Bhoomika Rustagi, an IIM Indore’22 PGP Gold Medalist, describes her journey to IIM Indore and her life as a member of the Batch of 2020-2022. She will be joining the Commercial Due Diligence vertical at Deloitte India, where she interned during the summer and earned a pre-placement offer.
Bhoomika graduated from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Management Studies and Finance.
She opted to pursue a post-graduate degree and enrolled in IIM Indore’s flagship MBA Programme, building on her foundation in management studies.
In this interview, she shares her perceptive insights about the admission process, preparing for CAT and life at IIM Indore.
1. What percentage did you get for the CAT exam? & also, give us a brief overview of how you prepared for this test?
My CAT score was about 94 percentile. I took coaching; however, I also prepared independently apart from the coaching classes. I used to read the newspaper a lot daily. In order to prepare for the Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension section of the exam, I read many books and articles from aeon.co, Britannica and the likes. I also looked at questions focused on the Data Interpretation & Logical Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis component of the test.
2. Once you got your CAT test score, what were some of the B-Schools you were considering & what made you select IIM Indore?
I received calls from S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, IIM Indore, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Shillong, and IIFT. I chose IIM Indore since the placements are excellent and the campus life appears to be quite engaging.
3. Can you share your IIM Indore interview experience with our users so they can understand how the process works and what it takes to get into one of India’s top business schools?
My interview was actually very interesting. It consisted of two professors from IIM Indore. When I walked into the interview, it was one of the only interviews where I was not asked to tell them about myself. The interview started with a few questions about accountancy and some ratios of accountancy, and then the conversation turned to a few maths-based questions. Since I am a commerce graduate with a bachelor’s degree in management studies, the interview moved from questions about accountancy to questions on mathematics. These questions were related to graphs and quadratic equations, and gradually they asked me about my hobbies.
I like to read, and upon conveying this fact to the interviewers, they asked me about three books that have changed my life or impacted me. So, I talked about Khushwant Singh’s Train to Pakistan, Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns and George Orwell’s 1984. One of the professors was already familiar with 1984, and we had a very long conversation about it and how we can still witness the allegories used in that book in today’s life, where government surveillance is a large part of our life. This was when the interview shifted to a very confident conversation, and I really enjoyed the interview.
4. Were any significant parts of the interview that you feel were challenging?
Preparing a base regarding one’s course is very important. It is also necessary to be confident in the discipline where one comes from. Especially at IIM Indore, it is said that they ask quite a bit of maths-based questions in the interviews. Since I do not have an engineering background, I was not asked very tough graph/maths questions. People with an engineering or technical background, on the other hand, may expect to be asked trigonometric questions or the like. IIM Indore interviews may also include an extempore component. It depends on the interviewer if one is asked to speak spontaneously, so if somebody has issues with speaking, they may want to practice their skills.
5. One’s B-School significantly impacts professional development; what are some of the essential habits that IIM Indore helped you develop that you believe are the most crucial for you to flourish as a professional?
IIM Indore really pushes you to have proper time management in your daily life. As soon as one enters IIM Indore, there are lots of things to juggle. The year starts with term one, which usually ends with summer placements. With the commencement of interviews for summer placements, one needs to manage time very efficiently in order to also pay attention to classes.
There is also the fact that the curriculum feels very new. The MBA syllabus is quite different from what one would experience at an undergraduate college. So, quizzes are frequent; one has to be active in class and do prereads. Simultaneously, there are also committees and clubs making their selections, preparing for summer interviews and preparation for building CVs. Thus, one thing IIM Indore really helped me achieve was time management – it forced me to bifurcate my time and prioritize what I had to do and when I had to do things.
Secondly, another essential skill I acquired was networking. I realized late into my MBA that building a strong network with people of one’s batch, seniors and juniors, is very important. These are the people who might need your help, or you might need their help sometime later down the line – I think these are some of my essential takeaways.
6. Since you like reading a lot, if an MBA aspirant asked you to describe your journey at IIM Indore is a phrase, what will it be?
I would say that change is the only constant, and you need to be prepared and enjoy everything that comes your way.
Bhoomika Rustagi is also an IIM Indore’22 Gold Medalist. She is presently working as an intern in the Commercial Due Diligence area at Deloitte India, where she has also got a pre-placement offer
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