Learning with Fun

MBA Graduates#Suggest what is trending. I have selected the title #FunWithLearning not because it is trending but I want it to trend. The only reason I want to make you aware about it is, you should know how important learning is and what difference it can make in your life. Few youngsters don’t bother to learn much, as they think life is for fun and we need to live life only with it. For them fun means partying all night, hang around with friend and lot more. Actually I am not against this thought process but along with fun, learning is also important.

Learning is the act of acquiring to know, or modifying and reinforcing, existing knowledge, behaviors, skills, values, or preferences and may involve gathering different types of information. Learning is not compulsory but it is contextual. It does not happen at once but, it builds upon and is shaped by previous knowledge.

There is a myth that we can only learn through books or school, actually there are many other mode by which we can learn.

Modes of learning –                  

Nature– We can learn many things from nature.

Discipline– We can learn discipline from SUN. Sun always rises and always set on time. The way SUN works on daily basis we can learn the timeliness and commitment from it.

“Let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see.”

Helpful– Tree stands tall and bears all the heat and gives shadow to those whoever come beneath it. We can learn this quality in our personal life. The quality of being helpful to other will help us in future to build a good relation with people.

“I took a walk in trees and came out taller than them.”

Sports– We watch many sports and we are personally and emotionally attached with it. We can also learn few things from it.

“Winning isn’t everything- But want to win is.”

Team work– We can learn team work from almost all the sports, be it cricket, football, basketball. When players are in the field they leave their individuality behind and work as a team. They get together and play for their team.

Dedication – How all the players are dedicated towards their sports and give their best out in the field. We can learn the same in our studies and in our work. We also can dedicate our self to whatever activity we are doing.

Self-Motivated- Players don’t get motivated all the time. They are self-motivated as they know what they are doing? Why they are doing? And for whom they are doing? Similarly we also need to be self-motivated and know the above questions to succeed in life.

Attitude– Most of the players has one thing in common that is Attitude. Their attitude towards their play is very positive and they are also more confident when they are on field. Similarly we need to have positive attitude towards our Job. We should also learn confidence from them. We need to be very confident on ourselves. If we are confident we will be able to do our best.

Importance of learning:-

Learning is the acquisition of knowledge or skill through education and experience. Our ability to learn and our intellectual capacity are intangibles. However, these intangibles are your greatest assets because everything you do to reinvent and update your knowledge allows you to grow from where you are today to where you want to go. Learning is prerequisite to growth.

We live and work in a changing world. New laws are introduced that lead to the introduction of new policies. New ideas and approaches emerge. New problems arise and new solutions are sought. The world of work is therefore a constantly moving and evolving one. What this means, then, is that, if we are not constantly learning as we go about our day-to-day business, then each day we are getting further and further out of touch with the demands of the modern working world.

Learning is not just important to ensure that we keep up-to-date with developments in our particular field. It is also an important source of motivation, stimulation and job satisfaction. For example, somebody who works in a particular place for three years and during that time continues to learn, grow and develop is likely to experience far greater job satisfaction than someone who stays in the same post for three years, simply repeating the basic tasks in the same way without any growth or development over that time. Learning should therefore be seen as something positive and worthwhile in its own right, not just something that we have to do to meet other people’s expectations of us.

mba program“Ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have”

Learning is Self-Empowerment:

Receiving a good education helps empower you, thus making you strong enough to look after yourself in any given situation. It keeps you aware of your given surrounding as well as the rules and regulations of the society you’re living in. Education helps you understand yourself better; it helps you realize your potential and qualities as a human being. It helps you to tap into latent talent, so that you may be able to sharpen your skills.

Financial Stability and Dignity of Life:

Another importance of education is that it helps you gain sufficient academic qualification so that you are able to get suitable employment at a later stage. A decent employment would be combined with hard-earned remuneration or salary through which you can look after your personal expenses. While you earn for yourself, you gradually begin to realize the true worth of money and how hard it is to earn it. You realize the significance of saving for a rainy day and for unforeseeable contingencies. You feel empowered because there is a new sense of worth that develops within you, and you feel the need to be independent and free from any further financial support.

Growth in Personal Aspiration:

There also comes a phase when the amount you are earning presently will seem inadequate because your aspirations and expectations from yourself would have grown considerably. After this, you will want to change jobs so as to have a higher profile. However, here is when you need to be prepared. A promotion of this figure can occur in two given situations, which are, that either you have the necessary higher academic qualification or a college degree which allows you a safe passage, or that you have amassed enough practical experience which allows you to be a suitable candidate for the employment you seek.

An idle mind is devil workshop:

Education and studying regularly, gives people of all age groups something substantial and challenging to do. It helps them think and use their idle hours, doing something productive and worthwhile. Education need not be purely academic and may include reading for leisure or as a passion for literature, philosophy, art, politics, economics, or even scientific research. There is no limit, to all that you can teach yourself, only if you take the interest to learn and grow as an individual. However, those who treat knowledge as trash, eventually find themselves getting absorbed with thoughts of violence, and jealously against those who are better off than themselves. It is people such as these who turn towards drug addiction, unnecessary rebellion, crime, and plain inactivity. Such people lack the self-esteem, which a good education often provides to its followers.

From the above importance we understand how important learning is but it is more important to enjoy learning and this eventually comes through fun. If we enjoy and we learn then we will be able to implement what we have learn and use that learning into our day to day life.

“If you are not willing, to learn no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.”


Contributed By : Kandarp Gandhi, Class of 2014, IBS Mumbai

Group Discussion

Group DiscusssionGroup Discussion and Personal Interview is one of the litmus test to get through a premier B-school. I still remember how I had to dress myself for success. I still remember how introvert I had been and how difficult it gets to crack a GD-PI. I knew after clearing entrance exam, GD-PI is like a do-or-die situation for me: it is either you are in or you are completely out for another whole year. I knew if GD-PI is not cracked this time then the whole 1 year of hard work is going to go complete futile. So you can see the amount of pressure mounting on me at each ticking of time. Well, the first thing I did was to get rid of this pressure which I was building on to myself. I first made myself understand that it was a “DO” situation and there is no question of “DIE” situation. Now, how exactly did I “dress myself for success”?

Reading Magazines, Newspapers and Books: Yes, the first and foremost thing I started doing was keeping my self abreast with current affairs. This was done by reading newspapers like Economic Times, Business Standard and any other journal I could thing would be relevant, I would grab it. Then I would get few business magazines from friends and buy it from stores. Having completed reading magazines I would ensure I spent time enhancing and brushing-up my general knowledge. For me this was very important as I could relate many crucial events with my GD Topics. This would help me in putting across relevant points on the table. In short, keeping updated of current affairs gave me a shot of adrenaline – an air of confidence! This was mainly as I could see my points at the discussion were not only relevant but also short, precise and multiple unique points.

