When it comes to IIMs, IIM Ahmedabad is the most sought after B School in India. Rohit Arora tells you about his CAT preparation days and how to beat the work / study pressure and bell the CAT!
Rohit is presently having the time of his life in Italy where he is pursuing MSc in International Management. He is 2013 batch of IIM Ahmedabad. This interview might help you in your own CAT preparation. And yes, be inspired!
Which all exams did you take?
I appeared for CAT, FMS, IIFT, XLRI admission exams.
Your Best Percentile /Scores
With the great score, you must have received more than one B school calls!
Yes, I got a call from IIM A, I and K
How did you prepare for the written exam?
I had joined Alchemist Coaching, North Campus, Delhi. Their material, classes plus regular reading and problem solving helped a lot.
Did coaching play an important role? Should students take coaching for MBA Exam preparations?
Yes, coaching is important. It helps in getting guidance and also helps to develop a timeline for preparation. I had joined Alchemist Coaching, North Campus, Delhi.
You were in DCE, one of the best colleges for engineering in India. How was the experience?
It’s a good college for students who are self driven. There are many opportunities in terms of academic research projects, extracurricular activities etc. but one has to take initiatives and be committed enough to see it through the end.
On a scale of 1 to 10, what is the importance of academic achievements and extracurricular achievements in getting admission in a good B School?
10 for both. But if I have to rank them then first focus on academic achievements and then do some good extra curricular activities on the side.
What role did hostel life play in your overall growth and MBA preparation?
I stayed in hostel for some part of my college life. It’s a good environment to have intellectual conversations with your friends and to expand your knowledge. Moreover, being in hostel I could be more involved with my project.
How did you handle work pressure and CAT preparation?
I did my summer internship at Goldman Sachs, at the end of my third year. Weekends are fine enough to keep the pressure going. Also, during the initial days of the intern, workload is less so one can study after coming back home. But at the later part when the project submission comes closer, focus shifts to intern.
The best books / study material you used
Alchemist study material and Career Launcher’s online test portal
Did you find the online pattern of CAT troublesome?
Not really. If you do enough tests online then you get used to it.
How many GD and PI rounds you participated in and where?
I did 9-10 GDs and PIs at Alchemist, CL bootcamp and at a coaching class in south delhi taken by an IIMA alum.
Please share experience of your GD and PI rounds in each place.
All places were fine. The idea is to have as much practice and feedback as you can have.
What is the one question that bowled you over in the interview?
Why do you want to do MBA?
How should a student start preparing for the written exam?
Prepare a daily routine of how much time to do quant, read books/comprehension, look up new words/mug words.
Last minute preparation tips
Take mock tests.
What is the one myth about CAT exams you want to bust?
Your strength area in the mock tests will be the one where you will perform best in the final CAT exam.
One awesome thing about IIM A
The professors are Gods!
Some words of wisdom for the students who are aspiring to crack the CAT and take admission in elite institutions like IIMs
Be committed and try to diligently follow the routine. Take as many mock tests as you can. Attempt last year CAT exams.
You had your summer internship at Morgan Stanley. How was the experience?
My summer internship at Morgan Stanley was a good experience. It was a brief look at the investment banking industry. I rotated on the Credit Trading and Rates Structuring desks for four weeks each. It was hectic but I got to learn a lot of new things.
What are your plans after MBA?
I have not really planned anything, quite open to any good opportunities.
Well Rohit, wish you luck in your future endeavors! And those who are reading this and are preparing for CAT, feel free to ask your queries!