Category Archives: MBA

The Choices I made: Oracle

A good placement, not surprisingly though, is the primary driver for any MBA student. Getting a job of his choice or rather, getting a job of good social standing, is important to each and every student who walks through the gates of any b-school in this nation.

I was clearly a 5 point someone in college. My understanding of the post graduate course was limited to working for the placement committee, participating in inter collegiate quizzes and generally looking for an excuse to travel the world. For some reason, text books and formalized education were things that I abhorred and yet I felt that it was a drill that every Indian needed to go before entering the ‘corporate’ world’

Well, as a five point someone, a combination of my inability to rote learn and laziness, I have to admit, I was a bit apprehensive of whether I would even be placed. This apprehension continued on till the first company came on campus.

Oracle: a coveted brand and one of the fortune 500 companies had agreed to come to campus and it wanted to come first. The profile was that of a Business Development Consultant and I believe the prospect of getting into the company itself shaded our ability to think straight. I was ecstatic, especially so since the company was from Bangalore, my region of operations (for the placecom).

In Delhi at that time, the pre placement talks and the interviews were to happen the next day. I booked an early morning flight to Nagpur and by mid afternoon was on campus.

That evening, the entire batch assembled together to hear the suave Oracle guys talk. The session lasted for an hour and the profile sounded like nothing but fun, fun and more fun. Yes, this was the profile I had dreamed of…to be able to lead a lazy life at the helm of affairs (atleast some ) and yet rake in lots of moolah…Only a few fortunate ones had ever managed this nirvana.

The session was followed by a round of telephonic interviews, which i cleared with flying colours (thanks to railfanning…it always works) and I was called to Mumbai for some further interviews.

A final batch of 15 out of around 60-70 applicants left for Mumbai a week later. We were the fortunate ones and here was a chance to be the first guys to be placed since since, well, last year.

Mumbai, the land of dreams, had always fascinated me. It’s beaches (or beach?), its people ,its autos and cabs and its trains have always been awe inspiring. My best friend also studied in this city and more than the interview itself, this was a chance to meet him and spend some ‘quality’ gossipping time.

It is this ulterior motive that kept me motivated through my entire stay. So much so, even a day before the interviews, I was sitting with my friend at Marine Drive, pondering on where our life would take us ( Nothing much has changed…we still do the same).

The d day had been scheduled at the Le Meridian, Andheri. I am not sure what made me more nervous?…was it the interview? or was it the prospect of displaying proper ettiquettes in a five star setting?Around 200 odd students had managed to make their way here from colleges in Mumbai and Pune.

After a rather sumptous breakfast, we were all ushered in for another lengthy brain washing session which involved fun videos, some games and lots of goodies. Soon after the session we were distributed across 3 interview rooms.

Well, my interviewer was a lady, dressed in Oracle colours, including the heels she wore. A seemingly tough lady, she seemed all geared up to swat the insignificant flies (us).

“Everything without God is nothing and nothing wih God is everything”, a chant that my mom taught me, was to me the last bastion of hope as I made my way into the room. The questioning started and I somehow wriggled my way through, gaining in confidence with each passing question. 20 minutes later, I was out of the room, all beaming:Indian Railways had done it yet again.

Another round of mind games and another wait for the first shortlist.”Robin Jacob Abraham”, my name was announced, a confirmation of my decent performance in the interview. Among my peers, only 5 of us had managed to make it to the next round

The next round was with the General Manager and it was entirely his call to select or unselect. The questions were simple and this time Robin Cook’s Invasion came to my rescue. I am somehow convinced that the wild swinging of my hands and a bit of  animated talk (reserved only for interviews) had managed to impress the interviewer.

After the interview, we were made to sit in the main conference room. The tension was palpable and the sweat seemed to be streaming across grim faces despite the air conditioning. A full hour and a half later, the Oracle managers walked in. They had finally come out with a final shortlist after much deliberations and discussions amongst themselves and with the hotel staff ( They had crossed their booked time schedule). I was ready to hear the best (I admit, I would have been shattered, if otherwise).The names soon started rolling out…blah blah…and blah blah… and blah blah…and last but not the least from ‘A’ group…Robin Jacob Abraham. Did I hear it correctly…yes I did…I am supposed to stand and I need to hear some loud claps…As i stood, I saw the entire IMT group ( or watever was left of it), cheering for me…I had been placed and to my peers, it was reassuring to know that if a five point someone could be placed so could they. As for me, I had managed to be the first guy to be placed in college which itself was a special feeling.I could almost see the Cadbury’s ad playing in my head…Pappu pass ho gaya!!…Robin place ho gaya!!…I was sure all my professors would exclaim, either in genuine relief or shock.

