By Satinder Pal, Batch of 2017
“Even before I knew I wanted to do Engineering, I was adamant to take the trajectory towards Management” – 99.32, Tanya Khera, Batch of 2014
Q1. Please tell about the procedural involvement from appearing in CAT till getting selected for IIM-C.
After the CAT results are announced, each institute takes out its list of shortlisted candidates who need to appear for the GD (Group Discussion)/WAT (Writing Ability test)/PI (Personal Interview) round. You get about a month’s time after the result to prepare yourself (really well) for round 2. I was also allotted a mentor from the present batch of IIM-C, who was available for any kind of help needed during the WAT/PI preparatory months. Luckily, all went well and I was finally selected.
Q2. When was it actually that you decided to appear for CAT? Any specific consideration for this make-up of mind?
Even before I knew I wanted to do engineering, I was adamant to take the trajectory towards Management. MBA imparts holistic education and aids to shape one’s personality. Also, with the managerial skills that I propose to acquire, I hope to start up a social entrepreneurial venture that will work in close collaboration with the public sector to enhance the state of basic facilities in our country.
Q3. What was your preparation strategy?
There was no particular preparation strategy as such. To crack an exam like CAT, I believe it is all about being regular, be it in practicing quantitative, logical reasoning, data interpretation questions or reading comprehensions, or keeping abreast with the happenings around. Also, one needs to remain focused throughout the span of 8-10 months of preparation. Trying to maintain a balance between college and coaching may seem to take a toll towards the end but keeping your calm is the key to success.
Q4. What is your exact CAT percentile? Which colleges were available to you at this score? And why you chose IIM-C over the others?
My CAT percentile is 99.32. I had calls from IIM-C, L, K, I, new IIMs, S.P. Jain, MDI, DMS-IITD and FMS. I converted all calls from the new IIMs; though I didn’t give the interviews for FMS and IIM-Indore as I had already converted my IIM-C call. My inclination towards IIM-C has been because of its high B-school ranking and moreover, IIM-C has joined CEMS, an elite club of 28 premier business schools from across the world, as an academic partner. IIM-C is the only Indian member of this renowned alliance of leading global business schools and multinational corporations. As a part of this collaboration, IIM-C students can opt to pass out with a dual degree in PGDM as well as MIM (Masters in International Management). Also, IIM-C ranks number one in finance in the country, which has been a major deciding factor for me.
Q5. Many students at NSIT are apprehensive about their percentage. Can you please put some light on the percentage requirements?
All B-schools have different criteria of scoring candidates for selection. 10th, 12th, graduation score, work-experience, academic background, gender are some of the parameters the candidates are evaluated up on. A good percentage is important to fetch one of the coveted calls. I would like to mention that our college students lag behind other students because of the not so liberal marking done at our college vis-à-vis IITs,IP University, and private engineering colleges which give CGPA. Still to mention, a decent percentage of above 75 is almost mandatory, 80 being brilliant! There are quite a few institutes that may consider your candidature even if you don’t have a great college percentage but a decent one will surely fetch you brownie points.
Q6. What all college activities or societies were you involved in?
In the initial two years of college, I participated in a few events of the dramatics/dance society but could not continue, being a day scholar. This definitely did not stop me from following my passion; I co-started an NGO named ‘Aaghaaz” which works towards creating awareness amongst youth on issues related to HIV/AIDS (www.aaghaaz.in). I have been a part of community events/shows organized by the Delhi state government regarding polio eradication. I am trained in jazz as a dance form and I also compere cultural shows and public awareness events.
Q7. Any important piece of advice to all those planning to appear for CAT?
To all those planning to appear for CAT, my advice would be to know very clearly as to why you want to pursue an MBA. Clarity of thought is the key to becoming a good manager. Be regular with your quant practice and newspaper reading. If your graduation marks are not that great, try to have extra-curricular activities that can cover up for that. Last two-three months before CAT appears to be crucial, and therefore, one should remain focused and work hard during those months. While writing your exam, remember to stay calm and not to panic, and hope for the best.
Q8. How would you like to sum up your experience at NSIT so far?
My experience at NSIT has been extremely enriching. Apart from the classroom teaching, it was the peer interaction that has been my major takeaway from this institute. This college has some great minds and it is overwhelming to see how passionate everyone is out here about what they want to achieve, be it obtaining a higher education or a top notch job. NSIT pools some great talent and provides a conducive environment for everyone to fulfill their aspirations.
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