by Bhavuk Pujara, MDI
With 93 percentile in my first attempt a year ago, I knew I could do better so I risked that score, left it behind and aimed higher in my second attempt, as high as 99.5+ percentile to crack my dream college FMS and prepared well for it. However, a few misses here and there in the exam and the score plunged to 98.23 percentile. The feeling was great, my family was happy but I knew the fight had just begun.
I’d now be competing FOR those coveted seats AT these elite B-schools WITH the cream crowd, it was not going to be easy, but then, even cracking CAT wasn’t. I knew my first dream college wasn’t happening and took no time in absorbing that fact to move on. In fact, on the same night, I shortlisted the few good colleges I’d now receive calls from and started learning what their further selection process is.
Amongst the colleges I had filled the forms of, I knew the following would call me for next round – NITIE, MDI, New IIMs, NMIMS Mumbai (from NMAT score), MICA (from MICAT score). All had similar selection processes – PI and either GD or WAT. I had joined Mindworkzz, CP, Delhi for my CAT preparation. Their expert advice and classes (pre- and post-CAT) worked well for me.
For GD & WAT
I had developed a habit of reading a newspaper every day for almost a year, also I would read good articles on my phone from The Guardian, EPW and The Hindu, so I was well read by then. I knew I need to have my views and opinions on things around, I couldn’t be neutral about any ongoing issue because I believe that appreciating both the sides is good but to be personally inclined towards one is better. Now how you put it forward, express it and defend it is what tells the panel about you and that is what they want – to know who you are in those 10 minutes.
Think about it, if you take a step back and just nod to others’ opinions, talk both sides, repeat what others have to say in your GD, have ambiguous opinions about things; after 10 minutes as a panel I still won’t know who you are as an individual. To stay current and confident, to be assertive and crisp in expressing my opinion, moreover to have an opinion of my own was the key to cracking GD.
Same is with WAT, you are just a name on the piece of paper for the panel, how you look – smart or not, who you are – intelligent or not, why you are there – a serious candidate or not the panel would never know you beyond that piece of paper. So making an impression with your writing skills becomes important along with all the qualities mentioned earlier.
Apart from all the things mentioned above, here the candidate must know who he is. Contemplation on himself and his personality, why he wants to do MBA, why not M.Tech or MS or other career options, why should he be selected amongst many other aspirants, what are his hobbies and how passionate he is about them etc. is required.
The panel gives you a chance to convince them. With so much build up around we usually make an impression about interview panels that they’re there to grill us, take our case etc., however, I always carried with myself a thought:
The Panel is there to select me and not reject me.
This brought a positive energy. Now the style of each panelist may be different so I had to just make sure that I didn’t fake it any time, we all have weaknesses and a few strengths if not many, I just had to make sure that I highlighted them to the panel.
I got final calls from NITIE, MICA, NMIMS Mumbai, MDI Gurgaon, All new IIMs, IIM Lucknow for PGPSM – Noida Campus. I ended up joining MDI Gurgaon.
Bhavuk Pujara is a student at MDI, Gurgaon. He scored 98.23 percentile in CAT 2015 and 217 in NMAT 2015.
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