Reading books mainly some of the best sellers was another boost to my confidence. Books like Alchemist, The monk who sold his Ferrari, Rich Dad Poor Dad etc has shaped my continuity in talk, coherence in thought, and concentration in listening. It made me believe that there is another point of view, there is another outlook and approach to the topic. This helped me think out of the box, this taught me that imagination has no limit and I would come with new points. Reading such books is a boost for topics which are complete abstract: “Roses are red, violets are blue”, “Come to a full circle” or “Orange”. Yes these were some of the exact topics I had got during several of my GD discussions for various B-schools.

During my Group Discussions in which I got Selected:

 A group of 10 individuals in which 8 were boys and 2 were girls. The moderator had given a topic (The Chinese goods are disrupting the Indian markets) and then had asked to start. The very moment 3 candidates started and they kept on talking irrespective of whether the other one is listening. I knew if I speak it would not make any sense to anyone. I had expected the rowdy person will be eliminated. After a 1 minute of their talk, I suggested the girls too be given a chance to put across their viewpoint. This provided enough to stop them and after the girl spoke I pitched my point which I had thought during the time when other 3 contestants were talking. I spoke 3 valid points and passed in to the person who did not get the chance to speak. Then as the discussion time was about to end, I pulled myself up again and summarised the discussion with points suggested by all the individuals.

In this discussion I learned we need time to think and then structure the ideas. In fact I had created a flowchart and I ensured to use one analogy, one uncommon point apart from few relevant points. Further if someone has already started the discussion, avoid jumping on the running train. Secondly, we need to carefully listen to other speakers and bullet their points in a paper. Thirdly, we have to avoid interrupting when the other speaker has just begun speaking or has not completed his view or sentence. Fourthly, avoid being rowdy or disrespectful and instead you can offer chance to speak to your fellow contestants when the others are not letting you speak and then after a while you can extend the discussion. Last but not the least, you cannot dominate or speak throughout the discussion and should lead the group as a ‘team’.

MBA Graduates

Starting the discussion:

If you have already mapped the topic and you are confident about it then you can start the discussion. It is a myth that one who starts the discussion has a more probability of getting through the selection. In fact one who has put across valid points and had maintained a positive attitude and has shown team culture are more likely to be selected.

Heated discussion:

If the discussion has become rowdy, you can turn the table round by not being rowdy and showing your effort through gestures that yes you have a point to put forward. You may try entering the discussion whenever there is an opportunity. Chances are more that the moderator may ask each one to put forward their point of view.

How many times to speak?

There is no thumb rule as to how many times you have to speak. What most moderators notice is how much proactive you have been, and how smartly have you put across your views. You should speak to the point, crisp and ensure some innovative points to be added. You should not speak for the sake of speaking.

How to enter into the discussion?

 You can enter the discussion by using sentences like “I completely agree with my friend and I would like to add that….” or “I think the other point of view to this topic is that…” If the discussion is going off the topic then one can take charge of it and can express that “I think we are getting deviated from the main topic and my opinion is…”

How to summarise the discussion?

If you have not spoken then this is a very important and the last attempt to redeem yourself. For this one has to be actively listening and writing the important points. One has to smartly correlate the important points and quickly summaries within a minute. One has to ensure that no new point should be added here as the discussion is over and only the main points have to be summarised. You can probably use sentences like “we had a meaningful discussion and we came to the consensus that….” or “Though we had a meaningful discussion yet we could not come to a consensus. Some of the points discussed were…”

These points had been extremely helpful in several of my group discussions but one cannot deny that group discussions are unpredictable. Each discussion takes its own shape and has a different way forward. One has to be confident and has to be smart to deal with surprises as there are no prescribed formulas to “dress for success”.


Contributed By : Mitesh Agarwal, Class of 2011, IBS Hyderabad

How to prepare for GD/PIs?

gd and piI hope your written exam scores must have surprised most of you by now. In case, you are pleasantly surprised only then you can expect to get a call for the next rounds of evaluations i.e. GD-PIs. The step that you have just cleared (the written exam) is the easiest one as you had the liberty of guessing and solving by eliminative approach as the exams were of MCQ type. But it is in the GD-PI round, you will see that things have become more interesting, more challenging and needless to say have gone to the next level, where the focus will solely be on you. Ever conscious or unconscious action of yours will be judged in order to make or break your career by assuring a seat in top b-schools.

The sole purpose of a group discussion is to evaluate your capability to discuss and work in a team as a team player and your listening capabilities. There is a myth that the person, who speaks in the loudest voice and consumes maximum air time during discussion, gets selected. Please understand that nobody ‘likes’ an aggressive and obnoxious person who enforces his views on others in a team set-up. And in GD, the whole onus of you getting selected lies on your ‘likeability’ quotient in the eyes of the panel. Be sure that your presence is felt throughout the GD by the group members and you contribute positively in the discussion. By positively one should understand that, as a team member you are expected to bring out different and relevant angles to the discussion and yet help the group’s cause in arriving at a consensus by giving a properly spaced out appearance in the course of the discussion.

As mentioned above, unconsciously many candidates tend to do a one on one discussion in a GD and lose eye-contact with other members of the group. This can be detrimental towards your progress because a member of a group you are expected to address each and every member of the group when you are putting forward your point. You have to make your chances to get into a GD because nobody is so generous but do make sure to wait for the pauses at the end when a member is putting forward its point. Don’t interrupt in between. Be assertive in your arguments and back them up with numbers if you have. As a group, ‘We could have done it this way’ leaves more impact than ‘We should do it this way’. Another myth is that the one who starts the GD scores the brownie points is partially true. Partially because, if you are starting a GD you are expected to set the tone of the whole discussion but if candidate fumbles there, it goes against him as being irresponsible and superficial. Morale of the story is ‘Don’t be a pillion rider by supporting other members of the group or acknowledging them, but drive the discussion’.

mba graduatesAfter the fish market of GD, you are in for the most herculean and most important task, the Personal Interview. Be prepared with questions as simple as Why MBA, to the most difficult ones as What if we don’t select you. Having a thorough idea of the industry in which you are working or you intend to work will be very handy and most importantly you must be ‘able to connect the dots’ between the above answers. Most interviewers decide in the first two minutes if they are going to give a nod for the candidate or not. So, it is very important to strike a chord with the interviewer in the first 60-120 seconds. The interviewer/panel will give you a chance to do it by asking the most open ended question, ‘Tell me something about yourself’ and you should understand that why it is being asked. Your profile is already in front of the panel, so give them talking points about what is not mentioned in your CV or to your area of strength, your hobbies may be.

