Updated: May 22, 2020
6 years ago, on 18th April 2014, I was forced to watch this movie ‘2 States’ and I never knew this day would just change everything in my life. Before that day, I didn’t even know about IIM Ahmedabad. After I went back home, I researched more about it and found that this was the exact course I wanted to do. I realised one needed to be academically ‘amazing’ to get admitted to this college. My 10th was decent, now I had to work on my ‘12th’ and ‘Graduate’ marks. (I had to score well in 12th or else I wouldn’t have got admission to NM College, so I had no option really :p)
Right from my 11th to this date, when I am writing the post (17th May 2020), my wallpaper of phone and laptop was always ‘IIM Ahmedabad’. So whenever, I would think of doing timepass on either of the devices, the picture would remind me that I have to work hard to get here and I cannot afford to lose my single second.
Even before I could prepare for CAT, the naysayers appeared and said that: ‘IIMs are dominated by Engineers. And you wouldn’t get admitted’. (But at least let me give my exams). In my second year, one of my seniors (with the same Bachelor’s degree) was joining IIM-Ahmedabad, so I got motivated that even I can get an admission there. (PS: Later, she went on to become the gold medallist there of her batch, being a fresher and non-engineer). Before starting with anything, I called her to ask her about the experiences, and I remember I couldn’t sleep for 2 weeks after that because of the excitement.
I enrolled in a CAT coaching class as soon as possible but unfortunately couldn’t attend because of my numerous extracurricular activities and Position of Responsibilities. (My biggest mistake: I always thought of doing many as things possible so as to talk about it in the interview, but I forgot I need an amazing percentile to sit for the interview and then talk). My first attempt ‘CAT 2017’ was clashing with our Semester 5, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to study at that time, but luckily we have a 15-day study break. At that break, I attempted 3 mocks (the first-ever mocks) and scored a decent 96%ile, so I was happy that I would ace the CAT and get admitted. Just one day before the CAT, I just did the QA formulae and went for the CAT. (I was so unprepared that I didn’t know what PJs were!) Since I was always a ranker, I didn’t know of not attempting something (we do everything, right?) so I got stuck in one of the toughest DILR sets and barely scored anything in that section. The other two sections and overall percentile turned out to be quite decent, but DILR was something which just ruined everything. (And that’s why I keep on saying: Flirt and go! Don’t be in a serious relationship with any sum)
This was the first time I didn’t get something I wanted; I didn’t know what failure really means. It took me 2.5 months approximately to get back to a normal state. In May, I started with my preparation again with promising myself to not miss a single class and give my all to this CAT. Now, I had my office, classes along with a Marketing course I had signed up for. I barely got 4 hours to prepare, so I would do my best to justify those 4 precious hours. To boost my confidence, I also visited IIM Ahmedabad for their fest ‘The Red Brick Summit 2018’ to just get the vibes. Made hundreds of memories and friends there, and I still cherish them.
Model of IIMA Campus
My scores and percentiles just increased mock after mock, and I was quite satisfied and motivated until the month of October started and it started dripping slowly. Initially, I thought that it is because of fewer people taking mocks, but the reality was worse than what I could expect. My percentile fell from 97%ile to a mere 20.xx%ile just 14 days before the CAT’18. It came to my knowledge that this was because of the treatment that I was undergoing. It took me 4 days to get normal and accept the situation, but I gave 1000% in the last 10 days to finally getting 91.59%ile. I converted a few colleges like IIM Shillong and MICA, but since I knew that this wasn’t a proper attempt. I wanted to give myself One More Chance to never regret in the future and go to my dream college.
Around July I left my job because my family shifted as well as my health was going down day by day, I planned to focus on CAT and my health. Before the preparation, I was fortunate enough to meet three 100%ilers (and later two more) and learn about their thought process. I never intended to learn some new concept from them, just their thought process of how they think differently from others. Still talking to any of them gives me the motivation to keep on moving. This time, I realised my biggest mistake of not analysing my mocks properly, so met one of my mentors to actually learn ‘How to analyse mocks’ (no matter how silly it sounds, but that changed my entire journey).
The days passed, my percentile was still stuck at 96–97 till November first week. I rushed to my mentor to help me with this, we did sectional mocks together, I got smashed for many of my mistakes like using pen and paper for QA even before reading the question. That 2 hours with him, just changed everything. I know I was too late to approach him, but not too late not to change myself. My scores in the mocks of the last week have been just unbelievable, till a point that I scored some 200 marks just a day prior to the CAT. (It is too risky to attempt a mock in the last 2 weeks, but since I am too optimistic and never get demotivated so easily, I took that risk!)
And then, it is just a history. My score came almost around my predicted score. I was happy but nervous at the same time whether I would get the shortlist because I am almost on the borderline. (The most non-advantageous thing about being a girl and non-engineer became the most advantageous thing in CAT.)
