How I FINALLY became an IITian (SJMSOM)

Journey to SJMSOM

by Annant Jain, SJMSOM

We work hard for almost a year, juggle between office work and studies, sacrifice many eventful trips with friends even though we have money in our pockets and all we get in return are those 20 minutes in that intimidating interview room. Those 20 minutes can make or break your career, so better buckle up because the guys and girls whom you will meet near that interview room have been through the same ordeal and are equally worthy.

So here I am, sharing the story of How I became an IITian.

(Six years late maybe but nonetheless IIT is IIT)

My SJMSOM interview was scheduled on 6th March 2016, in IIT-Mumbai’s campus (Undoubtedly the best campus compared to all other top B-School’s in India). SJMSOM is known for its relatively lower batch strength, ROI and freedom to choose specialization during the 2nd year of study. Unlike my other B-School interviews, SJMSOM’s whole interview process was managed by students with minimal faculty intervention.

All the aspirants in my slots were divided into batches and from there began the tedious process of document verification. Once that was completed we proceeded with WAT. In SJMSOM we were supposed to write two WATs.

The topic of first WAT was on “Scrapping of planning commission” and second WAT was based on “100 Smart Cities and why it may fail”. I started both of them with a relevant quote and focussed more on structure instead of vocabulary. The basic structure was similar to what everyone suggests, i.e., Introduction followed by a description and finally a proper conclusion. The key to success in a WAT is proper structure and using relevant quotes as they help a lot in differentiating your WAT.

After completion of WAT, we were seated in an auditorium and were watching Kung Fu Panda-3 on the projector which helped calm our nerves. My Interview panel consisted of 2 faculty members and an alumnus. The alumni looked disinterested with the whole world and were staring at something blankly. One of the professors started grilling me without even asking for my introduction and kept on asking the meaning of various financial terms since I was working with Fidelity Investments. Some of the questions were, “What do you mean by derivatives?”, “How can you diversify your risk?”, “What are the various asset classes?” etc. Since I used all those terms regularly in my job, I was able to answer them satisfactorily. The interview then moved towards more HR questions like “Why you want to join SJMSOM?”, “Why MBA?” and “What value addition do you think MBA will add to your life?”. I had prepared answers to almost all questions and was able to answer them. There were a couple of cross questions also based on answers which I gave. In short whole experience was pretty good and I came out all smiling.

I didn’t opt for any coaching during CAT preparation or for GD-PI as my job was pretty demanding and I didn’t have enough free time. I will suggest that all the aspirants keep themselves updated with current happenings, read a newspaper regularly, prepare solid answers to the basic HR questions and read thoroughly about your hobbies. Your confidence, attitude and communication skills will be the deciding factors in the end.

If you ace your interview and are able to build a good impression on the interview panel you will be able to make it into your dream college, no matter how much you scored in CAT or during your school and college.

Good Luck!

Annant Jain


Annant Jain is a student at Shailesh J Mehta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (SJMSOM – IITB).

To speak to Annant or another MBA Mentor for advice/mock GD/ mock interview, click here.

(All views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent MentorYes’s viewpoint or recommendations. Readers are advised to consider and evaluate the views presented here before implementing them in their preparation or otherwise.)
All rights to this article are reserved with MentorYes and its holding company. No content, in part or whole, can be used / shared elsewhere without due credit to MentorYes and a prominent link back to the original post. No commercial use / distribution of this article is permissible, without prior written permission from MentorYes or its holding company.