ADVICE

An advice to the folks who are about to start their first job!

By Get Inspired No Comments

A short story:

Let me start with sharing a short anecdote – the journey of Aman and Naman.

Aman and Naman are both engineering graduates from tier-3 colleges. In the fourth year of their engineering, both of them got placed in reputed IT services MNCs with a package of around 3.5 LPA CTC.

When they joined their respective companies after their graduation, both of them had a hard time in their job.

Aman was getting trained in Analytics and had really long hours of training, sometimes as long as 14 hours a day. It was very hectic for him. On the other hand, Naman was getting trained in a programming language with a relatively lesser hectic schedule.

After a few months, while Aman kept going with his job, Naman found himself miserable and trapped in his job. You see, despite a hectic schedule and high workload, Aman sailed through the hard times. On the other hand, Naman found himself languishing in his job.

Do you know why it happened?

It so happened because Aman found his work interesting even though it was challenging. He got an opportunity to work on multiple interesting Analytics projects. So he kept learning things and enhancing his skills. As a result, he later managed to switch to a product based company, and today, he is earning 20+ LPA CTC.

But the same did not transpire with Naman. He did not find his work interesting, and so he was barely managing to survive in the company. However, Naman did one great thing. He recognized that a technical job was not for him quite early in his job, after around a year only. And so he was able to focus on identifying his interests. And he managed to roughly figure out things for himself. He later pursued an MBA and now working in the managerial role with gusto.

What’s that I am trying to convey with this story?

ADVICE

I am trying to say that you should not join any organization with a preconceived notion, especially when you are just starting your corporate journey. It is because what excites someone might leave you frustrated and vice-versa. So, do not listen to people bad-mouthing IT companies. Go with an open mind. Explore the work profile and see if it interests you. If yes, better your skills in that field. If no, find what floats your boat and try to develop skills accordingly. See, age is on your side, so make the most of your time and carve a career for yourself. But please do not let your soul languish in a job that does not give you a feeling of satisfaction and fulfilment. If that ever happens, explore other avenues and run away from that job. And make sure you do that as early as possible, because the deeper you get into something, the harder it becomes to come out of it.


Related Articles:

  1. When Should A Working Professional Join An MBA Program?

  2. Is Work Experience A Must To Get Admission Into An IIM?

  3. Should I Quit My Job And Take A Drop For The CAT Exam?

  4. Is Doing MBA From IIMs Really Worth It?

process

A message for CAT 2021 aspirants!

By CAT Preparation, Get Inspired, The Beginner's guide No Comments

The last few days have been a bit disturbing. I have been witnessing many promising CAT 2020 aspirants whose dreams have apparently been shattered after this horrendous exam. Some of them even left their job to prepare for this exam, and now, they are left with utter disappointment. For a few, the stakes were so high that the emotions got the better of them during the exam, and upon seeing the dreadful VARC and LRDI, they fainted in the exam hall itself. It really feels bad. I feel all my words would sound hollow to them at this point. They are down in the dumps, and I don’t know if any motivation would make them feel less miserable, at least for the next few days.


For the last couple of days, I have been thinking as to why things would have gone this way for all these folks. And I could think of the following reason.

Many aspirants prepare with too much expectation. They forget that the success rate is around 2% only. Still, we put everything at stake for this one exam. I feel it is not a great idea, given the uncertainty involved in this exam. No matter if you are repetitively hitting the 98–99%ile bar in the mocks, this exam can still surprise you a great deal. So this mindset that cat is the ultimate aim, or it is the end of life, is not a great idea. It only makes you more nervous on D-day, and that keeps you from unleashing your full potential in those 2/3 hours.

The other thing is that many aspirants want to crack this exam in their first attempt, no matter what. It only burdens them with more pressure. Whether we like it or not, but the fact is that this exam gives you no guarantee. There is no guarantee at all. So, be mentally prepared for a setback. You might need multiple attempts to get through this exam. So, don’t fear failure or a setback. It should make you feel temporarily bad at best. You should move on after a few bad days. The result of this one exam should not leave you depressed for months and years with loads of guilt.

So, a better mindset would be to focus on the process than the result. My experience says that preparing for CAT can help you in many ways. It is one of the toughest non-technical exams in India. If you prepare for it seriously, you can easily crack one or the other non-technical exams. This preparation can really open many doors for you. Besides, this preparation makes you mentally stronger and teaches you the importance of patience, persistence, and perseverance, which is very important to become successful in all walks of life. Lastly, it makes you a more compassionate and better human being. Maybe, for this reason, they say that the journey looks more beautiful than the destination. And I can tell you that one honest preparation for this exam will elevate you in your life in some way or the other.

All that being said, prepare for this exam with more focus on the process – that juggling of work and study, that following a schedule, managing ebbs and flows in the journey, and inspiring yourself to keep going when you feel like giving up. This will surely inspire you and make you feel good about yourself.

process

My final words:

Please, dear aspirants, do not put all your eggs in one basket, and especially the working professionals, please do not quit your job for this exam. If you are feeling miserable at your job, change it, but do not quit and prepare for CAT alone. Always have a plan-b because an exam like CAT seriously needs that. Take risks but the calculated ones.


Related articles:

  1. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  2. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  3. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  4. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  5. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  6. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
  7. Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?

  8. How Should I Prepare LRDI For CAT?

  9. Speed or Accuracy – What should I focus on?
A letter that matters: To the cat 2020 aspirants

A Letter That Matters: To the CAT 2020 Aspirants

By CAT Preparation, Get Inspired No Comments

Dear aspirants,

With the CAT exam being around the corner, I know how you would be feeling – fairly nervous and a little afraid. I feel you. I have been in your shoes. Having been in touch with you all this while, I know most of you have truly burned the midnight oil, I know you have grappled hard with all the three sections, and have done all you could have done.

A letter that matters: To the cat 2020 aspirants

I understand your anxiety and overwhelming emotions at this point. I understand your fear. Fear of failure. Fear of the possibility of getting stuck in the job that has been sapping you mentally and emotionally. I understand your fear of instability. Fear of joblessness and being called a black sheep of the family. Fear of others calling you mediocre. I understand it all. I have been through all.

In November 2017, I had been going through the same state of mind, and then, on November 21, I scribbled one note in my diary that I am sharing below.

 

November 21, 2017 | 12:30 AM

So, with D-Day just five days away, here I am,

in the last leg of a scintillating endeavor.

Not so nervous, but yes, a bit afraid. Fear of failure, you know. But I am ok with it. I know how much hard work I have put in, and I completely back myself no matter what the results will be.

In the first place itself, I told myself what is more important is the process, not the results. And I can contend that I have succeeded. In the first place, I promised myself that I won’t give up midway. I promised myself that I would embrace everything that comes my way. I promised myself that I would take everything in my stride. And to this day, I have been successful. So, whatever destiny has in store for me, I am ready to embrace it.

As I look back today, I can see a complete turnaround in me as a person. This is what I took the challenge for. What this pursuit has made of me is truly satisfying. My Heart knows what all I have been through in the last year, and I feel it was all so damn worth it.

6 AM to 11 PM! Work and study! For days and months!

I have truly savored this year-long odyssey; a transformational journey of patience and persistence.

Have witnessed failure. Have cried. Have witnessed excellence. Have smiled. Have witnessed unwavering patience. Have realized strength. The strength to endure. The strength to wait.

Now it’s time to hold my head high, keep my chin up, and walk with impunity because I have done all I could have done. No regrets. My results won’t define me, but my effort does. Period.

Do you know why I have shared it?

Because I want to tell you that the result of one exam does not define you but your effort does. This whole process is more important than the end result.

Do you know why?

It is because this effort, this transformational journey, and the whole process shape your character. It is more important than the CAT result because the CAT exam is just a means, not the end. But this process makes you stronger and wiser. It teaches you the value of patience, persistence, and perseverance. And these traits will help you achieve your goals eventually. Once you learn to be honest with your efforts, you will be better off in your life eventually.

And so, I want to tell you –

It is okay even if you don’t get the desired result this time. Don’t be too harsh on yourself by judging yourself by a single result. Be kind to yourself and keep learning. Don’t fear failure because there is no failure in life. There are only setbacks that give you experiences and learnings. These setbacks only make us wiser and stronger. We learn more from setbacks than from success. Failure is powerful. It has the power to inspire us and transform us from within that is imperative to make difference. Every single disappointment and setback can be a fierce source of inspiration. So, embrace failure because in doing so, we will no longer fear it.

In fact, we should look at setbacks differently. A setback is good. It makes our success even sweeter.

