My story of getting into my dream B-School, IIMA, is not just a story of my preparation and my capabilities but the story of a quality that I have displayed time and again throughout my life. So when I tell you this story, it would be unfair to start with my CAT preparation. I have to go way back. Back to 2012.
My association with Career Launcher is not new. I joined Career Launcher in 2012 when I started preparing for my IIT-JEE exam. During the 2 years of my preparation, the faculty was extremely supportive of me and helped me throughout the ups and downs of my preparation. The approach at CL was to imbibe the concepts first and then teach a methodical way for the application of the concepts.
The way I was taught, I was pretty confident that I’ll do well in the exam. But, life sometimes has different plans for you. My JEE Mains exam was a disaster. The mathematics section was a little tough and I screwed up my exam. My score was just enough to clear the cut-off for writing the JEE Advanced but not good enough to secure admission to any good college.
This impacted my confidence as is only natural but being an exemplary student throughout my life, I had my reputation on the line. The pressure was immense but I had a month’s time for JEE Advance. I knew that my weakness had been mathematics. For the next one month, I put my head down and worked on my weaknesses. When I came out of the examination hall, after writing JEE Advance, I knew that I had done well. Finally, I got into IIT Roorkee.
Reading this excerpt, the quality I was talking about might have flashed through your mind. If you still feel uninitiated, I was talking about the quality to rise from our failures.
During college at the end of 2 years, I did not have a good enough CGPA or extra-curricular activities to have a decent profile for placements. When I did not get shortlisted for any of the internship interviews, I decided to work on my profile. During this time, I became the Joint Secretary of the Chemical Engineering Students’ Society, I was also elected the Social & Cultural Secretary of my hostel and finally, I also co-founded the Student Mentorship Program at IIT Roorkee. I got placed in IOCL as well.
2 years into the job, I started to feel that I could do a lot more. I used to fondly remember my time when we started the Student Mentorship Program and I thought of starting my own company in the career counselling industry. But since I was lacking any expertise in running a business, I knew that I had to pursue an MBA and that’s when I looked back to Career Launcher again for helping me ace CAT just as they helped me ace JEE.
I joined CL as a classroom student in January 2020 to prepare for CAT-2020. But then again, life wanted something else. 2020 was a year when we battled COVID. Classrooms were shut. So were offices. And as we were starting to build momentum for the preparation, it came to a grinding halt. Many of my friends left preparation as well. But I continued my preparation. One of the most important factors motivating me during that time was our faculty at CL Sector-14. Rajul Sir and Smitha Ma’am were always a phone call away. They not only cleared our doubts but also helped us stay motivated and continuously recalibrated my preparation plan to my needs. The change in the exam duration from 3 hours to 2 hours completely changed the strategy to write the exam and on test day, I panicked in the DILR section when I could not solve 1 complete set.
I ended up with 97.4%ile and once again I had failed to reach my goal. I got a call from IIMK but I had always thought that I want to go to ABC only. So I was passed up the opportunity IIMK was giving me. I once again started preparing for CAT. I knew that I need to improve my English and DILR section. Gejo Sir’s flagship program VARC1000 came to my aid. I was also constantly in touch with the CL sector-14 faculty. It’s tough to go through the same process once again but the right guidance and mentorship always helps. Career Launcher provided me with that platform to seek guidance.
Going into CAT-2021, I was calm and composed as last year, I had suffered because of panicking. This helped me a lot as I took each question one at a time. The result was that I had received 99.3%ile. I felt that I could have done better in the QA section, but since I received calls from all IIMs, I started to focus on the next part of my journey.
The GD/PI and WAT preparation is altogether a different ball game and a time to reflect on your journey up to this point. Giving mock interviews to our faculty was crucial in preparing us for what lie ahead but you can never be fully prepared for what lies ahead. My initial interviews were not too great and I could not understand what was missing. I started writing down all the questions I was asked in each interview and then preparing answers for them. This exercise helped me a lot. As now I could predict questions from the answers I had prepared and prepare for them as well. To my surprise, I was asked over 125 different questions in my interviews leading up to the interviews with ABC. I did well in the interviews and finally converted calls from IIM BLACKIS, CAP, MDI, NMIMS.
Although it is my quality of not giving up and rising back up once again that helped me, I could not have achieved it without the people who have supported this quality of mine. My parents, friends and needless to say my faculty has supported me in this journey of mine and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.
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