Thursday, January 27, 2011 9 comments

MBA Progress Report

All right, here I will write a brief personal post about my performance in season 2010: MBA entrance exams. Followed by a short review and whats next.

1) CAT: 96.54 Percentile
QA: 88.39
DI: 93.80
VA: 94.60
Calls: None, till now.
Expected Calls: IMT Ghaziabad, IMI Delhi.
Borderline Case: MDI Gurgaon, SPJIMR Mumbai.

2) XAT:
84.18 Percentile.
QA: 72.xx
AR: 87.xx
VA: 71.xx
Calls: None
Expected Calls: None

3) FMS:
Score: Not Yet Declared, expected in range of 440-460.
Percentile: Not yet declared, but possibly 98.5+
Got a GDPI call.

4) IIFT:
Score: 39.15 [Cut-off was 35.74 for General Category]
Got a GDPI call.

5) JMET:
All India Rank: 743.
Score: 83.75
Calls Till Now: None
Expected Calls: IIT Kharagpur, IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras.

6) NMAT:
Score: 224 out of 360.
Percentile: Yet to be Declared
Call Expected[but not confirmed].


So Basically I did well in two exams, ie FMS and IIFT, and got GDPI calls from both. I did average in CAT, JMET and NMAT, and will still get some calls from them. And needless to say, I did poorly in XAT, and will not get any calls from it. So overall, I should have around 7-8 calls, and hopefully I will convert at least a few. My IIFT GDPI will take place next place itself, as I get ready for it. The others will take place later, possibly in March. As I do not have a job, it is imperative for me to convert as many calls as I can this time itself. My prime target is FMS of course, that’s the best amongst the lot. And coming a close second is IIFT. And I am not really interested in doing an MBA from an IIT, but lets see what the future has in store for us.

Personally, I am quite disappointed with my CAT and XAT result. I expected 98+ percentile in CAT[which could have fetched me MDI and NITIE calls]. And I better not talk about XAT for now, I know people who didn’t prepare a bit and managed to get 98+ percentile in XAT. Heck, there are some guys who didn’t even apply to XLRI and still got more than 95 percentile. Have lost the respect I had for XLRI after seeing its erratic criteria of giving calls. [People with 93 percentile have got calls and guys with 99.9 percentile don’t]. Moreover the paper was exceptionally tough[having questions of IITJEE standard], and to make matters worse, it had differential marking. So if someone guessed and got a 5 mark question correct, its quite possible that his percentile will shoot upto 98[say]. In the eventuality that I will repeat next year, I will surely not be taking XAT come what may.

So, to end, the bottomline is that I have to concentrate on IIFT and FMS for now, and do my best to convert both of them.

All the best for GDPI[to all aspirants]. With this, I am signing off for now.

Thus ends the Written Stage of MBA Season 2010. Am I satisfied? Mostly yes. Now lets see how the GDPI Stage turns out to be.

P.S.- I will not be appearing for MH-CET.
Monday, January 17, 2011 9 comments

Career Counselling? WTH!

I believe that one of the biggest problems that the Indian youth face nowadays is regarding choice of career. Most do not take a decision for themselves, and let their parents/relatives decide. Which can turn out to be disastrous since nobody knows you better than yourself. I have heard many of my friends say the same thing over and over again-‘Yaar, I don’t know what I want to do in life. I am not sure which career to opt for, or what to do in future. I am not satisfied with my current situation/my job/my life/etc.’ Many of them opt for safe courses- Engineering, Medical, Management, etc which can guarantee them jobs. But what after that? If you get into a job which doesn’t suit your aptitude, then you will struggle throughout your life.

Anyways, I recently read ‘Serious Men’, written by a journalist, Manu Joseph, who is also the editor of the Open magazine. It’s a fantastic novel, dealing with current day Mumbai, Science, Astronomy, Love, Sarcasm, Reservation, Education, Poverty, etc. Highly recommended novel, and a well deserving winner of the Hindu 2010 Literary award. I am quoting an entire page from the same[Verbatim]:

This, Ayyan accepted, was life. It was, in a way, a fortunate life. It would go on and on like this. And one day, very soon in fact, Adi would be an adolescent. An adolescent son of a clerk. A miserable thing to be in this country. He would have to forget all his dreams and tell himself that what he wanted to do was engineering. It’s the only hope, everyone would tell him. Engineering, Adi would realize, is every mother’s advice to her son, a father’s irrevocable decision, a boy’s first foreboding of life. A certainty, like death, that was long decided in the cradle. Sooner or later, he would have to call it his ambition. And to attain it, he would compete with thousands and thousands of boys like him in the only human activity for which Indians had a special talent. Objective-type entrance exams. Very few tests in the world would be tougher than these. So, in the enchanting years of early youth, when the mind is wild, and the limbs are strong, he would not run free by the sea or try to squeeze the growing breasts of wary girls. Instead he would sit like an ascetic in a one-room home and master something called quantitative ability. ‘If three natural numbers are randomly selected from one to hundred then what is the probability that all three are divisible by both two and three?’

He would have to answer this probably in thirty seconds in order to stand any chance against boys who were barely seven when they were fed iron capsules and sample-question papers for this very purpose; who had attended tuitions and memorized all the formulae in the world before they had learnt how to masturbate; whose parents whispered into their ears every day of their lives the answer to the decisive question: ’What do you want to become in life?’ Adi would have to fight them for a sliver of the future that men of God reviled without conviction as the ‘material world’, exactly the place that a father wishes for his son. Adi, despite the misfortunes of poverty, would somehow have to find a way to get into an engineering college. And then ensure that he did not spend a single day of his life as an engineer. Because everyone would tell him then that the real money was in MBA.

