I am a GEM, and I am proud.
My CAT journey started last year when I was in the final year of my college. Those were the days when we used to have daaru parties after being ALL CLEAR in a semester. My college wasn't one of the prestigious ones, so the chances of a campus placement (or any kind of placement really) were bleak. Given that I was pursuing a degree in Nanotechnology (which is a new field with few industrial opportunities here in India), the only option I had was to go for a PhD. I even had offers from two of the good foreign universities with a stipend of 1800-2200$ per month. But I had something else in mind.
Sounds funny, but I wanted a job that required me to wear a suit all the time, as I was fond of wearing suits. I heard MBA would help me do that. So I decided to write CAT in 2015. (This was just after I cleared GATE15). I joined a coaching institute, took regular classes, prepared rigorously. But on the D day, I succumbed to pressure in the DILR section and ended up with overall 90 percentile. I was depressed AF but I knew that is the only paper I ever wanted to crack, by heart. So I decided to write Cat'16. Graduated from the college in June'16 with a disappointing 65.xx percent.
Preparations were going on when my father met with a serious accident causing injuries to his head just 20 days before CAT16( This is the reason my IIFT was a disaster). I had kept the last 20 days for revising mocks (which is the most imp part). But fate had something else in mind,I wasn't able to touch a question for revision after that. On 4th dec, I appeared for the paper and as expected, my paper didn't go well. Made loads of silly mistakes due to lack of practice in the last few days.
When the results were out, I was very happy. But reality was yet to be faced. I knew I wasn't going to get A/B calls. But when C calls were out, I really had a heartbreak. This was just the start of more rejections to come. The happiness of the CAT scorecard evaporated. I was and am disgusted with the shortlisting criteria.
IMO, shortlisting should heavily rely on scores so that the good students with a poor past can atleast get a chance to express themselves in the interview. But sadly, this is not going to happen. This is the story every year (i guess) due to which , some very talented future entrepreneurs are missing out on IIMs. Diversity is important , but isn't knowledge too? What would the recruiters look for... your gender? Your 12th marks? Your graduation marks? Or whether you are a GEM or not? You know the answer, so do the IIMs. This shortlisting criteria might be the reason that in the near future, the IIMs may either degrade their own reputation or the reputation of CAT. This is no less than an alarming situation, but yeah, it won't be changed until and unless the placement figures would either go down or stagnate in IIMs.
Heera (GEM) ho, kabhi na kbhi chamkogey jarur !