6th January 2020, around 3 pm, I was busy self-pampering myself when all of a sudden it came to my notice that the result is out. I was shivering and I thought I would make a typo. I read Congratulations and then cross-checked my name, and started screaming on the top of my voice. It was like a dream coming true (but just half-way there!). I thought of giving my everything to ace this interview process now. I juggled between places, spoke to as many people possible to help me to crack this interview. Like Arjun from Mahabharat, all I could see was IIM Ahmedabad, nothing else.
And this is exactly what I can see!
Our GWPI preparation classes started, I would always wait for weekends to come, not only for the classes but to meet a bunch of crazy people who were like me. Finally, I found people as excited and motivated as I was in doing something big in life. (I am still in touch with many of them, and almost all of them converted their college of dreams, so happy for everyone!)
As my story is like a Bollywood drama, things couldn’t be as easy as one can imagine. On 4th February morning, I received a mail from the IIMA that my candidature has been cancelled due to Graduation percentage error. It wasn’t an error, it was just a miscommunication from my University. My heart almost broke, but I couldn’t have given up so easily. I called my friend who studies there, she rushed to Admission Office and got some clarity. Now my mission was to prove my candidature with a probability of success being almost 0. It took me 8 days to prove it, where I had almost given up the idea in between. There came to rescue my seniors and mentors who scolded me that ‘not everyone gets a call, and you are just insulting it if you don’t prove your candidature.’ Finally, I proved it and I got some more determination to crack it now to an extent that I mugged some fancy words and sentences for AWT (Analytical Writing Test).
Fast forward to the day of the interview, 21st February 2020. I was so excited that I reached almost 1.5 hours early. We all were in the waiting room, nervous and excited, and everyone was talking to each other to just relax. We were divided into groups of 7 and were asked to sit in that arrangement. I was third in my panel, the two before me were Chartered Accountants so I got scared that we have a Commerce Panel. I asked the boys after me, who luckily were engineers. What a relief! At around 8:15 am, we were asked to assemble in one of the conference rooms for our AWT. Lots of emotions started flowing, I had butterflies in my stomach. I completed my AWT at the exact time, cross-checked twice. Later, we were asked to return to the waiting room, and we were chatting amongst our group.
After the first boy returned, I left towards the interview room with a nice folder I had made. Thousands of thoughts were running in my head, I was still not able to believe that I am actually here. The second boy returned, and one of the panelists came and called for me. I had glitter in my eyes (the same way when a hungry person sees food), I couldn’t stop smiling. I welcomed them to Mumbai (as it was their first day) and even they greeted me.
My initial 20 minutes of the interview went on my work experience, later 5 on Contract Act and another 5 on some traditions and beliefs. And the last 2 minutes on 2 questions I asked (They asked me to ask a question, but my excitement was so high that I asked 2 :p). While leaving they asked me if I would wish to show them my folder, because one could make out that I had taken too much effort to make it. But I denied, thinking that they had told us that show the folder only if you State or National level certificates. (I still regret not showing it to them irrespective of anything).
Throughout the interview, all three of us were smiling. It also boosted my confidence. Since I had a throat infection, I wasn’t able to talk, so one of the panellists went outside to bring water for me. They never made me feel as if it was an interview, it seemed like a normal conversation where they wished to know about me and my opinions. I left the room as if I had already gotten admission to the college, smiling and dancing. It took me 1.5 hours, in reality, to reach home, but felt like 5 minutes only.
The lock down pushed the results from April to May, the wait for the result just increased our anxiety. I was calculating my CS on 7th May 2020 (just one day before the result) and I thought I would miss the admission by a few points, but then the result hasn’t come so why should I predict? My heart was beating really, really fast that I couldn’t sleep that night. To my bad, the electricity in my area had gone in the morning from 7 am and I thought I would miss the result. Somehow, it was back by 11 am. Sigh! What a relief!
Somebody on some random group posted that the result shall come in the evening, so I was again self-pampering myself. A dream that I saw 6 years ago was finally going to come true. And what a coincidence! I was in the same state as my shortlist call— half straight, half curly hair when the final results were out! I started screaming and dancing; saw the picture on my green board that finally I am going here.
My Bitmoji has already reached IIMA. Just waiting to physically go there again.
My calls and messages went on for a week, thousands of messages, hundreds of calls and social media posts. However, it took me 2 days to gulp the news that finally, I have made it. Many times I actually thought I was in my dream. But all the struggle finally paid off!
Finally ending this post in a Bollywood style:
“Itni Shiddat se maine tumhe paane ki koshish ki hai, ke har zarre ne mujhe tumse Milane ki saazish ki hai. Kehte hain ki… agar kisi cheez ko dil se chaaho to puri kayanat usey tumse milane ki koshish mein lag jaati hai.”
Wonderful Life Experience Share by-- Isha
Best Wishes Isha !