“CL Prepared me for Life, beyond B-School” – Dishant, an IIMA convert, DTU Alum

My CAT journey with CL:

My name is Dishant and I am a final year student at Delhi Technological University (batch of 2019). Since the beginning of my curriculum in my institute I had an affinity towards doing an MBA after completing my UG degree. The reason for the decision can be owed to my hobbies of reading about great leaders and kings and also to my natural aptitude and proclivity towards the working of the world and the pursuit for reason.

I decided to focus on building my profile during my first two years and also exploring different fields to get a wider glance at each of them. I found interest in subjects like engineering maths and economics and got a chance to pursue research in the respective field under the tutelage of very able professors of my college. It was during the end of my sixth semester that I enrolled for the Premium batch for CAT-2018 in Career Launcher CP centre, the decision can be attributed to my interactions with the various representatives as well as mentors from the institute who instilled a new confidence within me to pursue my desire.

The journey within CL was a memorable experience, the classes especially the verbal ones were pretty informative and descriptive. The pedagogy was quite efficient and the sense of humour of the trainers was noteworthy. I cherished every moment spent within the class, which included interaction with top students from the best colleges across Delhi NCR. Apart from the curriculum, I also found the online resources quite useful, the Test Gym became my gym for the next couple of months, the presentation of questions and their segregation based on topics and difficulty never made me feel the need of a hard book.

Moving on to the months of June and July, I had to juggle between my internship schedule in Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) and the classes, however I always found image1time to revise the concepts taught in class through the Smart CAT Cracker (SCC) resource which provided video lectures on demand taught by top CL faculties. With the beginning of the Mock CAT season we used to have a proctored mock every two weeks with an unproctored one in between, Mocks are an absolute necessity to cracking CAT and hence were not taken lightly, each mock result followed a percentile figure along with a detailed drill down analysis. The analysis part of the mock is the most crucial part for any aspirant, with the provision of section wise detailed performance indicators as well as comparative timings for each and every question I was able to gauge my performance along with my peers and identify any shortcomings in the particular test. The mocks were of varying difficulty level and each one of it provided me a new insight into the ways to approach a problem, the mocks for XAT and IIFT were also quite helpful. The only downside I found in the entire mock series was the predicted percentile which used past performance to come up with a range of percentile one can expect in CAT. I had a predicted percentile of 99.08 which was way below my expectations, however the teachers motivated me to overlook the figure and prove it wrong. Then came the D-Day 25 November CAT, I had the morning slot for the exam and it was surprisingly cold, during the frisking we were asked to remove our jackets, footwear including socks which had quite a numbing effect to the body owing to the cold temperature, then the exam began at exactly the scheduled time. The English section was surprisingly easy with a slight change in pattern, followed by a similar DILR section where I made a grave mistake of copying wrong info from a set, the quant section was the terminal section which I found to be a mixed bag contrary to the general opinion of difficulty and ended in a high note for me. Overall CAT-18 was a pleasant experience and I was confident of scoring enough to manage a call from at least one of the holy trinity, ABC. Next followed up exam was XAT and with the brimming confidence from CAT I was able to make the best of the exam.

The CAT results were declared in a month and half and I scored a 99.73 with a relatively higher score in the Quant section, while I had hoped of securing a 99.9+ the result was still satisfying for me. In the following days I received calls from all IIMs except for Bangalore which I missed by a minuscule margin. The XAT results were declared soon after and I had the biggest surprise of the year when the scorecard revealed a 99.992 figure, and a call from the XLRI BM program which was the only program I had applied for.

Next up was the CL Personality Development Program which was aimed at converting the secured calls through mock interview practice and personality sessions. Mr. Sujit Bhattacharya was allotted as my mentor for the program, I had almost 5 interviews with various mentors including GP sir, Arks sir and Shivku sir who guided me through the entire interview process. The program was not only focused on preparing for the interview but also focused towards the overall development and creation of a personality fit for the esteemed institutes. At the end of the season I was able to convert all of my top institute calls including- IIM-Ahmedabad, IIM-Calcutta, XLRI-BM and so on.

