“Learning at IIM means to unlearn everything and learning it the new way from zilch” remarks Tathagat Tripathi, who graduated in Electronics and Communication Engineering in 2011. He is presently a student of IIM-Kozhikode, making his way through one of the best B-Schools in the nation.
Phase I – Preparing for CAT
To define the entire MBA preparation and MBA in a nutshell, “structure” is what it is all about, asserts Tathagat.
Basing his preparation on the same fundas, Tathagat believes that preparation should be divided into two stages.
1 Moderate Phase- This includes, reading, solving quizzes/puzzles. If someone is not an avid reader, this time includes focusing on Easy to read books and later, one can move on to the classics.
2. Intensive Phase- The phase tentatively begins after the end semester exams of the 6th semester. In the initial period , that is until July, it is important to focus over the theoretical aspects of Quant and Verbal. Thereafter, one can start taking Mock Tests. One should take up around 40 Mock tests from August to the scheduled date of the Exam. It is pertinent that one starts from fewer tests and move on to a rigorous regime.
Tathagat advises that it is important to brush up the concepts again around two weeks prior to CAT; followed by two or three mock tests in the last week. Thus, it is important to have a “Macro Picture” while preparing from the start.
Phase 2 - GD-PI Preparation
For post calls GD-PI preparation, strategically organizing your moves is of paramount importance. One should be well versed with Current Affairs from the day you give the CAT, should try to have a little knowledge about everything-political/social. It is equally important to focus on the general art of Group Discussions. It is ensuring good points at good intervals. Again he says it is important to “enter” with a structure, this includes, starting the GD with a broader perspective, voicing your points in the middle and concluding with an opinion, as “opinion”, per se requires one to convince our self over a matter, thereby convincing someone else is no big deal.
(i) HR Questions to look out for
Elaborating further, Tathagat feels that it is very important for an engineering student to master atleast one subject. A wise strategy he says would be to make this subject the one on which B.Tech project is based on. While in interview, questions range from purely technical to purely non-technical. Believe it or not, but in 99% of cases when an engineer is being evaluated, massive importance is based on your “Technical Know How”, thus it requires for one to have an extensive knowledge about the same, ranging from general technicalities to recent happenings in the field.
“About Yourself”, says Tathagat, getting this bit proper, one cannot screw any HR interview thereafter. Justify each word you write/say and this becomes a cake walk.
Next, “Why MBA?”, the question is of prime importance, needs your maximum attention. Again, convince yourself and try avoiding negative points like I do not like what I am currently pursuing.
Again, “position of responsibilities” is how you support your resume and by “Guestimates” , you are judged on your approach.
(ii) Essays at IIM K,B and C
Next coming to an important aspect of evaluation in IIM-K,B and C - “essays”.
Topics of essays are unpredictable, one being -“I want to have XYZ qualities in my husband”, wonder what guys will have to write on this!
It is important to present a statement, give a suitable reasoning for the same, explain with examples and conclude suitably.
Exemplifying, he says, his topic of essay was-“Be yourself- It is the first step to success”. Despite being a cliché, it becomes important to bring about a fresh and new approach to it. His example in the essay being, “New Coke- The biggest marketing blunder of the world” gave him an edge over others.
Tathagat had been associated with Crosslinks initially and later with the Placement Committee and held responsibilities in most of the college fests. This according to him was important to get the exposure and to acquire leadership skills.
Being placed at one of the stellar firms like Dunhumby, deciding between IIM-K and job was a tough call for him. It was his willingness to learn, choice of sector(marketing) and knowing that the performance level in CAT tends to go down in subsequent years, that led him to enter IIM as a fresher.
“Be ready for the toughest journey of your life”, says our sleep-deprived alum.
After his enriching “gyan” session, here are his words for NSITians,” These four years at NSIT, are the best time for us to do and learn from what we wish to, after this you have to choose and become someone. You have time, so have a meaningful ambition and existence, do things with a passion. You four years at NSIT are well justified if on graduating you are aware of your dreams and your ambitions”.