A Mere 78%ile Score Couldn't Stop Me From Making It To A Top B-School ft. Alina Kumar
I am Alina Kumar, an incoming PGDM Core student at BIMTECH Greater Noida for the 2021-23 batch. My academic background is as follows:
10th - 89%(SSC)
12th - 88(HSC)
Grad - 7.93 CGPA (up to 5th sem)
Currently awaiting my final year results of B Com (a non engineer!) under the University of Mumbai, I am working as an HR trainee at iFortis Corporate with prior experience as a Marketing Intern at Unschool.
My B-School Journey
Coming to my B-School story, CAT 2020 destroyed me! One & a half years long preparation, hard work and toiling seemed useless. The impact was quite adverse, enough to shatter my dreams of getting into a prestigious B-School. However, after a discussion with my parents and then consulting my dad's superior at office, I decided to go for XAT 2021 (I'm so glad and grateful for this!).
Though not much time was left, I gave my best to prepare for it. I swore on making the best out of the little time in my hands! And I don't know how to put this forward but whenever you start something new, the vibes that you get really speak about the outcomes of that particular thing, this is my life guiding principle. My XAT exam day left me with amazing and the most positive vibes hence I knew the final outcome is going to be good :-)
XAT 2021 Result
Fast forward to 18th January, the XAT results day, this is my scorecard:
I scored 78.21%ile; since it was a pretty low score, also being a fresher and not even having completed my graduation, people considered it better for me to go for a reattempt. Getting into a good B-School at any cost was the only aim I had that time, hence giving my best to the opportunities I had rather than giving them up and waiting another whole year for an totally unpredictable outcome and saving myself that regret was a smarter choice for me.
Hence with a pretty low percentile in my hand, I thought of giving it a shot. I started searching for colleges within my percentile range and narrowed it down to 2 colleges viz. BIMTECH and Welingkar. Both the colleges hold a good reputation, possess rich curriculum and provide good career opportunities. I got calls from both of them, though I was much keen on getting an admit into Welingkar due to its proximity compared to BIMTECH.
I started preparing for the interviews whole heartedly; started reading newspapers, practiced HR questions, went through a lot of GK, prepared major events and headlines of the past 10 years, researched about the college, it's professors, gave mock interviews and what not!
My BIMTECH interview was scheduled on 22nd March 2021 on Zoom platform at 11.10 am. I logged in 10 mins late due to some technical issues and there I was, about to face my life's first ever interview! Taking a deep breath, I told myself to stay calm and give your best!
There were two female panelists on my screen, let's call them F1 & F2 and myself A. The interview process comprised of a 5 minutes extempore followed up by the personal interview.
My extempore topic was "Is politics a farce?" I presented my views on the topic, how politics and government is quintessential for each and every country, it's development and stable functioning but there are a few politicians causing it's malignancy. Gave a few examples of world leaders, explained how they work, how people look onto them, what impact their decisions have made on their overall public image and how some have stood by the true sense of governance and a few on the other hand have maligned it.
Then we started with the PI round which lasted for 20 minutes. Here's a gist of the whole conversation:
F1: Introduce yourself Alina.
A: I gave a basic introduction of mine, which comprised of my academic, personal and family background.
F1: What do you expect from this interview?
A: I told them I really have high hopes from this interview and expect it to go very well. I look forward to answer all of their questions and make my mark as a suitable candidate for their institute.
F2: Have you ever held leadership position or managed a team?
A: I told them how I used to take part in college activities and used to work in various teams. Also how I've arranged various events and fests by leading and managing a team many times.
F2: Have you ever faced difficulties while holding such responsibilities, internal or external and how did you tackle them?
A: I told them about a few discrepancies occurred during the college events which we as a team always tackled and handled successfully.
F1: Tell me some major events of your life and your learnings from them.
A: I asked whether those events can be personal ones and hence shared those with them. I explained how those events gave me major life lessons and how those helped me in developing myself into a better person.
F1: What are your hobbies? Have you ever showcased your creativity somewhere?
A: I love fashion designing, sketching and dancing. I expressed my passion towards and proficiency with these though I never received any professional training. But unfortunately I never got a chance to showcase my attributes anywhere though still I'm working and looking forward to find some way or other to do that.
F2: Which subjects have you studied in your undergrad? Which one is your favourite?
A: My undergrad subjects included psychology of human behaviour at work, business economics, financial accounting, cost accounting, direct and indirect taxation, and business commerce, of which psychology of human behaviour at work is my favourite.
F1: I'm also very much fond of Psychology as a subject. Tell me what's a common trait of an employee at the workplace?
A: I was not able to answer this question properly but I mentioned how competition is a driving force amongst employees at a workplace which leads to better efficiency and productivity on the part of employees.
F2: Which newspaper do you read?
A: The Hindu
F2: What are today's top 5 headlines?
A: Told the headlines which included the farm bills, the Vidhan Sabha elections in 5 states and union territories, etc.
F1: What are the farm laws? Why are the farmers protesting against them?
A: I explained all the 3 bills and what changes are amended. Also I explained why the farmers are protesting against these and presented my opinions on it, and how some steps can be taken for their relief.
F1: In which states the elections will be conducted?
A: The elections will be conducted in the states of West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Assam and the union territory of Puducherry.
F2: Who js the new president of the USA?
A: Mr Joe Biden
F2: Thank you Alina, do you have any questions for us?
A: I asked how shall I utilize the time before joining a B-School, and which certifications and skills I should pursue in the meantime.
F1: She told me to go through basics of finance, marketing or whichever field I find most interesting and if I feel like then can opt for a certificate course in that particular field.
I thanked them for the interview and the interview ended. The panelists were really sweet and polite. It felt like more of a conversation than an interview between us. Though the interview was pleasant I never thought I'll be able to convert it and was convinced that I have wrecked the only chance I had with an uneven performance.
But all my misconceptions were cleared on 22nd May when I received a mail stating I have made it to BIMTECH's PGDM Core program and that really brought tears into my eyes, which though blurry could help me envisage a brighter and successful future. And pretty honestly I can say that I'm all over the moon now. I'm glad that I did not lose hopes and didn't back off from putting my best foot forward.
I also received a call from Welingkar whose interview was on 22nd April . The verdicts are out now and I have been waitlisted for 4 programs but since I have secured a seat at BIMTECH, I did not take part in Welingkar's further admission process.
Heartfelt gratitude to Alina for sharing her story with the entire Non-Engineers community. If you want to share your story too, write to email@example.com. For more, subscribe to the YouTube channel.