From Failures in 2006-09 to converting IIM-C in 2010 – My Story (Part 2/3)

(Never thought in my wildest dreams that I’ll get a chance to update this.)

CAT-08 season continued

– So here I was sitting with all rejects. No job. I went completely blank about my future. Further that was the recession year. I still remember taking my resume and going pillar to post…one room companies…standing outside a firm in JP Nagar whole day so that security guard might allow me to just meet the HR..calling furiously to any random company in bangalore…and still no job…:banghead:

Till now, I had managed only a sales job of distance MBA which I decided not to join….

Tired and frustrated that day, I reached BTM bus stop(the area in Bangalore where I lived). I had completely lost hope. I was talking to my gf and somehow I just started crying(Inspite of all the senti I throw on public forums..I rarely cry…Infact I never ever had cried in my life as far as I remember)…Everyone was watching and I felt like stupid.

Stupid for crying on a bus stop infront of everyone ..stupid for messing up everything..stupid for making myself and my close one’s life hell..stupid for being the central character of the jokes of my supposedly close friends(who I thought would support me..infact the exact words of my “so-called” best friend were -“Jab aukat nahin hai to itna uchalte kyon ho?).

and that’s when she said- “Let the IIM’s and other instis go to hell..We’ll aim higher….They don’t deserve us..We’ll go to ISB”…Now for a person who has lost all faith..who can’t find a simple job and has been kicked by all the B-schools…this was a big joke. We had a big fight and I stopped talking to her for some time….

Somehow days passed and this is where I found that all the gas about networking was so true. We had made a close group- shabadp(heading to IIM-C),yogsconnect and a patchofsnow(both heading to IIM-L that season). They with the help of cat_demon (who was heading to C and was working for MBA coaching previously) found out that there was a vacancy in the capacity of center head…I thought this job would be good…I can prepare for B-school of center head on resume would be decent..and I can do something other than IT..Luckily I got the job. Only hitch was the job was in Hubli(9 hours from B’lore). That meant I had to leave B’ gf..and live in a smaller town in North K’taka…

Devoid of options and desperate for a job, I chose to join it.

I remember the PM by love_cat where he had addressed me as big bro and motivated me to keep fighting. That was one special PM for me. It gave me hope that I might be not as bad as I think myself to be.

CAT-09 season

– I relocated to Hubli. Job was not good. It was a franchisee center and I found out that franchisee owner had no clue of how MBA exams or how coaching work. After around two months of joining, he said that he does not have any money to invest and we need to close the center. I somehow convinced him to not to close the center(I didn’t want to go for job hunt again) and I would put in my salary for expenditures of running the center. It was again really tough living in Hubli all alone. I missed everyone and there was nobody to even talk to(except kinscool whose hometown was Dharwad). I was living in a student’s PG next to BVB college as most of my target audience was there and I had no money. I had not told my parents that I don’t earn(or rather I’m putting all my salary in running the center)..leaving Infy,being jobless and finally going to some small town and teaching- was too much of shock for them and they were very close to having nervous breakdown. They had no idea and even I had no idea about what I was doing. I focused on studies. MBA was my only escape route as my career was completely shattered.

Every month(for next 1.5 year) my gf used to send me money from her salary so that I can pay rent and buy food. She had a blind faith in me. She would ask me to study..give mocks…make schedule..focus on Verbal and keep fighting. I don’t know what would have I done without her in life. I still don’t know what made her not leave me- I was completely hopeless. Why would some girl want to spend her life with me? And everytime I used to get the same reply from her- I know you’ll achieve it someday. Also those were the days when we used to have group chats, minaly with Super Xero, Snits, VV , AFC and utsi

==-. Those were the only people with whom I used to talk. And even SuX, snits and VV had lot of belief in me. I’ll be obliged to them forever in my life.

