The purpose of this post is not to motivate people but to warn them what never to do while preparing for CAT. My experience with Indian MBA industry (Yes it is an industry going by the money making) has not been pleasant at all and all I wish is that others do take the precautions I never took.
Declaration: It would be my conscious effort not to reveal names and places. As my intention is not to degrade any region people or place but just to warn others.
It all started in 2007 when the economy was gung ho and things were rosy in IT industry. I was an average engineer in an average college where the Infy, TCS and the likes recruited regularly. Got a decent job but dad was adamant on me being an MBA. (yes I come from a small town where parents reign supreme). So started the MBA dream. Joined CL and was a sincere with an on and off note.
Things started rolling to 2008, where I tool CAT, JMET, XAT and what not. In those weekly tests I was usually not the brightest bulb but many times was in 96-97%ile.
With this kinda performance CAT was a dream but still with full gusto went ahead and got 80%ile.
Here I would like to make a special mention to all those administrators in B-Schools who keep the last date of form submission just a day before the actual exam to cash in on the rat race frenzy. Hats Off to them as they amply demonstrate Nobility and Profitability are opposing ends.
Anyways continued with the razzmatazz and gave XAT and NMIMS. Funny, thing about NMIMS missed the cut off by a narrow margin. (But did not blame the luck even once, I blamed my performance).
Then came XAT, where I without any hopes (Legend has it, its tougher than CAT) went ahead. Expected a good performance, and pleasantly shocked I got 97%ile , I don't know how,but now started a bigger pain. All venerable names had closed submission a day before exam (included GIM, XIMB etc.) and I was left standing with filling up XLRI- which had been filled much earlier due to dad's insistence.
People ask me why fill XLRI and not GIM at-least , and I tell them logic is not available when you need it most.
So found out this supposedly great institution accepting XAT score. Made big promises and showed high ethical standards like not disclosing average packages and all that.
Managed by an ex-IIM director it looked to be on the path of becoming great soon. So, without wasting a moment did the due-diligence on:
1. Contacted seniors.
2. Checked out companies coming for recruitment.
3. Unofficial data on Average package in past.
4. and some other thing....
It shone bright and as soon as I cleared GD, PI decided to join it up. This was 2008.
To my horror it became clear the very first day that the ex-IIM dude who was the president was an autocrat leading the entire gamut to naught. The college prided itself to be the fairest of all in selection and having no quotas yet I found more than 40% of students from a particular state. Almost all seniors rued theri decision to come but I foolishly concluded that it was too late to change course.
The college had a disproportionately high no. of non-hindus (I put on record that my intention is not to offend anyone) and hence, holi, diwali celebrations were not permitted in open even though some of the Sunday mornings the rule was forgotten. What was even more shocking was the pure lies in hostel accommodation. We were shoved in small rooms in numbers higher than what was promised in the brochure. And the cherry on the cake people getting high not on alcohol but cannabis. The allegations of bungling with answer sheets to favor a few were always present too. Most profs had little industry experience with the exception of a few highly talented ones. And the kind of personal control exerted there on every part of life reminded me of the Orwellian 1984 horror.
Placement season 2010 came and me being an engineer tried in IT. To my horror only one of then came and that I could not get through.
So, was left jobless. But thanks to a banking giant went in sales. Things have been just a little less than OK ever since. I am paid less than industry average. Get abused regularly by boss (Everyone is the target so its a part of life now.) Lot of field work is there so have lost a lot of weight in this north-Indian heat.
Someone might ask why wait 1 year and post, the reason is now I find my engineering buddies earning almost equal or more than me being only graduates. THey work in plush iT offices while scrounge the roads for leads and a question keeps popping up in my head "What if?????"
My advise to all aspirants:
1. Take CAT if you want to be an MBA not because somebody wants you to. I was not even aware that Sales and Marketing are different functions uptill the course beginning.
2. Be resourceful and summon all your energy to find about the college you intend to join. Use PG contact seniors etc.
3. Don;t rush into this decision it can make or break your life.
4. Losing the first time is not the end of life.
5. But most importantly if at any point you feel you won't get what you want, cut your losses and move. Chuck the course for a better opportunity or trying to create one, because sentimental remorse and guilt take you nowhere.
I have a lot of other complaints and a lot more advise but I think this would do good to forewarn others and i don't want to dirty this sacred thread as people refer to it with my litany of woes.
However, what I can say every morning I dread the heat work and abuse and just wonder "What If???"
P.S.: The college I am talking is not **** kinda college. It is well respected and if I remember correctly PG had its first perception based rankings in 2008. Its rank was in double digits and a good one. On a healthy side.