I was also fairly confident that my grades mattered no more and I could retire to more mundane activities in the confines of my room (read movies, cream rolls and sleeping). The next 60-90 days were spent exactly that way…

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The Choices I made: My MBA

Been in a pensive mood throughout the day. Next Sunday I will be a married man and the i will include a she as well. Memories have flashed by and memories like life can be both painful and joyful.

The year 2005 : I had left my first company to prepare for CAT and non focus being a highlight of my life, I had chosen to study only 2 months prior to the exam that is a career determiner for many. My mode of studying was also unique. I could never study from a text book and so i chose to give timed tests, which were 2 hour affairs locked inside my room.

I managed a decent percentile (pathetic by some standards) and my final calls (through CAT) included IMT Nagpur and KJ Somaiya. Well here was a choice to make…Somaiya, the Mumbaiya college or IMT, the industrially well placed college.

At home, in such situations, a simple yet effective solution is prayer followed by the casting of lots. In those days, my grandfather was also staying with us.

A man of small stature but broad shoulders and a face that was full of wisdom, he had been a scientist by proffession and a great grandfather to us grandchildren.His health, more his mental wellness had been deteriorating owing to Alzhemeirs and each day his hallucinations and his loss of direction would only increase, causing my mother and father much agony.

After the mandatory night prayers, I asked each of my family members to pick a chit each. The following were the results:

Dad : KJ Somaiya

My Sister: KJ Somaiya

Mom: IMT Nagpur

me: IMT Nagpur

A perfect tie and yet the poll wasnt over. However,my grandfather, a man of strong habits, went off to sleep at 8pm daily and this day was no different.

To me, getting into either of the colleges made sense. IMT Nagpur was a new college but was the sibling of a college with a strong heritage.There was also the opportunity to struggle and create a brand for ourselves. On the other hand, KJ Somaiya was an established college with strong industry relationships. Marico was one of the recruiters and I was thoroughly excited about the amateur business plan I had created involving the Coconut Industry. Anyway, the choice was in God’s hands and the instrument of his choice was my grandfather.

Early morning at around 5:30, my mom woke me up, urging me to go and make Appachen, as we called him, to pick a chit.

Appachen was sipping his coffee, when I, with groggy eyes and a crumpled night dress presented the lots before him. My mom and my dad stood around, waiting in curiosity to know what my future would behold.

Appachen took out a chit, which he then passed on to mom who opened it..The choice was made and it was Nagpur that had called me…

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A man who dared to dream

I had promised to write about his new venture and so am doing so. His site is the culmination of a dream that has been driving him since the early days of our MBA. An entrepreneur at heart, his imaginations and thoughts always sought to try something new,something undiscovered.

MBA was always about presentations, assignments and staying awake through the night. For a few of us,however, there was another reason that kept us awake through long nights: The Placecom( Placement Committee) was the driver of all Industry interactions and responsible for placing around 110 graduates.

It was a mammoth task and we all knew it wouldnt be easy.Yet we never gave up. Part of it was self driven,part of it inspiration.To see a young man sit through continuous nights,trying to fix appointments and give his heart and soul for the institution was enough to drive us all.The going wasnt easy for this young man. He sometimes barely managed to cope up in his exams.Theory wasnt his forte and the authorities threatened to fail him at times. Batchmates werent the kindest as well and many a time he was dragged into mindless ‘political conferences’ where he was ridiculed and humiliated by people who had nothing better to do on campus.

In the midst of all this the young man dreamt.He dreamt to have a world where everything could be rented.Furniture,Tvs,homes,crockery,cars,laptops…anything and everything material..all broker free.A lot of us were skeptical.We dismissed the idea as a figment of ‘MBA acquired’ imagination and thought no more about it.

We didnt realize that the idea was slowly growing and that this man had already started putting pillars to his dream.He had set himself a roadmap of one year.