So my world was pretty limited. Go to MBA coaching center in morning that was pretty much dying…stay alone the whole day..solve few mocks…talk to my gf..have a group chat late night…and day ends…Meanwhile my mock scores had reached soring high at the start of season..but somehow till july-aug..they had dipped to 95-96 %ile…However hard I try, I could not score high…That was the time when I realized I had lost my focus..I was not able to concentrate…and maybe had got too much limelight in PG..which made me wrongly feel that I can not do anything wrong in mocks…I had become overconfident and really rusty…(that’s where I think one needs to be careful on PG..people tend to get hyped a lot…and that might make a person really overconfident and lose the final battle…Always the focus should be to score on final day rather than in mocks which was mostly used by me to flaunt on PG and friends)..I really lowered my profile on PG…stopped posting mock scores and seeing other mock scores…and asked selectors to not consider me for DT as I needed lot of ground work…

Also that was the time when one day my gf registered me for GMAT

. We had a big fight(as usual) once again. I thought she had forgotten that ISB dream but maybe she was really serious about that statement. This was the turning point in my CAT preps. Since she had invested approx 10k bucks on this exam(at a point in time when we both were financially struggling..10k was huge huge amount to invest ), it was very critical for me to score good, if not for MBA then atleast for this huge investment. I knew QA would be pretty easy for me. So started studying VA. Solved 1000 SC’s, 1000 RC’s and other VA stuff of GMAT. Finally scored a 750. It was useful for me as I had cracked an exam that had tough VA- gave me a lot of confidence and preparing for it considerably improved my VA skills.

Still I was really pessimistic about ISB as my profile was bad and my work experience was on lower side(both in number of months and quality of work-ex). Worked on my essays and magically, I managed to get a call from ISB. Going to ISB for interview was good experience. I still could remember the day where I was sitting hopelessly on footpath of road and here I was heading to be interviewed by one of the elite colls of India. Interview was really bad and I had one more interview reject yet again. I was disappointed but it was fine. Cracking GMAT and getting a call itself was big deal for me. Also it gave me a hope- all is not lost yet. I started preparing furiously for CAT.

Once again exams season came. I went with a cool mind for CAT for first time in my 3 attempts. XAT was awesome. FMS was bad. JMET went hopeless.

Results poured in-

IIFT- yet again a call :drinking:


(QA-99.9x ,DI-98.x,VA-89.x) No calls from IIM. But had MDI, NITIE and IMT call. Was happy to break into 99’s in CAT and get a call from NITIE. I really loved NITIE and would have been really glad to join it.

XAT-99.96 %ile

ding from JMET,FMS.

I thought I had done a decent job and had to clear interview no matter what. My gf parents were asking her to marry and I simply could have not told them- Please let me marry your girl. I’m not of your caste. Heck I’m not even a Gujarati. Also I’m kind of a teacher of MBA students in some city. This simply was not going to work.

Went to interviews with decent preps. The problem was that my confidence was really low, my career was really messed up and it was very hard to impress faculties and I had no knowledge in current affairs or my B.Tech. Subjects. To sum up, I was a big ZERO.:oops:

Results came in yet again but contents of all the results remained same – Sorry! You’re rejected. XAT reject with 99.96%ile was a big shocker.

IMT came to my rescue by giving me first direct convert of my life. Once again, there was a small ray of hope- If I can improve my profile, I can convert.

NITIE was waitlisted at 183. I prayed to God to give me NITIE. Prayed prayed and prayed. But waitlist movement stopped at 130-140’s. One more ding yet again.

Also the coaching center finally had shut down. Once again at the end of MBA season I had no job, no converts and no future.

I thought of joining IMT, but with all due respects to IMT, I thought I don’t belong there. My parents again had no clue about why I’m not joining IMT as I had no other option. I stopped talking to my parents for some time as they were making me really nervous and I once again did not want to go blank as last time.

CAT-10 season

Also this was the time when I got one more PM- this time from Sammael about not to lose hope and keep fighting. ?He said that we both will fight for one more year to achieve our dream and be batchmates at IIM-C next year. I promised him that I’ll work hard and make it to joka and told Sammy to keep his end of promise (Incidentally we both Landed in Joka. Sammael’s reg no/roll no was 16 and mine was 17 :))

But at this point in time, I knew I needed a really good job.I used all my experience of last year job hunt and without losing any time, started applying to jobs yet again. This time, instead of randomly applying- I narrowed down my search to Market Research and Analytics. I dropped plan of MBA altogether. I got through a market research firm in Gurgaon and an analytics firm in Bangalore. I decided to join the analytics firm and returned back to Bangalore.