After all, what would you cherish in retrospection if you don’t come through any friction?

In my life so far, I have learned more from setbacks and disappointments than from anything else. I fail. I feel bad, and I move on. And I think that’s the way it should be.

My final words:

All that being said, I want you to have a positive mindset. Focus on giving your best on D-day. Do not think about the result and the what-ifs that follow. I tried doing that, and so, despite never crossing 120 marks in mocks, I scored 158 marks in the CAT exam. So, focus. Those three hours, if spent with full focus and a positive attitude with your heart in the right direction, can be a gamechanger because hard work never goes in vain. In some way or the other, it pays off. Hard work works. Period.


Read: From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

fear of failure

How to get over fear of failure in the CAT exam?

By Get Inspired No Comments

Backdrop:

I am quite confident that many of us fear failure. In fact, a few aspirants have reached out to me and shared how their fear of failure holding them back. It happens. Whenever we invest our time and energy in any pursuit, we expect a positive result. But life is not that fair. Sometimes, we don’t get what we want, and if it happens multiple times, fear creeps in, and we stop putting in efforts to achieve anything extraordinary.

I have been through this quite a few times. There have been times when I underperformed because I was overwhelmed by the fear of failure and what others would think about me. But over a period, I have found a way not to let the fear of failure get the better of my nerves. Let me share one incident with you. Before I share that incident, I want to tell you that it is not any rule of thumb. It works for me. It may or may not work for you.

One intriguing anecdote:

A few months back, ONGC visited our campus for recruitment. By that time, I already had a job offer from one of the MNCs. However, the placement committee declared ONGC as a dream company. So I applied for it despite having an offer from another company. I applied for it because it was giving a relatively better salary than the other job offer that I had. After a day, I received an email that I was shortlisted for the interview. That’s when I felt I could make it to ONGC, and this made me very cautious and nervous. I started preparing for the interview whole-heartedly, which was scheduled two days later. When I informed my parents about this, they got very excited. After all, it was a PSU. They asked me to prepare well for it. Their expectation got me into pressure.

On the interview day, I was feeling very nervous. I was eighth in the list to be interviewed. This grew my nervousness. Whenever anyone came out of the interview room, I would ask him/her the questions that the interviewers asked them. And their answers grew my anxiety.

So, I called my mother and told her that I was feeling nervous. She said, “Take this interview with a free mind. You have nothing to lose as you already have a job offer.”

And this trick worked wonders for me.

After the call, until I was called for the interview, all I did was self-talk. I reminded myself of my abilities. I also tried to look down at the ONGC job saying that even if I get selected, I might get posted in the rural area. Moreover, the salary difference was also not much. So, I need not worry about the result of the interview. I told myself that I would go there and express myself.

fear of failure

And when I went into the interview room, I did exactly that. I remained calm and confident, and I just expressed myself. And it worked for me. I got selected. In fact, I was the only one who got selected for that profile.

So, how do I keep fear of failure at bay?

The trick is that I do not give too much importance to anything that I want. It is because if I do that, I start thinking a lot about the result and get myself into unnecessary pressure and eventually underperform. So, I say to myself – let’s put the effort. If it pays off, great. If not, no worries. Let’s not expect just too much. That’s not the end of life. I will have other alternatives. My learnings from this pursuit will help me in my life in some way or the other.

And so, I always believe that we should always have a backup, a plan-b. As someone has rightly said,

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

Read: From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

A word of caution:

When I say I do not give too much importance, I don’t mean that I get careless. No, I don’t. It is just I am ambitious and try to achieve goals, but at the same time, I say to myself that my goal is not the end of life. There is more to life than just one goal. It helps me remain calm and confident, which in turn enhance my efficiency and productivity.

Food for thought:

Why did India perform extra-ordinarily well in the 2007 T20 WorldCup?

Final words:

Please, do not crumble under pressure. Don’t think too much about the end result. Enjoy this phase of preparation and always try to have a plan-b in life because there are no certainties in life. Back your abilities, and keep aside the fear and other negative emotions. Don’t be afraid of failure because failure is always an event, not a person. I hope you understood the crux of the story.


Read: How Was Your ONGC Interview Experience?


Related Articles:

  1. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  2. My Learnings From MBA Interview Rejections

 

Biswarup

From 70% In CAT 2018 To 98+% In CAT 2019 – A leap of Faith Ft. Biswarup Ghosh

By Get Inspired, Guest Posts No Comments

The other day I was reading the CAT journey of Biswarup, a CAT’19 98+ percentile, and an incoming SJMSOM MBA student. While reading his preparation strategy, I happened to get a moment of epiphany. It was about what does CAT crackers have in common. I will share it at the end of this article, but first, let’s go through Biswarup’s journey in his own words. He was humble enough to allow me to share his journey on “The CAT Talk.”


I am Biswarup Ghosh, a software engineer with 3.5 years of experience in IT. I have recently converted two of the most coveted B schools of India- MDI GURGAON and SJMSOM, IIT BOMBAY. Finally, I have taken admission into SJMSOM, IIT BOMBAY.

Profile:

10: 9 | 12: 8 | B.Tech: 8 

Work experience: 34 Months until December 2019 with TCS.


My CAT Journey:

It all started back in 2018 when I decided to prepare and take the CAT exam seriously. I was doing self-preparation and took test series of CL and IMS. My preparation was going in the right way, and after initial setbacks, my mock scores also started improving. I was hopeful that I would be able to do well in the exam. Fast forward to the D-day, I panicked and underperformed. I ended up getting a mere 70%. It was a shocker as well as an eye-opener for me. I was feeling hopeless and even doubted myself whether I would be able to score well in the upcoming year, even if I prepared well. I pulled myself up in a couple of weeks or so and decided to give one more try.

This time I decided to start early. I wanted to join a coaching institute, but keeping in mind my office hours and time needed for self-study, I felt that online coaching would be the best option for me. That’s when I decided to enrol for the iQuanta online course, and I was part of the first batch that started in late January. I had also enrolled myself for the test series of TIME and IMS. Fast forward to the D-day, I was able to keep myself calm and cool, I didn’t panic, and my exams went smoothly. I knew that my exam had gone well, and I was elated when I saw my results. I had secured 98.03%(VA-89.87%, LRDI-98.44%, and QA-97.94%) in CAT 2019. This journey taught me that PERSEVERANCE, SELF BELIEF, and NEVER GIVE UP ATTITUDE can take a person a long way in life.

A few pointers about my preparation strategy:

  1. Resources used for CAT: I was an iQuanta classroom student. The tricks, shortcuts, and doubts solved there helped me in my preparation. Other than that, I relied on the mocks of IMS and TIME. I also used Arun Sharma, Time materials, and past year mock/cat papers.
  2. No.of Mocks taken: I took close to 30 full length mocks, and around 10-15 sectional tests of all three sections.
  3. Time management: I had to manage both my office as well as my cat preparation. I used to read articles or solve RCs while travelling to the office. Even during office hours, I tried to solve a few sums/few LRDI sets whenever I got time. During my free time, I used to go to the library. My target was to put at least 2-3 hrs daily for my preparation.

Read: From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent


GD-PI preparation strategy:

I joined IMS for my GD-PI preparation. GDPI is all about knowing to communicate and speak fluently and clearly, knowing everything related to yourself, hometown, hobbies, current affairs, and a little bit of economics/statistics.

Message to the CAT aspirants:

Read 2-3 articles daily, solve 2-3 RCs daily. It will improve the VARC section. For LRDI, try to solve 2-3 sets daily, preferably from past year mock papers. For QA, try to solve 20 sums daily. Analyze mocks properly and make a point not to repeat the same mistakes. If you take a mock for 3 hours, analyze it for at least 6 hours. It is the most important part. I maintained an excel tracker to track my mock scores and see the areas where I was lacking or doing well.


I, being an engineer, had always dreamt of being a part of the IIT ecosystem. It has been a dream come true for me, and I couldn’t be happier. Finally, all those hard work and struggle has paid off 🙂

And yes, the journey is more important than the destination.

Happy learning!


I hope Biswarup’s journey has inspired you to keep going.


What do CAT crackers have in common?

As I said in the beginning, I would share a few points that generally CAT crackers have in common. So, while I was reading Biswarup’s journey, I realized the following points about CAT crackers in general.

  1. They cover basics from the material of any coaching institute.
  2. They solve previous year mocks and CAT papers.
  3. They take around 30 mocks.
  4. They analyze mocks religiously.
  5. They are persistent in their preparation.