Placements happened and most of us got placed with well known corporate institutions.As expected,the young man was responsible for a large part of the placements.All the batch mates were happy but few came to thank the man who made it possible.

Spread across the 4 different corners of India and in the busy schedules of our lives, we soon forgot how time passes.This young man, however hadnt forgotten. He was slowly mobilizing resources,manpower,funds,space and belief for his venture.

A year passed and while most of us were still struggling to find the balance between work and life, this Young man went ahead, left his job and launched his dream.

The dream : Rentimental.com (The World’s on rent)

The man : Shubham Rai

Its been almost 6 months now since Rentimental’s launch and Shubham is still struggling.But he is happy and slowly but steadily, he’s building clients and business. His team of a handful of men believe in him and his conviction and daily slog it out on the streets of Mumbai.

As I stand amidst the crowd on the Andheri Local,my eyes fall on a banner on the top right,above the window…Its a Rentimental banner and calls for people with extra homes to rent them out through the site.A sense of pride floods me…I feel proud to be associated with a man who dared to dream.

PS: Shubham today has been nominated in the TATA NEN Hottest startups. If you believe in the man and his dream vote for him here

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Death by the Rajdhani Express

The Following incident happened more than a year back in 2007.

An unusual ting happened on the 2441 Bilaspur Rajdhani on Mar 10. I, along with my friends from college had boarded the train from Nagpur for one final journey to Delhi after two long years of studying. The train was on time and reached Bhopal on time as well.It was headed by a WAP4E from Vadodara and had nice,neat coaches with an equally nice and clean looking(both from inside and outside) PC.Clean toilets added to the experience.The train started at around 3:50 pm and arrived at Bhopal at around 9:30,although we were in the outskirts at 9:05 pm itself.
Between Bhopal and Jhansi the train came to a sudden halt in the middle of nowhere.The manner in which the train stopped got me to suspect that something was amiss.After halting for around an hour,the train inched slowly for another hour or so before it came to a final halt in the outskirts of some non decrepit station.We had been put on the loop line.Around 4 trains towards Delhi passed us in the meanwhile.It was a bit amusing to think that the mighty Rajdhani had been halted to let the others pass by.Saw some express train with a Wap5/7 and had 5 AC coaches as well.Any ideas on which one this could be?.Also saw the Ap express passing us.
My curiosity got the better of me and I made my way to the pantry where I asked the cooks as o what had happened? “engine failure” replied one of the cooks ” There’s a body that has been caught up in the engine” he added.Shocked to the core, I opened one of the doors and tried to look towards the engine,around 8 coaches ahead with my weak eyes.I could only make out the silhouettes of  around  5-6 rpf  and GRP  personnel with large torches.
Sleepy,tired,shocked and disappointed: An unusual mix of feelings,nevertheless ones that I felt at that moment.I made my way to my berth,apprised my friends on the issue and went off to sleep. Tired as I was, my deep slumber could not have been broken if it had not been for the attendant, who insisted on having the Blanket at 6am in the morning,the scheduled arrival for the train at NDLS.Disoriented, I was getting a grip on my spinning head and thought that New Delhi was near.I handed my blanket over to the attendant.It was only then that one of my friends started quarreling and arguing that New Delhi was still a good 3 hours away!!!!!! He told him to come when NDLS was near,but the attendant insisted that on Bilaspur Rajdhani,blankets needed to be and have always been collected at 6am.Somehow we managed to shoo him away,at the same time wondering as to how tough it is on the customers when the Rajdhani gets delayed.No tea and Breakfast as well.At around 8am,the people in the next cabin started discussing the issue at night.These guys seemed to be railway officials.I couldnt help being a Peeping Tom and this is the story I could fathom.
It seems as if between Nagpur and Bhopal someone either jumped from above in front of the train.The body got wedged in the ‘tracer??'(Cudnt get the word properly) of the engine.The loco pilots didn’t get to know this and the body was carried along for more than  5 hours before the first 1 hour stop.Here the RPF guys tried pulling the body out but were unsuccessful.The train then moved towards the second stop,where it seems the RPF guys had to do some cutting to get the body out. A gory story but a sad reminder of Prakash Tendulkar’s stories on how Loco pilots are affected both emotionally and psychologically by deaths on tracks.The 2441 Rajdhani Express arrived at New Delhi, a full 2 and a half hours late at 8:35 am.