And so, even before the engineering course was over, he would start all over again, and prepare to battle thousands and thousands of boys like him in yet more entrance exams. When he finally made it and became a zombie who had entirely forgotten what he really wanted to do with his life, the light-skinned boys in the dormitory would look at him with a sad chuckle and whisper among themselves that he was a beneficiary of a 15 per cent reservation for the Dalits. ‘Lucky bastard,’ they would say.

Okay, I agree that the above page is highly exaggerated, in fact to the extreme. Obviously not ALL boys are taking up engineering, and Indians are definitely not good in just competitive exams, to name a few. But the point to be noted is the thing in General which the author wants to say. Lack of clarity in making the biggest decision of one’s Life- Career choice. Doing engineering and MBA from a good college will almost surely fetch you a good job, and that is the only reason why people do it. Because that way, at least they can earn and sustain a living in this highly competitive global environment. Even if they have to sacrifice their dreams for it. There are many people who say that let them do engineering and MBA first, and then they will try to achieve their dreams. That is just an excuse for avoiding risks, and rarely if ever wills such people achieve their goals. At max, they can earn a comfortable living in this materialistic world.

Unfortunately, in India, the concept of career counseling is almost non-existent. 90% of Indian students take up a career/course which is not suited to their aptitude/liking. No wonder they get frustrated and depressed, many even take the extreme step of committing suicide. To avoid such incidents, I believe that schools should include mandatory career counseling say for students in standard 9th or 10th. Parents should also be counseled and told not to interfere in the personal decision of the student. It is a very big misconception that only engineers and managers can get good jobs. It’s a commonly known fact that Indians only look up to education as a means to getting a job, and not as something to gain knowledge/skills/experience/etc. It’s the lure of those attractive placements that students automatically gravitate towards IITs and IIMs. I have met very few people who wanted to study in an IIT because they had an interest in Science or Engineering. We really need more students like Rancho from 3 Idiots[played by Aamir Khan].

If only people started following their own passion for a change, it would benefit us all. But are they ready to give up the security of a high paying job and take a risk? The future will tell.
Monday, January 10, 2011 4 comments

Why Blame Only the Politicians?

Wish everyone a very Happy New Year to all. Hope this year brings you all new hopes, new desires, and new aspirations. If we talk about the current situation, am pretty sure that Corruption is the hot topic, and everyone has witnessed it in some form of the other.

2010 may as well be known as the Year of the Scams for India. CWG Scam, Adarsh Scam, 2-G Scam, and the list goes on and on. Most of us common people feel frustrated, angry, helpless after witnessing such venality, but how many of us have actually tried to do something about it?

We Indians are number one, when it comes to complaining and blaming others, no doubt. [I have written an entire post on our Querulous nature, you can read it here]. It is quite easy to point fingers at politicians and bureaucrats, and exclaim-‘These corrupt people have destroyed Indian economy, culture, etc and are responsible for widespread theft, hooliganism for which common people have to pay.’ But has anybody wondered how tough it is to actually contest elections, and perform the duties of a politician, or even that of a government official? I am not saying that politicians are not corrupt, many of them are. But we should avoid extreme Generalization[Such as all lawyers are liars, all bureaucrats are inefficient, and so on]. The fault is not just with the politicians, it is with each and every one of us.

I have heard many people complain- ‘The entire system of governance is corrupt.’ Now let me ask them-‘Who created the system? Did the system create us or did we create the system?’ It is the common man[or at least most of them] responsible for electing the politicians as a representative. Moreover, am pretty sure that most of us have paid bribes at some time or the other, and indulged in other nefarious activities which are considered normal and acceptable in today’s scenario. Most people are in too much of a hurry to battle corruption. They want quick solutions, and to avoid waiting, are willing to degrade to any level. And later they moan-‘That idiot stole my money.’ But who gave it to him in the first place? By law, both the bribe giver and bribe taker must be considered as criminals. By that definition, most of us are criminals. So why just blame the government? We are just as responsible for the spread of corruption as the politicians are.

The truth is that most of us have a subservient attitude. We do not have the temerity to deal with corruption. We let things remain as they are- Pleading helplessness. At max, we complain, shout, destroy public property, raise rallies, but we fail to take any concrete, positive action. We demand that politicians be punished, but at the same time we continue to give bribes for our own needs. Such sort of hypocritical behavior will lead us nowhere. If we want a corruption-free, efficient government, then all of us need to contribute. Sitting back and complaining about corruption will just not do. Let us do our bit in this battle.

Simple things matter. Avoid paying bribes at any cost. If you have not done anything wrong, there is nothing to be afraid of. Learn to be patient, it will help you in the long run. If you see a person indulging in corrupt practices, then complain to the head of the company, police, or anyone in-charge. Yes it is true that many police-men are also corrupt, but there will definitely be at least a few honest workers ready to help you. Form a group- It always helps, rather than trying to do everything on your own. Raise awareness about corruption- Many people are cheated into paying extra for things/services for which they should not. Do not pay more than the MRP mentioned. Always ask for a receipt while purchasing an item/offering donation/etc.

If you believe that tackling a bureaucracy in an honest way is impossible, then I would suggest you read the brilliant autobiography of Captain Gopinath- Simply Fly. It will tell you how this person dealt with the bureaucracy with an iron-hand: He simply refused to bribe anyone.

Let us all join hands and look forward towards a corruption-free new decade. For a better India and a better world.