Bu then, why do many people fail even after following the above points?

I feel that’s because they don’t take the leap of faith that Biswarup and many others have taken. Not everyone takes courage to keep going despite the setbacks. And as I always say, CAT is more about the intent than it is about the talent. It is all about patience, persistence, and perseverance.

So, take a leap of faith and keep going!


Read: From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate


Links to some of the resources that Biswarup used for his preparation.

  1. Previous year papers
  2. iQuanta Online Course
  3. TIME mocks
  4. IMS mocks

If you need any guidance from Biswarup, you may connect with him on Facebook.


Read: From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional


Related Articles:

  1. From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent

  2. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  3. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  4. Life Won’t Change Unless You Change!

  5. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  6. Learn To Fight Alone!
Life won't change unless you change

Life won’t change unless you change!

By Get Inspired No Comments

I wrote this article in 2017 during my CAT preparation when I was going through a rough patch, and was feeling dejected. This article is not about CAT or IIM, but you can relate to it. And maybe, you need to know this.


Quite often, we hear people cursing their life for all that does not go their way. More often than not, we attribute our ineptitude to our circumstances and if not this, we end up assuming the fault in our stars.

But Does it really serve any purpose?
Is it going to make things fall in place for us?

Not really!

Life is not going to be as we wish it to be. It should neither be.
Why should it be?

Do you enjoy competing with weak opposition?

No, because you find the one-sided game boring. You need some difficulties, some twists, and turns, and certain nail-biting stuff to make things interesting, right?

Then why do you wish your life to be a cinch?
Why do you keep whining about it all the time?

Stop whining and for once, change the way you look at your life, your life will be changed.

Read: IIM After 3 Attempts – The CAT Journey Of An Average Aspirant Ft. Debayan

Life won't change unless you change

Be a realist. Stop being a mere spectator. Get out in the middle and play the game of life. Grapple with situations, get knocked down, learn and take a leap. This is really really enthralling. Your life is not lived if you don’t go through this.

Life is not a cakewalk, and that’s a fait accompli. There will be times when you are battered bitterly. But you must not say no. Doesn’t matter you Lose or win, just never let yourself give in. At times, it’s really important to rein in our emotions. Amidst looming hopelessness all around, don’t let the inner hope douse. Get yourself together and hope against hope.

You know why?

Because miracles happen miraculously. Things fall in place all at once when you least expect. Literally, when you grapple earnestly and relentlessly, miracles happen profoundly. Everything happens for a reason. The lows are important for us to be able to worth the highs.

What will you cherish in retrospection if you don’t come through any friction?

In the odyssey of life, you will witness the things that would frighten you even in your wildest dreams. Turbulence will be dominant. You will be knocked down to your knees, people will strip you of your dignity, the very people who mean the world to you will hurt you, will lie to you and may even leave you stranded and you have got to let them go because although it’s hard to let go, it’s even harder to hold on to the dead broken pieces. It’s miserable, but it is what it is.

And you know why this all transpires?

Because, to become invincible, setbacks are inevitable. Moreover, we feel the sheer ecstasy only when you come through umpteen failures, brutal heartaches and sheer struggles for, what defines us is not where we are but how we have reached there.

When you are let down, you begin to treasure every little thing that makes you happy which is overarching to live life to the fullest. Sufferings are, in a true sense, blessings in disguise. They make us humble and sensitive from within. It’s imperative to feel blue and still keep the chin up and keep going, looking for ways to be happy. After all, life is not about being haves, it’s about what it makes of you in the pursuit. The more you endure, the stronger a force you become.

And the fact is, life is lived through tough times, good times just pass by.

You grow when you burn your boats leaving yourself with the only choice… swim or sink. This is when you actually start living your life. This is when miracles start happening.

So, don’t walk away from life by condemning it, rather make efforts to steer through its ebb and flow.

Embrace life to hail life!


Read: How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?


Related Articles:

  1. From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent

  2. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  3. From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional
  4. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  5. From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate
  6. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  7. Learn To Fight Alone!
  8. IIM After 3 Attempts – The CAT Journey Of An Average Aspirant Ft. Debayan

I am stuck in the CAT preparation. What should I do?

Which all top b-schools give very less or no weight for academic scores?

By CAT Preparation, Get Inspired, The Beginner's guide No Comments

A million-dollar question:

Which all top b-schools give very less or no weight for academic scores?

Indeed, a million-dollar question, no?

I feel this would be one of the most searched questions regarding CAT and MBA. This is quite logical as well, as many of us do not have a great academic profile. None of us thought that our academic scores would haunt us forever, but unfortunately, that happens in CAT.

But that’s okay now. That is something beyond our control. There is no point in crying over the spilt milk. We should now look forward and see what are the possibilities for us to pursue an MBA from one of the top b-schools of the country.

Read: How does an average student feel like to be at an IIM?

So, in the following table, I have mentioned a few top b-schools (rank among top 30) that give very less or no weight to the academic profile of the MBA aspirant.


List of b-schools with low weight for academics:

B-school 10th (%) 12th (%) Graduation (%) Work-ex (%) Test Score (%)
IIM C Stage 1: 10
Stage 2: 0
Stage 1: 15
Stage 2: 0
Stage 1: 15
Stage 2: 0
Stage 1: 0
Stage 2: 8
Stage 1: 56
Stage 2: 30
IIFT (criteria changed for 2021) 0 0 0 0 65
XLRI** 0 0 0 5 65
FMS 5 5 0 0 60
IIT Bombay 0 5 5 5 80
IIT KGP 3 4 7 5 20
MDI** 0 0 0 15 55
NITIE***
Second-gen IIMs**** 5 5 5 5 30-50

Stage 1 refers to the shortlisting for WAT PI.

Stage 2 refers to the criteria for final shortlist after WAT PI.

** XLRI and MDI give 5% and 15% weight respectively for the candidate’s profile (10+12+grad+workex). Individual weight is not known.

*** In the admission criteria of NITIE, component-wise break up is not given, but a candidate gets a PI call with 97+ percentile in CAT (91 sectional cut-offs).

**** Second-gen IIMs generally give maximum 20% weight for candidate’s profile (including work-ex). Rest is CAT + WAT PI.

Note: Some of the data points in the above table are taken from some unofficial websites like shiksha.com. So, all the data mentioned in this article might not be accurate, but it would give you some rough idea about which colleges are possible with an average profile.


Besides these colleges, there are some other institutes like IIM K and JBIMS that give low weight for academics. I have not mentioned about IIM K in the table because its criteria keep on changing almost every year. About JBIMS, I am not sure, but I think it gives zero weight for academics.

Conclusion:

From the above table and the points that followed it, you can see that some top b-schools give high weightage to the CAT score and low weightage to the candidate’s profile. So, to those who do not have a great profile, the key is to score very well in the CAT exam. With a high CAT score, one can get into some of the country’s best b-schools.

So, if you feel dejected just because your academic profile is not very good, please stop thinking that you can’t get into a top b-school, because you can. Some of the b-schools that are mentioned above are even better than some of the top IIMs in terms of brand name and average package. Having said that, leave all these belittling thoughts behind, keep your head down, and work hard.


Read: IIM Average Package – Old Vs New


Related articles:

  1. How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?
  2. What Are The Best Books For Cat Preparation?

  3. How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT?

  4. My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

  5. How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?

  6. How Should I Prepare VARC For CAT?
  7. Which Is Better – Online Coaching Or Offline Coaching?

  8. Which Is The Best Mock Test Series For CAT? Can I Predict My CAT Percentile From Mock Test Results?

  9. What Strategy Should I Follow In CAT Mocks?

  10. How To Do CAT Mock Analysis?

  11. Why Do Students Fail In CAT?

 

Debayan CAT journey

IIM after 3 attempts – The CAT journey of an average aspirant ft. Debayan

By Get Inspired, Guest Posts No Comments

Backdrop:

We see our CAT journey as one whose destination is a top IIM. IIM is a dream for many of us. We all want to get there. But the question is – how badly?

Many of us are very afraid of failure. We get so apprehensive that before even taking the exam, we start asking what would I do if I don’t pass the CAT exam. A few days back, one aspirant reached out to me and asked,

“Will I be able to clear the CAT exam?”

I said, “yes, you can. Prepare well.”

She asked, “You sure? I can make it to an IIM, no?

I replied, “For that, you need to work. You can’t just keep talking without putting any effort. Don’t be so afraid. Just put in your best effort. You will never regret it.”