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Book wisely!!

This incident happened in 2006, during my summer internship with Taegu Tec ( a korean cutting tools manufacturer,now part of the Berkshire Hathway group).

After my initial training in Bangalore, I had a few days off before reporting to the zonal head in Delhi. I decided to go to Mumbai to be with my friends and have some fun filled days before the slogging began. Now, as mentioned in some of my previous posts as well, my laziness ensured that I didn’t go to the ticket counter,stand in a queue and book the ticket.

What I did,in fact, was to tell a friend of mine to go to the Kempe Gowda station and book the tickets on my behalf. The bus I intended to go by was “Airavat”, the state transport’s Volvo. Luck failed me however with all the seats being full on the volvos to Mumbai.Instead,my friend booked me on the next best option, an express service being run by the Maharashtra state transport.While the Volvo would have cost me Rs. 1000/- the express cost me only Rs. 500/-.

The day of the Journey:

I reached the bus station an hour before time. I have always been in awe of the beautiful Volvo buses and so I kept staring longingly at them. The ‘Airavat’ buses to Mumbai came and left. Just as the last volvo to Mumbai was leaving, a shabbily dressed man walked up to me and asked “aapko kidhar jaane ka hai?”(where do you have to go?).

Looking at him suspiciously, I answered Mumbai to which he replied ” par volvo toh jaa chuki hai?” (but the volvo has already left?). I replied saying that I was going by the express. “Sir aap pehle express ko dekh lena, fir decide karna ki usme jaane ka hai ya nahi”

The express eventually rolled in and the comparison was as follows:

KSRTC Volvo

KSRTC Volvo

VS

MSRTC Express

MSRTC Express

The Rs. 500 ticket suddenly made a lot of sense.”Saab isme toh hum jaise log bhi nahi jaate!!”( sir, people like us also dont travel in such buses), the man proceeded to inform me. Faced with the prospect of traveling 21 hours in a rickety old red bus, this shabbily dressed man suddenly became my angel in disguise. I asked him about my options and he instantly referred me to a private tour operator. In the meanwhile the “laal dabba” left and I was left with a ticket that could not be canceled and refunded.

Anyway, thanks to this guy, I finally boarded a private volvo which helped me reach Mumbai in 19 hours and an intact back and spine…the total cost…Rs 1700/-

Well, 2008 has seen the arrival of two sites which give you the convenience and ease of booking bus tickets. So, for all lazy,busy and last minute bums, these sites can be used to book your bus tickets

a) redbus.in

b) www.ticketvala.com

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Just Our Luck!!! The phenomenon is global ( guest post by Saurabh Jain)

Now when my dear friend Robin has publicly announced how he was screwed at TAPMI, it has given me motivation and enough courage to share my job interview experience with GTL technologies, Mumbai (now how can both courage and motivation come at the same time, but I guess when u get screwed a lot of times, it comes naturally). Yeah so now coming back to the main topic, it was the final year of my MBA at Icfai Mumbai and GTL technologies came to the campus. One look at their profile and I was hooked. Now here was one company which was offering a core marketing profile in their Telecom Vertical. I looked at the sky and thanked God that my prayers had finally been answered, but I think I should have prayed a bit more. What happened later on told me that perhaps I should have prayed more. So after the profile thing was settled I looked at another potential hurdle… Ok, no 60% throughout criteria required, boss, this is all falling in place for me were my thoughts. Then came the moolah… of course I was ready to compromise on that point: 23,000 to start with should not be too bad; after all I was getting a CORE MARKETING JOB!!

 

About an hour and a half devoted fully to the company website and I was ready to take them head on. I knew that my background was computer science and that gave me even more confidence. The Pre-Placement presentation started and they made it very clear that they were here to recruit the cream. Now that was something that I have always been unable to comprehend. I mean with a CGPA of 7.95, I did not exactly belong to the cream, but given my day I could be better than even the best. The CV’s were collected and the very fact that 110 students had applied for the job gave me shivers. But I knew I had been praying for this day and finally when I made it to the short listed 40; I heaved a sigh of relief. Now came the most difficult and the funniest part – The Group discussion. I say both at the same time because while all my friends and well wishers believed that I will ace the GD, I was most afraid of them. Anyway the GD started and I followed all the guidelines which I learnt at PTindia.com during MBA entrance preparation (I still remember them by the way…the English teacher was really cute…). The Final cut off list came and they surprisingly selected only 10 students for interviews. Names were called out and the first name was mine…I could not believe it…could this be true?? I did clear the GD and that too mine was the first name to be called out!! (Later I came to know, the list was randomly arranged though, so much for achievement)

