November 5, 2012 - Yes, that was a day to cherish! That was when I wrote my CAT after three months of rigorous practice amid my work schedule as a IT Business Analyst for a credit rating agency. I cherish this effort because there were a lot of sacrifices and a determined schedule with a work-life balance that went into it considering the fact that I prepared for five hours everyday on a weekday and even more on weekends.
Though I didn't score the mind-boggling 99 and 100 percentiles like many other fellow students in the IIM fraternity but I scored a percentile decent enough to land me an interview call with IIM Indore. That's the beauty of the admission criteria wherein a person with a consistent academic record has an opportunity to land up in an IIM .
In addition to IIM Indore, I had an admission to a non-IIM of good repute along with being in the waiting list of another great institute. Since, IIM Indore releases its results pretty late, I was already contemplating another attempt for primarily two reasons: 1. The dream of being able to study in an IIM and 2. I was pretty satisfied with my current job profile. Hence, I decided to give the non-IIM institute a miss and started preparing again in late May 2013. Though I must admit, it was a tough task convincing my parents considering the uncertainty of Indian examinations.
However, we never know whats in store for us and on May 19, 2013 IIM Indore released its results. I got through and it was again a moment to cherish. Again, for someone who was born and brought up in the vicinity of IIM Ahmedabad, it has always been a dream to study in one of the premier institutes of the country and I did make it to an IIM.
In July, I joined IIM Indore and it has been one hell of a ride ever since. After four months of a rigorous schedule coupled with a highly competitive batch (remember the admission criteria?), I must say it has been one hell of a roller coaster ride- from induction to getting back in touch with studies and from getting to know new people and being a part of various committees. The last part is something I would like to stress upon. In order to differentiate yourself from the crowd which has a highly consistent and excellent academic record and wherein every second person you meet would be a 90+ throughout or a topper in some level or the other, it is very important to take part in competitions or extra-curricular activities (say organizing committees etc). Without that, you are one among the many apples in the basket. Oh yes, it was one thing to get into an IIM but the buck doesn't stop there. It is another thing to survive and do well in an Indian Institute of Management.
To sign off, I wish the aspiring candidates all the best as the CAT window comes to an end. However, one must remember CAT is only one half of the battle, the war is yet to be won!