You have given the Common Admission Test your best shot. Now, you need to concentrate on preparing for phase two -- the Group Discussion and Personal Interview.
In a chat with Get Ahead readers on November 29, trainers Gautam Puri and Arun Wadhwa of Career Launcher (I) had this advice to offer MBA aspirants: Try reading stuff based on your areas of interest, and also initiate yourself to business issues by reading a business magazine if possible.
CAT expert Gautam Puri, co-founder and managing director of Career Launcher (I) Ltd, chatted with aspirants for an hour and answered their queries. As the questions poured in, Arun Wadhwa, CL's national programme head for CAT, joined Puri in answering them.
Puri, an MBA from IIM-Bangalore, has had successful stints at Hindustan Petroleum, Britannia and VAM Organics. He has prepared close to 1,00,000 students for CAT. To keep himself abreast with the latest trends, he has also been sitting for the examination every year for the last 10 years.
Arjun Wadhwa has been associated with Career Launcher since 1999, when he was a student with CL preparing for his MBA. Influenced by his mentors in the organisation, and armed with his passion for teaching, he joined Career Launcher straight from campus after completing his MBA from MDI, Gurgaon. He has been with CL for four years.
For those who missed the chat, here's the transcript:
inquisitive : When shud I cut the talk of my peers in a GD ......even though I hav many points I find it difficult to get a chance..
Arjun Wadhwa : It is extremely important for you to get the structure right, upfront. If the direction is not right, better interrupt and lead the GD.
sivani : Sir what would be the percentile of score 25 net and can i expect calls form SDMIMD and NIRMA.
Arjun Wadhwa : Chance hai, though I suggest u apply to FORE, Kirloskar, IISWBM, LBS, BIM Tech as well.
sivani : Sirwhat do you think of iits other than Mumbai and delhi wat r the other i can opt if i get a good score in JMET.
Arjun Wadhwa : IIT Karagpur > Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore > IIT, Chennai.
sivani : Sir last question other than SIBM & SCMHERD in Symbiosis family are there any other good colleges.
Arjun Wadhwa : SIIB, SIMS, SIMC are all okay, depends on your interest.
sonali : I am basically an introvert person.I have confidence in getting through th written exams but how do I appear for the personal interview and GD which are as important as written interview.How do I overcome my fear for PI /GD.working in a consultancy firm it has become quite essential to do my MBA.Please suggest.
Arjun Wadhwa : Desperation! If you want it bad enough you will do whatever it takes. Retire the introvert in you.
apple : what questions will they ask in the personal interview? Is GK important?
Gautam Puri : GK that is relevent to your background is important. For example if you are in the IT industry, you ought to know about important events/people in this area.
Pankaj : Sir, out of context question. IIM Indore has Exec PGP course , what is cut-of for this?
Arjun Wadhwa : Depends on the number of applicants and the number of years of work experience that you have, nothing fixed is defined.
VKESA : Dear sir,May i know about any book which sums up all the current affairs knowledge required for gd.
Gautam Puri : Check out Malayalam Manorama and CL Yearbook. Most importantly, read the editorials in the newspapers.
babu : Sir, PLEASE COMMENT ON NUS OR NANYANG'S MBA WORTH FOR JOBS IN INDIA ?
Gautam Puri : An MBA from these institutes will help you get a placement in Asia-Pacific region and will not be of great help for placement in India immediately after graduation.
GDkillsME : ONE DOUBT FROM ME...SHOULD I BE AGGRESIVE IN A GD?OR LAID BACK?LAST YEAR I ATTENDED A FEW GDS AND I WASNT AGGRESIVE..I WAS ALWAYS POLITE..AS IN.NEVER INTERRUPTING ANYONE"..OR"ALWAYS SAYING PLEASE.."SAYING"ADDING ONTO UR POINT..SO THAT POEPLE WILL STOP SPEAKING..BUT I THINK IT DIDNT WORK OUT...DO INEED TO BE AGGRESSIVE...
