I am no role model here.
I didn't aspire for an IIM in the first place.
I didn't take mocks seriously. I never joined classes.
I never made 90+ in any of my mocks or CATs
I am no ST,SC, OBC, XBC, NBC
I was a MICA fanatic but never made a cut...
Still I made into IIM..heres how
For my family education is everything, I topped my Xth, XIIth, top 10 in BITS Pilani Mech, got into Mahindra Engines Development.
But my passion lay in product marketing
Every year I applied for dept change and turned down coz I didnt have an MBA
I applied for all best for Mkting schools in the country, didn't aimless apply to all colleges. Everyone told me that was a bad idea, I stood by my logic.
Year after yr, CAT was no where near what i wanted and I was lazy to prepare. I started developing my own marketing skills, there was one point where top bosses in PD asked for my opinions on marketing and stuff..
I got into a very tight project and i had no time to prepare for CAT 09. A new franchise of CL was opened in Nasik. I negotiated and got the package at 500/- only. It was just the online package, I had no peers to study with. I thought i needed flexibility and freedom in my preps. So i convinced my boss to give me a laptop, pre-emptively applied for BSNL wireless internet (2months waiting) and found a govt library to study.
Never did I get 90+ in any mocks and I thought if i get 85 odd in mocks i would clear the MICA cutoff of 90 in actual CAT. Luckily this year MICA scrapped CAT criteria and I didn't bother about my CAT results.
My CAT was also a disaster, it was postponed without my knowledge. Screens went blank many times. Didnt get a second chance after many follow-ups with prometric. Then I left it as MICA scrapped the criteria.
A day before MICAT, I went MICA and saw seniors and got the feel of the campus. After MICAT somehow the feeling was not there and I was very worried. Then MICA shortlist came and my name was not there and felt so dejected.
I always wanted to go alone on an India tour and the time came for that. We launched a new product and someone from our team reqd to travel the country for feedback. I volunteered and had the time of my life. Went to most parts of the country, stayed with strangers, learnt local customs..from deserts to himalayas..godavari to ganga I covered in a month...
While I was in Lucknow I got a mail telling I was shortlisted for IIM Indore PGP GD/PI. I passed it off as one of the phishing mail stuff and fwded it to my friend to confirm the authenticity. Later I found out the criteria for IIM indore was heavily based on work ex and past acads which I already have.
With my disbelief I approached my UG batchmates who are at IIMs and they helped me filling the form at the last moment. I traveled 200 Kms just for one GD and one PI session from TIME Dadar. Made lot of friends there.
The mock PI panelist coincidentally happened to be my friend and I told her I am not taking mock PI, instead I ll sit through all PIs u are going to take for the day. She agreed and I found a pattern of all answers people prepared for and now I was sure of what not to tell.
Then I camped with my college friends passed out from XL, they advised me only one thing, the "Tell me about yurself" question is the make or break question and asked me to master. I rehearsed the crucial points I thought was unique about me. I didnt bother about womens reservation blah blah, IPL etc etc...my only goal was I should be clear about me and my goals, if that is done everything else can be managed.
My PI was more like M.Tech Automobile than MBA, the panel knew so much on engines which even I didnt know. I was able to answer most of them. I didnt know how to react after the interview. Then I said to myself I had a different workex, my acads are good, I didnt mess the interview...so I was little confident...
All I realised in this journey was
1. Attitude comes first, knowledge 2nd.
2. See the bigger picture, the smaller ones will fall in place.
My attitude went into a transformation after my India trip. Met the rich, the poor, the shoe lickers, the genuine entrepreneurs etc. I learnt from each one of them,. This place is amazing and it taught me life.
Here I am now, waiting to join IIM..... the 90 percentiler who made it into the IIM...or rather...the guy who prepared for MICA and got into an IIM
I am a very lazy person so I focussed on only what mattered to me. The only take away for you is
ATTITUDE towards CAT and life...
I have seen many people who has put their jobs on jeopardy for CAT...I would advise that CAT is a very small thing in this life and just give sufficient importance before exam. That will do.
See beyond CAT and college. See also how you can support your family, are you ok to pay your loans and high rent in mumbai or delhi (where normal MBA grads go), are you joining just for the sake of joining or really the college will lead you to ur goals...
Packages will come and go. But your plan should be package-proof. If you want to be IT consultant, go ahead do whatever you want to be the master...packages will chase you...it is YOU that matters finally...not the college, not the package, not the blackstones or BCG's...
"In the blink of an eye, you ll finally see the light" - Aerosmith's 'Amazin'