Aryan Verma
IIM Ahmedabad'23
Interviewed by:
Laksh Gupta

Q. When did you start your preparation for CAT? How did you manage your time during placement or job?

I first gave CAT during (2019 i.e.) my 4th year but was preparing for it since my 3rd year (from TIME, Hauz Khas). I knew I had to do MBA. So during my 4th year, I got a job but I could not manage both of them together, so my CAT didn’t go well. So, I thought to prepare well the next time and give it. Then, COVID came and shifted my joining date at EXL from June’20 to Oct’20. This gave me time to prepare for CAT. Though it was a completely different pattern I had to appear in.

Q. When did you do your MBA- just after you college or after getting some work experience? What according to you is better out of the two?

Before joining IIM, I had a work experience of 8 months. My job profile was consulting and I was specifically working on a project based on AMC. This experience helped me immensely. In the PI stage, the panelists can ask you anything related to your subject, schooling, department, current affairs: both static & dynamic. My interview focussed majorly on my 4 months work experience, which helped me immensely. The interviewer did gauge my commitment to the job and values it. The average work experience of students reaching BSchools is 2 years but I did not want to miss the chance I had got. Having a work ex of 20-24 months is an ideal situation but it does not hinder the process: to have diversity, freshers are hired as well.

Q. What was your college CGPA? How much do you think college CGPA matters? And what according to you is a good CGPA?

Due to COVID induced online teaching, IIMA scrapped the CGPA criteria from their admission process. I had a very horrendous CGPA during my undergraduate, which did pull me down in IIMK interview but my gradual improvement in scores came to my rescue. CGPA does reflect on your profile, a good CGPA helps your candidature but it is not a make or break criteria. Some colleges like IIMB lay emphasis on UG CGPA and work experience. The main factor is whether you have learnt form your mistakes and improved.

Q. What according to you is a good resume? Please share with us some of the salient features of your resume?

Coaching institutes suggest work experience and internships in fields like digital marketing, consult, finance are beneficial while applying to BSchools but people from varied fields join them. My consulting job was the strongest point but having a decent CGPA is also appreciated. Being on the opposite spectrum may badly affect though. Frankly, panelists are looking for students they can market to recruiters during internships & placements to keep their college name high. So people with leadership skills, extra curricular activities are given preference. In MBA colleges, the ultimate challenge lies in managing different people so PORs, ECAs work in your favour.

Q. What are the career options after MBA?

Finance and consulting jobs are the most sought ones. There are roles in product management, sales and marketing, general management fields as well.