Co-founder of Skillmate, former consultant at KPMG and alumnus of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gitanshu Soni, speaks to PaGaLGuY about the role that Group Discussion and Personal Interview (GDPI) play in getting into a good college.
“I joined MBA Guru during the 2nd year of my BSc and Mr.Sidharth Balakrishna was one of the guest faculties there. He used to take GDPI classes and a few sessions on logical reasoning as well. Co-incidentally, he was a guest faculty in the MBA school I got into too, Great Lakes Institute of Management. He has an expertise in Energy Management and taught us there for two trimesters.
Group discussions are a very important part of getting into a good MBA college. During my MBA days, I used to handle admissions for students and have hence seen both sides of things, as an aspirant and as a committee member. Just getting a good percentile is not enough. Several colleges have varied criteria, but most consider a proportion of marks from GD-PI to finally select a student. So if you do not do well in that, it could be a make or break situation; because there is tough competition out there. When you are sitting for college admissions, the truth is there are students very similar to you, with similar marks, who are waiting around you. So what becomes the differentiator is how well you do in your GD and PI. It is extremely important.
There was a certain GD during my admission days where the discussion was on black money. I had used one of the perspectives that Mr.Sidharth had given in class, about how black money helped the GDP, and the panel liked it! It is a very controversial statement to make, yes, but it is a perspective. It should not be looked at with a negative or a positive lens; it is not about whether it is right or wrong. There could be several perspectives and there are a lot of people who look at things differently. And that is the point of a group discussion, right, to bring out all possible perspectives.
Even after you pass out of college, the learnings remain the same and would come of use anytime; how you are supposed to present yourself in an interview, the body language, what you should be saying, what kind of tone you should be using, etc; the Dos and the Don’ts remain constant.
I have always looked upto Mr.Sidharth; the way he teaches and how hard he works. A person of his stature, holding a senior position at Cairn, he still likes working as a teacher and shares whatever knowledge and experience he has chanced through the way.I fondly remember two things about him; one, how he used to bring in several perspectives, most of which we would have not thought of normally and two, how easy he used to make it for students to understand and grasp the concepts. ”