From this conversation, I realized that many aspirants look for assurance that they will succeed if they try for the CAT exam. But unfortunately, life does not work that way. There are no guarantees. So, if you want something badly, you need to work for it madly with a conviction that your dreams will come true on the back of your hard work with patience, persistence, and perseverance. 

“Hard work never goes in vain. After all, life is more about the journey than it is about the destination.”

I realized it when I read Debayan’s CAT journey. He came through failures with unflinching grit. I found his journey very inspiring. 

He made one very important point, “know when to stop and move on, because your greatest success may not be CAT, but maybe something better waiting for you after CAT.”

This his me hard. I felt it could inspire many other CAT aspirants. So I couldn’t resist reaching out to him and requesting him to share his journey on ‘The CAT Talk.’ And he was kind enough to readily agree for it. So, let’s read his CAT journey of perseverance in his own words.


Debayan’s Journey: 

This post is to relive the beautiful journey of CAT preparation. I hope this helps every CAT aspirant who could not get through in the first attempt.
I took the CAT exam four times. Yes, four times.

So here goes my story.

Profile:

10th: 89.3%
12th: 89.2%
B.E. 6.42
Work-ex: 18 months

2016: The CAT journey starts

I was doing my chemical engineering from BIT Mesra. By the time I went into my sophomore year, I was sure I was not interested in Engineering and wanted to do an MBA. So I joined Career Launcher. I diligently attended the coaching for two years and a half but did not practice much. However, I rigorously took the CL mock tests. In my final year, I was busy with placements and stuff, and I was sure that this attempt would not get me my dream college. My aim was sweet and simple: ABCL/XL/FMS. That’s it. So I went for CAT 2016 with a cool mind. I took my exam and was wishing for a 90+ percentile. On the result day, I got the following surprise.

Debayan cat journey

I was on cloud nine. I felt wow. But I knew this was not enough for my ABCL/XL/FMS dream. However, I knew I was very close to my dream college. So I decided to give one more year for the CAT preparation.

Read: How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?

2017: The pursuit continues

I was not very disappointed. It was all going well. I joined Mu Sigma in Bangalore. I took up the test series of IMS, CL, and TIME. As one would expect, I could not complete all but took a good number of tests. I was confident because I had solved a lot many questions, especially in DILR. So I was ready for the show. Well, on the D-day, I Woke at 5 AM and left for my CAT centre that was around 45 km away. I took the test and got blown away by the DILR section. I knew CAT 2017 attempt was also gone. The percentile unsurprisingly plunged below the last year’s.

So that was it. I could not clear the LRDI cutoff for IIMs. So, I had no interview calls that year.

Read: From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

2018: Do or die

I decided on the last attempt, one last shot at my dream. But I realized I may not be able to clear it with the hectic job. So, I took up a risk. I left the job and took up another job at a coaching centre back at Ranchi. For a backup, I also started preparing for CFA L1. So I was now working from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM, and then back at my PG, I was studying by giving equal time to CAT preparation and CFA.

It was that part of life where I was back in Ranchi when all my college friends were working across all cities of India. But fortunately, I made a wonderful group of friends in my new job and had some of the best moments. Anyway, I had my CAT on 25th November 2018 and CFA on the following Saturday. Whoooo! Big challenge! Yes, but I had to take it for my dream. Honestly, that was one hell of a week. I took CAT, flew to Kolkata, took CFA, and then I was waiting anxiously for the result. And when it came, it was a mixed bag.

That was it. I cleared the sectional cut-offs. But I knew that ABCL/XL/FMS was not happening. One week later, I cleared CFA L1 as well. I decided then.

“Enough of this great war,” I said to myself. I have given my prime years to this exam and chasing those golden campuses. And I think I had a great journey though I landed a little short of my target. 

I made up my mind to give my best at the interview calls I get. I got calls from New IIMs, MDI, IIT KGP, DFS, and DBE. Luckily, I converted all of those except MDI(PGP). Finally, I decided to join the college at the place where it all started – Ranchi. Also, IIM Ranchi is considered the best among the new IIMs.

My life as I see it now:

That was my story. A story of failure, of broken dreams, of almost being there but still, or maybe a story of moving on, maybe of perseverance or maybe of “Jo hota hai ache ke liye hota hai.”

Well, I still have regrets. Maybe, I could have practised more. I could have attended coaching for weaker sections. I could have given another attempt. Well, all I can say now is that this exam is a bit unpredictable. Undisputedly, hard work counts. But things may go wrong on the D-day. So work hard and give more attempts, but always have a back-up. And know when to stop and move on, because your greatest success may not be CAT, but maybe something better waiting for you after CAT.

So thanks to my learning from CFA. I aced the first two terms by being in the top-5 academically. I got a dream finance role in summers, which my BIT mates from old IIMs also could not bag.

Now, I am good to go. I am jovial at my happy place Ranchi, studying for my CFA L2 and MBA curriculum, and life looks better now.

Do I regret those years of the fight?

No.

Those years have given me a lot of life lessons and have made me much more capable of navigating through this MBA journey. So keep fighting. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Oh, Wait! I told I had four CAT attempts. But I have mentioned only three till now. How? HAHA. I gave my 4th attempt during my first year in IIM Ranchi. Just out of curiosity. No practice. No mock tests. I just woke up and gave it. Do you want to know the result? 😛

Debayan cat journey

Interesting enough?
Yeah, that’s how CAT is. This was my CAT journey.

Message to the CAT aspirants:

To all the future aspirants, I hope you get your dream college. I want you to fight for it till you want.
But if you still fail, remember “Picture abhi baki hai mere dost.”

Debayan CAT journey


Thank you so much, Debayan, for sharing such an inspiring CAT journey with us. I thank you on behalf of all the CAT aspirants who look for such real-life inspirational stories.


Read: From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate


I hope Debayan’s journey has given you some important lessons about the CAT exam, and more importantly, about life. If you need any guidance, you may connect with him on LinkedIn or Facebook.


Related Articles:

  1. From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent

  2. From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate
  3. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  4. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  5. From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

  6. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  7. Learn To Fight Alone!
cat journey

From completing B.tech in 6 years to making it to an IIM at 27, Rohit’s CAT journey of courage and intent

By Get Inspired, Guest Posts 2 Comments

Even before starting our CAT journey, many of us get worried if we don’t have a perfect profile – an above-average academic score, no gap in education, a decent work experience, and some outstanding achievement in some extra-curricular activity.

And then, I found a guy who did not have an above-average academics, completed his 4-year B.tech in 6 years, came through distasteful remarks because of his background, and struggled for a job.  He eventually got a good job but that didn’t satisfy him for long. The hunger within him galvanized him to try for a second attempt at CAT even when he scored an abysmally low score of 30 percentile in his first attempt. I feel his story is less about the academic background and more about courage and determination. His story is more about the mental strength that we all possess, but fail to realize.

When I heard about Rohit’s story for the first time, all I felt was goosebumps. I was very much inspired by his determination and never-say-die attitude. I am in awe of him because not many of us dare to reveal our vulnerability. He is mentally tough yet one happy-go-lucky guy who cherishes his life every day. His positivity, helping nature, and an ever-smiling face are some reasons why everyone on campus loves him.

Of late, many CAT aspirants have asked me questions about their profile, and I feel they are way too worried because they feel it is not a perfect one. So even before starting their preparation, they give up mentally. So, I requested Rohit to share his story on “The CAT Talk.” And as usual, he promptly came forward to help without thinking twice about anything. I feel this story could inspire many because it is less about the talent and more about the intent. And that is what is more important in the CAT journey.

So, let’s listen to Rohit’s story in his own words.


My journey:

Let me start with a little introduction about myself. I did my schooling from Sainik School, Kazhakootam, Kerala, which is a boarding school. I did my graduation from NIT Calicut in Electrical and Electronics Engineering.

Sainik School is known to make its students future-ready to join the armed forces. So by default, my aim initially was to join the forces. But God had other plans. I did not clear the NDA exam, and after my 12th, I didn’t have a backup plan.

My parents once told me, “Son, we don’t have a doctor in our family.” After listening to these words, my next aim was to crack the MBBS exam. I failed miserably in that exam also. Finally, I managed to secure a seat in NIT Calicut through AIEEE. I thought it would be a cakewalk from there on, but it took me six years to complete a four-year degree.

Some of the new people whom I meet usually ask why six years. I would say the main reason is my background. Back in school days, I was an average student scoring in the 70s, and my school focussed on the overall development of the students. So if you were the topper or the best cricket player, you would get the same respect. Only after coming to college, I realized how heavily our system is inclined towards academics.

