Updated: Jun 26
It is always a special feeling to be able to interact with the students of one's alma mater. As a part of the MBA Q&A series, the placement cell of Kirori Mal College, Delhi University collaborated with Non-Engineers to collate the MBA-related questions of their college students. In this post, I will try to answer them one-by-one.
Q: How much percentile is required for non-engineers to get into the top IIMs?
A: It entirely depends on your academic category (AC) and your previous academic scores. But, you can have a look at the admission criteria of IIM-A to get an idea of how a candidate's composite score is calculated.
Based on my batch's experience, with 90%+ in 10th & 12th and 80%+ in graduation, a non-engineer can except a call from all the institutes at 98.7+ percentile. But, to be on the safe side, 99+ should be good.
Q: Should one prepare for CAT and GMAT simultaneously?
A: You can do that, especially if you're considering the prospects to join foreign universities. Having said that, most people I know, focused more on GMAT than CAT when they were preparing for both.
The pattern of scoring is very different and the selection of questions, a prominent skill in CAT, is not even required in GMAT, so make your priorities clear and prepare accordingly.
Q: What are the major differences in the preparation of verbal section in CAT and GMAT?
A: I can speak only for CAT as I didn't prepare for GMAT. In CAT, the verbal ability part of the VARC section constitutes of only 30 marks and RCs form the larger share of the pie. So, I'd suggest you to use only sectional tests, topic tests and mock tests for the preparation of this section.
One tip I have for this section is to not spend a lot of time on solving Para Jumbles, in fact I often kept them to the last. This is because they're time taking and often come in the TITA version with 120 possible options.
Q: What is the ideal time to prepare for CAT?
A: January of the year in which you're going to appear for CAT is a good time to start your preparation. In case you think you're particularly weak in a section, you can self-prepare for it in advance.
Suggested | Timeline of my Preparation
Q: What is more relevant for finance jobs - CFA or MBA?
A: For a core finance role, CFA prepares you well, but if you want more growth prospects and a share in the strategy formulation of a company, then an MBA is must. Each year, many CFA professionals join IIMs in order to get better opportunities in the finance domain.
Q: If someone is from the science background (12th), then how can he align his CV for finance jobs?
A: The best way to do that is by pursuing a professional course like CA/CFA. But, if you're not particularly interested in finance but wish to try it out, then you can go through the following:
Finance firms value past academic scores and relevant work-experience, so you can also apply for internships.
Q: Should one apply for internships in the summer break just 5 months before CAT?
A: I'd say no. The reason is that it is a very important time to cover your CAT basics and start analyzing mocks. If you choose to spend it on internship too, your preparation might suffer.
Unless you don't have any experience at all and need more than one internship in your resume, I wouldn't recommend it. A turnaround is to apply for it after CAT and before interviews. The detailed rationale behind it has been shared in this post - Internship before IIMs.
Q: What value does a start-up have on CV?
A: Great, be it your own or an experience you had working there. I interned at 3 start-ups and my experience over there has been enriching. I had a lot of talking points during my interviews and in my opinion, you can learn a lot more from working with start-ups than corporates in your undergrad.
In case you're talking about your own start-up, I don't see why it won't be a great point to mention. I had a lot of batch mates with startups running or in the ideation stage before they joined IIM-A.
Q: Are only academics important or should I involve myself in extra-curricular activities too?
A: Academic scores are of paramount importance, don't ignore them at any cost. This was my first tip among the 8 tips I shared for DU students. Having extra-curricular achievements and PORs is good because:
you get a talking point
you can distinguish yourself
So, in case you don't have any internships right now or you're not a part of any club or society at college, I'd suggest you to apply for them. Here are two posts that can guide you through them:
Q: How is the culture of societies at DU different from that of IIMs?
A: To be honest, DU societies are much more active. You learn a lot and they account for a good CV point. The same is not true for IIMs with the exception of the Placement Cell and some career clubs.
Hope this helps you all, let me know if you have any follow-ups in the comments below. Would be happy to take them up. Wish you the best!
P.S. A special thanks to Ritik, Vanshika and the entire placement team of Kirori Mal College to coordinate with Non-Engineers for this endeavour and help pool-in queries of their students.
Kudos to the team's efforts!