Don’t get intimidated if the panel tries to exert pressure on you during the interview. They are simply checking your mental strength and composure. Just maintaining a smile and being positive in your talks can do wonders for you. An interview is a conversation, so be polite and look interested all the time. Show the panel that you are not very judgmental, idealistic and a nervous fish outside your comfort zone. Show them that you are rational, positive and composed. I know a candidate who converted IIM-B by just accepting the offer of cookies by the panel for the simple reason that he waited 8 hours for his interview and when panel offered him some cookies, he accepted it because he was hungry (rational).

Do thorough research on the b-school’s history and the various activities which happen there throughout the year and talk about them during interview. It is better to formulate your GD-PIs in a way that there is no scope of contradiction in your arguments because most of the times, your GD and interview panel is going to be same and you can be questioned on your arguments in GD during the interview. Some b-schools ask candidate to give an essay/write-up before appearing for the GD-PIs. Follow basics such as using simple English, small sentences, small paragraphs, giving examples and maintaining a flow. Be sure of what you write, because again it can come back to haunt you in the PI.

Thus, GD-PIs are the tools to test how you are going to behave in the classroom initially and later in corporate as a professional. In an MBA, classroom discussions will imbibe more learning in you than mere walking you through the PPTs which is called ‘death by power-point’. An MBA is not more about how much you know, but more about how you articulate your thoughts in a lucid and presentable manner. Polish these aspects your personality and ah you en-route a journey towards an exciting career.


Contributed By : Sthita Sahu

“Sharing My Experience And Tips on the Selection Process at IBS”

Himanshu ChowdaryIn this topic, I will share my experience with all of you on the Selection Process that I went through at IBS India.

I joined the IBS Hyderabad in the year 2003 and let me share that the selection process at IBS is very fair but at the same time is equally challenging on the competitive front..

Before I share my experience on the selection process, let me give you a fair idea on how the whole IBS Selection Process starts and finish!

As per the Selection Procedure of IBSAT, the candidates would be selected for the final admission at the IBS Business School and ICFAI University campuses through the IBSAT exam scores, Group Discussion (GD) and Personal Interview (PI).

The IBSAT exam is conducted for selection of students for admissions into management courses at IBS across its campuses. The IBSAT Selection Procedure will be conducted in IBS Hyderabad campus in the month of February. The procedure candidates have to follow is given in the table below

IBSAT Exam
IBSAT 2014/GMAT/CAT Score
Group Discussion and Personal Interview

In this topic I will jot down the four most important points based on my experience that will helps you sail through the Selection Process at IBS.

Timing: Timing is very important aspect as far the SP concerns…You need to reach the venue well before the given time and register yourself at the Registration Counter. I have seen many students reaching late to the venue or getting the registration late due to some or the other reasons which in turn leads to the utter confusion for them and most of the students felt nervous and broke down before the most important SP. It‘s not correct if any student start feeling nervous or remains in hurry. You need to stay cool and should not lose control of the things due to the bad time management.

Choosing the Appropriate Centre: While filling the forms I encountered a very critical question that ask you about your most preferential centres…Since I was from New Delhi and at that point of time IBS Hyderabad was the most sought after learning centre, so I choose IBS Hyderabad as my first choice and Gurgaon as second, Jaipur and Dehradun as third and fourth…Most of the students available at that point of time were filling Hyderabad as their first choice of learning centre..While I would not say that in today’s time the students will not put Hyderabad as the first choice but the times have change and all the 9 IBS Learning centres are providing world class education and amenities and state of the art infrastructure.

You need to provide your list of the most preferential learning centres in your feedback form and you will be asked to provide 4-5 choices of learning centres…Before providing your list of the centres, I will advise each one of you to kindly visit the nearby IBS Centre and talk to the staff and students and take help from the seniors in order to choose your preference for the learning centres.

Group Discussion: GD at IBSI was reached the given venue at 8am on the given day and my turn for GD came at around 6pm this is because of the large number of the students available at that day and the IBS Staff was taking each and every step to make feel that we are not left behind like this..I was very impressed with the arrangement and facility provided to the students and to their parents…The GD was consists of 8-10 members per group and the supervisors who were available were very knowledgeable and were very supportive…Our group was given a topic and were provided 5 Minutes of time to think for some points on the given topic of the GD. You need to be well prepared for the Group Discussion held during the SP at IBS. I will provide you some of the tips to handle the GD in a much better way…

  • Be as natural as possible. Do not try and be someone you are not.
  • Don’t start speaking until you have clearly understood and analyzed the subject.
  • Work out various strategies to help you make an entry: initiate the discussion or agree with someone else’s point and then move onto express your views.
  • Opening the discussion is not the only way of gaining attention and recognition. If you do not give valuable insights during the discussion, all your efforts of initiating the discussion will be in vain.
  • Your body language says a lot about you – your gestures and mannerisms are more likely to reflect your attitude than what you say.
  • Always be polite: Try to avoid using extreme phrases like: `I strongly object’ or `I disagree’. Instead try phrases like: `I would like to share my views on…’ or `One difference between your point and mine…’
  • Brush up on your leadership skills; motivate the other members of the team to speak and listen to their views.
  • If you have a group of like-minded friends, you can have a mock group discussion where you can learn from each other through giving and receiving feedback.

Apart from the above points, the panel will also judge team members for their alertness and presence of mind, problem-solving abilities, ability to work as a team without alienating certain members, and creativity.
Don’t be disheartened if you did not do well in your first group discussion. The best possible preparation for a group discussion is to learn from your past mistakes…

Personal Interview:  personal interview at IBSPI is the last step at your SP at IBS, there are no set timing for PI and a normal PI could take any time between 10 mins to 30 mins, PI is your last chance for getting the selection done at your favourite IBS Centre… You need to be very well prepared for your PI…The panel for the PI are truly the best among the lot and no one can take chance with this step of the SP…I was interviewed for almost 15 mins and the panel asked me the questions related to my Engineering subjects, the project done during the Engg, current affairs, Indian Politics and questions from various other subjects which I learned during my Engg course. You need to be hands on your graduate courses and read thoroughly about the projects done during the graduate course…do not leave any chance to Impress the panel with your sense of Humour and the communication skills…the PI Panel would not like to see you giving answers’ like you mugged them but present yourself in a very confident way!!

