Walking down the Memory Lane – The CAT Days

I often go through my e-diary once in a while to remind myself of the things that were and how they have changed now. Today strolling across it I came across a series of posts cribbing about my CAT preparation days, the UPs and the DOWNs, the desperation and the WANT to get “The Thing”. Well I have got “The Thing” now and it’s called NITIE πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

But still it was a dream two years back. And my diary is a testimony to this fact. Just felt like sharing a few excerpts from this file which contains my entire life πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

Dated : August 7, 2010 :

My life , right now , is marked by a cadence of emotions . One day I am on a high . The very next day , I fall to an all time low …. And their isn’t a particular reason I can embark upon … There are many , I must confess …

One of those is my preparation for CAT …. I am not scoring very well in motivating myself … It appears as if everyone else knows for sure that I am going to crack CAT this year …. But I am skeptic about the same …. Mocks have been a roller coaster ride … today’s has completely left me baffled …

Until yesterday , I knew that VA was my weak link …. But today ?? .. Today I am not sure if I should tag QA with the same … The 135 minutes , which appeared to be more than enough in last few mocks , have suddenly started looking too contract ….

Today’s performance is somethingΒ  I would like to forget ASAP …. Got to motivate myself … Got to start devoting some time to QA too … and I seriously need to handle this prestige issue which I encounter more less than often while solving DI ….

 

Its NOW or NEVER …. Mr. Harsh .. Its DO or DIE time … Don’t let that spirit die .. Its true that you are not the very best right now … But you have got it in you to beat the very best …. And you know it pretty well … Just give it your all … and stop worrying about the failure …. That’s something which is not in ur control … Hard work izzzzzz …. πŸ™‚

 

With CAT approaching, I can’t help sharing this with everyone. A usual trauma that everyone has to go through. The Burden of Expectations and The Fear of Failure. But I can’t help remembering that this was one of the most, if not the most, critical phase of my life. The phase that taught me to be strong. The phase that taught me how important it is to set a goal and give your sweat and blood to achieve it. The phase that taught me to believe – to believe in yourself, your abilities, your aspirations and your dreams.

All the best to all the CAT aspirants. To those who have been tackling this year after year, you know better than me how to handle it. And to those who, like I was, are facing this humungous strain for the first time, I would advice “Just Close your Eyes. Think about your goal. And Live Eat and Breathe it. Day In and Day Out. And the most important thing. Don’t let the belief in yourself die. Keep the flame Kindling”. All the best folks πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

 

The Twists and Turns

The very same time of year it is … Suddenly you feel like doing anything and everything … Suddenly you have got so many plans which need to be executed right there and right now … Suddenly you start praying for the days to pass by as quickly as they can … And suddenly you start enjoying everything apart from studies …

I have moved for Ghaziabad to Mumbai … from B.Tech to an MBA … from Quantum to MS Powerpoint … But the feeling is still the very same as it was four years ago … The feeling that you get when you have got an exam (or may be two, if you are lucky enough) dancing right in front of you with open arms, ready to embrace you, ready to push you down to the era of uncertainties … a place from where you can’t see anything but the date when they are supposed to get over …

Few things might have changed but a majority of them still remain the very same …

>> 11th hour preparation …

>> Calculating the time which is required to cover the syllabus and then starting right at the deadline … And end up going to the exam hall with hardly half the syllabus covered …

>> You develop an intense liking towards world wide web (especially Facebook :P)

>> Suddenly developing an addiction to movies …

>> Insomnia, which troubles you all the year around, suddenly decides to leave you and let you fall in the never ending world of dreams …

>> Life suddenly becomes super hectic and you can’t help hoping to buy some time to kill …

>> And last, but not the least, in the middle of the night, you completely turn philosophical and start analyzing everything, right from the movement of lizard crawling nearby to your Karma and ultimate purpose of your life …

Amazing thing this is .. Exams .. And with my student life moving towards its completion, I have started loving them for no reason πŸ˜› πŸ˜‰