Gautam Puri : In a chaotic GD being polite will not help; you have to moderate your stance depending upoon the situation.
clever17 : Sir Is GDPI class helpful in improving the shy person's skills.
Gautam Puri : Yes.
Evari : Sir what do you think about ALLIANCE BUSINESS ACADEMY i have got a call letter for its interview and asking me to pay 1000/- for its application
Gautam Puri : Not a very promising institute.
babu : SIR .... RU ANGRY WITH ME ? PLEASE COMMENT ON NUS/NANYANG'S MBA PROGRAM'S FOR SECURING JOBS IN INDIA/ABROAD ?
Gautam Puri : It has already been answered.
phataphat : by the way which is the best mba by corespondence.
Arjun Wadhwa : Symbiosis, IMT and NM offer DLPs (Distance Learning Programmes) which are good. These are substantially better than pure correspondence.
sohailfx : my question is : i m doing great in my job. my salary is more than 50,000/- permonth here in saudi arabia, i m 27 now, single. and i dont want to live for ever here, and i dont have any good job there in india, even i have, but i cant get this much salary, i want to start a factory there in india, but i m not having more than 5 lakh. please guid me what should i do. i m thinking a lot on this matter.
Arjun Wadhwa : If you can find investors good. Else put together more capital. Also useful if you can find likeminded people who share your interest to participate.
Jhakas : How much aggresive should I be.. I feel it necessary to interrupt people sometimes to put my point of view. I find it difficult to stop myself at that point of time.. is it okay to do so.
Gautam Puri : As I said earlier, it is situational. Do not be rude if the situation does not demand is all I can say.
Mujju : How MBA helps, to build an organisation. How is important for one to have the MBA to open his/her organisation.
Gautam Puri : MBA is not essential but it is helpful in running a business
wat to do? : well...basically i have 2 doubts1)what is the expected cut-offs for the IIMS?2)what kind of weightage is given to gds?
Arjun Wadhwa : IIMs: 47-49. This weightage is not declared, but is substantial enough to make a difference between selection and rejection.
Mujju : How much MBA graduate a better as compared to others to open an orgnisation. Can u make the Comparison. Is Azim Premji or Naran Murthy did their MBA.
Gautam Puri : An MBA has the working knowledge of all functional areas before he/she picks up a job while others will learn on the job. Azim Premji, Dhirubhai Ambani, Bill Gates are not MBAs.
babu : sir sir sir sir, HOW ABOUT JOBS AT ABROAD(OTHER THAN APAC) AFTER DOING NUS/NANYANG MBA ??
Gautam Puri : After working for a couple of years in APAC region, you can look for placements anywhere.
shiva : My question I am currently working for a software firm in banaglore but i want to do further studies without leaving the job, can I go for PGSEM course part time offered IIMB, is it worth doing part time course on Management, how does it enhance my future.... By SHIVA.
Arjun Wadhwa : It is definitely useful, though the value derived from a placement perspective will predominantly depend on your initiative.
karthigai : I am an MCOM graduate and i am interested to complete IAS pls give some tips regaurding it
Gautam Puri : IAS interviews are knowledge intensive, you need to have indepth knowledge of many areas.
vishal : most of the pannel ask why you what to do mba ?
Arjun Wadhwa : Absolutely, the reason for this is they want to check your goal clarity and whether you have thought this through.
neal : I m 22.I have gap of 2 years in my gradutatoin but i have W-Ex in 1)7 years courier 2)5years LIC agency 3)5 years in Retail cloth business my acdemic record is around 55% How can I ans.Questions in PI abt this record & gap? PLZ HELP ME.
Arjun Wadhwa : Tell them the truth, it always works.
belledcat : r the hostels in IIMs coed ?
Gautam Puri : Yes
abhishek : sir, how is the difiiculty level of XAT and SNAP compared to CAT
Gautam Puri : On a scale of 10, if CAT is 10 then XAT will be 7 and SNAP 5.
amit : sir vishal asked u same question what your expertise say how to approach this question Why u want to do mba .
