Updated: Jun 26
As a part of the MBA Q&A series, the placement cell of Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women 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: You joined only one society in college, can you share how they help in CV building?
A: That's right, I joined only the Placement Cell because it's a lot to manage along with academics and CAT preparation. In order to get a full idea of the importance of college clubs and societies, check this post.
Q: Is to possible to pursue MBA from IIM-A/B/C right after graduation?
A: Yes, I was a fresher - 25% of my batch was of freshers.
Q: Is 8 CGPA in graduation enough to get a call from the top B-schools?
A: I'd suggest to keep a target of 80%+ or 8.43 CGPA, many college CGPA conversions multiply by 9.5.
Q: I have one year left for graduation, is this the right time for CAT preparation?
A: Ideally, yes. 10-11 months before CAT is a good enough time to begin.
Q: Could you please share your IIM-A interview experience & how to prepare for it?
Q: How do manage to attempt questions within 1-1.5 minutes in CAT?
A: It majorly depends on how well you remember the basics and formulas. What is left is just the application part which shouldn't take more than 1.5 minutes. Even if you haven't attempted the same kind of questions before, you will be able to solve them under the said time if your basics are strong.
Q: Can you share some tips for the VARC section? I read the newspaper daily but something is missing.
A: I can understand where you're coming from. Reading newspaper will not help if you're reading it the wrong way. Here is a strategy to read editorials from the point of view of RC preparation. Other posts on VARC section that might help:
Q: How to answer "Why should we hire you?" in an interview?
A: Whenever this question will get asked in any interview, there will be two parts to the answer that the interviewer will be expecting to hear - 1. Why you're a fit for that role? 2. Why are you better than all others who are also a fit for that role?
For the first question, you need to study the job role well and identify the skills required for it. Then, reflect on your achievements and skills and create a match between the two.
For the second question, you need to mention your spikes - spikes refer to anything extraordinary that you've achieved - that will help you distinguish yourself. It often boils down to soft skills.
Q: Which coaching institute should one take coaching from?
A: I'd suggest to take the feedback from the current/past enrolled students of each coaching institute you're interested in and ask about three aspects: 1. faculty's teaching quality 2. study material 3. test series.
I attended TIME classes and liked all the three aspects there. But, as far as the concept classes are concerned, I'd say that ultimately it is your self-preparation that will matter. A lot of students travel far to attend classes of a better faculty - to be honest, it's a waste of time. You just need the basics, that any coaching will provide. Rest is how much hard work you put in yourself after classes.
Q: I'm unable to cross 15 attempts in QA, how to improve?
A: If you're done with the basics and still unable to clear the barrier of 15 questions, I'd recommend trying the rounds technique in your next attempt.
Q: What are some good sources for reading in finance?
A: Here's a post on the best finance blogs and websites.
Q: Is it a good time to pursue MBA given Covid?
A: The most amount of impact will be borne by the batch which graduated in 2020 (due to rescinded offers) and the batch which will sit for placements in 2021 (due to dearth of opportunities). The incoming batch should not face an issue as the market will pick up again by the time they sit for placements.
The Placement Cells of all the B-schools are trying their best to ensure that this situation doesn't affect the incoming batches. In my opinion, the opportunities will be limited after undergrad also, it's much better to go for an MBA rather than gaining irrelevant experience.
Q: What is the value of case study competitions, if one wins them?
A: It is a great CV point that can be added under co-curricular or extra-curricular bucket depending on the case study topic. Winning a case study can reflect skills like brainstorming, strategizing, etc. and also gives a good talking point during the interviews. Here's how to win case study competitions.
Q: Do additional courses help in CV building?
A: They do, but more than that, they help in showing inclination towards a field. For example, if I'm interested in marketing and coming straight out of college, a certification/course in marketing would help me justify my interest in it to the interviewers.
Q: How many internships would you recommend someone to do?
A: There's no fixed number and anyway, you can't mention internships in your application form. What's important is the skills you acquire through them. I pursued 3-4 internships and all of them offered different roles. My intention was to understand where my interest lied the most.
Q: What quality or method of preparation do you attribute your success to the most?
A: As far as cracking CAT is concerned, I believe it was the ability to stay consistent and motivated throughout the journey which helped the most.
Q: How many and which test series would you recommend? How many mocks to take?
A: Have answered all these questions in detail in this post - Mock Test Series Plan.
Q: Is it better to get experience before going for an MBA?
A: Ideally, if you get an opportunity during your undergrad which aligns with your career goals and interests, then you should gain work-experience first, it will help you in grasping many concepts better at B-school. But, if you don't have the right opportunities available, getting irrelevant experience is of no use, go for an MBA.
Q: I was from a science background till 12th, from where can I learn more about finance?
A: You can use these sources:
Q: How to find internships during undergrad?
A: I always used Internshala and LinkedIn as my source and applied over e-mail. Here's how to do that.
Q: Can one clear an IIM interview with excellent knowledge and confidence but no internships or courses?
A: Certainly, many students do that each year. What the interviewers look at is the value you can add to the batch upon joining along with your potential to learn during the 2-years course. If you can showcase these abilities during the interview, why would they need a written proof?
Q: Being a finance student, can I go for other fields as well?
A: Yes, you can. Anyway, specializations don't exist at IIMs.
Q: When should one take a gap rather than going for a job after a failed CAT attempt?
A: Only in case the job opportunities available are not relevant for you. The gap for CAT preparation alone should not be more than a year. It's not advisable.
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 Anjali Singh and the entire placement team of Shaheed Rajguru College of Applied Sciences for Women to coordinate for this endeavour and help pool-in queries of their students.
Kudos to the team's efforts!