Two days hence the exams will end, and so will be my first year … So many things happened in this year that I could hardly recollect them … I will soon be moving towards my first step in the professional life with my summer internship with DBS, starting from this Monday. Wish me luck guys (not for the exams πŸ˜› ) …

Just one more year to go as a student … And a lifetime to follow as a man … B)

 

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Reversal of Roles : Life @ NITIE

It is that very same time of the year. It’s been exactly one month since the CAT results were declared and the MBA season, right now, is in full swing. Anxious faces all around, B-Schools declaring their GD-PI lists, aspirants shooting their queries everywhere and the dream to get into the dream college lives on.

Everything is same as it was last year. The entire situation is just like a Deja Vu. I have lived it all already once and I am living it once again. But with a little difference this time around. I am on the other side of the table. Last year, at the same time, I was sitting in front of my system, reading the posts by the aspirants on the NITIE Pagalguy thread. There was a very anxious and nervous “magicalharsh” directing his queries to the seniors on the thread, who just wanted to be sure of it. And an encouraging reply by a senior meant everything that time.

NITIE gave me my dream. I made my way to the God’s own campus and little did I knew at that time that one year down the line the very same PG id of “magicalharsh” would be there on the same thread, but this time answering the queries of his to-be juniors rather then being answered.

There at pagalguy people ask the same question again and again. They know that the same question has been answered but somehow they wish to be answered individually. I know the feeling as I was also a part of the lot that used to do the same and hence, even after answering the same query umpteenth number of times I repeat it rather ambivalently. I can see the same anxiousness in their queries that used to be within me last year. Seriously speaking that was one of the most precious moments of my life because that was the period which really taught me how wonderful the feeling is once you achieve something that you had really longed for. And this was the first time I achieved something substantial in my life.

Life at B School has been much more awesome compared to what I had envisaged. Every moment here at NITIE has been nothing less than an awesome experience. Fun combined with learning. Be it the late evening classes at 9 or 10. Be it a snake crawling outside your room or a leopard spotted somewhere near the MDP. Be it Bawaal or NPL going on. Be it the 3 round committee selection process that would stretch until 6 in the morning. Be it the really anxious moments during the Slot zero of the summer recruitment process going on. Be it the case of short attendance and completing extra assignments to cover for it. Be it the plethora of competitions and case studies that you participate in. Be it the late night parties followed by a long walk with friends on the Marine Drive. Everything is super duper amazing.

Team IMPACT - NITIE

There are so many things that I can’t possibly pen it down all at one place. Every day is a new experience. Every day is a new adventure. A fun filled roller coaster ride it is. A ride which has added so many memoirs to my life. A life full of surprises and adventures. This is life @ NITIE. And for sure I love it to the core.

P.S. All the best to all the aspirants. It’s the time where you just need a last push, a bit of nitro to propel you forward. You surely will be rewarded for all the efforts that you have put in till now. Just one advice that I would like to pass to everyone. Never ever stop dreaming. Only when you dream, will you try to put it into reality. πŸ™‚

“CAT”astrophe

So it’s the very same time of the year once again. CAT is closing in and I can very well see excitement and tension creeping in all the aspirants. Everything and every person I see in MBA forums remind me of my pre CAT days in some way or the other. The excitement regarding the paper, the ecstasy to perform well, the dream to get into a top notch B School, the fear of failing (in the single shot provided to them for putting to test all the efforts they have made) and no one is left untouched by the plethora of emotions that find an easy target in them, year after year.

Having realized it myself, I know that an MBA aspirant goes through all the possible emotions during the course of his/her preparation. It was such a roller coaster ride for me. Excited on getting an awesome score in a mock. Depressed with a bad performance in one of the sections. Frustrated on making the same mistake again and again. I saw it all, and I mean all the stages. And today when I was looking at some of the pages of my diary a sense of nostalgia did crept in. Those were the pure emotions (extreme at times nevertheless). And anyways you need a little push in order to achieve anything and that is when you truly realize the value of your achievement.