Summing it all up the best part of the entire journey was the PDP program with several information, practice session and the one to one interaction with the mentors. The mentors with a special note for Shivku Sir, Arks Sir, Sujit Sir and GP Sir were very helpful to me during the entire interview season, they not only helped me during interaction but were always available on call even during the oddest of hours. I still remember the time when I had a self doubt over my IIM-A interview and felt that I had missed the chance, I used to call Shivku sir and Arks Sir almost twice a day to pour out my emotions, they however always pushed the fact that I will make it no matter what perception of the experience I had in my mind, and alas their words came out to be true at the end. The interview sessions with Sujit Sir were an eye opener with his reasoning and sheer honest reactions to any answer. I was able to push myself to think deep over the questions like why MBA, and what after MBA, this opened up another dimension of thinking would stay with me forever. GP Sir with his everlasting optimism and Sreeni Sir with his multifaceted personality were always a source of motivation and inspiration.

It was with the help and support of all the mentors that I had been able to achieve the success of cracking my dream B-school and they truly deserve a commendation as one of the best teachers and mentors. Hence I would like to conclude by saying that CL not only prepared me for the B-School but for the life beyond it through traits of undying optimism, vision and worldly wisdom.

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Now I know – who am I, what I want to be and how to get there – Happy Kukreja, XLRI entrant

How has the personalized mentoring in PDPP facilitated you ? How did that impact you, in what all ways?

Has it enabled you to create a compelling vision for life? Have you got reasonable amount of clarity of the path?

As all lost souls in pursuit of a guide, I knocked on the doors of Career Launcher, three months back, when I needed guidance and counsel for business school interviews. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first, and rightly so, I was entrusting myHappy IMG_7766 future, in the hands of strangers. Three months later, I can comfortably say, it was a good decision.

The scope of PDP personalised, as a programme, is too broad to simply write it off as an interview preparation tool. It allowed me to understand the ins and outs of my individuality. It started with the 10 questions, every PDPP student has to answer. They included simple, yet stimulating questions, like, ‘Who are you?’ and ‘What is your biggest achievement in life?’. These questions required a lot of introspection and contemplation on my end, as a result I was able to fully understand my individuality, my strengths, and my areas of improvement.

Now, this is something that one could do himself, how did PDPP help in this, one might wonder. Well, it was the gurus at Career Launcher, that enabled me to turn these strengths and weaknesses into instruments of impact in the B-school interviews.

How an ability to write a book can be turned into convincing evidence of superior leadership and management skills? Ask a CL guru, and prepared to be awed! This is indeed the best part. I wasn’t treated as just another student. I was treated as an individual, with unique strengths and weaknesses, and trained to turn my qualities into ammunition, to convince the interviewers.

Next, we come to the story. Every B-school interviewer looks for commitment towards a specific career in the aspirants. This is where all the interviewees need to have a story, a perfect chain of events, that point to the reason of going for MBA, and the specialisation one prefers. This is another area where a personalised story, based on my work ex, courses, certifications and academic record, was curated by CL gurus.

Another aspect of b-school interviews is the group discussions. A lot of top institutes across India, make GDs a part of the selection process. At PDPP, I got a chance to taste the cut throat competition beforehand by participating in over 10 GD workshops.

Another part of the selection process is the writing aptitude test. In the PDPP, I was able to take mock WATs and understood, what the business schools are looking for.

Apart from all this, I always had a mentor just a phone call away. Every doubt, query, was resolved within minutes. It is indeed an overwhelming privilege to be mentored by IIM alums on your way to IIMs.

In a nutshell, PDPP provided me a 360° view of business school selection process. From the story to interview etiquette to GDs and WATs to highlighting strengths and using weaknesses to further improve the chances of selection, I got great insights into everything.

But above all, it helped me, understand the different spheres of my personality. An in-depth understanding of my passions, interests, values, strengths and weaknesses, allowed me to fulfil the very purpose of the existence of knowledge and education, understanding thyself, and designing your life accordingly.

This has become a pragmatic reality because of the numerous interactions I had with CL gurus, who themselves, have a huge body of experience and expertise. In the personal interactions, I had with them, I was introduced to a world of possibilities, and different paths that lie ahead in life for me, the pros and cons of each, and most importantly, I was equipped with the knowledge and wisdom to decide, which path to venture upon in the journey of life.

I now have an understanding of the kind of person I am, both personally and professionally, and kind of person I want to be and how to get there!

Happy Kukreja

XLRI convert, 2019-21

Excelling in WAT / AWT at IIMs and top-business schools – Insights to implement

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