How I joined MBA and got through the selection process of B schools

The Initial Dilemma

Just like every common student, my mind was in a huge enigma about which path I should tread to make my future brighter. In my final year of graduation, I decided to explore a lot of options. I wrote a few government exams including the ones for ISRO and DRDO. Being a defense aspirant, I tried to join the armed forces too. But after all the rejections and some guidance, I decided to do a job for some time.

I joined an MSME company and started working. Soon, I realized that learning is a continuous process. Constantly learning and growing is a habit of successful people. So, I decided to do post graduation. Now again, when it came to PG, I was once more preoccupied with many options. I was advised to do M. Tech as I have already done my B. Tech (in mechanical engineering). I was also advised to go for MS in Europe or USA. Being a person who tries new things, I decided to go for MBA instead. The journey wasn’t easy, but my sister who finished her MBA a year before guided me. I understood that the journey wasn’t going to be easy.

Gearing up for the B School Exams

I started preparing for CAT and continued working with the company. It was a tedious task but I was ready for it. The first and the foremost thing which I needed was a time table. I sat down one day, prepared a time table for myself giving specific time to studies and leisure activities (which I hardly got time for). Many people advised me to opt for coaching, but I didn’t feel the need for it. I went on to buy an online test series from IMS. Constantly studying and giving regular exams, I started the journey. The initial voyage was full of ups and downs. I was constantly scoring low in my mocks.

After every mock, I re-evaluated myself and revised my plans. This helped me to cope with the learning process. The results started to appear in the coming mocks. I started improving gradually. The most important thing which helped me during my MBA preparation was analysis of the mocks which I had given. I made sure I gave at least 15-20 mocks. Along with this, I kept writing sectional tests which helped me time my sections properly. Almost all the MBA entrance exams are speed based, so I made a point that I was solving the questions fast as well correctly. 

All this preparation was fruitful. I decided to give at least 4-5 entrance tests as different B schools demand for a different exam. Being a mediocre student, I scored decent percentiles in almost all the exams and got a call from a few of the reputed colleges.

The colleges I got an interview call from included SIMS (Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies), SIOM (Symbiosis Institute of Operation Management), IBS Hyderabad, KJ Somaiya,  Mumbai, and TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences , Mumbai ). I was very excited about the next step which was the interview process in these respective colleges.


Selection Process, the Final Milestone!


My first interview was in SIMS, Pune. It was a beautiful day. I was calm and composed not thinking about the result but my preparation: preparation that was backed by the pointers of pioneers like Miss Neha Garg, who also runs a channel named Vocabulary Tablet (VT). The videos uploaded on the channel helped me to get tips about the personal interviews.

The interview process comprised two rounds: first a group exercise and then a personal interview.  We were divided in the groups of 6 members each and then handed different kinds of pictures. We were asked to weave a story around the pictures. After the group exercise, I had my PI. It was a relaxed PI and not a stressful one; I am happy that I did well in the PI.

The list of interview questions that I was asked: 

  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Why this institute?
  • Tell us about your book.
  • Recite a poem from your book.
  • Tell us about your patent.
  • Why did you not choose ISB Hyderabad?
  • Do you have any questions?


After finishing my interview with SIMS, I went on to give another interview at SIOM, Nashik. There was a group exercise and then a PI in this college too. In the group exercise, we were given a case study which we, a group of seven people, needed to solve. After the group exercise, there was a PI which lasted for a comfortable 15 minutes. I was pretty calm before, during and after the interview.

The group task: we were given a case study about how to make arrangements for a pilgrimage taking place.

The list of interview questions:

  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Which type of documentaries do you watch?
  • Name the documentaries you have seen. 
  • What type of work did u do before?
  • Tell us about your book.
  • Why do you write in Hindi? 
  • When do you write?
  • Which is your favourite poem?
  • Recite a poem from your book.
  • What were your learnings while publishing the book?

IBS Hyderabad (ICFAI Business School)

After a week of completing my SIOM interview, I had another interview for IBS Hyderabad. At IBS Hyderabad, first, we were put in a group of 10 people and given a topic for group discussion. This was followed by a really short PI. Both the rounds took place in a quick succession.

The group discussion topic: mobile phones are a boon or a bane.

The list of interview questions:

  • Tell us about yourself ?
  • What is the name of the book?
  • Recite a poem from your book.
  • What is success according to you?
  • Do you have any questions?

KJ Somaiya, Mumbai

The following week, I was going to give my fourth interview in Bangalore for KJ Somaiya, Mumbai.  I was stunned to see a group of 14 people. I didn’t panic, but I had to change my strategy for GD. The discussion was short and chaotic. After the group discussion, which went on for 12 minutes, it was the time for the PI. In the PI, I went in calmly, but I faced some really unconventional questions which brought in many hypothetical scenarios. I won’t deny the fact that it was a challenging PI. After finishing the interview, I took a sigh of relief along with a glass of lemon soda after coming out of the campus.  

The group discussion topic: which type of government is handling Covid-19 situation well, authoritarian or democratic?

The list of interview questions:

  • Tell us about yourself .
  • Why do you follow Devdutt Pattanaik?
  • Name a book written by him.
  • What is your patent about?
  • Explain us your design.
  • What is your book about?
  • Is it self published or sponsored?
  • Imagine that you are in a Sub-Saharan region, sell us an umbrella.
  • Why did you give that answer.
  • Do u have any questions?

TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences)

After returning from Bangalore and experiencing a mind blowing interview. I started preparing for my TISS interview. But then the expected thing happened and my interview got cancelled at Mumbai campus due to the rise in Coronavirus cases in Mumbai. Instead, the college, like other institutions, conducted online interview.

The list of interview questions:

  • Tell us about yourself .
  • What type of work did you do before?
  • What is the difference between HRM and ODCL?
  • Which is more important between the two?
  • Tell us if you have read anything related to ODCL. 
  • What is circular marketing?
  • Which type of strategies did you use before for sales and marketing?
  • Why did you opt for this course?
  • Did you apply for any other college?
  • Did you get through?
  • If you need to choose between TISS and KJ SOMAIYA which will you choose?
  • Do you have anything else to say or ask?

After the interviews, it was time for the results. I was excited to know that I got in every college where I gave the interview (waitlisted only in TISS, hoping to get converted in TISS too). Here are a few pointers which I want to convey to people who are making up their mind to do MBA. The first and the foremost tip is while preparing for exam, always back yourself and never give up after giving your initial mock tests. Secondly, Always try harder. For the interviews, I would like to say that be relaxed and calm. Carry a lot of confidence and keep your ego outside, only carry your positive attitude inside. I wish everybody a successful future.


Abhishek Raghav is currently studying MBA in KJ Somaiya, Mumbai. He is a budding writer and has published his collections of poems in a book titled RAJNI. He enjoys writing poems on different topics.  Apart from this, he is an excellent cook. He is an observant and loves to experiment with his cooking and writing.



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