My journey of belling the CAT and knocking the doors of IIM Raipur

This story begins in 2013 when I was about to finish my Bachelors in Engineering from M.S.Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore which is one of the top 4 engineering colleges in Karnataka. I was in the final year and as it happens with most of the students in India, I did not have any idea as to why I was doing engineering. (We do engineering and then think about what we want to become in life) The below pic summarizes the idea.

what an Engineer thinks after completing Engineering

Post Engineering Dilemmas

My choice of higher studies

By the end of final year most of my friends had planned for higher studies particularly M.S in USA. I did not have any specific interest in coding and programming roles and hence M.S was not enticing for me. I had a slightly different plan. I wanted to do an MBA from an IIM. After finishing engineering I joined Cognizant with a plan to study post working hours. I joined T.I.M.E. coaching center for my  CAT preparation and it helped me a lot in getting my basics right and going to the classes every weekend gave me the sense of competition around me. It was not easy given that I had the luck of getting projects one after another without a break which for me was proving tough to balance work and studies.

work-vs-studyIn the first attempt at belling the CAT I scored 92 percentile. I got calls from IMT Ghaziabad, Great Lakes Chennai and other colleges to join for an MBA. But I knew that I could score better if I gave an attempt again and continued to work and manage studies at the same time. But this time I had the first hand experience of writing an exam like CAT and knowing where I needed to improve. I studied hard sacrificing my weekends and leisure time and scored 95 percentile. This score was in a range where I would be at the bottom of the best colleges and at the top of next best colleges. So if I tried for best colleges, there was hardly any chance for me to get into them but would be one of the top performers if I tried for next best colleges which I felt was a compromise.

My final attempt

But I was determined to crack the CAT exam. I thought to myself “This will be my final attempt at cracking CAT and I need to give my best and would accept whichever was the best college for my performance.” I worked harder than before and finally secured 97 percentile in the third attempt. I felt that this would be my chance of getting a shot at IIMs.

Along with CAT, I had taken XAT, NMAT and SNAP among which I had got calls from the 6 new IIMs (Rohtak,Ranchi,Raipur,Udaipur,Trichy and Kashipur) and XIMB from XAT.  I prepared well for the interviews and gave them . One of the most difficult period of this struggle would be the waiting time between the interview day and the results day because the time gap would be close to a month or two during which u will be tensed everyday regarding the results especially when the result day is close to a week.

IIMs

Admission

When the results came, to my disappointment I was wait listed in Rohtak,Raipur,Udaipur and Kashipur (I didn’t make it through to the other 2 new IIMs) and was selected for XIMB. I didn’t know whether I would be selected for the new IIMs or not and this led to me confirming my seat in XIMB and not willing to take any risk. But after a lot of waiting, I finally got the letter of admission in IIM Raipur and got admitted in an IIM as I had dreamt of. I was happy that my efforts of 3 years had borne fruits and had not gone waste.

Today I have the joy of completing the 1st year Post graduate program at IIM Raipur and doing my internship in Bangalore.

Hard work always pays results.

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