I will provide you some of the tips to handle the PI in a much better way…

What does it test?

So what does the personal interview process aim to test? According to Dr JK Mitra, Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, “Personal Interview process might begin with the ‘views’ expressed during the ‘extempore round’ (part of process at FMS Delhi) or through a free-wheeling discussion around one’s bio-data given in the application form.”

Goal Clarity:
Why do want to do an MBA? How does it fit into your career goals? What do you wish to do after your MBA?…These are some hard questions that you will have to answer almost invariably in all Interviews. These questions search the ‘inner motivations’ of a candidate, and there are no ‘right answers’. The only way to answer these questions is to introspect: what excites and motivates you; what makes you perform your best; what would you really like to do in your life, and how do you genuinely see an MBA helping. Tough questions, but answering them honestly is critical for your success!

Domain Knowledge:
Given that a good MBA is a demanding programme, B-schools would like to know how you will be able to cope up with the academics and the extra-curricular 24 x 7 demands of your new campus. They are also keen to assess how you have utilized the earlier learning opportunities.

Be prepared to discuss different specialty areas in business and their responsibilities. Interviewers will also expect you to discuss current issues in business, including the economy, taxation, foreign competition, the role of technology and ethical challenges in the field.

Interestingly, it is not just about knowledge and answering the questions but also ‘leading’ the interview panel. Anything you say opens the doors to new lines of questioning and discussion, so make sure you know where you are leading the interview.

Communication Skills:
Your speaking and listening skills become very important than the oft tested reading and writing skills. As simple as it may sound, good communication strategy is quite simple. Listen to the question keenly to understand it well, and then offer a precise answer. If you don’t know the answer, no bluffing the panel please! The experts are too experienced to notice this and can get switched off.

Prep Strategy:
To be honest, it is not possible to ‘prepare’ for an interview in a few weeks. Planning for an interview should ideally be a process that should begin as soon as you make up your mind to pursue management education. However, you should use the few weeks and months before the interview to revisit and update your knowledge base, and crystallize your reasoning and thinking process on your career and life goals.

All the Best!!

GD Ref : http://gdpi.ascenteducation.com/

PI Ref : http://www.mbauniverse.com/


Contributed by Himanshu Chaudhary ( Class of 2003-05IBS HYDERABAD )

What should you expect from a B-School?

business management school

Tips to set the right direction for your MBA

M-B-A, Master of Business Administration has become one of the most sought after courses in the recent years. It is because post-graduation in an MBA from a B-School makes us corporate ready (proved by the increasing acceptance for MBA graduates from a variety of corporate fields) regardless of the undergraduate background we may have to our credit.

Thus, the demand is matched with the increase in number of MBA seats in existing Institutes by the increase in number of institutions offering Diploma courses in Management. With more number of Management course offerings (the place and field of study) the prospective candidates now have a plate full of options to choose from. Yet, with these options come confusion and this multiplies, as the selection of the choice is a life changing one.

Such life changing decisions need to be made smartly, so before proceeding on the selection let us fully understand and set the right expectations that guide our selection process, with a little help from your friend, who has successfully crossed the Rubicon (selecting a right B-School) and reaping the benefits (by securing an apt placement) by making the right decision then (by choosing IBS Hyderabad). I would like to discuss few finer tips that would help shape-up your selection process.

  • Diversity- “Making of a multi-faceted personality”

“Management education cannot be taught, it needs to be self-learned and experienced”. To master in this field you should keep your mind open to new experiences and be aware of the differences stemming from a single point. To learn this you should share experiences with a mixed group of people who hail from different age groups, geographies, cultures, languages, academic backgrounds and professions. This experience is an invaluable asset in your life-time as it shapes your decision-making process and Emotional Intelligence to a great extent.

Additionally, having a diverse knowledge helps you grow and progress in your career. Luckily my institute had a planned set of pan-India selection process and a systematic classroom was set up wherein people from different categories (by profession, education, geography, languages, etc) were evenly split among the classes and the classes were shuffled every semester which helped us learn a wide variety of different experiences from different people.

  • Faculty-“A ‘NO’ to teaching!”

You may ask “If Management education cannot be taught, why should we speak of the Faculty?” It is because the right learning can happen only under a right faculty. The faculty discussed here are the people who have the right blend of academic background which is enriched with years of corporate and teaching experiences.

A good MBA institute takes effort in selecting the right faculty and learning from them shapes up an individual’s thinking prowess and introduces them to different ways and dimensions in approaching a particular issue. Such remarkable faculties will also present you with a huge number of high-profile industrial contacts. In order to receive the best from them, you should show your thirst for excellence and knowledge as they would frequently encourage you to participate and raise intelligent and sensible questions from time to time.

  • Curriculum- “Design for Doers”mba graduates

When you have the right mix to discuss and a great faculty to direct you to your cause, the next step is to understand that the essence of right learning happens with the right curriculum, as this is going to be the theme on which the great minds are going to work. An MBA is a real-time course and has one of the most dynamic curriculum which need to be updated every year or even every semester. To ensure this, the top end institutes offer a hands-on-experience to theory oriented program in the ratio of 80:20 ratio. This type of curriculum is brought about by the means of Simulation exercises (offline and online), Summer Internship Projects, Tie-ups with Entrepreneurs and Incubation centers, Case methodology, mini-real time business projects, etc.

They also give a major component of evaluation for the above techniques ahead of theory/ written examinations and most Institutes follow an open-book examination. You should understand that in an MBA curriculum it is not about teaching the right solutions but it is about learning and using the right tools to solve an issue by your analytical, logical and emotional abilities in a proactive way, which premier B-School faculties are known to inculcate in their students.

  • Infrastructure- “The training ground”

There is no exception that the B-School’s infrastructure should also facilitate a flawless functioning of students, faculty and the management. This encompasses uninterrupted power supply, internet and telecommunications connectivity, clean water and a rich, natural environment. This will help the students in campus to be in tandem with the changes happening in the society and economy in real-time and also help them to go ahead with the curriculum in a smooth pace.

A Wi-Fi campus, video-conferencing facilities for placements and lectures, air-conditioned class rooms and the like have become the order of the day in many institutes. A special mention should be made for the libraries which should be well stocked with the proper books. They should also include quality national & international magazines (viz. HBR, TIME, FORTUNE, etc) and newspapers subscriptions (The Wall street Journal, Washington Post, Mint, etc), with online subscriptions to international business and social research databases (like Wharton Research Data Services, Proquest, EBSCO, etc). These are the qualitative resources that an MBA graduate has to rely heavily upon to evaluate his business case inferences.