Gautam Puri : Explain how an MBA will help you achieve your career goals, remember that MBA is a means to an end and not the end itself.
VKESA : Dear sir,If a Person with Ph.D is asked as to why he wants to go for mba at iim, Idealy how she should respond.
Arjun Wadhwa : Honestly give the panel the real reason for it.
wat to do? : CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP ME OUT WITH HOW I SHOULD BE IN AN INTERVIEW...N WHAT LEVEL OF TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WILL I BE EXPOSED TO??
Arjun Wadhwa : Be yourself. Questions on technical competence depends on the depth of your current exposure to the same. I would not expect the same competence from a fresher as compared to someone with five years of work experience.
pushkal : apart from newspapers what should be read for GD/PIs ?
Arjun Wadhwa : Try reading stuff based on your areas of interest, and also initiate yourself to business issues by reading a business magazine if possible.
atul : hello sir please answer my question.i am repeating.i am software professional and want to be expert in speaking and writing english.please guide me that what should i do ? should i join any institute,please suggest me the best institute in delhi.
Gautam Puri : Try JNU or CIEFL Hyderabad.
Dilip : Good Afternoon, Mr.Wadhwa. I 'm a self-employed, BE + 14 yrs work-ex. I want to do MBA from a premier institute either from India or Overseas.At 35, with all the responsibilities I 've, I dont think, I 'll be able to take up CAT/GMAT. Are there any options available where in I can still take up the same?
Gautam Puri : You could try part time MBA courses -- FMS for example, but they too would have their own entrance test.
shree : good evening sir i just wanted to know how to crack in GD only.
Arjun Wadhwa : Must speak is the first rule of doing well in a GD. For more information please visit this link: http://www.careerlauncher.com/pegasus/mba_coaching/pdp.html.
Ravi : Hi.. I am working for one of the BPO and I am planning to work in an R&D group. I am having 4 yrs of experience but not having an MBA. Will my experience would be counted or would they look for an MBA
Arjun Wadhwa : An MBA is useful, but not necessary in any job shift.When looking for the ideal candidate, organisations map skill sets, which are more important than qualifications.
aadilk : NAMASTE SIR, please give us ur email id, so we can ask our queries with details, thanx
Gautam Puri : firstname.lastname@example.org
Kant : I have an experience of 4.5 yrs in reputed company, How MBA will benefit me at this stage of my career.
Gautam Puri : Better growth prospects becuse of opportunities available outside your core area also.
babu : HOW GOOD ARE TAPMI-BANGALORE, LOYOLA-CHENNAI PART-TIME MBA PROGRAM'S? ARE THEY WORTH TRYING ? ANY OTHER COMPARABLE INSTITUTE'S PART-TIME PROGRAM ?
Gautam Puri : FMS Delhi Univ is possibly the best part time course, however the placement record of most of the part-time courses is not very good.
karthigai : could you say me fifve month prepration is enough to complete the exam.
Gautam Puri : Yes
jayrajt : Sir i have experience of 1 year in Pvt ltd company which is MNC does this not have any value as they say they need only Public ltd company exp?
Gautam Puri : Private limited company experience is okay. Remember Godrej is a Pvt Ltd company.
EDEL : alright, but how do you decide which field to pursue. Have been into an ops-it role ... should I decide to go for an MBA in IT or ops mgmt.
Gautam Puri : Defer this decision to second year of MBA. You will learn about all the functional areas in your first
year and will be better equipped to take the deciaion.
Sharon : Hello Gautam and Arjun, Could you recommend some good sources of information on contemporary topics on the web? Which will give a broad understanding of the variuos developments around the globe? Thanks!
Arjun Wadhwa : www.bbc.co.uk is a good place to start, though the list is honestly endless. News web sites are generally good resources.
Next: The transcript continues