At NIT Calicut, the constant distasteful comments from people around would pull me down. They might have passed those comments jokingly, but somewhere it did hit me. By the time I realized these things shouldn’t hinder me, it was too late. I already had many backlogs. And to be honest, when you take six years to complete your B. tech, it does take a toll on your confidence and mental strength.

Read: From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey

In 2013, when I was in my fourth year, I wrote CAT for the first time and scored 30 percentile. I felt ashamed of myself and decided never to write CAT again. Then I tried SSC CGL exam prep for a while. That also didn’t go as per the plans.

Finally, in 2015 December, I was sitting in my college canteen and speaking to this man ‘Vijayettan’ as he is fondly called by the alums of my college. He had been running our college canteen for more than 50 years. He was a great listener and always had time for students like me. We used to discuss everything from cinema to life.

That day, seeing me worried, he asked me what the problem was. I told him that all my friends were either working or doing their higher studies, and I was still sitting there in college, not knowing what future holds for me. He immediately took out his phone, called a person, and said, “Da this guy has studied Electrical Engineering. See if you can recruit him to your company.”

Initially, I thought he just joked, but within a few hours, I received a call from Suvire Electric Pvt. Ltd. asking me to come for an interview in Chennai. The alumni network indeed works wonders. Vijayettan had a friend from the 1979 batch pass out Mr. K Vijayaraj (MD of Suvire Electric Pvt Ltd). That’s when I understood the power of relationships.

After working for almost 1.5 years, I got a government job in 2017 in Naval Dockyard, Mumbai, through a written exam. I thought my life was set. I had a safe job, my engagement with the girl I love was about to happen, and everything was going right. But somewhere deep down, I was not happy with what I was doing. I didn’t know what to do. I had no motivation to work. To be frank, working in a Naval environment as Junior Engineer with superiors being either your juniors or batch mates from Sainik School did hurt my ego.

After contemplating for a few days, I decided to try for CAT for the one last time. So, while working in Mumbai, I started preparing for CAT. Life in Mumbai is truly hectic. I used to start at around 6.30 in the morning and would be back by around 8.30 PM. Then for around two hours, I used to solve questions.

In my preparation, I mainly focussed on solving previous year question papers and mock papers. I used 2IIM, a mobile app, as well as the website for my preparation. Mr. Rajesh, who is the founder, was really helpful. 2IIM would send me personal emails to keep me motivated. Whenever I used to travel in Mumbai local, I would brush up my Verbal with the help of the app.

On weekends, I used to take two mock tests. In my opinion, mocks analysis is more important than the mock tests. I secured 86 percentile in CAT 2018 and got calls from IIM Lucknow (PGPSM), IIM Shillong, and all new IIMs. I converted all IIMs except IIM Shillong. Finally, I secured admission in IIM Trichy and currently, I am about to start my second year of MBA.

People often ask me if I did not have any apprehensions in my mind before starting the CAT preparation. To be very honest, this journey was not that easy for me. I had many apprehensions before starting this journey because of my profile. But then, my life partner, whom I had met in 2009 and got married in 2017, inspired me by her pep-talks. She has been a constant companion throughout my journey. Not only did she inspire me, but she also worked hard and converted IIM Kozhikode in 2018. She has just completed her MBA now. And I earnestly owe a great deal of my success to her.

cat journey

Advice to the CAT aspirants:

You must be very clear about why you are going to pursue an MBA, then everything will fall into place. What kept me going throughout my CAT journey was persistence and not settling for small wins. There will be times when you feel hopeless and lost, but turning negative things to positive is the key.


Thank you so much, Rohit, for sharing such an inspirational CAT journey with us. I thank you on behalf of all the CAT aspirants who look for such real-life inspirational stories.


Read: From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional


I hope Rohit’s Journey has fuelled your determination to crack the CAT exam. If you need any guidance, you may connect with him on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook.


Related Articles:

  1. From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional
  2. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  3. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  4. From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate
  5. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  6. Learn To Fight Alone!
cat journey

From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

By CAT Preparation, Get Inspired No Comments

Before I start sharing my CAT journey, let me tell you what you will know after reading this article.

We know that the journey from campus to corporate is never easy.
But what about the transition from corporate to campus. Is it easy? Or things go haywire in the process?
What motivates working professionals to run the CAT marathon despite their hectic schedules?

Okay, now let me take you through my journey to answer these questions.

How did your journey start?

It started with self-actualization. The realization that I was doing something I was not passionate about and that I could do more than what I had been doing. The feeling that I was not in the right place and that the best was yet to come. With these thoughts doing rounds in my mind, I made up my mind to take CAT. It was January 2017 when the idea of taking CAT became dominant in my heart and mind, courtesy of my job that was sapping me mentally every single day. New day, a new struggle, led to a fierce resolve.

And then, I began to read more about the CAT exam, came across various beautiful answers on Quora regarding how to prepare for CAT, which coaching institutes to join, and how to manage time for preparation alongside CAT. I was not in favour of joining any coaching institute after learning about the CAT syllabus, but even then, I visited a few institutes in Gurgaon like TIME and IMS. However, their whopping fee and my previous ordeal with coaching institute convinced me to go ahead on my own. And from there, the battle on the field began.

What was your schedule during the CAT preparation?

In the outset, around mid-January, I started taking baby steps. My work hours were from 9 AM to 5:30 PM, so in those days, morning hours were not very productive from the preparation point of view, so I used to study after office for about 2 hours every day. I didn’t force myself to spend more time because I wanted to set the tone for preparation. I would pick a quant topic and cover it in a few days, and also a little LRDI. No specific preparation started for VARC then, because I didn’t feel the need to do so. So, the point is, I did what I wanted to do at my own pace. This made my preparation intriguing. I started liking CAT preparation.

Perhaps, God was also on my side. It was around mid-march when my office timing changed and my office time became from 1 PM to 10:30 PM. It was indeed a stroke of luck because this timing gave me ample time in the morning to study. My preparation went to a whole new level. My day started at 6 AM and before leaving for office at 12:45 PM, I made sure I studied for around 4–5 hours.

Not only at home, but I was also swamped in my preparation in the office as well, thinking about one question or the other, and reading news online. I remember I used to have one pen and paper in my pocket always in the office. Whenever I found no one around, I would go to the office library and solve a few questions from social media platforms like iQuanta and 2IIM. In a nutshell, in weekdays, I used to study for around 6 hours every day. And this routine worked pretty well for me, for days and months.

 I brushed up most of the concepts in six months. By the end of May, I was confident and fully braced to take the mocks.

But was I really ready?

“Life is very unpredictable. In no time, it can turn upside down.”

How did you fare in mock tests and what kept you going?

On weekends, I used to take a mock and analyze it. I took the first mock and scored barely 80 percentile. It was a jolt for me. Before I could get over it, I suffered another blow. In my second mock, I scored only 40 marks with an awful one mark in English and three marks in DILR. I felt completely devastated. I saw no ray of hope even after taking eight mocks. To be honest, I was losing confidence and getting restless. I did not know where I was going wrong. I felt like giving up.

Read: I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?

But as soon as I thought about continuing my job, I gave up on the idea of giving up. My job was sapping me emotionally. My growth was stagnant, and my work was not giving me a strong feeling of satisfaction and fulfilment. Every single day at work was a struggle to cope with petty office politics and find something interesting and challenging. Probably this is what happens with most of the working professionals. We gain motivation through frustration. Our struggle at the workplace galvanizes us to work hard and get what we deserve. For most of us, CAT seems tough; but the job, tougher.

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

My tenacity kept me going. I managed to study 5-6 hours a day besides spending nine hours in the office. On weekends, I used to take a mock and analyze it. Weekends were relatively less productive than weekdays because there was no fixed schedule. And I used to chill most of the time on weekends. So, roughly, this was my schedule throughout my CAT preparation.

The pain of grappling with CAT questions was not even a cent of the dissatisfaction I was facing in my professional life. Yes, amidst looming hopelessness all around, I did not let my inner hope douse. In the last two months, I did not care about marks and percentile. I did not care about what others would think of me. All I cared about and focused on was learning from my mistakes in the previous mocks.

And when the D-day came, the fortune changed. I was calm and gave my best.

How was the overall experience?

Fulfiling!

That evening, when I looked back into my journey, I felt content. I lived up to the promises that I made to myself. I promised myself that I would embrace whatever comes my way and that I won’t give up midway. And to that day, I was successful. I saw a complete turnaround in me as a person. What this pursuit made of me was truly satisfying. I felt it was all so damn worth it.

