I think its finally time to put my story on this thread.
Read only if you can bear the length, its pretty long
Its not very inspiring or special but its mine and will always be special to me.
So, I knew I wanted to go for my MBA right from grad but though I would do it after gaining some work-ex. That, I think, was an error-not the work-ex part, but the not preparing, not trying at all part.
So, I graduated from a top College in Economics with above average scores but not brilliant ones.
My 10th & 12th grades were great though (94 & 95)
I was placed in a research and analytics firm and I liked it there. First few months had to be spent adjusting to life as a working person as opposed to a vella college student.
Hence, didn't think of CAT that season as well-CAT 2012.
Then started the panic-I was moving towards completing a year in a firm which I loved doing work which was not satisfying as it was getting repetetive, not having taken CAT even once.
Time to take action. Joined coaching in March 2013 thinking I would be regular. Work was hectic but manageable.
May 2013-a problem in my project at work and all hell broke lose.
At a time when I should have been focusing on CAT prep, I was spending days, night and even weekends in office, trying to salvage the client, correcting errors made by the person who had been handling the client before me and had quit by then. The client had multiple projects across teams and was the biggest client of the company so I couldn't screw it up.
August-things settled, client pacified. I started taking mocks to realise I was majorly screwing up quant. verbal was my saving grace.
I was scoring in 80-85%ile range in quant and 95-99% in verbal.
Then quant scores started dipping, work kept becoming hectic.
I applied for study leave which was approved (3 weeks). Was planning to book a slot for 10th Nov but was blatantly told by the organisation that a senior wanted to take off at that time hence I would have to take CAT by 21st October.
Had no choice but to accept-booked the 21st October afternoon slot.
Had given up hope of doing well in light of my continously falling quant scores, and the 95%iles (not good enough) in verbal. Took the prep leave anyway.
Thats when I actually started sitting in my coaching centre with a teacher who encouraged me and convinced me to give my best in whatever time I have. Was nervous but decided I had nothing to lose. In the words of my teacher, "You've already paid,Jaake de bhi aa"
So, 21 October 2013-CAT day
Went in nervously-I was attempting CAT for the first time.
Quant-Tough like the trend was. managed to solve just 16 Got stuck in a DI set and never recovered. I was flustered by the end of the section.
Moved to Verbal.
I had been consistently doing well in Verbal in all mocks and LRs are my strength so was surprised.
After some struggle, was able to solve them. Attempts-24 (used to go over 26 in all mocks)
Thought section 2 went decent as my accuracy was pretty good in verbal.
Spoke to my teachers saying section 1 was screwed....was convinced I lost my chance but they said if my accuracy was 100%, I should make it above 95% in quant and verbal they knew I won't screw up.
I wasn't convinced. Randomly applied for job switch to a seemingly better job-management consulting.
Got through; quit my last organisation on 10th Jan with a heavy heart (I had an awesome 20 months there because the people rocked!)
14th Jan-result day
Checked: OA: 95.13%ile
VA: 90 %ile
Couldn't believe my eyes. VA had screwed me up.
Joined the job.
The B-School lists started coming out and I didn't check any. Was forced to check by friends to see I had received a call from S....had already received a profile based call from SPJIMR, received more calls from I, MDI, and finally L.
Was thrilled to know I had an outside chance of making it to L though I knew it would be tough with the low CAT score. Heck the call itself was unexpected at my percentile.
Meanwhile, the job was screwed-I was surviving on 2 hours of sleep everyday, working 18 hours a day.
There was no chance of preparation. Had to just struggle to survive.
Somehow went for the NMIMS interview, dozed off during the orientation, rocked the CD, PI was a stress interview but I was chilled out because I was so unprepared anyway
Answered about 30 questions, didn't answer 2. I had gone just for prep since I had no time to prepare otherwise.
Verdict: Converted with merit rank around 80 Didn't join, didn't book a seat.
SPJIMR-screwed since I couldn't defend why a grad should get in while there were 2 people with a CA and CFA respectively.
Verdict: They moved to round 2, I didn't.
Fell ill, Fought with my boss, went back home for 10 days. (Mumbai to Delhi)
Took the Shillong interview aise hi, screwed it up.
Went for L interview was extremely nervous as I had no time to prepare.
GD went well, stopped people from digressing, made contributions, started the GD.
PI was very chilled out-discussed projects and I had no problems in any work-ex related questions ever
Had poetry as a hobby in the form somewhere so was asked to write a poem on the spot
Wrote-they were happy.
Messed 2 particular questions on stats on Indian economy but answered all other questions on the Economy with a smile (am an Eco grad).
Came out of the interview satisfied but unsure since the CAT score gap was still there and L gives 38% weightage to CAT even in the final merit score.
Came back to Mumbai, worked hard again.
Skipped the MDI interview as I decided to take CAT again and aim for A/B/C/L/XL in case I didn't get through.
Was unsure about IIM-I....was waiting impatiently for L results.
Result day: I was in office, the link for results had been leaked around 8pm and i was checking the inactive link impatiently.
9 o' clock we packed up to go home and I was stepping out when I got a call from a friend who had been checking for me and he said, "You made it"
I couldn't believe it! My team(they knew about my wait) said, we'll wait, you check the results!
So, at 9:30 PM, I was standing in the corridor of a client's office, opening my laptop to see the message,
"Congratulations! You have been selected for PGP at IIM-L"
I screamed out of joy! Certainly one of the happiest moments of my life.
The past year just wizzed past my eyes-the problems, the 18 hour workdays, the interviews without preparation, the desperation, the hope.
If not for L, I would have quit my job to prepare....it would have been a year of self doubt, I was safe.
My teachers suggested I wait for a year-aim for A/B/C, I decided to join L
My first CAT season remains my last CAT season (thankfully!)
I skipped the IIM-I interview, it was a couple of days after the L result was declared.
Today is the last day of my job, its been a tough 4 months here-screwed up boss, torturous life which I don't wish for anyone else. I have learnt a lot of patience and resilience here and hopefully that will help me in HEL(L)
Can't thank the pagalguy team enough because though I have been a silent member, its been of immense help.