Read if you have some free time. This is a pretty unusual story.
Long story short-- Journey of a GEM with 9/7/7 acads with 34 months of workex and 1-year gap who made it to the IIM Kozhikode.
Note- My English is not that strong. So please ignore any grammatical error.
This story involves multiple instances of love, happiness, heartbreaks, failures and at last success. Post my engineering in 2017, I worked at an MNC in Bangalore. Here during the initial training period, I had a huge crush on this girl AJ (who was from my college), not because she was one of the most popular girls back in college but because she and I shared most of our hobbies, our craving for street food, our love for movies and travelling to different places, and the most important, our aim to clear CAT and get into a good B-school. Soon we started dating and instantly hit it off.
Fast forward to CAT 2017- my score- 95.84%ile. And she had scored 93.xx. We were sad but thought of giving it one more time with more effort. So our journey for CAT 2018 started in January.
I ordered the TIME materials and we started again from the basics. On weekends, we used to give mocks at the TIME's and IMS's Marathahalli centres. We used to compare our scores. She used to beat me in VARC and I used to beat her in QA. But this very competition pushed us to touch 99+ in mocks by September end. We filled SPJIMR, FMS, MDI, CAT, XAT and IIFT. We were confident of cracking at least one of the good colleges. Fast forward to the D-Day. I had the 2nd slot. And the worst thing happened- mental blackout. I couldn’t solve even the basic questions. I knew I had screwed up real bad. And the results showed the same- CAT 2018 - 88.24%ile. I screwed up in other exams as well- XAT- 96.xx and iift 95.xx
But I was super happy that AJ had scored 96.xx %ile. Soon, she got a profile-based call from SPJIMR in Information Management. Like I said earlier that she was popular in college, well, she was actively involved in competitions, debates, MUNs etc. and with a 9/9/8 profile along with good extracurriculars achievements and workex, the call was inevitable. I helped her throughout in every way possible. Forced her to go to various Mock PIs on weekends( she was as lazy as a sloth). Introduced her to a few of my contacts who were pursuing an MBA from SPJIMR. Fast forward, she got a mail of her selection and believe me I was the happiest. But soon the realization came that she would be leaving Bangalore soon, by god it hurt a lot at that time. But anyway, she left soon for her home town, and then to Mumbai.
And after all this, I started again, hoping to get into SPJIMR. I studied harder. I joined an online coaching where I met with some amazing friends like Kirti and LM. I spent hours solving doubt problems on various platforms just to keep myself from distraction. Also, in the office, I started to spend more time. Kept myself busy, learned automation and implemented it in the project. My TL was happy with my progress and soon assigned me a team to handle. AJ was also pretty much busy with her 1st-year hectic schedule. We rarely used to talk. I never confessed this to her, but at times when I wanted to talk to someone, nobody was there. Be it sharing the news that I broke into the top 50 Rank in mocks or the times when I used to screw up the whole paper. Meanwhile, to cheer me up, a few of my close friends, made a plan with AJ and decided that we would be going to Panchgani. Well, it was a good time. I felt refreshed. AJ got a break from her schedule and things were back to normal. But after some days we were back to square one. So we discussed it finally and decided that we would break up. It did hurt for few days but then we were fine. I was back to my preparation. Fast forward to CAT 2019- OA- 98.87%ile. I was so happy thinking that I would get a call from SPJIMR. But boy, I didn’t get even a profile+score based call. Few other calls I got like CAP, MDI, NITIE, IIT B, XLRI BM, HR. . Meanwhile, during CAT prep, I got close with this girl LM. Initially, we used to solve each other's doubts, nothing was serious. But post my breakup and CAT result, I kind of needed some support which I got from her. Again kind of déjà vu happened. We hit it off and started dating. She too had got similar calls. And I was dreaming that we would be joining the same college. And boy, exactly the opposite happened. She converted almost all her calls and soon decided to join NITIE. And here I was- NITIE- 800+ wl, MDI 400+ wl, XL BM HR reject, SJMSOM reject. My only converts were New IIMs. I was shattered totally. I couldn’t believe that it happened yet again.
Also, LM felt that she was kind of a rebound post my breakup. So she too decided to call it off. So, I messed up many things by May 2020. Multiple heartbreaks at once. People asked me to join one of the new IIMs, AJ and LM both told me to settle for IIM U. But I didn’t want to settle. Also, I had put papers in January 2020 thinking I would convert at least one good college and my workex would not exceed 36 months barrier. So, by May end, I did not have any good convert and a job. It is when I talked to my best friend Romy, and asked her suggestions. She was the only person apart from my family who supported my decision of taking a drop and preparing again, one last time. Hence, the journey of my final attempt at CAT started.
On June 1, I started my preparation again. I uninstalled all the social media apps, changed my phone number and had a total disconnect from everyone. It was pretty surprising that after all these things AJ didn’t stop talking. We were more like good friends. And it was much better than the time when I was in a relationship with her. Hard to believe no. But anyway, I practised real hard, solved 500+ lrdi sets, 60+ past mock papers and 55-60 actual mocks. Since I had the time, I took the TIME, IMS, CL, Cracku test series and started mapping my progress. Fast forward to the D-day, I was surprisingly under no stress as I had nothing to lose. And post the exam, I was satisfied with this final attempt. Soon the results came-
CAT 2020 - OA- 99.76%ile, VARC- 89.xx%ile, LRDI- 99.87%ile and QA- 99.64%ile. I was super happy and disappointed at the same time as I knew that I would miss that C call by a narrow margin. Soon, calls started pouring in, I got LKS, FMS, MDI, SJMSOM, IISc, CAP and IIFT. I screwed up in XAT in DM, hence no call. Didn’t apply to either of SPJIMR and NITIE.
I joined only the Anastasis Academy's Project bloom GDPI course and started preparing for the interviews. It was very effective. AJ and Romy helped me in writing the SOPs and took multiple mock interviews and nearly 70-80 extempore.
Then the results started coming- First two were SJMSOM(worst interview) and IIM Shillong (2nd worst interview). I got reject in SJMSOM and 507 wl equivalent of a reject at IIM Shillong. Then on May 16th, I got a mail saying that IIM K results have been declared. With shaking hands, I typed my registration number, my email id and captcha and clicked enter, and boy I read Congratulations. I was overwhelmed with emotions, told my mum and papa. They were super happy. Soon the calls from friends and relatives started pouring in. It all took a while to settle down. For the next two days, I couldn’t believe that I actually converted one of the BLACKI colleges. Parents were relieved. AJ sent cupcakes, late that night. And this is how that day ended.
Rejects/WL- IIM L - 600+ wl, FMS, SJMSOM, IISc, IIM Shillong- 500+ wl
Converts- IIM Kozhikode, MDI, New IIMs
Joining IIM Kozhikode.
It feels so good to come out of this rat race. But the journey taught me many things. It made me more humble, it made me respect failures. There is this quote- 'If it is still in your mind, it is worth giving a try'. This very quote kept me motivated last year when I decided not to join any college, or join any company, and decided to prepare without any backup. I won't advise anyone to take risks as I did. Evaluate your options and then make your own decision.
So after dwelling for 4 years on Pagalguy, the time has finally come to say Goodbye. I met some very talented people here like @IIM_Groot, Kirti, Shahbaaz and many more in PG and UDT who motivated me throughout.
Goodbye Puys and Pirls. All the best to you all.
Feel free to DM me for any Prep related queries. :)
This is Sudhanshu Satpathy aka Nightcrawler69 signing off. :)