Let me begin with a little about myself. I am Aniket Singh, a Computer Science Engineer, son of a UP Police Inspector, raised in different cities due to frequent transfers. I have been living in Meerut for the past 10 years. I have been good at academics since my school days, so my parents have always had high expectations from me. This has helped me to always set higher goals for myself.
It all started when I didn’t get a good score in JEE, but got a decent rank (543) in UPTU (Uttar Pradesh State Entrance Exam). I joined HBTU Kanpur in Computer Science with high expectations, but I never got going. It was in my 3rd Year of Engineering when I started preparing for the CAT. I had a view that with average academics in the Graduation and being an engineer from a non-IIT institute, it’s almost impossible for me to get into a top IIM.
But I had a great mentor i.e. Niraj Sir (Career Launcher Kanpur). He is an excellent teacher who always makes QA and LRDI really interesting. Finally, I got a great CAT Score – 99.82 in my first attempt and got all the calls except A & B. This was the time when things went really bad.
I was very bad in the interviews, I had not revised my B.Tech subjects, I was not a regular newspaper reader. Plus, I couldn’t figure out Why MBA? I converted just MDI and PGP-HRM in that year (2019). I did not join any of them as a great score had set high expectations in my mind for myself.
I started working as a Software Engineer in a startup, with an aim to do an MBA with two years of experience which could help me in my interviews. I gave the CAT again the next year just to continue my preparation and got 99.83. I just gave four interviews (C, L, K, I) and got rejected in all of them. Two years of back to back rejections had made it clear to me that just B.Tech, some work-ex and some GK will not help me in clearing my interviews.
So, I started reading about the stock market. I invested and made regular losses due to lack of patience. Just to give you an insight, I bought Tata Motors at 150 and sold at 130 and now it is trading at a price of 300 (timeline – 6 months). But all of this helped in my learning, I started reading ET and also learned a few Economics Concepts.
I gave the CAT 3rd time in 2020, got 99.95 and finally got calls from all the IIMs. But I knew that this was the easy part as the interviews have been a nightmare for me. I decided to join CL PDP Program this time and the results prove that this has been the best decision I have ever made. I got another great mentor in Sreeni Sir who motivated me to find what I really want to do in life instead of searching for an answer for Why MBA. I remember my first interaction with him, it was awful; I couldn’t answer even 20% of the questions. He motivated me to work on myself and not for any interview. I studied rigorously for two months for the interviews. I had clarity in my mind that I want to learn more about the financial markets and want to make a career in it.
All the interviews went pretty good, but two of them stood out for me. IIM Bangalore was my best interview, and I got a straight rejection there. IIM Calcutta was my worst interview as they grilled me on the financial markets, and they hardly looked impressed by the answers. But, surprisingly, I converted IIM Calcutta. I also converted XLRI Jamshedpur BM, IIM Indore , MDI and am currently waitlisted in FMS Delhi.
Now, when I look back I realize that I thought of giving up and settling for some institute other than the IIMs, many times, but the support system I had always pushed me to work hard. During this whole MBA Journey, my family was always there to support me in every step I took. I also had the luxury of great friends who always cheered me up when I faced rejections. And obviously, I had exceptional mentors like Sreeni Sir and Niraj Sir who guided me when I was lost. I hope that finally I made all of them proud and stood on their expectations.
– Aniket, Class of 2023, IIM C