 

The interviews started and the disadvantage of being the first on the GD list stared right at my face. Yes yes…u guessed it right…Mr Jain would be the first to be interviewed. Now, dear friends, I have always heard of gang rapes in the media, books, movies etc…But if at that point of time did I even have the slightest idea that it will happen to me over the next 45 minutes, I would have surely ran away. I entered the room confidently and saw a GD formation on the other side of the interviewee chair…Yes; there were 9 of them waiting for me.9 guys?? for an interview…cmmon man!! Are u serious??. Yes, and if I had any doubts regarding the seriousness of the interview, they vanished right away. I don’t think my college people even served them lunch, such was the hunger in their eyes, or maybe I imagined it…18 eyes scanned me and I, fumbling like a newly wed girl with milk (I only had my file folder) settled into the HOT SEAT. I turned my head full swing both the sides to get a “holistic view” of the interview panel…The one seated right in the center introduced himself as the Chief Strategy Advisor (he never bothered to introduce the rest 8) and decided to bowl a full toss to start with.. Mr Jain, Please introduce urself to us. Now I had practiced that answer so many times that even if at 2 AM in the morning u woke me up and asked, not a word would be different. He caught the cue for the next question in my answer itself…What did you say?? Computers is it?? Right? So u are a graduate in Computer Science. Yes Sir, I am…Ok Mr. Jain, do you think the IT infrastructure of your college is sufficient and please give us an estimate as to how much would it cost to set up the infrastructure of a similar MBA college…Now its true that I am a graduate in computer science, but I knew and had studied only about software, I did not even know the price of a computer motherboard. Ok Sarah,…think fast think something…I said to myself..cmmon!! I started ..Sir what is the budget that I have..Hmm…Let’s say 1 Lakh Rupees, he replied…What?? In 1 lakh rupees he wants me to set up the IT infrastructure? Is this guy mad? I blurted out, 1 lakh is too less. Oh is it?? Let’s say 10 lakhs…now lets start…Ok, I will put 100 second hand computers with a modest configuration that should cost around 5 lacs ….and suddenly I realized even with 10 lakhs at my disposal I was heavily short of cash…shit!! I should have said at least 15-20 lakhs…While I was thinking this, I heard his voice..No..No..Saurabh..We don’t want any second hand stuff, everything must be new..Ahh..here’s my chance to get the budget increased, I thought…Sir, then even 10 lakhs is too less, because even a decent new computer that a MBA student can use will cost 10,000 -12,000 bucks, plus the cost of cabling, wireless LAN, servers etc…The entire setup cannot be managed within 10 lakh rupees. Cmmon..Mr. Jain, you have already started complaining…You are a solution provider, you have to see how you will do it and in this budget and we do not want any compromise on quality. Ok, Sir if we cannot do it well, I will ask for tenders from outsiders who can set up our infrastructure and can mange it for us within our specified money…No no, how is this possible, again tendering will mean competitive bidding, compromising on quality, you already know my conditions Mr. Jain..The room was A/c but I was already sweating now. I just could not think of anything else, I again turned my head both sides to gauge the reactions of the other panel members who I was sure were having solid entertainment at my expense. At the extreme left corner, I saw Aparna Krishnan. She was my senior who got placed last year in HR in GTL..Yes..She can be my saviour. At least she should do this much for her junior. I filled my eyes with all the pity in the world and gave her that timid and weak look..That had immediate effect and she said, Saurabh do you want some water?? Water was the last thing on my mind and I politely refused. Our Chief Strategy Advisor cleared his throat and decided to take charge again. Ok Saurabh, here you have said that you are the chief editor of the college magazine Manthan, right? Yes Sir, that’s correct. Ok now here is my chance to nail him, I know all about the magazine. I was practically running it like a personal venture with 2/3 other friends. Saurabh tell me, what is the difference between the map litho paper and the newsprint. WHAT?? Which paper?? I had never heard of anything even close to map litho paper in my life (later when I enquired about it from the magazine publisher, he told me that is in between newsprint and bound paper and used for such magazines) I don’t know sir, I blurted shamelessly again.. And u are the editor?? Sir as editor my responsibilities