The institutes should also have a complete refreshment and rejuvenation infrastructure through of games and sports facilities. These would include the availability of board games as well as infrastructure such as indoor stadiums, swimming pool, auditorium, open air theatre and gym, etc as these enhance the quality of study in the institute.

  • Investment-“Nothing comes without a price- better you go higher the price”

Premier institutes offering management education charge considerably higher Tuition Fees/ Education cost, but here I would like you to consider that amount as an investment for your future and not a waste of money. If an institute is able to offer the above said quality atmosphere, then the individual is sure of becoming erudite and thus he would be able the make profits of such investment. It should be considered as “Investment for life” and not as cost for education. I am not trying to justify the fees that these institutes charge you, but they promise to give their heart and soul to kick-start your career. Thus, the fee alone should not hinder your decision making.

  • Placement- “A Cakewalk”

“What is the placement scenario?” This question should be the last question that you should ask if you have selected an institute with above expectations as the core of your selection. An MBA institute which offers the right faculty, a diversified and a deserving student mix, dynamic curriculum, supportive infrastructure is itself a brand (viz. IBS group of Institutes, IIMs, etc). Such brands are meant to attract corporate across the globe for placements, because the global and domestic corporates foresee the graduates from such branded institutes as smart and impeccable.

So friends, all in all, do select an institute which

  • Puts you with the right mix of people
  • Presents to you high quality faculty
  • Does have real time curriculum (enriched with cases and real-time business projects)
  • Encompasses you with reliable infrastructure
  • Charges you the correctly for “Value for Money”
  • Connects you to the proper corporates to fetch an apt placement

It might be hard to appreciate the above mentioned items during the course of study however its benefits would be reaped post MBA.  Steve Jobs famously said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards!”. Thus I am proud to announce that I am able to connect them now and I am thankful to my alma mater- IBS Hyderabad for making me a better professional.

All the best.


Contributed By : L. Gowtham ( Class of 2013, IBS Hyderabad )

Attitude is everything – Refining one’s attitude during the MBA course

MBA ProgramThe word ‘attitude’ is talked almost by everyone and people often talk about positive attitude and negative attitude. However, most people have only a vague idea about it and would not be able to explain its meaning and implications in life. Moreover, most of the time’s people are neither trying to learn nor do anything to improve upon their attitude. Surprisingly, most of the academic study courses do not include this topic in the curriculum.

Dictionary definitions of ‘attitude’ are:

A person’s attitude is the most important aspect of personality. Without good attitude any amount of intelligence, knowledge, information, skills would be futile. It is interesting to note that graduates of various diverse streams like engineering, sciences, history, geography, sociology, economics, chartered accountants etc; mostly go for a common post graduate course viz; MBA. Obviously they have specialized knowledge in their respective streams and during MBA study, they would like to gain in areas which are commonly useful to all streams. Needless to say that dealing effectively with human beings is a thread which cuts across all streams and learning to refine one’s attitude is the simple most important aspect of dealing with human beings. This must be the most important agenda in every student’s list who enrol for MBA programme.

Unfortunately the attitude refining does not happen in one day and it requires a prolonged conscious thought and effort in this direction. There cannot be better time to embark upon this journey than the first day of MBA course.

A person’s achievements, joy, happiness, satisfaction in life all depend entirely on attitude one chooses in life. MBA programme is the most opportune time for the students to explore this area and navigate themselves to grow in refining and developing their attitude. There are hundreds of books on the subject and thousands of articles in print and there is ocean of thoughts and ideas on the internet in this area.

In most of our MBA programmes the focus is primarily upon;

  1. To learn the subjects as per syllabus, pass examinations and get good marks.
  2. To complete all group projects, assignments and other co-curricular activities leading to personality development.
  3. To get campus placement in a good company with high salary package.

It is absolutely necessary to shift our focus from tangible to intangible, from information and theories to feelings & beliefs, to harness our potential as human beings. It is also necessary to count your blessings daily, get proper rest and exercise, set aside personal time with family and close friends, help someone less fortunate, create an upbeat positive greeting, develop a “Whatever-It-Takes” attitude.

We can actually say that attitude is a state of mind, it is your mind-set; it is the way you look at things mentally. It reflects how we feel about something. Feelings may be favorable or unfavorable to person, objects or event.

mba graduates

Attitude comprises of three main components

  1. Cognitions (Thoughts) – My job is interesting
  2. Affections (Feelings) – I love my job
  3. Behaviour ( Actions and reactions) – I am going to get to work early with a smile on my face- my intention to act

To begin changing your attitude we may do the following:

  1. Learn and practice meditation
  2. Read inspiring books, autobiographies and see related videos
  3. Remain optimistic and accept change is inevitable
  4. Learn to live in the present moment with mindfulness
  5. Learn to smile and be cheerful always
  6. Listen intently and learn to appreciate others view point.
  7. Read some good books on attitude and assimilate the thoughts and ideas.  A few books I would strongly recommend are:
  • Success through positive mental attitude by Napoleon Hill
  • Success is everything by Jeff Keller
  • Seven habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey
  • You can win by Shiv Khera
  • Best salesman in the world by Og Mandino
  • As a man thinketh by James Allen

Charles Swindoll has very rightly said that the remarkable thing is that we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. It is said that life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we react to it.

My parting words for you;

Life is not a ladder of success; it is a slippery pole where every slip has to be paid for. So, when you embark on your journey of attitude building, you will encounter successes and failures; persevere and always remember these few common quotes,

With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable. … Sir Thomas Buxton

Every failure, obstacle or hardship is an opportunity in disguise. Success in many cases is failure turned inside out. Eliminate the negative attitude and believe you can do anything. Replace ‘if I can, I hope, may be’ with ‘I can, I will, I must.” … Mary Kay Ash

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. … Winston Churchill

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind. … William James

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. …. Charles Dickens

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home.  …. Dr. Charles Swindoll


Contributed by Sumit Gulati (Class of 2009, IBS HYDERABAD)

“Choose the Electives-Carefully”

MBA ProgramWhile most of us would be gearing up for the admission day, we would be facing a plethora of choices-be it colleges, courses or even the trivial minded-what clothes to wear!

Going a little ahead, and peering into the crystal ball, one year down the line, as students of any regular MBA we would have to again make a choice. This will be crucial, compelling and at times cruel choice.

