Q. When did you start your preparation for CAT? How did you manage your time during (placements or job, etc)?
I started my preparation around May-June of my 4th year and I was thinking of CAT since Jan-Feb .Since I had decided that I wanted to go in the corporate field ,I was looking forward to get a good job in the placement season and if not then keep MBA as a backup, at that time I was not expecting any of the top IIMs I was just focusing on CAT and started my preparation in the summer break, then around August- Sept I started giving mock papers every week and all.
Q. What do you think is the right time to start ?
So, a lot depends on the final day. CAT is an exam where a lot depends on the last day. But, being from an IIT and belonging to a mathematical background will help you a lot and a six month prep will be more than enough.
Q. How did you prepare for the CAT exam? Did you join any kind of coaching? Or did self study work for you?
I purchased the material from TIME coaching institute and their online package for study materials along with mock test.So my basic method was to give a maximum number of mocks , so that it helps me develop myself for the final day. I used to go through the material by TIME and complete , let's say Quant chapter by chapter and solved questions chapterwise. You can go through the coaching material of any one of the coachings in this country and complete all the topics required.Attending live classes will be helpful but not necessary , you just need to develop the ability to solve questions in the given time period which will happen when you dedicate more time on your self prep rather than going to a class or coaching.
Q. What was your college CGPA? How much do you think college CGPA matters? And what according to you is a good CGPA?
My college CGPA was 7.7 . An ideal CGPA should be 8.0+ and if you have 8.5+ its great. Above it doesnt matter much, if you 9.1 or 9.6 it doesnt make any difference.It helps getting shortlisted for the college and also to get an internship after getting into college.
Q. What according to you is a good resume? Please share with us some of the salient features of your resume? What according to you is more important- College achievements or work ex? How much focus on tech and core domains? Do PORs play a major role?
More scholastic achievements than other students , so we can include that. If you have given CAT or any other such exams you can include scores from that as well. Having published papers or good grades in some courses or some LOR from a prof and then all the ranks from the previous olympiads or the scholarships like ntse or kvpy.Then coming to the POR part , having 2 decent 3rd or 4th year pors is sufficient. Fill a certain number of points in the ECA section so that it doesnt look like you havent done ECA at all.They dont matter much you just need to fill them up. Work experience is more important than college achievements as it adds a new column in your resume and and new experience and perspective to your life .But you can have both of them like a decent college performance and a good work experience.
Q. How did you prepare for IIM? Is it tough to crack the interview?
Yes , it was uncertain just like CAT. It depends a lot on uncertain parameters which are not under your control, the kind of professor you are interacting withetc.. All of them can affect it. So I would say interview is tough not because you have a lot of things to study or to prepare for the interview but because their are certain conditions which are not under your control at all.
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?
I have a biased opinion as I have done MBA just after college. If you got into a good IIM or good college according to your standards , then doing before will help you kick starting your career and will also open more growth opportunities for you.
Q. What are the career options after MBA?
In MBA it all depends on the things you are targeting , basically what your interests are. There are sectors like finance, consulting,marketing,product management ,operations or HR all of these are there. You can choose any of these based on your interests and also your background.
Q. Does an MBA help in entrepreneurship?
I dont really think MBA is for entrepreneurs. , I think MBA will teach you certain lessons which will help you down the line to understand the business better , but it is really not that good for entrepreneurs.
Q. What exactly are deferred mba programs? Pros and cons?
Deferred MBA program from all the good IIMs in India is just offered from IIM ahmedabad and it is like reserving your seat after 2 years from here.It is helpful for those who want to have a work experience , but I am not sure if they will be able to perform that good in CAT after two years as well.