6 AM to 11 PM! Work and study! For days and months!

I truly savoured that yearlong odyssey, a transformational journey of patience and persistence. Witnessed failure. Cried. Witnessed excellence. Smiled. Witnessed unwavering patience. Realized strength. The strength to endure. The strength to wait.

From there on, I walked with impunity because I had done all I could have done. No regrets.

I scored 97.85 (95.xx, 94.xx, 97.xx) percentile in CAT 2017.

Eventually, I converted IIM Trichy and then cherished every single moment of my life at IIM Trichy.

cat journey

What was the most challenging part of this journey?

The most challenging part was dealing with failure despite putting in my best effort. There were times when I was outrightly depressed with low mock scores. In this journey, there were a few days in between when I won’t study anything. There were days when fear about failure crept in. There were times when all I did was overthinking. This was challenging. Channelising this negative energy into positive was challenging. I had to motivate myself every now and then.

Fortunately, I could succeed in hanging in through the rough patches by various means like motivational videossuccess stories, failure stories, taking pauses and going for the weekend trips.

What is your message to the CAT aspirants?

With CAT just a few months away, many of you would be struggling to score well in mocks despite giving your best. But trust me, it’s completely okay. Everyone goes through this phase. That’s the beauty of this exam. It gets you through the highs, the lows, and the blows. Eventually, it’s just a matter of hanging in there which most of us fail to do. So, don’t give up midway. Savour this journey, for this, is a transformational one.

May the Force Be With You.


Read: From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey


Related Articles:

  1. From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent

  2. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  3. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  4. From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate
  5. Life Won’t Change Unless You Change!

  6. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  7. Learn To Fight Alone!
  8. From 70% In CAT 2018 To 98+% In CAT 2019 – A leap of Faith Ft. Biswarup Ghosh

  9. IIM After 3 Attempts – The CAT Journey Of An Average Aspirant Ft. Debayan

cat success story vedant

From 2017 to 2019 – The CAT success story of a tier-3 college Engineering graduate ft. Vedant Vyas

By Get Inspired, Guest Posts No Comments

One day, I came across Vedant’s CAT success story on Quora. As I read about his unflinching determination to crack the CAT exam, I got goosebumps. I felt it could inspire the CAT aspirants. So, I immediately reached out to him and requested to share his story on “The CAT Talk” so that many aspirants can get inspiration from his unwavering patience. And he has been very kind. He promptly agreed to share his journey on this platform.

I strongly recommend you to read his journey. It might inspire you and fuel your determination.

Vedant is an Engineering graduate from a tier-3 college who started his CAT journey in 2017. Let’s read his story of unflinching determination in his own words.


Prelude:

What is the meaning of a story? A story is something that makes you emotional, leaves an imprint on your brain, or just inspires you. So, here I am, sharing my CAT story with you, with a hope that it will fuel your determination to crack the CAT. The ones reading it are open to taking any interpretation from it, but for me, it’s the story of a journey of growth. Before we begin, just a small prelude.

I have done my BE in Mechanical engineering from a tier-3 college, i.e., neither IIT nor NIT. Yes, I am not a prodigy. I have learned everything on the way. I had been going through a rough patch before I started thinking of CAT. You can say that I was pretty depressed, but it is all the past now. So, let’s begin.

2017: The Journey Began

I had decided to appear for CAT after considering many things. I joined a coaching and started my preparations. At that time, I was looking at NITIE Mumbai as my dream college since I was very much interested in Operations and Supply Chain management. Meanwhile, I also got into a relationship. I worked along with my Engineering, but somewhere, that zeal, that passion was missing. No, my relationship had nothing to do with it. I gave my best shot.

Result 1- 93.26 percentile in CAT 2017

This score was not good enough for NITIE or any other college that is of a good repute. The next exam was Mah-MBA CET for getting admission into JBIMS. I decided that since I couldn’t get what I wanted, I might as well work towards the next preference. I studied again, this time in a more structured manner, and took the exam.

Result 2- 99.55 percentile in MAH-CET 2017

This score was also not good enough for getting into JBIMS. I had failed again. The next morning, I went out to my usual cycling exercise, but instead of enjoying it, I cried like a child.

Why was I aggrieved?

Well, I did not only fail to get a good score but also didn’t have a mature thought process. I was lacking confidence, belief, and hope. Being a Mechanical Engineer, I did not want to get into an IT firm. So, I did not like my job. I was not even close to the person I wanted to be. Everything that I didn’t want to happen had already happened. But I consoled myself, talked to my girlfriend, decided to join the company, and started preparing for another attempt alongside the job.

The second shot: 2018

I joined the company at Mumbai despite my fear of IT as well as my apprehension about how I would manage it. But I was determined to get out of this, no matter what. My girlfriend was along with me and extended her full support. All my plans with my friends had been cancelled. Till August end, I went out and enjoyed some weekends. But post that, it was all on hold. My girlfriend refused to go anywhere without me and was fully supportive of my need to study.

I used to get up early, study for an hour or so, and get ready for the office. There I would have breakfast in 15 minutes, and then, I would head to a place on the same floor as my workspace where my team lead or manager won’t see me. There I used to solve RCs and DILR sets for around half an hour till the time my team lead reached the office. Again, in the evening, I would study for around half an hour when my TL went for snacks. Following this, I used to shamelessly get up at 6 PM to leave like a government employee. Then head home, take a mock test, take dinner, analyze the mock, and sleep. This was my routine for 3-4 months.

There were times when I had to work late because it required so. There was no Diwali, no Navratri, or any other celebrations. While everyone else went home for the holidays, I toiled in that extra time alone at my rented house. That included mocks amidst the sounds of nearby Garba nights as well as fireworks. But I kept going. Then came the D-day. I went with all my might but was not entirely happy.

Result 3- 95.51 percentile in CAT 2018

Not good enough. Another flunk, but this time, it was different. My determination was too strong to let me break down. I still had another CET attempt. Somehow, I managed to get a long leave from my organization to prepare for my exam. I took mocks, analyzed every day, worked on my weaknesses, and solved my doubts. Whenever I felt tired, I listened to motivational talks and just kept going with the dream of getting success. And then, D-day came again.

Result 4- 99.94 percentile in MAH-CET 2018

I was overjoyed and overwhelmed. I cried, went straight forward to my girlfriend, and hugged her. We cried. She said, “We have to go to a temple. We need to meet him (Ganesh, one of her many friends).” After we met him, I called my parents and my sister. They were also overwhelmed. It was one of the best evenings.

Are you feeling happy?

Wait, the story is not over yet!

The application process started. Meanwhile, a piece of news came that reservations had increased in Maharashtra. I still hoped to get in. Many other things happened in between, which I won’t mention as it will just elongate the story. The final list came. The last admit for the general category was offered on 145 marks. My score was 144. Yes, I had missed it by one mark. I am not against reservations or anything, but fate had played spoilsport. Nonetheless, I was too determined to get knocked down.

I decided to leave my job and give one final shot at CAT.

2019: My final shot at CAT

I had left my job. As they say, as you go up, the troubles grow up. Apart from being unemployed, my sister’s wedding had been scheduled a few weeks before my CET result. The date was five days before CAT 2019. I was up for it. I decided to study till the last moment of the wedding. There was another issue. My mother had got a transfer, and she wasn’t with me till September 2019. So, I was partially looking after my 96-year-old grandmother, along with the appointed nurse. Although, she did not have any comorbidities, yet, at this age, every sense of her had reduced its efficiency. So, there was more or less a frequent recess to my studies.

I started my preparation. I used every inch of my brain to understand where I was lacking, and it was positively affecting my performance. Every morning, I would go for a cycle ride to stay motivated and keep my body active. I practised questions from the mocks consistently. I had no one to consult for my RC section, which had gone bad in the last attempt. So, I analyzed it myself, identified my mistakes, and kept going.

The guests started to arrive seven days before the wedding. So, I started going to the coaching centre, studied there, and gave my mocks also there itself. Two days before the wedding, I stopped and decided to enjoy the wedding as much as I could. After the wedding, in the remaining days, I took a few more mocks. But due to the fatigue, I got a very low score consecutively. That scared me.

Somehow, I kept my calm during the D-day and again gave everything that I could. I wasn’t very happy with my attempt. I felt I would score 97 percentile at most, but not more than that.

Result 5- 99.26 percentile in CAT 2019

That was it!

I had achieved a great score, but I thought I shouldn’t take any risk, and so, I started preparing for XAT. I thought, whatever I couldn’t do in CAT, I would do it in XAT.