So what is this choice which we have to make which is likely to have us splitting our hair?

Exact after the first year of our MBA ends we will be asked to choose our specialization (streams) and our elective subjects.

All students who have decided to pursue their MBA after their engineering degree will be asked by the society, friends and family (not the college of course) to take up Finance.

All Humanities graduates will be asked to take up Marketing and all women, well will be expected to take up HR. Human Resources being regarded as a so called ‘soft role’ further reinforcing the stereotypes we already have.

Engineers, on account of their supposed familiarity and comfort with numbers need not necessarily do well in Finance. The same is true for graduates of Humanities stream as well. Engineers might actually be better at marketing (some usually are!).

Post the completion of our school life, we have been constantly given the chance of choosing between various electives. And yet, our choice is usually predetermined by others in most cases and very rarely by ourselves.

The electives we choose, be it in languages, or a course in accounting, or a course in digital marketing will define whatever course we take in our professional lives.

Choosing these electives is not merely a matter of formality-studying for them since the course requires it. These electives will actually define how well rounded we are, how we are able to judge and make through many difficult situations. These are skills which every recruiter and every company looks for in a candidate.

We must choose an elective with the sole aim of learning, not merely because the market sentiment echoes taking up of the said elective or simply because majority of the batchmates are signing up for it.

Electives in the second year of our MBA are a natural continuation and expression of the summer internship which every student of a regular MBA course must undergo.

The agonizing decision over electives must be made well before the onset of the summer training programme and the onset of the new semester.

b-school

There is no one elective which will make or break your professional life. Rather, blindly choosing electives without a thought as to where your strengths, and your interests lie could be detrimental to your career.

Very obviously, a flair for numbers is required for taking up core Finance, however, don’t let your interest and acumen in finance be dampened by a few formulae in mathematics.

If your basic understanding and grounding of any subject is good, the syllabus will not be too much of a hurdle for you to learn and yes eventually clear.

The age old adage-if you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life rings absolutely true. There’s absolutely no sense in pursuing in a course or elective in which you don’t have an inkling of what’s going on and worse still, don’t have an inclination as well.

As students, once we have decided to undergo preparation for an MBA and spend a valuable two years of our precious professional lives into investing into a course as deep as the MBA, we as students must spend time on deciding on electives as well.

Dividing electives merely on the basis of Marketing, Finance or HR is a gross injustice of the MBA program.

Unlike many other postgraduate and graduate programs, the MBA is a highly interactive program, requiring active participation of the students, who are used to merely attending the lectures and skimming through exams, an average MBA course requires much hard work and thorough preparation on part of the students.

This diligence also extends, but obviously to choosing of electives as well.

There is a very real and distinct possibility of students getting trapped in electives which they have no clue how to study for ( in the best of cases) and what the course actually is ( in the worst of cases)!

Electives can be thought of as a final icing on the cake after one finishes of the MBA. Since any MBA is not merely the sum of a few subjects here and there and does not specifically involve breezing through lectures, electives add the necessary component of lateral and out of the box thinking which is actually a skill-it cannot be taught or ingrained. In other words, it can only be acquired-through making informed and judicious choices which includes choosing electives which will make us more informed and skilled.

Without realizing it, when any course or institution offers us a choice of choosing electives as per wish, we should treat it as an opportunity to express ourselves as freely as possible. As students, we very rarely get the chance to actually pursue our wishes and our calling especially when it comes to education and courses.

Choosing from an array of electives, introduces to us as students the options available to us to hone up our skills, to create knowledge for ourselves and also in many surprising cases, a God sent opportunity for many of us, to actually study something which we long wished for but were never able to pursue it for a variety of reasons-the chief culprit being never having had the opportunity to actually get a choice.

Choosing electives is a thought provoking exercise, intended to make us choose between various topics and subjects with the express intent of enabling us to build a new knowledge base (by studying for topics,subjects and areas which we never knew existed or about which we didn’t know anything hitherto).

We must make wonderful use of this opportunity and not squander it by treating the choosing of electives as one more formality.There in lies the catch.


Contributed by sunil iyer ( Class of 2008, IBS GURGAON )

Importance of MBA Subjects – Reality or a Myth?

Importance of MBA SubjectsI specialized in MBA finance and today, I use zero ‘finance’ in my job. My friend specialised in HR and he uses every bit of it on a daily basis. So the immediate question that comes to me naturally is – are the subjects taught during an MBA actually relevant?If yes, to what extent? But a better and more important question is -why not put your investment (both in terms oftime and money)into makingthese MBA subjects relevant?

Technically, thereis no set of rules in making your MBA relevant. However, there is always a way to judge what is of real importance. Let us look at some of them.

Choose selectively: Choosing between an MBA in finance, marketing, HR or operations is a question that exists in almost every MBA aspirant’s mind. And it may get tough to decide which field to specialize in. Consider a personality test at that point. Ask yourself if you are a fact based person or someone who gets along with people easily or if you’re a process follower. Learn from your past to direct your future. While you cannot predict your future, you can use your common sense and aptitude to give it a direction. Closely analyse the things that work for you or have resulted in a success in your favour and follow that path. This doesn’t mean asking you to stick to your comfort zone. Choose a specialization that according to you and you alone makes sense for your long term personal and professional growth.

 

Choose now or suffer later!

Challenge your knowledge: Challenging yourself, especially your knowledge is critical for decision making. It is a brave act since going through the process can be quite taxing mentally, and may even affect your self-esteem. But try it. Do it for your own good. By the time we complete our MBA, we have already absorbed a plethora of knowledge from our learning and experiences at school, during graduation and of course, personal experiences, being the most important. However, the key to success is to constantly challenge your existing knowledgeas we live in a dynamic environment which is constantly changing and evolving.And something that holds true today may lose its meaning or significance the next day. Something as mundane as our choice of clothes or the gadgets that we use keeps changing every few months.The computers that were being so widely used till a few years ago, without which, one could not imagine working, are now considered outdated. By saying this, I do not mean that our knowledge becomes obsolete, but its application changes faster than we can imagine. Knowledge keeps evolving and so does its application. Hence, it is vital for the MBA subjects also to evolve as per the need of the hour and we should not shy away from challenging their relevance and suitability if they seem outmoded, and in the process, renew the confidence in what we do.

mba programme

Everything has an expiry date, even knowledge!

