Govarthanaraj B alias G O V A R, is in his second year at IIM, Indore.
In a conversation with our in-house PaGaL Interrogation Squad sleuth DJ Krish Kay, Govar reveals top-secret classified information about his life at IIM and provides an insight into the oft asked question, “Why MBA?”
So Govar, engineering se tapka aur IIM mein atka… what was this tumultuous journey like?
I did my schooling in Madurai, followed by electronics engineering in Govt College of Technology, Coimbatore. I then worked for two years in Oracle India, Bangalore as a Software Engineer. I chose to do an MBA because of the opportunities and growth rate possible with an IIM tag backing you. The brand serves as an endorsement in getting mind share with people, and to take a short route up the corporate ladder. Besides, life was beginning to sound boring and I had to prove something to myself.
My choice of school was guided by the brand name. I was interested in IT and Marketing and hence specialization was not a B-school selection criterion. I applied to all the IIMs and XLRI, which were the top picks on my radar. I felt a seat in these institutes would justify my resignation in Oracle. Other institutes might have given me second thoughts. I also got application forms from NITIE, SP Jain and SJSOM primarily for backup, but never sent in the forms after IIM calls came in.
Interesting. But specifically, how would you rank various attributes related to a B-school before making a choice?
My rank would be as follows…
1) Brand name
3) Quality of faculty
4) Quality of education
5) Campus life
6) Rank your B school gets in third party surveys
7) Quality of batch mates
Amount of on-campus research
9) City that the B school is located in
What was the preparation for CAT like? Did you enrol for coaching?
As a part of my preparation, I enrolled in the correspondence program offered by IMS, Bangalore. I didn’t put in any efforts for the VA/English section since I was pretty confident about them. I spent approximately two hours everyday for about three months solving the book ‘How to prepare for quantitative aptitude for CAT’. That book covered my DI preparation as well. Additionally, I took most of the weekend mock tests offered by IMS and TIME.
I think one needs a strong base in English to clear CAT. The Quantitative/DI sections can be covered pretty rapidly, but English is one section where the base (reading speed, comprehension, vocabulary) has to be good. In other words, for someone starting from scratch, English preparation should ideally start years before CAT, while the rest can wait till the last 4-6 months.
So that’s how you got in. How do you find the life at the IIM Indore campus?
The IIM Indore campus is out of this world. The infrastructure, location, hostels etc are truly a class apart. It’s an amazing experience, just being here. On the faculty front, things have got better over time. Some of the faculty, particularly in the third term and in the second year, have truly been great. However, our institute has quite a lot of visiting faculty since the campus is not in a metropolis.
Life here is a lot of learning and lot of fun. 100 percent attendance norms, case study methods etc make sure that we learn what we have to. And parties, games, clubs etc fill the rest of the time.
You paint a very rosy picture…
Well, the bad moments can be during classrooms or in other discussions, when you feel a bit let down if people turn out to be aggressive. Life sometimes could be very taxing in terms of load. And team dynamics is something no one really understands. Getting things to work in a team has its own share of woes (like ego clashes, for instance) and people end up having spent a lot of time without coming to any worthwhile conclusion.
OK, now we’ll make this quick. Five things that you can’t live without at IIM Indore.
1) Computers – everything is done using this device.
2) Online library – everyone has to use it.
3) Night canteen – open round the clock. It’s a culture to sleep late in the night after a plate of Maggi. Nothing beats it.
4) For me and to a subset of people, Counter Strike. Non-stop fun during holidays.
5) Blogging, club activities, music, movies and a lot more!
What kind of job prospects are you looking at after MBA?
Job prospects after an MBA are great. With the economy booming and B-schools flourishing, there are definitely no worries on this front. Don’t even think twice before quitting a job for a B-school. The life and experiences are something that everyone has to go through.