by Sanah Behera, TISS
After months of preparation and anticipation, when I finally got a call from TISS Mumbai, my actual uphill journey began. A seat in the HRM & LR course at TISS was at arm’s length with only two hurdles in between. The first was the PIT or the Pre-Interview Test and the second was the final Interview. The PIT was the penultimate or last but one step towards my dream of getting into TISS.
The format of the PIT keeps changing year on year but it usually comprises of either a GD or a written test or both. In 2015, when I appeared for the PIT, it comprised of only a written test which was a round of essay writing. There were three topics given to us out of which we had to write an essay on any one. We had been given approximately around 45 minutes to complete the same and there was no word limit. We were handed over answer booklets having around 7-8 sides.
What is worth noting here is that an essay topic without a word limit can either turn out to be a boon or a bane. It is up to the candidate to ensure that he/she plays up to his / her strengths and makes the most of such a scenario. I have always followed the principle of writing crisp and to the point essays. Focusing on the quality and not on the quantity helps a great deal in making the essay more impactful and reduces repetitiveness.
The topics are usually a mix of HR issues, social problems, current affairs or even abstract topics. The first step to writing a good essay is to choose the right topic. The topic I had chosen was broadly about why the current crop of MBA graduates is on a constant lookout for new jobs. The reason why I chose this topic was because I was confident about being able to make a number of impactful points on the issue and justify the same with sound reasoning and facts.
Before plunging into writing down my essay, I took about five minutes to plan out the structure of my essay. I decided my introduction, the broad arguments I would be making and the conclusion that I would arrive at. Post this, I started writing my essay without spending too much time on mentally detailing my arguments. This was a conscious decision that I took since too much detailing mentally, without having jotted down the points on paper leads to forgetting the points at the later stages of actually writing down the essay.
Post this, I started writing down the essay. I wrote a separate paragraph on each of the reasons I had thought of that could possibly be an explanation for the given topic. While I had thought of the broad reasons before I started writing, I detailed them out during the course of writing the essay since approaching each paragraph one after the other helped me in putting more focus and clear thought into each. I tried to make as many references to current issues and news as possible since I feel it increases the validity of the arguments made in the essay.
In the end, I made sure I had set aside enough time to think of and pen down a proper conclusion for the essay. My conclusion for the given topic was both a summary and a thought for the future as to how to handle the given issue in the future.
Sanah Behera studies M.A. HRM & LR, at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai. She was All India Rank 1 in 2015.
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