Challenge your Professors: A B-school today will offer you tremendous opportunities for learning and innovation. However, you will still find a few professors who may burden you with traditional, theoretical ways of teaching and thinking. In such situations, an ideal solution is totake the lead and challenge for new ideas, new ways of conducting classroom sessionsand demand new content. These curious, entrepreneurial acts will increase the value of your MBA subjects and the learning experience, making them much more relevant for the real world. Create case studies in everything possible, try and relate it to real life and if you do not find a way to relate it to the practical world, consider disregarding or questioning it.

 

Ask your professor,“Am I really going to use this in real life? And if yes, how?”

Commercial alignment: Professionals with a commercially alignedthinking is what corporates are looking for in anMBA graduate today. Your knowledge of the subjects won’t be of much use if you cannot make money for the firm. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important to adapt yourself according tothe market dynamics before opting for a specialization. Today, if I were to do my MBA again, I would have not optedfor the traditional choice of finance or marketing. I would have chosen a specialization in entrepreneurship in emerging marketsor risk mitigationor leadership, innovation etc. Considering that the selection of specialization happens after one year in most colleges, you will have ample time to think about the subjects of relevance that cater to your needs and aptitude.All you need to do is to make sure that your time is effectively invested and managed.

Create a new skill: Pursuing an MBA comes with several benefits, one of them being the ability to create and develop in you an innovative skill by leveraging the MBA subjects. One needs to thoroughly analyze the ‘skills of the future’ and prepare himself/herself for it during the course of the program. Organizations demand and value skills over any “specialization”. The future workforce is expected to be more dynamic and innovative. And if you are one of them, you will go places. The more skilled you are, the more employable you become.

A skill doesn’t need to great; Even a simple skill that is ‘commercial’ sells!

What does it mean for you?

The importance of MBA subjects can neither be undermined, nor be considered paramount. The most crucial aspect remains the application of subjects that you study during the course – whichever specialization it may be. And application will only come with experimentation and by displaying entrepreneurship skills. The subjects and degree will just act as a base for a few years after your MBA. Once you’re on the job, nobody really caresabout your degree. But you are expected to know a lot of things, just because you are an MBA graduate. And the expectations are really high from your leaders, colleagues and family. You will be required to handle big tasks and responsibilities. And all you need to do is apply a simple idea to solve them. And the one thing that will keep you alive and help you succeed is your commercial acumen and the ability to deal with the ever changing situations using your skills.


Contributed by Virag Jain ( Class of 2010, IBS MUMBAI )

Spirituality and its Relevance to MBA program

MBA programThere are many ways to define the word ‘spirituality’. In words of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Spirituality blossoming simply means blossoming in life in all dimensions; being happy, at ease with yourself and everybody around you. It primarily deals with finer human aspects.

Classical definition of management is that it is the art and science of getting things done through other people. It is science because there are certain principles and rules which operate on logic. These can be seen in the areas of accounting, finance, marketing etc. It is art because in management we deal with people all the way and people cannot be handled with logic. People have thoughts, feelings, emotions, instincts and certain values & morals in dealing with situations.

Most management programme syllabus cover the intellectual portions which operate on principles of logic very well though these programme fail miserably in dealing with people aspects. People aspects are generally covered under the subject of organizational behaviour which primarily include topics like motivation, morale, leadership etc. but these do not touch upon the finer issues of human aspects.

We shall look at the past nearly 140 years and see how the human aspects have evolved. In early stages of industrial revolution in the late 19th century, the people aspect was not well known and scientific management principles propounded by F. W. Taylor, Frank & Lillian Gilbreth and others were based on the science aspects of management i.e. on the logic part. It was only during 1932 -1936 while conducting of the Hawthorne experiment at Western Electric Company, Chicago that management thinkers for the first time got a feel of the human aspect. They were puzzled with findings of the experiment. The electrical assembly shop had been divided into two parts, one being a reference group and the other experimental group. The purpose of the experiment was to study effect of changes in light intensity and noise level on productivity of workers. It was observed that whether we increased or decreased the variable parameters, productivity always went up. It was proved beyond any doubt that treating workers as meaningful human beings instead of a cog in the production system was the reason behind continuous increase in productivity.

Another interesting story came from Japan. During the World War II (1939-1945) the economy of Japan was totally shattered and atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki knelt a deadly blow to the economy. Japan does not have many natural resources and hence revival of its economy was a distant possibility. However, the spectacular rise of Japanese industry in 1960s and 1970s stunned the whole world. Researchers from all over the world, notably the US went to Japan to study the underlying causes of such spectacular progress.

Surprisingly, they found the humble ‘Quality Circle’ was doing miracles at ground root level. A quality circle comprises a group of 8 to 10 workers from the same work area, who meet periodically on voluntary basis to discuss, analyse and solve problems and issues related to their work area. The quality circle members use seven tools of quality circle viz. brainstorming, histogram, pareto chart etc.

American firms tried to replicate the quality circle concept in their work areas but it was utter failure everywhere. The basic concept of quality circles in Japan was based on the fact that managements in Japan believe all employees to be intelligent and capable human beings, who know their jobs and work areas the best. Thus, it was the dignity and respect for human beings which results in people doing wonders in their work areas. The seven tools were simple techniques which were used only to formalize ideas and thoughts of group members. American culture which primarily operates on the principle of hire and fire could not appreciate the spirit behind quality circles and tried to copy only the methodology. In many other countries of the world, including India the concept of quality circle has been introduced, but due to very limited success most of these quality circles died a natural death.

Next important milestone came in 1985 when Mr Daniel Goleman popularized the concept of emotional intelligence through his book ‘Emotional Intelligence at Work’. A lot has been published on the subject since then and it has given impetus to all types of organizations. It is well known now that success of  a person depends only 20% on his intelligence level (Intelligence Quotient – IQ) and 80 % on his emotional intelligence level (Emotional Quotient – EQ).

The real breakthrough in dealing with human beings has not yet come through and it is expected that spirituality (Spiritual Quotient – SQ) may provide the answer.

MBA Graduates

Spirituality may be defined in any one of the following ways;

  1. Living values as integrity, probity, passion, co-operation, ethics, commitment, loyalty and tolerance at workplace.
  2. Wisdom required to effectively function in a complex business environment.
  3. It helps eliminate prejudice, biases and subjectivity.
  4. It leads to leadership excellence, balancing spiritual and material aspects and helps coping with stress from within.
  5. It denotes ability to effectively communicate with people from diverse global backgrounds and perspectives.
  6. It helps us to recognize and nurture giftedness in other people.

Spirituality primarily deals with total fabric of inner core values of a person. People differ very widely in all aspects, but the most crucial is the spiritual aspect.