are to ensure that the magazine is out every quarter, that articles are well researched and proofread correctly, that we have covered all the college events and we have a inventory of articles for us. Ohh..I see. Very well. You are an MBA in marketing right? Yes Sir, I am. Very Well, he said and started smiling. I did not think it was an opportune for me to smile, but somehow I managed a weak one..Ok, what is the difference between sales and marketing..Ahh..Finally some relief. I rattled off both the definitions and the differences between them..Hmm..Hmm..Which book do you refer for marketing? Philip Kotler Sir, I replied. Well, is this the definition given in Philip Kotler then? Sir, I don’t remember the definition of Philip Kotler and I think it’s more important to understand the difference between the concepts and I very well know it. No Saurabh, give us the definition given in Philip Kotler..By now I was damn sure that the guy had only yesterday got out from mental asylum. It was time again for the shameless reply – “I DONT KNOW”. Well Well… and he calls himself MBA in marketing..ha ha ha..and the rest 7 joined him as well (Aparna did not laugh though.. I don’t know whether she was embarrassed because of me or she also felt pity for me, but she did not laugh)By now the tap on my head was running full flow and I was sweating profusely, I was also feeling very hot when I realized that my ears had turned brick red. Now I did not care whether I got the job or not, I just wanted to run away from the room, but our Strategy Advisor apparently thought otherwise.Ok Saurabh, do you understand what is meant by revenue model? Yes Sir, it means the way u generate money to sustain your business. The way things had gone the entire afternoon, I was very sure even this thing I would have said incorrectly, but I was surprised when he smiled and nodded his head and said, good, so this you know. I let the sarcastic remark pass by and kept quiet.. So, imagine you are the CEO of a food chain that provides food to people for free. Tell me what will be your revenue model? So whether I liked or not, I had another chance to salvage my lost pride. Or was it another chance for him to put the final nail in my already packed coffin..Soon I would find out..I started. Sir first of all I will enter into tie ups with some charitable organizations that will support me in my endeavour. I will also give the space on the restaurant walls to companies to advertise so that way I will generate money and….Mr Jain, How long have u been living in Mumbai? For the past 2 years, I replied. Ok, so you are well aware of the kind of crowd that eats out at the restaurants. When there are people who will pay through their nose to enter the costliest of the restaurants, who will come to your free restaurant.. Now I got heavily confused. Sir, when people pay money to eat outside definitely I will have masses waiting to eat for free, and why should I be worried about the targeting here. My motive is to only make money from a free restaurant. Richie Rich will anyways never come to a free restaurant.. No No Mr. Jain think out of the box, after all you are marketing guy na..ha ha ha..By now my box had got closed completely. Sir, I don’t have any other answers with me, I replied bluntly.Ok Mr. Jain do you want to ask us anything? The only question that I wanted to ask was why they had screwed me so badly and what they wanted to accomplish out of that, but I decided to get a little sarcastic myself. I remembered Mr Kalam’s lines. When the mind is without fear and the head is held high. By now, I knew that I will not get the job, so the fear got removed. I asked, after I am selected, what will be my profile? An eerie silence descended upon the room immediately and they started looking at each other. I couldn’t resist a smirk but managed to keep a straight face. Our strategy advisor replied again, once you are selected and then for the next 5 minutes he explained me the full profile in detail. That done, I greeted them all and came out. People outside were just waiting for me to come out for many reasons. Firstly because I had been the first to go, secondly because the interview lasted around 45 minutes and they wanted to know what was happening inside for such a long time and I am sure my profusely sweating face would have even increased their curiosity. But I was in no mood to answer anything, I just ran away from there and found solace in the canteen over a pastry, cold drink and a masala dosa. Later I came to know that out of the 10 candidates they interviewed, they did not recruit any one. Their parting statement was (of course the Chief strategy advisor’s, the rest I think were all mute”) – “We did not find the students capable enough”.