But fate!

It again intervened. I got hospitalized because of Typhoid, and that devoured around ten days of my preparation. Once I recuperated, I took the XAT exam in a pretty relaxed way. I told myself that if it goes well, it is great otherwise, I would embrace my fate. After all, certain things are beyond our control.

Result 6- 99.933 percentile in XAT

It felt like hitting the last six of the World Cup that MS Dhoni hit. I had done it! The joy of clearing the first stage was surreal. It was a feeling beyond words.

The story ends here!

You might be wondering if it is really over?

What about the interviews and what am I doing now?

So, yes, I had interview calls from multiple IIMs and other top b-schools.

I eventually converted NITIE and XLRI. I will be joining the upcoming MBA batch at XLRI Jamshedpur.

cat success story vedant


Thank you so much, Vedant, for sharing such an inspirational story with us. I thank you on behalf of all the CAT aspirants who look for such real-life inspirational stories.


Read: Learn To Fight Alone!


I hope Vedant’s Journey has fuelled your determination to crack the CAT exam. If you need any guidance, you may connect with him on LinkedIn or Facebook.


Related Articles:

  1. From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent

  2. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  3. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  4. From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

  5. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  6. Learn To Fight Alone!
Campus Placement

From rejection to selection – my campus placement journey

By Get Inspired, Interview Experience No Comments

The backdrop of the campus placement:

The common perception is that life becomes easy once you get into the IIM. People feel that the campus placement in an IIM is a cakewalk. But in reality, it is not. No matter which IIM you study in, the campus placement process can leave you down in the dumps. It was when I went through a mental turmoil for months that I realized that the campus placement can also push you to the breaking point. It literally exhausted me physically, mentally, and emotionally.

To help you understand my view, in this article, I am sharing my campus placement journey that lasted for two months and a half.

My campus placement journey: The failure spree

The campus placement season started in November. In the following table, I have mentioned the companies that I participated in and the outcome of those. 

campus placement
It had been quite some time since the placement session began, and I couldn’t get placed, though I got around 13 shortlists as I have mentioned above. This set in negativity all around. I felt depressed and down in the dumps. By that time, many people had got placed. It was a very bad feeling. There were a few days when I didn’t feel like getting up from my bed. I was tired of wearing that formal dress every day only to get rejected eventually. It was frustrating because I was not able to understand where I was going wrong.

I had prepared my resume well and brushed up the important concepts of my domain. I was very confident in all my interviews and my profile was also reasonably good. At the same time, many students who had barely managed to survive the MBA rigour got placed. The worst thing was that people started feeling pity for me. It felt very bad. I started doubting my abilities. It was a very tough time for me – mentally and emotionally. But I didn’t lose all the hope.

Read: From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

 A ray of hope: Accenture

Accenture visited our campus the very next day, I was down but not out. I managed to pick myself up. I dressed up and walked that street from hostel to the placement office again.

In the process of Accenture, there were five interview rounds, i.e. three technical and two HR.

I had worked with Accenture before. So, I used my experience and answered their questions convincingly. This helped me and I could survive all the five interviews that lasted for more than an hour.

Verdict: Selected

I felt relieved but I was not very happy because I did not want to go back to the place that I left. But that’s how life is. I embraced it.

But that was not the end of the story!

After some time, ONGC visited our campus. It was a dream company and everyone applied for it. I applied and I was shortlisted for the interview. The interview lasted for around 30–35 minutes, and I got selected in it. My ONGC interview experience has been one of the best experience I have ever had. It was one of those light conversations where I could speak my heart out.

Learnings:

From this whole campus placement experience, I have learned –

  1. In the campus placement, besides your capabilities, luck matters significantly.
  2. If you get rejected in campus placement, it is not always that you lack in skill. It can be because of the fit as well. Maybe, you are not a fit for the role or the company culture. So, don’t doubt your abilities because of rejections.
  3. Campus placement can be physically, mentally, and emotionally tiring. Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to convert their first shortlist. So, we should always be ready for it.
  4. Campus placement is more about confidence and body language than it is about domain knowledge.
    It is very important to stay away from negative people during this entire process. They can do more harm to you than the rejections. Whenever you feel depressed, do self-talk, walk alone and introspect, listen to motivational videos, and back the abilities that brought you to this point. It is just a matter of hanging in there. Don’t quit. Believe in the process. There is always a better tomorrow waiting for us. 🙂
  5. Finally, our failures should not dishearten us and break us. Failures make us strong and resilient. We might fail at something, but that teaches us some lessons for a lifetime. Period.

campus placementDon’t be afraid of failures. No great success is ever achieved without sheer trials and tribulations. Just keep moving ahead, obstacles will be left behind.

After all, More than what you achieve, how you achieve it, matters!


Read: My Learnings From MBA Interview Rejections


Related Articles:

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  2. How Was Your ONGC Interview Experience?

  3. From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent

  4. From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional
  5. How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?
  6. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  7. From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate
  8. Learn To Fight Alone!
I am stuck in the CAT preparation. What should I do?

I am stuck in the CAT preparation. What should I do?

By Get Inspired No Comments

If I only tell you my point of view on this aspect of the CAT preparation, you might find my answer superficial. So, I will share with you one personal experience.

How I started this blog:

I love to write, and writing is something that is a solace to my soul. I have been writing for quite some time on my free blog, which is very easy.

When I started writing on Quora around two months back, I saw many aspirants approaching me to guide them in their CAT preparation. Some of the queries are asked frequently.

And I felt the need to have all the answers consolidated at one platform. So, the idea of creating a fully-fledged website only to answer the queries of CAT aspirants struck my mind. I also felt that if I make one professional website, it will offer me a great learning curve as well. Consequently, I started learning about website creation.

I googled a lot about different ways of creating a website, chose one, and moved on. This way, I got one website. Then, I needed to organize the website. And being a beginner, this has been an uphill task for me. Fortunately, I have a friend who is a little more experienced in this field. So, I reached out to him, and he gave me some direction to go ahead.

Challenges I faced:

From there on, I have been working on my website on my own. And trust me, it is not that easy. To get one functionality up and running on my website, I have to do a lot of google searches and watch several videos on YouTube. It gets frustrating at times. I have been working on this project for the last two weeks. For the last ten days, I have been working for more than 8 hours every day on that website.

When I started, I was clueless as to how to start and what to do first. In the initial few days, the look of the website was just horrible. But then I just kept working on it, looking at several videos and improving it a little every day. Some things worked, and some didn’t. Some videos were useful, and some were not. I just kept implementing the learnings from the good videos. The improvement was incremental but satisfactory. So, I got my hands dirty, and now, I have a fair idea of the website creation.

Read: How Do I Get Motivation For CAT Exam?

In these ten days, my understanding and intuition in this field have improved. And a little direction from my friend helped me a lot in moving ahead. I finally made my website live yesterday. Even now, I keep finding some shortcomings in that. Once I discover any shortcomings, I learn ways to rectify it using google and Youtube.

Outcome:

It is not that I know website designing well now, but I have got some direction and have developed a taste for it. Once I used to be afraid of this website creation, and now I am obsessed with it, so much so that I keep thinking about one aspect of it or the other all the time. Yes, it has been a very satisfactory experience. It has been a painstaking yet beautiful journey so far. If you doubt my words, you can see the result of this effort which is this blog that you are reading currently.

But, What is that I am trying to explain with this experience?

I am trying to explain that-

When you start something new, when you see that something is your weak link or something that is not your forte, you need to invest a lot of time in that. Initially, you won’t see the light. You won’t see any improvement in just a few days or a few months, but a consistent effort over a period will fetch you some beautiful results.

Read: From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

In any new project that you work on, the initial few days or few months are required only to find the right way and the right direction. Initially, you will do something and discover that it is not working for you, then you will try a different method which you might find efficient, and then you start following it consistently to get the desired results.

I am stuck in the CAT preparation. What should I do?

In this whole story, the word ‘patience’ is of the essence.

You need to forgive yourself for your faults and mistakes and keep on learning with patience. You need to give yourself sufficient time to do mistakes and learn from them. Those who want instant results, I feel, they do injustice to themselves.

Many people say that they are weak in maths because they studied maths only till class 10, and the next statement they make is that they have started preparation now and are aiming at CAT 2020 with only six months left for it. I feel this is wrong. You are doing a gross injustice to yourself by putting undue pressure on yourself and by over-burdening yourself.

Read: My Maths Is Weak, How Should I Prepare Quant For CAT Exam?