Spirituality is often confused with religion but these two are poles apart. A person’s religion may be Hindu, Muslim, Christianity etc. and each religion has its own set of guidelines including concept of God, rituals, worship methods etc. Spirituality is above all religions, i.e. it looks at human being as a unit and innermost cravings, thoughts, aspirations, feelings, instincts and perversions etc., are considered.

Today’s executives operate under extremely complex and demanding work situations and one has to deal with people of all hues and mentalities. Unless the person is well grounded in his innermost core values and convictions he may falter under highly conflicting demands and temptations.

One technique which is extensively used for improving spirituality is meditation. Meditation implies stilling and calming down the inner chatter of mind in order to perceive and judge an emerging situation clearly so as to arrive at appropriate action step. There are many methods of meditation but the most common are vipasana (focusing on breathing) and transcendental meditation (focusing on any neutral object not associated with any religion).

The MBA courses of high grade do realize the significance of spirituality and develop & use the teaching methodology in such a way that it leads to development of spirituality in students. Group projects, role plays, weekend retreats, outdoor activities like hill climbing, community living in hostels (where 100% students live in hostels), reviews of spiritual books by groups of students, guest speakers, personal journal etc are all aimed at developing spirituality.

Recent scandals like fraud in Enron, Worldcom and Satyam, collapse of Lehman Brothers and other such cases point to spiritual bankruptcy of the individuals involved. Even though persons at the helm of affairs managed the results very efficiently, they all had low inner morals and values, so that they succumbed to extreme greed, criminality and other low values.

Today’s MBA’s are required to be insulated from such situations. They would not be tempted by the lure of temptations as their grounding is on strong values and morals. In a nut shell we can say that strong founding in spirituality is the sine qua non of MBA education. We can briefly state as follows:

Intelligence Quotient (IQ) – How you think?

Emotional Quotient (EQ)  – How you feel?

Spiritual Quotient (SQ)     – Who you are as a person?


Contributed by Sumit Gulati (Class of 2009, IBS HYDERABAD)

How to prepare for MBA entrance written exams?

Management GraduatesAs notifications are about to come for the next year’s MBA entrance exams, time is probably right to ponder about one’s strengths and weaknesses and gearing up for the battle. Once you are able to qualify the most important question, ‘Why MBA’, the stage is set for a series of strategically planned events which will eventually help a candidate in assuring a seat in a top b-school. First of these events is applying for the entrance exams and then secondly and most importantly writing those exams as many b-school gives a lot of weightage to the scores in these exams. In this peace of text, I will put forward my approach in tackling these entrance exams efficiently.

So, what is the right time to start preparing for these exams? I will keep my reference point around the CAT exam because almost all institutes follow the same pattern in written exams except IIFT, XAT etc. In my opinion one requires intense preparation of 6-7 months before ‘the day’. By intense, I mean 3-4 hours of time every day with a clear goal to achieve after each day’s investment. Please understand the entrance exams are a test of your temperament when you are out of your comfort zone. It is not a test of your knowledge really. Because, in MBA a cliché line is used which is ‘We are generalists and not specialists.’ So, as a candidate you are expected to do reasonably well in all the sections of the exam and not only in one.

Now, when a candidate looks for preparing for these entrance exams he gets perplexed when he sees various institutes claim 100% strike rate in getting students to top b-schools. In my opinion, one needs to spend time with oneself for preparing well, especially if the student is from science background. One needs to play on its strengths and cover his weaknesses to perform well. Practice holds the key. The more you practice, the more probability increases of your success.

Understandably, if the student is from non-science background, he needs to get extra attention to get his basics right, for which joining a coaching institute is a fair call. The questions which are asked in the quantitative ability and reasoning section don’t require intensive calculations in most of the cases. Most of them can be solved by proper visualization based on basic concepts. Questions on geometry, trigonometry are an example. As mentioned above, practicing in a timed setup will reap maximum dividends in terms of increase in performance. Mock tests come into the picture now.

For practicing in a real time environment, one needs to subscribe to one of the leading coaching institute’s test series. Caution: Don’t let the frustration creep in into your mental set-up on low scores but do note your mistakes/weak areas. Focus on accuracy and the speed will follow. In these high pressure scenarios, the judgment that which question to attempt and which one to leave becomes very critical in the final score. This judgment will only come if the candidate will follow the mock test series schedule religiously. Don’t run chasing each and every test series in the town, because all of them are mostly same that is they have same level of difficulty. Please…please…don’t exert too much pressure on yourself for solving too many questions in too less time. Trust me it is not going to help you and will decrease your efficiency.

mba graduates

One needs to develop reading capability for scoring in the exam by solving reading comprehension questions. Reading will help you in increasing your vocabulary. In questions like, synonyms-antonyms, one word or choosing the odd one out a good vocabulary comes very handy, because in these kind of questions either you know it or you don’t. So, having a good vocab will enable a candidate to score quickly without thinking much. The time saved here can be devoted by candidates to solve more questions in data interpretation and reasoning section where candidates complain about lack of time.

In many exams like XAT there is a section named as ‘decision making’ which asks for your course of actions in certain corporate/business scenarios. My take on this is that one cannot prepare oneself for this by mere practicing. Rather, reading economic times or following up with the activities happening in the business world and trying to decipher the business logic will help the candidate a lot. In this kind of sections, candidates with work experience hold an edge because they don’t need to prepare for it specifically. As a matter of fact, there have been instances in previous years when XAT also asked candidates to write an essay in the entrance exam itself. I will talk about it in my next article.

Also, now various institutes have started to keep a section of general knowledge/current affairs in their entrance exams. In exams like CMAT, SNAP and IIFT students already feel the pressure of lesser time. But if can attempt this section in a better way, it will save them a lot of time apart from increasing their score. In this case also, either you know it or you don’t know it. In today’s mobile age, it won’t require much effort to download an app of a good newspaper and be in touch with the recent news/current affairs on the go.

In the above discussions, I have not endorsed any book or study material for the preparation. What I did was, I referred Norman Lewis for vocab and read articles in various newspapers for comprehension. For quant and logical reasoning, I followed material of a coaching institute religiously. Most importantly, I monitored my performance during mocks very closely.

Thus, prima facie everything depends on, how well you managed your time to give an optimal performance across the sections in an exam. Remember, an exam cannot decide your career, so be calm and composed. Having a composed state of mind increases your performance by at least 10% and in this tough race, every inch is important. Be sure that you do well in areas of your strengths and cover your weak spots efficiently. Everything will be good. Good luck!!


Contributed by Sthita Sahu