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Just my Luck: The Early Days

The period before,during and immediately after my MBA will continue to hold some of the most cherished moments of my life.Anyone or almost everyone would have gone through the rut of giving entrance exams after entrance exams.Well MBA, with the sophistication it commands,usually has 2 additional rounds before you may be considered worthy of entry : the Group Discussion and the Personal Interview round. Folks at home believed I would fail in Discussions with due credit to my reservedness to talk and academicians believed I would fail in Interviews because of my hatred towards the written word( I believe Iam contradicting myself here).

Anyway heres a copy of the mail,elciting my woes and the enlightenment of why theory is important in the Indian Education system.

Hi guys/gals

I thought I’ll share my most embarrasing/humiliating interview
experience.When someone asks me about the Tapmi experience my
response is usually “They took my case,wrapped me up and threw me
out of the window:)”
All those who went for the Tapmi gd/pi woould be knowing that the
selection process involves five rounds namely gd/extempore/written
commn/Panel intvw and directors interview.I’ll be narrating to u my
Panel interview experience.
I was on a high after the gd/extempore and written commn rounds.This
was not cos I had high opinions of my performance but cos others
thought so too.Sitting in the auditorium I was pondering on how to
succesfully divert the interview in my favour.I was good at
answering ‘personal’ questions and I was ready to answer any
questions on my hobbies,interests , strenghts, weaknesses etc.
Academics–Now that was a spot of bother.Networking was my favorite
subject cos that was the only subject I had a look at before the
interview.The rest of the subjects-hmmm I could barely recall their
names:)
“Robin Jacob Abraham” -the lady incharge called out.I was led out of
the audi to the outside of a room where I was asked to sit.It almost
seemed like a poor goat/hen being led to the slaughter house and
then being made to patiently await it’s turn.Time ticked by but
there was no sign of the interviewers.After around 45 minutes ‘The
interviewers’ turned up.After 5 more minutes of waiting I was asked
to enter the room.
There were three of them.All three of them looked gullible and
harmless.Now that somewhat put me at ease.After the expected
formalities I sat down and the first question thrown at me
was “Robin,u’ve done BIS.Isnt this the course that was derecognised
by the UGC and AICTE?”
“he he so he plans to rattle me with this question” I thought and
proceeded to explain how ours was the only batch that got recognised.
“Ok Robin, tell us something about urself?”my pet question and I
gave him a full character report of myself.
In the meantime one of the guys started having a look at my
marksheets.It was time to pray.”God help me ,God Help me” I
beseeched and cried but all in vain.The question was thrown at
me.The question that I dreaded the most–“Robin what’s ur favourite
subject?””networking ” I mumbled all the while hoping that he would
forget and move to another topic.”Ok Robin tell us what xyz
is?”.hmmm gud question but no answers.But I wasnt going to go down
without a fight.I gave him some crap.He wasnt impressed. “Could you
be more specefic?”—some more crap.One look at the other two guys
(Did I see a smirk on his face??) and he fired at me the next
question-“Robin what is abc?”hmmm why me why me were the thoughts
that were passing through my mind and the net result of my mental
exertion was some more crap!!
This time I saw a beaming face-A face that has “Kill” written large
on it’s face.I knew I was gone.I was at the mercy of a know all.Some
more questions and some more blank stares and some more crap!!
He soon realized he wasnt having fun.He now decided in favour of a
new subject – MATHS!!!-of all the subjects he had only maths to
choose!!!??especially when he could see that I had an impressive
45.94%ile in quant!!!
He saw my uneasiness.He knew he had made the right decision.”Robin
Iam going to ask you a simple question.Could you plot for me the
graph of y=mx+c?””I know that but hey!Why cant I recall it.What’s
happened to me?Have I lost it?”Almost on the verge of defeat and yet
unwilling to give up I asked him to give me the values of x and y.I
could almost hear him giggling away at my expense.He was ‘kind’
enough to give me the values when I realized that I needed the
values of m and c as well!!!!Defeated I asked him to give me the
value of m and c as well!!.That did it-One look at each other and
all of them started guffawing and laughing away.I could only smile
all the while knowing I was finished.The final blow had been right
through the head.
The interview was over.Before leaving,however, they gave me a slip
of paper.I wished them Good afternoon and outside, in the corridor,
opened the slip.On it was plotted the y=mx+c graph.TAPMI was over.

Robin

 

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