But there has been quite a few things different in the way it has been looked at, in the past few years. The word “CAT”, this time around, is marked by all sort of controversies. As if the online fiasco and normalization blues were not enough. Every forum that I look into is filled with a debate between engineers and non engineers. The reason being the criteria most IIMs have come up with i.e. awarding extra marks to girls and non-engineers even before the test is taken. I mean how could you justify this thing? If you are a male engineer who comes from a tough state board (with a percentage which was more than enough to get you featured in the merit list, but not enough to help you crack what you aspire to), IIM-A is a far fetched dream.

Fair enough that IIMs need some diversity. Fair enough that the CAT pattern is designed to give an edge to engineers. Fair enough that you need to give an equal opportunity to non-engineers. If that is the case, then why not design a paper in such a way that it gives an equal opportunity to everyone (or at an extreme, design one which gives an edge to non engineers, just like XAT has come up with it). I am sure no one will be complaining like this then, because at least everyone will be on the same ground and will be having the equal opportunity to show their mettle.

But is it the case that IIMs believe that whatever the pattern might be, engineers will maneuver there way in somehow, and that will be detrimental to their diversity motto. Quoting what the Dean of FMS, Prof Mamkoottam once said,

We do attempt to dilute what is known as the engineering-oriented component in the FMS test but to be very honest with you, in whatever experiment we have tried, engineers have again managed to come up.

This very well might be the reason, and if that is the case I can’t blame IIM for coming up with these criteria to bring in more adversity diversity. So now we implicitly have further reservations within the general category. Female non engineers, followed by female engineers and male non engineers, followed by the most pitiable creatures Male Engineers. There might be many justifications given by many people, but I really find it hard to buy anyone of them.

 

We’re moving on

It has been some time since I have been here. Missed me?? C’mon don’t be shy. πŸ˜‰ … As a matter of fact, I have been quite busy of late, particularly with the entrance processes of different B-schools. Just like a pendulum I have been moving to and fro between Delhi and Mumbai. No I am not complaining. As always, I love to travel and this came as a nice excuse to do so. But finally I took some time out and decided to pay my beautiful city a visit, after a gap of almost four months.

So far I have been lucky with the first half of the admission process. I have got a call from almost all the reputed B-schools of the country. And now I stand before the second and the most difficult phase of the entire process. The interviews. And this is the phase where they ought to select the best out of the best.

I am already through with IIM, IIFT, Symbiosis and NMIMS. The next stop being FMS on 15th, followed by IMI, NITIE and MDI. Keeping my fingers crossed to convert at least one of the calls, particularly one in either Delhi or Mumbai. πŸ˜‰ I so don’t want to drop a year.

In the meantime I happen to have got a job at Infosys Technologies. So my bachelors degree did pay of and the myth of my faculty that the defaulters don’t go anywhere has finally been broken.

The news headlines of my college is marked by the strikes caused due to the placement issues, which has been going from bad to worse for few years now. Eighth semester is yet to get off the mark, with nil classes so far. Still, I am not complaining πŸ˜› . I have no issues if the entire semester flies by in a similar way πŸ™‚ .

That reminds me that slowly, but surely, we are reaching the end of our college life. Time does fly by. It was, as if, only yesterday when I entered this institute and it’s already been four years now. Looking back through the time line, RKGIT has given me everything to learn. Friends, memories, a few “bad” habits, a lot of “surprises” and many many things which I just can’t list out. It would be real hard to bid all the idiots goodbye in only few days to come πŸ™

But no point lamenting now. Time to plan many parties, many trips and many memories. I am not going to waste even a second of this semester once I am done with my last interview, which is on 30th of this month. And very soon I will be coming up with a post dedicated to my very own, very awesome, very entertaining and very enlightening interview experiences. πŸ˜‰ … Till then .. sayonara … and yes … Happy Holi everyone πŸ™‚