Monday, May 23, 2016

Why MBA?

All the business schools have one question in common for the applicants - "Why MBA?"

It is be asked either in the application or during the interview. It is be asked either directly like "Why MBA?" or it could be asked indirectly like "Where do you see yourself after 5 years?" But it is always asked for it is very important for a business school to understand your clarity of purpose.

But let's be honest here - while applying to business schools, do we have this clarity of purpose? Isn't out true purpose is to simply impress the admission committee with great responses to make our way into our dream school? How many of us actually believe in what we write in essays or speak during interviews. Honestly, not much.

During my interactions with MBA applicants, students and alums in last 5 years, only 5-10 percent of them knew exactly why they wanted to do MBA before entering the business school; 40-50 percent have some vague idea and the rest just wanted to do MBA because it could give them a career growth.

Trust me, those 5-10 percent who exactly knew are the ones who made the best use of the time in business school in terms of classes to attend, clubs to join, people to connect, etc. etc.

So, it is indeed a very important question. But more for your own self, not for business school.

Take out some time and ponder honestly - "Why should I do an MBA?"

Monday, May 9, 2016

Guide For MBA

Few years back I was a MBA applicant with dreams to secure a coveted place in a reputed business school.

It is then I created this blog to share the mistakes I was making and lessons I was learning along the path towards a business school.

In fact, I kept the title of this blog as "mistake, lessons, MBA and more..."

The entire journey from preparing from GMAT to  selecting the schools to crafting applications to polishing for interviews was very overwhelming. Many times, I wondered, this really worth it?

But after finishing this journey with flying colors against all the odds, I can proudly say - Yes, it was definitely worth it. It wasn't easy at all...there were lots of ups and downs, but at the end, the feeling to realize your biggest dream made all the pain worth it.

Now, after learning all the turns and twists in this journey, I want to leverage my first-hand knowledge and experience to help you.

I am going to transform this blog into an end-to-end guide for MBA to help MBA applicants to realize their biggest dreams.

Introduce yourself by leaving a comment below and stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

IIMA PGPX Term 1 - Captured to Cherish

April 4th 2013 and 85 of us walked inside the hallowed walls of The Institute - aspired, inspired and motivated.
A few were acquainted through social networks and alumni meets; connections were there but friendships were yet to born. Everyone, behind their smile, was hiding the anxiety of what’s in the store for the next one year, however, all were equally excited and proud of becoming a part of this prestigious phenomenon called IIMA.

Alum meet
We had 3 days before the classes – which few referred as the “days of our freedom before grinding”.  Proactive ones among us coordinated introductory presentations and X2 alumni meet. That’s when for the first time we entered CR1, our temple for next one year – darshan timings from 8:45am to 1:10am with few sudden emergency poojas at 3:00pm. And the most prominent gyaan from X2 was – “it will come like a storm; don’t tremble, take it easy”. Did we?
All spent those 3 days arranging groceries, settling in new rooms, exploring the local Vastrapur market, mapping each other’s names with faces, carrying heavy-weight vidya from old campus to our rooms, playing badminton and pool, adjusting to the scorching sun, familiarizing with the beautiful IIMA campus, partying, and waiting for the unknown.

The course formally started with the grand inauguration dinner attended by many dignified professors. Spouses and kids were also invited, and it was a great way to interact with professors and mingle with 85 and their families.

The first morning, everyone was on time, well-dressed, clean shaved. Would this going to like this for long...ahem? ;-) We had heard the dreaded truth but the professor confirmed it on the very first day – forget your sleep, it is a luxury here at IIMA. And so, the course began.
 All 85 were divided into 15 Syndicates – our core group to help us sail through good times and mostly bad.  Every evening team members started meeting in their allocated syndicate rooms, trying to understand each other as well as the cases on multitude of functions and industries.


Inside the class we were dealing with the cheetahs, the elephants, the skylabs, the cash flow, the symphony, and outside we were learning to work together in teams of fellow peers. CP inside the class and assignments outside started taking the toll.  The pressure eventually started building up with tougher cases, and the back log started piling up. "TGIF tomorrow" on Thursday evenings became a trendy status on chat messenger. Sleep deprivation was on its all time high and so was the caffeine intake. And then emerged some sleeping beauties :)

IMG_1584 (800x600)  IMG_1573 (800x600)

Amidst our busy schedule of attending classes, analysing cases, brainstorming with syndimates, completing assignments, making presentations, and experiencing morning light, it suddenly struck to a good soul that we are in campus for these many days and never played its traditional game – Frisbee. And a mail floated, Frisbee Tonight @ 10 @ IMDC lawns. And it became a routine for some. Sometimes we snatched people from their syndi rooms to play Frisbee for an hour.
We also started having our share of get-togethers on Friday evenings and dorm 26 became our adda. Sports enthusiasts formed the teams for badminton, tennis, squash and pool, and the big boys enrolled for gym.

