“…Miles to go before I sleep” – Raghav, MDI Class of 2023

My CAT journey began in 2018. I knew I was not inclined towards the engineering domain, so I decided to pursue an MBA.

In my first attempt, I practiced only the parts which were my strengths i.e. LRDI and QA. I used to practice VARC only in mocks. And in mocks, I didn’t even care to analyze the VARC portion. This was quite evident in the final results where I got a 96 percentile but only a 72 in VARC. My efforts went down the drain and I had learned a lesson.

After my college got over, I did not take up a job in the sales and IT domain as I felt it was useless (decision highly influenced by the compensation). I belonged to a family where no one had ever worked for someone i.e. family business. My family business was going down and to boost it I decided to join my father. We started a new business, shifted to a new city, and started from scratch. For the first 8 months, I was enjoying it and we were doing quite well. We had started to grow and this is when the pandemic struck.

The universe in my palm!!

 Around June 2020, I decided to appear for the entrance exams again. The preparation began and my Achilles’ Heel was still VARC. I enrolled in VARC1000. What do I say about it? Or more importantly about Gejo Sir. The man is a legend. I was not part of the complete CAT preparation but he used to assist with every doubt. He had created a course with which was more useful than any other CAT materials. He was my source of motivation for the last 3 months.

On the D-Day, I was calm throughout the day, but I am one of those who want to know the pattern before I enter the hall. The time had arrived. On came VARC, the worst 40 minutes of the day (even after the intense practice). DILR was a breeze, attempted 17 questions (was so happy). Then came my favorite part QA, where I made the biggest blunder. I had set the maximum attempts in QA to 13 considering what others were saying based on their slots.

 After the CAT results came, I got 98.69. I was happy as well as sad that I won’t be getting calls from the old IIMs. I was expecting SPJIMR, MDI, NITIE, IIFT so I enrolled for PDP Personalized. I was assigned Shivku Sir as my mentor and my first interaction with him enabled me to feel that the small things that I had done throughout my life were quite meaningful (which I thought was worthless). He gave his inputs on how I should first introspect myself before getting sucked in by the questions.

PDPP was deep. The best thing about PDPP was that they guide you so that you can find your answers instead of giving the answers directly. The video lectures were truth bombs, which led to more introspection. I came to know more about myself than I had known for the past 20 years.

I started to feel miserable. I could not handle the fact that going to a B-school would involve changing myself completely. I was thinking of dropping the plan completely as I felt upgrading myself would involve a lot of uncomfortable situations that I feared.

During that phase, I got my best call from SPJIMR and another call from Shivku Sir to take my first mock interview, this call made me realize my goals.

The interview season began. I tried to drive my interview towards my passion for sports but it didn’t happen. This was when I remembered that we have to give the panelists something unique only to you. I started adding in my intro that I have lost my senses of taste and smell. This information that I provided would drive the interview for approximately 5 minutes. This happened as I was adding value to the panelist’s knowledge.  My most interviews revolved around why you want to leave your business. In some interviews, I messed up the part because of the pressure the panelists were putting on me. The first few interviews were a little stressful but later on, it became easier, as I got the hang of driving the interview.

Finally, caught the fish I always wanted!

After I was rejected by my dream B-school, SPJIMR I was again unsure of pursuing an MBA. This dejection was much complicated to handle. I got to explore more avenues and now I wanted to work at an early-stage start-up. I got admitted into a great Start-up community where I could learn from the best and even work with them. This would have provided me with the relevant exposure before I start something of my own. Here, also I was convinced that an MBA would delay me by 2 years. It was a herculean task for me to convince myself that the journey had just begun and I could explore it later.

Finally, I received admits from MDI and NITIE. I was confused here as well. This is where Sreeni Sir stepped in. He helped me in realizing my true purpose and how B-schools are just intermediaries for your end goal. I would be joining MDI.

Thank you to team CL, for helping us with our journey. And finally-

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   

  But I have promises to keep,   

  And miles to go before I sleep,   

  And miles to go before I sleep.”

Cheers, Raghav

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