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Expert Suggestions on Preparation for Computer Based CAT-09

"IIM-A Chapter Draws to an End"

- by Anuj Arora *

Now with just convocation left, IIM-A chapter in my life has come to an end. As the media all over is screaming about the kind of jobs IIM-A grads got this time, I think the more important issues are getting ignored.

Things that this place gives you also include "Less hair" & "More white Hair" (I'm in this category ). Sadly media doesn't cover this aspect . Anyway everything has its pros & cons. Now everybody in family circle expects me to earn a fat pay cheque despite my innumerous attempts to tell that one needs below average salary to make an average domestic salary of around 8 lacs . Then nobody also understands that the figures of 65 lacs quoted in media are farce because these figures are supposed to be in dollars or pounds & there is a thing called PPP (Purchase Power Parity) when one lives abroad, but media doesn't deem it important to be mentioned.

So what has this place given me, other than the motivation to write scary articles about life in first year? Actually, a lot more than what I expected. I was just a dreamy 21-year-old fresher engineer who had passion for a career in marketing, and my knowledge about the subject was limited to the first chapter of introduction in Kotler's book (It's a different issue that I still haven't finished that book ). It has taught me what management is all about, what one can achieve with the technical skills and also the shortcomings of these skills. It has given me a chance to have a mallu MBBS as my neighbor and a 32-year-old married guy as my junior. I doubt if many other places can give that experience!

It has taught me what it actually means to manage across cultures and age groups. It has taught me to find out what my core competency is (it is just selling soaps & beverages ) and have fun in that. I haven't ever had second thoughts about my career options or an idea that I should hedge my options by taking subjects I don't like. This place gave me the confidence that I should do what I enjoy and rest will be taken care off. The fact that I've been placed with one of India's oldest conglomerate is a testimonial to that.

This place is like a goldmine of knowledge, how much one can take depends on the individual. The system teaches you importance of time and how important deadlines are (I lost a sub-grade once for submitting late by 5 minutes). Never before in my life I thought that 24 hours is less for one day, but then I also never realized how much one could work in 24 hours . This place gives an individual chance to find one's self worth and get clarity. The respect that one gets in society after mentioning the name of this institute is astonishing. But then there are negative aspects, like girls think that all guys in IIM-A are geeks (no, we are not geeks - ok, only a few are ), no wonder most of the guys in here are still single. It's just not an opportunity to learn academically but about so many other aspects as well. My collection of movies, books, music and an empty wallet speaks volumes of such opportunities to spend money on.

Also the lifestyle issues are a big problem. When one is used to sleeping at 3-5 am everyday, how can you blame that pour soul for trying to read a book at 2 am while traveling in train? I wish that fellow passengers could understand this conundrum.

But now for my batch the time has come to leave this virtual world and get back to real society. The two years at this place have been a roller-coaster ride but at the end of it, it is worth each & every second that I've spent here. The placements & jobs are only a small subset of the whole experience but what becomes of one's personality is the important issue.

The countdown to leave the campus has begun but lets hope that there is a bright future ahead for IIM-A's class of 2005.

Signing off as an IIM-A current student and signing in as alumni.

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