The roller-coaster ride was taking up the speed and we all 85 were having a blast, learning something new with every turn and swing. The spouses and the kids in PGPX were good friends by then. They started meeting in the park, having potlucks, participating in cultural events, shopping together, having girls' dinner out, and the list goes on. All in all, spouses had started having the gala time!
We had our elections, some great pitches, and various committees were formed. Hats off to the election committee to handle the process so transparently and seamlessly. Focus industry groups were also formed targeting for specific industries, though some souls like me are still going to multiple focus groups, demeaning the meaning of focus. Hope we find our focus soon ;)
In between all this speed, our amazing speaker series committee managed to invite two eminent personalities - Mr. Ronnie Screwvalla and Mr. Annirudha Deshmukh, providing us the fortunate opportunities to interact and learn from the proven leaders. At the same time, the media committee also improvised PGPX blog and make our presence felt on FB and twitter. We also had some photo competitions during which few hidden photographers of our batch emerged.
Aniruddha Deshmukh
In between we also had some fun time watching the shooting of a Bollywood movie taking place on the campus: an adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s “2 states” - the main attraction was Arjun Kapoor, Aliya Bhatt and Remo. Some smart ones managed to get a click as well.

With remo
The ride was getting faster when suddenly we hit FRA and the its "surprize" downturns. But somehow we managed to ride pass safe. IIP decision was one more such turn that shaken up the ride near its end but IIP committee handled all the confusions and dilemmas very well. Hats-off to them!
By then, our sports committee was in place as well and it took out an amazing initiative to coordinate PGPX 2013-14 first sports meet with the badminton and table tennis matches. It was exciting to see everyone participating with full enthusiasm and spirit. Three evenings worth spent. There was one more sport played there. Check out the fourth pic below ;)

DSC_0175 DSC_0169 DSC_0157 DSC_0150

We also had a great time interacting with some of the Ohio students, who visited us for lunch in between a trip to other businesses in the area and even attended our marketing class. This is what some had to say:
The case study method used in PGPX program leads to a lot of interaction between the Professor and the students. The exchange of ideas therefore is very high and good for thought generation.
By now, all of us were tuned to the exams, surprise quizzes, complicated cases. Discussions on cases were shifted from syndicates to coffee shops, and in syndicates we started doing better things - someone celebrating the joy of becoming a proud parent or someone enjoying the feel of getting older (wiser) by an year.



Out of many good things, Connexions planning was one that took off early this year. That gave us a lot of time to strategize the event better, invite extraordinary speakers, coordinate among all the required committees and stake holders, and most importantly improve the PGPX brand.
When MSH folks felt a little out of touch, the amazing dorm people invited all MSH with their families to a class dinner. It was a welcome get-together which started with a paper dance, followed by delicious dinner, concluded by ice-cream and lasted by some great friendships.


Within no time, we were giving standing ovations to our profs after their last lecture for Term 1, and were buckling up for our end term exams. However, some felt exams were more relaxing than the daily cases and assignments ;)


The 1/5th of our ride was over in a blink, and we marked this end of term 1 and the beginning of term 2 with a bash - KAISHI KINEN - 歓迎幸せ (A Happy Beginning in Japanese) - in which the entire batch and their families came forward to make it grand.

IMG_0288  IMG_0245

The ride is still on. It is not going to be easy however it promises to be more thrilling and much more exciting. Stay on!

Monday, May 20, 2013

One month into PGPX program in IIMA

I am little more than a month old in IIM Ahmedabad and what a month it was.

New subjects, long studying hours, sleep deprived days, surprise quizzes, individual and group assignments, daily case-study preparations, mid-terms, presentations and much more. It sounds really overwhelming isn't?
But the feeling of living inside IIMA and learning with so many exceptionally talented professors and students made it really worth it!
All 85 of  us are grouped in teams of 5 or 6 and we call each them a Syndi. I am in Syndi F with 5 more. Each Syndi has its own Syndicate room where we meet for our group studies, mostly post dinner. Going to have huge projectors in each Syndicate rooms soon and plans of a movie together is already cropping up ;)
I have to write short today because of two assignment submissions tomorrow, 2 quizzes in this week, 3 presentations, and end-term starting from next week. But from now on I will sincerely try to come here and blog. For now, please enjoy the video of our one month into PGPX, IIMA prepared by me and my classmate. Hope you like it!


Sunday, March 10, 2013

IIM Ahmedabad Calling :-)

In one of my posts in 2010, I wrote, if I deserve it, I will get it sooner or later...(read entire post here) Finally, I got it.. Yes, I got selected in IIM Ahmedabad PGPX. The biggest dream of my life has come true :)

Finally, I am gonna be an IIMA grad... Whoa, after writing so many posts about my rejections, mistakes and learning, the feeling of writing a post of my admit to the top business school of India and 11th ranked program in the world its so overwhelming.

I am really grateful for all the people who directly or indirectly supported me throughout this long turbulent journey. And funny it may sound, but I am grateful to even myself for having strong faith and perseverance.

I am flying back from US in two weeks to enjoy the most awaited one-year roller coaster of my life. It starts on Apr 8th 2013. Stay tuned!

IIMA calling :-)

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