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MBA application Journey and making to IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA(PGPEX)

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Joined: 30 Apr 2016
Posts: 26
Location: India
GMAT 1: 710 Q50 V37
GPA: 3.2
MBA application Journey and making to IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA(PGPEX)  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Jan 2018, 04:27
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Having gone thru a bad GMAT score of 620 in July 2016 (though without much prep), I went busy with my Job until one fine day in April, 2017 my inner soul awoke and I reregistered for GMAT. Honestly, I had always dreamt of doing an MBA one day but this time the soul calling was very strong :-) I scheduled the exam date of July but later changed it to September'17 due to updated GMAT options rule. I prepared for around 3 months and gave my best shot this time. I secured a 710 (Q50V37) and that is when the real work started.

My profile is IT DEV plus team leading exp, 8 Yrs with multiple MNCs.

I chose to apply for a one year full time residential MBA program for experienced professionals at IIM A/B/C/L/I and some Business schools in Canada. Few things that I learned along the way:

1. Plan ahead on all schools you are going to apply and choose 5 schools at GMAT exam prompt very wisely. Do not take it as formality; it makes a difference at the end.

2. For choosing schools there are few major strategies, choose wisely: Geography wise, Function Wise, ROI Wise, Scholarship Wise, and Ranking Wise. Choose that suits you best but I'd suggest don't go beyond 5-6 schools as I have been there and at the end I lost focus on some schools in my list.

3. Preparing applications is a very critical and time-consuming process and most folks are so much focused on GMAT that they forget to plan the application part. Ideally, you should complete GMAT at least 3 months prior to your first school deadline, which is generally in July-Aug each year for IIMs. So plan to complete GMAT by May or June.

4. Those who say that you have equal chance in both R1 and R2 have not gone thru the real experience probably. My late GMAT coasted me a potential IIMA or IIMB admit probably as I could not apply in R1 for both. Plan to apply in R1 everywhere no matter what school or geography you choose. It makes a difference in admit rate, scholarships and so many things.

5. To write essays, instead of picking topics from each school one by one and writing for each one individually, first write 1000 words each for 5-6 basic questions such as:
'Tell about your journey so Far'
' Why MBA'
'Your Short Term and Long Term Goals'
'your greatest challenge, strength and weakness'
'one instance of your leadership potential'
'one instance of your failure'
Once you are good with all above answers, you are ready to modulate them for any essay question. In addition, I believe it will take you at least 15 days to a month to write them all honestly. (A consultant's help is suggested if you are not good at drafting the professional language)

6. Submit all your applications well before time and avoid the hassle of last minute rush. Believe me. Even top most IIMs go thru website down problems on last day.

7. For interviews few must know things: your story (as per application) in and out by heart, last 2-3 months news headlines and some relevant details, your industry’s or domain’s detailed knowledge and recent trends, some general statistics about business world in India to plug in for any question you see fit. (I prepared an excel with around 50 statistics points on different aspects of India such as Agriculture, defense, Jobs, Import export etc. and these stats helped immensely to show confidence)

So, I applied at all IIMs and was called for interview by each one of them. I am sharing my experience of IIM Calcutta interview, as it was my first interview and first admit:

It was scheduled for Nov 11, 2 PM slot at India Habitat Center, New Delhi. I reached there much early at 12.30 and had to wait around 1.30 Hrs exactly until interview panels were having lunch. First, there was a registration desk where an IIMC employee verified all original education and employment documents based on list asked in interview invite email. Then I was sent for interview in a particular business room. My panel consisted of a male and a female professor from IIM Calcutta (Later I checked on IIMC website and one of them was Economics professor and another one from finance and control). So I entered the room:

P1- So Why are you Here ?
Me- (A bit Puzzled for a few seconds: P)
P1- (With Smile) you were not expecting this right?
Me- Not Exactly in this way but I was. (Then I told them about my educational background, my professional background of IT+US insurance domain, my achievements and my ECA plus hobbies. Ideally it should not take more than 2-3 mins. Or they will start losing interest)
P2- So your application says you work in US Insurance domain, tell me what is adverse selection?
Me- (Explained)
P2- Ok, tell me what is moral hazard?
Me- (not remembering the exact concept tried to roam around few technical terms)
P2- This one is not exactly correct but ok. Now tell me does taking a car insurance makes people more irresponsible on roads.
Me- I countered saying No and tried to put in some logic behind
P2- But a recent survey showed that in India, Since the year insurance became mandatory accidents went down but loss of life went up. How is that possible?
Me- I tried to explain the abnormality with increasing technology and safety features of cars
P2- But then how loss of life stats is going up?
Me- I tried but could not come up with a better logic
P2- It’s because the survey concludes that drivers having car insurance are becoming more and more ignorant of pedestrians and two wheel drivers.
P1- Tell me has Infosys failed to identify the trend shift in IT in recent years? (they asked because I am Infosys alumnus)
Me- I countered again with a NO and explained in very detail how Infosys identified the industry shift in 2012 and created a subsidiary EdgeVerbe and so on.
P1- What do you think of leadership issue going on with Sikka at Infosys?
Me- I explained about the power struggle going on at top level and gave few examples such as panama papers etc.
P1- So is it the same thing that has happened with Cyrus Mistry at TATA?
Me- I am not very sure about TATA story as I have not followed it very deeply.
P1- Do you think Indian Govt is doing right in recapitalizing the banks and at the same time allowing big loan defaulters like Mallaya to flee?
Me- I Stood my ground and explained in very detail how its more complicated for a Govt. to balance between making sure of bank liquidity and public trust both. (This is where they both seemed very interested in what I was explaining and quite convinced too)
P2- So are you saying Kingfisher Promoters are at no fault?
Me- I explained how/why Kingfisher failed and how then Govt dint bail out at the right time. (I kept my tone so I don’t sound like justifying Mallaya’s acts)
P2- have you heard a term called Skin in the game?
Me- No mam.
P2- Its used when a promoters share is projected in an org.
Me- yes I am familiar with technical of equality and I voluntarily explained few related terms.
P1- (to P2) he has one of the most interesting ECA and hobbies section I have seen so far.
P2- So what are your hobbies?
Me- I explained about Farming and Live-stock breeding and poetry.
P1 & P2- Both asked me 5-6 questions on Hindi Urdu Poetry, My hometown, what all we produce at our farms, IIM Kashipur (as it is close to my hometown) etc.
P2- (to P1) but he has left few things mentioned in application (and then he read out loud about Kabaddi, Wrestling, Driving etc. from my application)
P2- So which car do you own?
Me- Told about my car and my PAN India driving experience and also my travel page at FB
P2- I think We are good here
P1- (to P2) aren’t you going to ask some maths questions
P2- Tell me what is integration, the very need for it?
Me- I don’t remember much about it
P2- (visibly surprised) You do know that you will need to go thru maths subjects at MBA, ok tell me this ‘ There are 3 concentric circles, what will be the ratio of Pi for all 3 circles)
Me- Sir Pi is a constant and will be same for all 3
P2- Ok, Do you have any questions for us ?
Me- I have seen IIMC recently entering FT rankings and I was trying to find more info on the same. Can you please help me understand that Is IIMC making a conscious effort to enter rankings or is it the byproduct of quality education and employment services that IIMC is providing for years?
P1&P2- Explained to me about IIMC being only triple crowned BS in India and some related details.
P2- You may go now.
Me- Thanks and Have a Good day ahead!!

Result- Converted and received admit on Nov 27, 2017
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MBA application Journey and making to IIM Calcutta 1 year MBA(PGPEX)   [#permalink] 02 Jan 2018, 04:27
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