As you wait for the CAT results

It is only serendipitous that the day I “re-arrive” on PG is a day before the CAT results. It is nostalgic to see so many “nerves” – I am sure whoever has been posting on PG or silently reading others’ posts expects to be on the other side tomorrow. The truth however is known to all of us – most people won’t “make it.” And I am here to tell you – it doesn’t matter. Really.

First things first. I went to the other side 7 years ago. I had greater than 99.5 percentile in CAT. I was desperate, as much as you are, to go to a “premier B-school”. The reason was not my interest in management as much as it was my disinterest in engineering. I was a mechanical engineer from IIT, working in a “core” job, and not liking it at all. CAT seemed like the quickest way out.

As you await the results, let me recommend what should be your ideal behaviour, depending on where you land tomorrow –

  1. People with a really good percentile & multiple IIM calls – Congratulations. It is only natural to feel exulted In case you have close friends who have not made it to the next round, spend time with them. But do not over-counsel them on “how they can still get a better job and attempt CAT the next year’! In case you haven’t read any newspaper other than the Sunday Times in the last many months, you have a lot of lost ground to recover. If I can find time, I will blog on the next steps on PG.

  2. People with a good percentile & just one call – It is alright. You finally have to go to just one IIM. In fact you should be able to focus all your efforts on converting this call.

  3. People with no call at all – Avoid the tendency to blame ‘normalization’ for your loss. Accept the loss gracefully. If you want to cry, do it, like you mean it. Then, wash your face, put yourself back together and go back to raise hell. In the long run, the fact that you did not get any call won’t matter to you at all. I promise you this – so long as you have the blessings of your parents, few good friends and a greater goal in life, nothing can stop you in your tracks.

Here is a quote I really like –

Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before. ~ Jacob A. Riis”

So, dear friends, just keep hammering, and no, I am not talking about the CAT here. Keep hammering at the goal of your life, and it will happen…