Q. When did you start your preparation for CAT? How did you manage your time during placement or job?
I appeared for CAT thrice, and prepared for it alongside my job. With ten to nine office timings, I used to wake up early at six and also study late night till one after office. Moreover, I sometimes used to solve papers at the workplace too.
Q. How did you prepare for the CAT exam? Did you join any kind of coaching? Or did self-study work for you?
Self study worked for me, however, I purchased test series of TIME and Career Launcher. CL can sometimes be quite difficult and irrelevant to the course but based on friends’ experience IMS test series are excellent and can be coupled with TIME test series.
Q. What was your college CGPA? How much do you think college CGPA matters? And what, according to you, is a good CGPA?
CG matters a lot as there is a minimum 8 CG criteria at some IIMs and it is the strictest at IIMB. CG above 8.5 is considered to be good on the safer side, however with higher work ex, it gets automatically relaxed. My own CG was 8.05.
Q. What, according to you, is a good resume? Please share with us some of the salient features of your resume?
Resume varies for different fields. A Consult or Marketing resume requires balance in every section like high PORs and ECAs (ex: Inter IIT Cult or sports), good acads (olympiads and/or KVPY). Not just holding a single POR in a year but growth in the same is required. For Finance, Your academic scores and work ex play a major role with a minor in management as a cherry on top; it is necessary that your resume portrays an inclination towards finance; if you're into trading (Fundamental analysis), mentioning it is a definite plus point by writing ‘managing a portfolio of this amount with average x% return in past y months.
Q. What according to you is more important- College achievements or work ex? How much focus is on tech and core domains? Do PORs play a major role?
Work ex usually outweighs college achievements and PORs. In the field of Consultancy, a balance of work ex, academics and PORs is required. In terms of PORs, recruiters look for growth in the students’ position, i.e. holding a higher POR every year. In the Finance field, PORs are not of too much importance.
Q. How did you prepare for IIM? Is it tough to crack the interview?
In an IIM interview, a lot depends upon the panel you get. It is important that you identify your strengths and subtly direct the interviewer to ask questions in that domain. Interviewers judge your thinking process, so merely knowing the GK facts won’t help, you should have an opinion on the same. You should be thorough with work ex and stream and be ready to face candid questions based on key spikes in your life and your personality. Interview phase is an essential phase so just look out for everything.
Q. When did you do your MBA- just after college or after getting some work experience? What according to you is better out of the two?
I graduated from IITD in 2018 and joined MBA in 2021 after appearing for CAT thrice alongside my job. Work ex is an important part of your profile and three years of work ex fittingly added to my profile.
Q. What are the career options after MBA?
Career options after MBA are broadly divided into (in order of preferential trend): Consult, General Management, Marketing, Product Management and Finance. Engineers going into finance are very less.
Q. Does an MBA help in entrepreneurship?
MBA basic courses cover everything you need to understand the structure of the market and your customers. These courses structure your thought in a rightful direction and the concepts learnt are really useful in the long run. Additionally, you get to study cases based on existing companies which are very practical and relevant to your start-up.
Q. What exactly are deferred MBA programs? Pros and cons?
A deferred MBA program is one where you crack the exam beforehand and reserve your seat but actually seek admission a year later or two. IIMA offers this program and is practically very useful to strengthen your profile in terms of work ex.