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Interview Experience IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA (PGPEX)

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Joined: 09 Aug 2017
Posts: 5
Location: India
Schools: IIMC (A), IIM (I), IIM (I)
GMAT 1: 660 Q49 V30
GPA: 3.21
Interview Experience IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA (PGPEX)  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2018, 01:04
Hi everyone,

Happy new year. I made a resolution to start writing more in the year 2018 than I have been, so thought of starting the year with sharing my experience of getting an admit from IIM Calcutta PGPEX (1 year full time residential MBA).

Profile -
Work Experience - 5 years 8 months of experience (will be as of March 2018 when I join the program)
International Experience - 3 years UK)
Experience function - IT Consulting, project management, business analysis and software testing.
Experience industry - ERP & CRM systems, Retail, SCM
B.Tech in Software Engineering 8.3 CGPA out of 10
12th - 89.6%
10th - 88.8%
GMAT 2 660 (Q49, V30, IR 7)
GMAT 3 660 (Q48,V34, IR6)

Interview Experience -

2 professors. ( 1 Male, 1 Female)
Venue was Indian Habitat Centre
Lasted about 40 minutes
PM - Professor Male
PF - Professor Female
Me - Yours truly

As soon as I entered the interview room, I hadn't even sat down the first question was shot.

PF - What is the value of pi and how will you derive it ?
Me - (was expecting "tell me about yourself")
Me - Let me think about it (blank mind), blurted out circumference divided by diameter with a smug face.

PM - Ok Vishesh, so tell me about yourself.
Me - The usual rant, got interjected at school name and got asked about why did you change school after 10th.

PF - Tell me what have you been doing at "Client name" in the UK. Why were they in the news recently ?
Me - Briefed about my work experience, told them a couple of controversies and how my work revolved around one of them.

PF - Do you think ethical values play a role in corporate culture ?
Me - Spoke about what is meant by being ethical, how my organisation puts forward doing the right thing and increasing revenues rather than just focusing on the latter.

PM - How will you rate your quants skills ?
Me - Fumbling with the pen in my hands, had just only opened my mouth..
PM - "Reasonable" ?.
Me - Nonchalantly, yes.
PM - Ok, so go ahead and tell me the sum of first 10 natural numbers, and then derive the formula for n numbers
Me - Did the math, wasn't able to derive. Remembered a couple of things, tried but eventually got there with the help of PM.

PF - In your profile you have mentioned CSR activities, what are these, what is the difference between CSR and charity, why are companies taking the CSR benefits when the actual work is being done by employees, is this ethical ? Several questions around the same.
Me - Started about my experience, got interjected, clarified my view, went on again. Could have done better at eye contact.

PM - Ok, so can you explain what is a continuous function ?
Me - Spoke
PM - Ok, define differentiation, drew some curve, explain how will you differentiate at this point.
Me - Admitted I was away from all of this math since 5 years and wasn't a quant geek. However PM still persisted and finally we got to the answer.

PF - Can you explain a situation where you have done the right thing as you said earlier.
Me - Explained a couple of scenarios, emphasized on keeping the customer data safe first. Why was it important to do so and so on.

PM - I don't think you have right amount of experience, the average experience age of the batch is nearly 8 years and you have "just" qualified at 5 years.
Me - Told them about my majorly non-IT experience in an IT company. Explained that although I am in an IT services company, I have been associated more with the business end of clients and gave examples of my work experience. Told them I at a juncture where I understand how to extract problems and needs from end users, address problems using technology, evaluating the right technology for them, put them together in the bigger picture and support business process using technology, however where I feel I lack is the understanding of business itself. I look to address this gap in my knowledge via an MBA.

PM - but you have a low GMAT score as well, this is not near the class average. sorry try again next year and re apply.
Me - Showed my GMAT score card, and explained my Q and IR scores which were decent enough and the improvement in V score. (I had figured out this professor likes quants so tried to highlight IR scores). Spoke about being capable of completing the program, strengths in my profile, soft skills etc.

PF - Tell me what do you think about this whole ease of doing business thing.
Me - Spoke about the West Bengal CM being in Gujarat that week meeting Ambanis (brownie points), PM Modi's schemes, GST, Make in India, demonetization etc.
PF - Was demonetization successful ?
Me - Spoke about my views, about black money etc.
PF - Why will the reforms help ?
Me - Spoke about investments from foreign bodies, more startups, eco-systems to help business flourish. Got stuck on a point about closing businesses and liabilities on founders.

PF - How much will your rate yourself on leadership skills on scale of 1 to 5.
Me - 3
PM - That is quite low.
Me - Sir, nobody's a five, as there is always scope for improvement in everyone, btw I am aiming to become 4 after an MBA.
PM - Stared at me.

PM - Why do you think MBA will help you ? None of the top CEOs are MBAs, rather many are dropouts.
Me - I was startled to be honest by this, but nevertheless was doubtful that I had any chances of making it now, so spoke about the MBA methodology I had read on the official website, importance of not being a CEO but also being part of the core CEO team. Not a satisfactory answer though.

PF - What do you see yourself doing after MBA ?
Me - Spoke about my short term future goals, which are essentially to go back to the IT consulting industry in a different role.
PF - Why back to IT consulting, don't you want to switch, are you not bored of the same thing, you have mentioned in your application that you want break the monotony.
Me - Mentioned that 1 year is not a magical period of time to achieve massively transformation results. Enhancements if anything are my goals. I have built my forte of knowledge which I am looking to leverage in the longer term.

PM - How much salary do you earn now per month ?
Me - XYZ
PM - How much do you expect after MBA ?
Me - 2 times of XYZ
PM - Sorry that is not possible here. You have yourself said no magical transformation.
Me - Told him about industry trends, my research on roles and compensation offered in the previous years to candidates with similar profiles. Argued that it is possible to achieve my mentioned figured and that it is still on the lower side of the average compensation stated on the website.
PM - But that average is skewed due to highs of international placements. I don't think your expectations are realistic.
Me - I said my expectations are what I have said, they may or may not fulfilled, I will be happy to be selected through the program, complete the program and be eligible for placements which is a long drawn process and will see then.

In the end offered me a cookie and crisps and asked me to smile haha!

There were a couple of more calculus based questions which I don't remember as I had no clue about them :lol:

I felt like I had a good cop bad cop interview.

Joined: 27 Jan 2016
Posts: 21
Location: India
Concentration: International Business, Operations
WE: Design (Energy and Utilities)
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Re: Interview Experience IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA (PGPEX)  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2018, 01:52
Congrats Vishesh

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Joined: 29 Oct 2016
Posts: 14
Location: India
GMAT 1: 700 Q49 V36
GPA: 3.84
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Re: Interview Experience IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA (PGPEX)  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2018, 02:47
Congrats Vishesh

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Joined: 26 Feb 2016
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Re: Interview Experience IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA (PGPEX)  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jan 2018, 23:59
Hi vishesh304

Awesome write up and kudos to you for the effort of writing more.
Also, congrats on getting the interview call and you don't know how many people will benefit from this interview debrief of yours!

Hope to hearing about your school experience as well!
You've got what it takes, but it will take everything you've got
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Re: Interview Experience IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA (PGPEX)   [#permalink] 01 Jan 2018, 23:59
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