am letting this mess up all my efforts. The week leading to CAT 2014 was probably the most testing period of my life. I could hardly eat any food, threw up a dozen times a day, fainted, had nervous breakdowns and mostly sat and cried with anger and helplessness. But amidst all these, something gave me strength to stand up and fight- my parent’s firm belief in me and my burning desire to not let go of my dream this time. After loads of episodes I gave CAT and hoped for the best.
27th December 2014, was a day that I can never forget in my life. As I sat waiting for the results my heart was throbbing so much I felt dizzy. It also happened to be my mother’s birthday (somehow that fact made me feel that something good will happen). And then I saw it!! 99+ percentile flashing on the screen right besides my name. I refreshed the page a zillion times and checked my name a gazillion times and sat in shock. It was when both my parents started hugging me laughing that it slowly began to seep in…..It must be real!!!! I was overwhelmed and humbled and needless to say was on Cloud 9. My dream had finally come true after all those struggles and it looked like there couldn’t be anything else to stop me. Well, if only I knew how many more hurdles were yet to come!!
With a 99+ percentile and good grades in 10th and 12th, I got calls from 11 IIMs and a few more reputed institutes. I put in a lot of effort for my interviews but something went seriously wrong. I started getting a never ending string of rejections. After getting 5 straight rejections, my morale was pretty down and I did not know how to deal with the situation. It was then that I got my first convert-IIM Rohtak. Then the bad spell broke and I converted 6 more IIMs including one old IIM. But after careful consideration, I chose IIM R over all the others. Amongst all reasons that attracted to me to join IIM R, the amazingly talented faculties who were experts in their respective fields and the strategic position of IIM R as being the only IIM in the NCR region made it more lucrative of the lot. Since the fateful day I made my decision to join IIM R, there hasn’t been a single day that I haven’t felt grateful to have chosen IIM R.
IIM R has given me a plethora of opportunities in the one year I have spent here. The ‘Kathor’ life has taught me so much and has helped me evolve as an individual. It has given me so many opportunities to do the things I am good at and more importantly, to push me beyond my comfort zone to learn and try out new things that I wouldn’t even have imagined myself capable of doing. From organizing numerous corporate conclaves, summits as well as being a part of flash mob and the IIM R Run for the girl child Marathon as well as Infusion 16, the annual fest of IIM R, there hasn’t been a dull day of my life as a Kathor.
I am super-excited and look forward to another eventful year at IIM R. Finally, I would like to sum up my journey by saying that life is like a puzzle….there may be difficulties finding the right pieces but in the end, your puzzle will be complete. For me, the missing piece was my Alma mater IIM R, a place that has come so close to my heart and has made me an independent and confident individual for which I will be forever grateful.
About the author:
I am a B.E graduate in electronics and telecommunication from Mumbai University. I have a work-ex of 7 months at TCS. I am a member of the Industry Relations and Interaction Cell of IIM R. I am also an active member of the ‘Voice’ Club of IIM R as well as a member of the core team for ‘Aarambh’ committee. As a part of the IRCell, I have organized Management Conclave 2015 as well as various guest lectures, including some International Guest Lectures. I have also won the title of ‘Miss Infusion 2016’ in the annual fest of IIM R – Infusion 16. As an individual I like to actively participate in all events and competitions and I am planning to pursue my majors in Marketing and HR. Currently, I am interning at Amazon.com.