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An ECE graduate from NSIT, Suraj Dash is a keen believer of his dreams and possesses the potential of turning them true. Presently studying in IIM-Kozikode, Suraj in this interview shares with us what it takes for an engineer to break through into the management arena. Read on to find out.
When did you realize that you wanted to go for an MBA? What was the thinking process behind it?
I felt the importance of an MBA in my 3rd year or around the later parts of the second year. When you start preparing for placements, you have certain aspirations and beliefs since you made it to a top T school. But unfortunately whichever companies visit NSIT offer you backend roles in consulting or KPO jobs. Real client interaction which helps you grow is amiss. Further interaction with seniors working there revealed that to rise and move to front end work an MBA is a must. Hence the choice.
Why did you choose to go for IIM instead of some good B-School abroad?
I would always suggest an MBA abroad over an Indian one unless you make it to the ABC or ISB clan. However when you sit down to do that be careful to consider two things. It is exorbitant and you need to be very clear that the final offer will justify the effort and cost. I didn’t feel that way, hence here. It’s a matter of opinion. If you feel you are good enough to snatch a great offer go for it else prefer India.
In your opinion what are the skills that are essential in a CAT aspirant?
Plain common sense, practice and a dash of good luck along with god’s blessing as CAT has become unpredictable these days. Don’t worry if you aren’t a fluent speaker or have a weak vocabulary and all that. Work hard and you can incorporate them. It isn’t impossible. More importantly it isn’t difficult.
According to you what is the ideal time to start preparing for MBA?
Depends from person to person. Some of my friends started as early as 2nd year. Another started in the 4th semester and most people including me started in December final year. Only you can judge how much effort you need to put in.
What are the various rounds of CAT selection procedure? Kindly brief us a little on each of them.
CAT entrance is the first step. A good percentile is essential. You get shortlisted on that basis. After that there is a GD or an essay upon the institutes’ discretion and finally a PI, a cumulative score along with your past academics determines your selection.
For an undergrad doing B.Tech, what are the major areas, academically and non-academically where one must work upon to excel in CAT screening?
If you’re an engineer you are generally good in quants so just focus in VA if you have a weakness there. Else just practice and also prepare for GDs and PIs by reading a lot. If you have a natural interest it’s becomes a lot easier.
MBA has been always clichéd with experience requirement tag, you definitely beat that with your pioneering achievement, in your opinion, how much is the role of work experience in the selection process?
Every institute has a certain points set aside for work experience. Not much you can do there. Make up for it by good scores in 10th,12th and graduation. 75% awesome. 70% pretty essential.