This is one of the reasons why people feel that CAT preparation is tough, while in reality, it is not tough. It just needs a consistent effort with patience, persistence, and perseverance. If you are weak in the subject, you need to be patient and give time to it. By continuous practice, you can covert your weakness into a strength.

What should you do now?

So, if you are finding the CAT topics and questions difficult, look for the concepts and solutions, and understand them. If you are not able to understand the solution also, it means that you lack in basics. In that case, pick up any basic book and start the topic from scratch. It will take time, but gradually, you will be able to see the light. This is how learning happens.

Every single word that I am saying is from my experience only. I hope I have been able to explain to you my point.


Read: How Do I Develop The Reading Habit?


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How should I get motivation for CAT exam

How do I get motivation for CAT exam?

By Get Inspired, The Beginner's guide 2 Comments

Are you struggling to find motivation for the CAT exam?

Read this post along. It might help you. But this is one of my long posts. However, I felt it was important to set the backdrop so that readers clearly understand the message and its significance. This message has helped me. I hope it will help you as well. Please read it only if when you are free and have time for reading.

Backdrop:

It was in March 2010 when Dhairya was discussing with his friends about their future. They were all telling what would they do after their exams of term-4 of the engineering get over. Some were about to join TIME to prepare for the CAT exam, while others were planning to join Made Easy or Engineering Circle to prepare for the GATE exam.

Listening to their plans, Dhairya got worried as he still didn’t know what he wanted to do in his life. For days, he kept thinking about his future but couldn’t reach any conclusion. A few months passed by. His friends had started their preparation. Most of his classmates would study for the competitive exams during class time. They would also bunk classes every now and then to take out time to study.

This made Dhairya feel jealous of others. He also felt a waft of an inferiority complex when he saw others working hard and himself doing no preparation at all. He felt restless and started thinking about his future all the time. Finally, he concluded that:

  • Those who aspire to do business take the CAT exam, but I am not at all a business person. So, the MBA is not for me.
  • I have been studying engineering, and I think I can prepare for GATE because the subjects of GATE and engineering are similar.

The GATE Journey:

This way, he decided to go for GATE coaching. Exactly after one year from the time when this discussion of the future began, in March 2011, he joined Made Easy coaching in Bhopal. In those days, Made Easy was the best coaching for GATE and IES. It was also the most expensive coaching.

He also requested his father to buy him a bike as coaching was at a distance of 10 km from his place and bike would save a lot of time, to which his father agreed, though unwillingly.

In the first few months, he was very enthusiastic about his preparation. He would attend a 3-hour class daily, and after that, he would do self-study for 4-6 hours besides attending his college. On weekends, he used to attend classes from morning to evening. He had been toiling very hard.

After a few months, in July 2011, placement season began. He could not clear the written test of Infosys because he was busy in his GATE preparation. But that failure hit him hard. His friends cleared the written test and moved to the interview round while he failed to clear the aptitude test. His family also got angry with him because he was not taking the placement seriously.

He eventually caved- in to this jolt and family pressure and started preparing for the campus placement. Eventually, he cleared the interviews of four MNCs. He succeeded in the placement but failed in the GATE preparation.

After he got placed, he felt nonchalant and couldn’t focus on the GATE preparation. He lacked in his studies, the GATE subjects didn’t fascinate him anymore, he didn’t have any strong reason to continue the painstaking preparation – attending classes for 8 hours in a go and doing self-study after the class.

He fared poorly in a few mock tests and got disappointed, and so, he finally gave up after August. Yes, he simply quit. In GATE 2012, he failed miserably.

Can you guess why?

  • Dhairya failed because he did not have a strong reason to prepare for the GATE exam. He had no idea about his “WHY.”
  • He suffered because he just followed the crowd.

Read: Learn To Fight Alone!

We often decide to pursue a competitive exam or any course just because others are doing it. I feel this herd mentality is the biggest reason behind the failure of many of us. In India, most of us do engineering not because we want to do it, but because everyone else is doing it.

The MNC Sojourn:

After he failed in the GATE exam, he felt a little sad, but the exuberance of farewell party and the signature day subdued that sadness. His completed his Engineering, and in a month, in May 2012, he had to join an MNC.

When he received his first salary, he felt ecstatic. He was on cloud nine. He had to be. After all, he had started earning a handsome salary of INR X per month. That salary was handsome because it was more than enough for a single man with no responsibilities as such. He cherished his initial few months of training at MNC.

But soon, he started feeling miserable there. He got a technology that was completely different from what he got trained in. Dhairya knew nothing about it. And in the project also, he did not receive any support. His manager would give him strict deadlines to solve the issues.

The project he was a part of required a thorough understanding of the business process to deal with the issues, but no one in the project had clear knowledge about the business process of the client. He talked about this issue with his manager but the manager asked him to manage it anyhow because that’s how the IT works.

He tried learning that technology but he could not cope with the pressure. His handsome salary no longer motivated him. He started feeling miserable there. He started feeling worthless. The callous management and petty office politics frustrated him formidably.

Read: From Corporate To Campus – The CAT Journey Of A Working Professional

And then, he decided to find a better opportunity for himself. After seeing the pathetic management, poor leadership, and petty politics in the office, besides a lack of business understanding, he made his mind to get into the field of business management.

The CAT Journey:

He decided to take the CAT exam and started learning about it in January 2013. This time, he had reasons to pursue CAT. He wanted to pursue CAT for the following reasons.

  1. Move out of that hell of a project and company.
  2. Save himself from petty office politics.
  3. Learn about business management and various business processes.
  4. Become an able manager and a good leader.

He started taking baby steps in January. The exam was scheduled in the last week of November. Just like in his GATE preparation, he experienced hiccups in his CAT preparation, his schedule was hectic and juggling the job and the preparation was getting difficult, but this time, he knew why he wanted to take the CAT exam, he knew the importance of that exam, and he had clear reasons to struggle and prepare.

Read: How Should I Prepare For The CAT Exam?

He found some topics difficult and the preparation tough, he was let down at times, and felt like giving up. But the moment he thought of continuing his job, he gave up the idea of giving up. In his CAT preparation, he persisted and persevered. During this journey, he remained patient in the face of failures (low scores in mocks).

There were times when he felt he was lacking in the competition, but then, he also managed to find ways to motivate himself, through pep-talks, motivational videos, success stories, failure stories, and the struggle stories. He badly wanted to move out of that place, so he managed to find reasons to not give up. And his job helped him. He gained motivation through frustration. His struggle at the workplace fuelled his fire within. And finally, he succeeded.

He cracked CAT 2013, and got admission into an IIM!

So, what is the learning from this whole story?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The learning is – KNOW YOUR WHY!

Realize that the competitive exams are not just about intelligence and talent. They are also about patience, persistence, and perseverance. Many people run fast, but not many do so for a sustained period, and that’s why many people fail to unleash their true potential in competitive exams.

When your dream is big, there will be hurdles and setbacks. As the murphy law says, “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” Sometimes, when things go wrong, they go wrong all at once. Life is not a cakewalk, and that’s a fait accompli. There will be times when you will be battered bitterly.

In such moments of setbacks, we should have some reason not to give up. We should be so desperate for success that giving up no longer remains a choice. If we want something badly, sooner or later, we will get it. If not successful, we will get some lessons for a lifetime, but your hard work will never be a waste. Just be patient. Perspire and persevere.

And most importantly, believe in the process and live your struggles because you can feel the sheer ecstasy only when you come through umpteen failures, brutal heartaches, and sheer struggles, for what defines us is not where we are but how we have reached there.

When we are let down, we begin to treasure every little thing that makes us happy, which is overarching to live life to the fullest. Sufferings are, in a true sense, blessings in disguise. They make us humble and sensitive from within. It’s imperative to feel blue and still keep the chin up and keep going, looking for ways to be happy. After all, life is not about being haves, it’s about what it makes of you in the pursuit. The more you endure, the stronger a force you become.

But that strength to persevere patiently comes only if we have a clear why. You can persevere only if you desire something badly and have a strong reason not to give up.

So, always start with why. Find your motivation for CAT exam preparation, and be mad after your dreams and desires. 

All the best 🙂

Read: From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate


Related Articles:

  1. From Completing B.Tech In 6 Years To Making It To An IIM At 27, Rohit’s CAT Journey Of Courage And Intent

  2. I Am Stuck In The CAT Preparation. What Should I Do?
  3. From 2017 To 2019 – The CAT Success Story Of A Tier-3 College Engineering Graduate
  4. From Rejection To Selection – My Campus Placement Journey
  5. Learn To Fight Alone!
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