I was saturated after preparing for CAT year after year and decided to focus on making my career. Worked really really hard in my job. Absolutely loved analytics as a field and worked harder to excel in it. But somehow, deep inside I remembered the promise to Sammy, the inspiration of SuX, snits and VV and my dream of Joka (and WIMWI). Also till this point in time, I had matured a lot and knew better (if not 100% sure) about MBA and why should I do an MBA except for just earning more.

I worked very hard in job and just gave mocks on weekends just to keep in touch. For me, now my job and career was first priority and MBA 2nd priority. I also opted to become a part of DT this time. I was more mature now and knew I won’t let myself be overconfident. Further DT comprised of best people on PG and I would feel challenged and motivated to do well in mocks-something that I had lost after getting a good job.

Life went on smooth. Job was going ok. I was not desperate for MBA and knew I can do well in life without even an MBA. Exams season came and went. CAT was pretty absurd. I did something unbelievable. Just before my CAT exam, I decided one thing- I have not cleared VA cutoff ever. This time I’ll clear VA cutoff no matter what. Even if that means giving all time to VA and not solving a single question in QA. Somehow in back of my mind, I knew that I can clear QA,DI cutoff in 30 mins.

So here was my time breakup in CAT-> 1hr 5 mins- VA, 30 mins QA, 40 mins DI. Solved VA leisurely. Made sure each and every question is correct, read RC’s for 5 times. When I came out, I knew the chances of clearing were pretty less unless I’m accurate(my biggest strength in mocks was accuracy but I had no idea if I’ll be accurate on final day as paper was little weird.) as I had solved some 48-49 questions(something like 16QA,14DI,19 VA).

I repeated the same thing in XAT. It was a very risky strategy(and I would recommend don’t ever try this in real exam) and XAT told me why. I was scoring very very high in VA section alone(more than total marks of many people) but DI had bombed and coaching keys showed me -ve scores. FMS was good and I expected a call. I had only filled 4 forms – CAT,XAT,FMS and IIFT as my job was good and would have left it only for some extra-ordinary b-school

Results came and i was spell bounded

CAT- 99.98 %ile(QA-99.6, DI-98.6 and VA-99.92

) ACLI and NITIE call.

XAT- 99.98 %ile(QA-99.x,DI-81.x


) -still got BM call (had not applied to PMIR) because of their goof up- damn lucky

I had scored 99.98 in 2 biggest exams and with 99.9+ in VA in both:drinking:

Also managed an FMS and IIFT call.

But then I was also really worried. I had to conquer my biggest weakness- interviews.

I focused a lot on interviews, yet didn’t ignore my job. Had read everything related to my profile and current affairs. Gave interviews to senior people in my company who were IIM alumni or people studying in IIM and implemented their feedback. Gave loads of mock interviews to everyone possible. Made coherent stories of WHy MBA and all other questions.

Interviews started with IIFT. They were really impressed with my profile (I now portrayed my profile in a complete different way which seemed to really work. Also I was now a business analyst in an analytics firm which was very different than regular IT profile).

IIM-L and I were really awesome and I knew after my I interview that this year I’m going to do an MBA for sure.

IIM- A and IIM-C were pretty bad. In C interview they literally said on my face that I’m useless and would not be able to do anything in life.(I had not taken my salary slips and that had pissed them off). After my C interview, I had tears in my eyes(for 2nd time in my life) for my Joka dream had shattered yet again. But then, I had other interviews left and this was no time to lose focus. Xl was mixed bag with good and bad parts while FMS was abstract with me explaining why I’m coming for MBA after 4 years.

I went to the interviews with a thought in mind- “even if nahin hua to it doesn’t I didn’t get tensed in interviews at any point in time

Results came. IIFT gave me an IIFT-kol convert. First direct convert of season. Great start ?

Then came the blinder- FMS. A straight convert. I was finally going to do an MBA ?

XL- BM w/l 29

[Note: This is a post on the user’s CAT journey that has been captured in his own words. We have not edited it in any way when publishing it as an article. Cover image is from]