Student's speak

It is here to stay.

That evening in the Learning Resource Centre (institute library) was a bit strange. The reading hall echoed the usual silence yet bustled with the oh-so-pretentious nerds scouring through book shelves, the razor-sharp brains flipping through corporate finance notes and other such motley bunch one would find in a B school. Seated among them was I, an average guy, with a thick bound docket under my nose. The docket contained an HBR case related to an American beer manufacturer. The case had all the makings of a Stieg Larson’s narrative, orotund vocabulary and few terrifying tables with numbers to crunch.

As a management student one is expected to appreciate the literature of the case and do the appropriate number crunching to arrive at the million dollar solution (in literal sense). That strangeness I felt initially I could now attribute to the comfort with which I could do most of the aforementioned tasks. How could this average joe get himself to do this?

November 2014, dating precisely a year back, I was in some other closed room in some other salient city poring over a material titled ‘100 must solve DI questions before CAT’.Back then I used to curse the system as to why should one solve problems on weighted average, know fraction to percentage conversion like the back of one’s hand and interpret data represented in grotesque forms. Worse still why on earth should I comprehend unheard articles on Descartes’ philosophy with a superhuman reading speed and crack the meanings of odd sounding words like ‘verisimilitude’? Does it really matter in how many ways Mr.Kumar chooses his shirts from his wardrobe or the probability of it raining in Udaipur? And so much hullabaloo to filter candidates for a dream B school’s PGDM program?

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. Simply trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future” once quoted Steve Jobs. Hurrah! Those words now make complete sense. Isn’t this evening at the LRC my Eureka moment? Haven’t those dots connected themselves?

In these five months at IMT Nagpur, one thing that has dawned upon me is no amount of my past learning has gone down the drain. As student managers, we are required to make sense out of heavy finance figures, solve and arrive at critical business decisions ranging from acquisitions to sales targets. We ought to comprehend top notch cases punctuated with bombastic words and throwing reference refer to world affairs and all that in a budgeted time. Such activities necessarily call for a good hold on your basic quant concepts and the entire list of what-nots you had learned during your CAT preparation.

CAT or XAT or any other competitive exam for that matter follows a rigid syllabus and test the students’ aptitude as these skill-sets come handy for all to-be managers.It is for this same reason premier B schools in our country lay a huge emphasis on the exam scores for you to end up on the better side of their gate.

My dear CAT aspirants, remember, there is always more to it than meets the eye. Bell the CAT 2015, for it is here to stay. Good luck!!

Gopal P | PGDM 2015-17