‘I’m From A City Where 70% Of The People Don’t Know The IIMs’ – My Journey To IIM Ranchi – Nikhita’s Story

(#Throwback to 2016: Nikhita’s journey to IIM Ranchi still remains an inspirational story, and is a must-read)  

I hail from a city where around 70% of the people still don’t know what IIMs are and what kind of an exam CAT is and all that people want from their children is to secure a government job. On the other hand, those few people from whom I heard about CAT made me develop a perception that CAT was an insurmountable task for average students.

It was during my 2nd and 3rd year of engineering when I attended a couple of workshops on entrepreneurship held by IIT-IIM alumni and after I did my own research on entrance exams and MBA that I was really motivated to pursue MBA. But this was followed by days of arguments with my parents who thought that MBA wasn’t meant for me. My relatives suddenly started worrying about my future prospects (read marriage stuff). I had given up convincing my parents temporarily and then I got placed in a core company in the domain of my choice. I was posted in Bangalore and I was exhilarated. While working I realized that the kind of problems my managers faced are much more interesting to solve than the kind of problems which I faced which were mostly technical. That was when I finally decided that I had to prepare for CAT and go for an MBA. Though I faced oppositions even then, I asked my parents to give me just one chance to prove myself.

I started serious preparations from June. Little did I know that I would have tough time balancing my hectic work schedule and CAT preparation. Nevertheless, what I found was  “consistency is the key”. Every day after spending 8-10hrs at office I would return to my room and study at least one topic. Initially I concentrated more on RCs as I did not belong to the category of “voracious readers” so I had to learn the tricks to crack RCs in a very short span of time. Reading editorials from The Hindu and other news helped me improve my general knowledge as well as my verbal. I enjoyed solving RCs thoroughly. After a month we received the notification from CAT convenor pertaining to the change in format.

The introduction of calculator, the division of exam into 3 sections and inclusion of some questions without answer choices were truly unprecedented. I dreaded LR-DI section the most and this time it wasn’t possible for us to get away from those topics just by being strong in quant and verbal. So I started dividing my time in a week between quant and LR-DI for the next couple of months. Sundays were usually meant for mock tests and analysis, analysis being the most important part. One thing I would like to strongly advise aspirants is to never get de-motivated if your scores are low in the mock tests. I say this because the actual CAT exam will be way easier than the mock tests. Use them to familiarize yourself to sit at one place for 3 hrs, maintaining good concentration levels throughout and identifying your stronger and weaker areas. Last one month should be meant only for revisions of all the topics and the day before the D-day should be meant for relaxation.

The D-day:- On Nov 29 2015, I wrote CAT in the afternoon session. I spent the next couple of days contemplating my performance in the exam. As expected I was apprehensive about my performance in the LR-DI section as that proved to be the toughest of all sections. In January we got our results and I was happy to have secured the interview calls from few institutes, most of which were scheduled in the last week of February. The preceding days were spent in brushing up some engineering topics, current news, GK and some business jargons.

After going through such a roller coaster ride, in the 2nd week of May, the most awaited results had finally arrived. I couldn’t believe that I had converted all the new IIMs and few other institutes. I was elated after learning that my first and best choice among all the institutes – IIM Ranchi had accepted me. And my parents? Well, they are proudly informing all my relatives that their daughter is studying in an IIM. Today I’m writing this article sitting in my room in the IIM Ranchi hostel after having completed almost a 2-week induction program. And all I can say is that it has been a marvellous experience so far.

Finally, the time has come to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings…!!!