I have never done this before. So, please forgive me if I make some silly mistakes. First, a few sentences about myself.
I am currently a final year student in the Dual Degree Program in Aerospace Engineering at IITK. I did my schooling from a residential school Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Narendrapur. Post my 12th I also received admission offer from Indian Statistical Institute but I chose IIT over that. About hobbies, I love playing all kinds of games especially cricket and I play computer games. So that is a bit about myself.
It all started during my 3rd year while I was doing my summer internship at DRDO, Hyderabad. I realized at that time that I do not want to do research throughout my life, but I want to be a leader in the aerospace field because I am really passionate about aerospace domain. I mean, if you look at the future of aerospace industry it has infinite potential. We are soon going to have flying cars, space tourism, Hyperloop, space based solar power and so much more. It’s going to be one of the biggest industry in the near future. So I decided that I need to be a leader in this domain. That is how it all started.
At that time, I had quite a low CGPA (better than average with respect to IITK but low in terms of face value). I did some calculation and figured out that I need to score 95+ in my upcoming 3 semesters (overloading them) and I need to extend my degree to dual degree program to increase my CGPA and have a shot at IIMA. The decision from the very beginning was that if I’m going to do an MBA it’s going to be from IIM ABC. So anyway, I converted to Dual degree program, scored 9.81,9.56,10 in my upcoming semesters and got on track to have a shot at IIMA.
Now, I started my preparation around the end of May 2020. So, I got around 5 months to prepare for CAT. To be honest, I was sure not to take any coaching and was determined to take the preparation journey independently. I had already bought some books, but courtesy of lock-down, everything was in the hostel, and I was stuck at home without any preparation material. During that time, I was also preparing for my campus placement, was tutoring our 2nd year students on Fluid Mechanics, was working on my thesis as well as my semester courses. So I had my plate full. While preparing on my own, I realised that I am wasting too much time searching for content. So I did some research and got myself enrolled at Unacademy. After that it was a roller coaster ride. Practise daily, give as much mocks as you can and analyse them. I never topped in any of the mocks, but I did maintain a decent performance.
It is important not to lose focus. It’s always the journey that counts. I was mentored by maharajas since my school days, they are an intrinsic part of my life and I owe a lot to them. They always told us that “All power is within you and you can do anything and everything “(Swamiji’s quote). And I do believe this with all my heart.
Everything was going smoothly, then suddenly my mother had an accident and my whole momentum was lost. She had an operation and I could not study for almost a month. It was in the month of September. I was also appearing for placement tests during that time. In the month of November, I resumed study. I just attempted mocks almost daily and soon fell into my groove. On the D-day I messed up a bit, but anyway managed to score a decent percentile. I also got placed in my campus placement drive.
Now, after CAT, I was sure to get some calls from top IIMs. I started asking friends about how to prepare for interviews. Majority of them suggested PDPP program. I did some research and got myself enrolled in that. Trust me, this was the best thing I ever did. All the mentors especially GP sir, Sreeni Sir, Arks Sir helped me a lot. Without their guidance I probably would never have made it to IIMA. GP sir was always there for a discussion over phone during the oddest of hours. All those sessions, the mentors sat with me and mended my way of thinking, and helped me frame my answers. This was exactly the sort of thing I was expecting. The PDP program has actually helped me realise myself in a better way. The session with Sreeni sir, where he told me how to answer “why MBA” (which was my only weak link) was a game changer. Whenever I was worried, GP sir with his everlasting optimism always had the right words for me. After listening to the interviews, GP sir told me “You are going to convert at least one of IIM ABC. Don’t worry”. And today I have indeed converted IIM A, C among the top 3.
It was with the help and support of all the mentors, my batch mates, parents and maharajas that I am what I am and have cracked my dream B school. They are the best mentors to guide you not only to your dream B school but in your life also. I can proudly say that PDP program has made me a person with better clarity and have prepared me for life beyond B-school. To all the aspirants out there, the journey is not smooth, and you must never expect it to be. Some topics will be your weakness and some will be your strength. You need to work on your weakness positively. Mocks are the most important part of preparation in my opinion. Attempt as many mocks as you can, it will be a practise source and with sufficient mocks, CAT will also be like a mock to you. Don’t get demotivated by low scores in mocks. You are bound to score low in some mocks. If you score high, it means you are on the right track and if you score less then it gives you unique opportunity to identify your mistakes and remove the chinks on your armour. So it’s a win-win situation. So make the motto that Don’t Give Up. You have to do it.