January 28, 2011

Dream dreams, no one else can see !!

Sometimes you wanna run away,
But you never know what might be coming round your way,
'coz on a day like today, the whole world could change....

There are dreams. And then there are childhood (teenage?) dreams. I have been pretty good at studies and like many other capable students in India I wanted to be the part of selected few at Indian Institute of Technology for my graduation. By the time I reached into class 11th, my goals were clear. First, get into IIT and then go for management studies from Indian Institute of Management. In India for an intelligent science student the combination of IIT-IIM education is zenith of academic qualification. And that became my dream.

Slogging 10-12 hours daily during 11th & 12th and then for another year after that, I could not made it to IIT and settled for second best in line for technical education in India, REC. At that point of time there is only so much one can do and instead of further (especially in Bihar and UP guys keep trying to get into IIT for 2-3 years after there intermediate!!) continuing my pursuit for IIT I joined REC. And never regretted that. A significant part of me is ME because of my association with the college.

After I was done with my graduation I started my professional career. The task in front of me was pretty cut out. Work for couple of years, write CAT and get into IIM. I was little cocky of my abilities and used to be damn sure of getting a call for GD-PI post CAT. Nevertheless, I never compromised with my preparation for CAT and once again slogging started. I used to devote 4-5 hours a day, apart from office, for my studies. Being from Hindi medium background (yes, I did my complete schooling in Hindi!) English used to be my Achille's heels. Hence most of my time went into improving my English language skills. I was quite comfortable with my quants. But the result, mere 92 percentile in CAT. I fell flat in my first attempt.

Subsequent attempts resulted 92(again),94 and 96 percentiles. After 4 attempts, sincere attempts I ended with no call and a broken dream. It was not about studying for MBA, it was about studying for MBA at IIMs. By the time  I stopped my attempt for CAT (My work experience was going towards higher side for 2 yr MBA from IIMs), couple of IIMs have started 1 yr MBA for experienced professionals.

I waited for a few years before taking GMAT, first step towards these executive MBA. And another year for having leadership experience. Meanwhile I was married and professionally doing reasonably good. IIM remained my unfulfilled dream, but routine life started taking toll towards that. I wasn't sure if I'd apply for MBA.

But then "When you know what you want the whole world conspires you to achieve it". It was around July last year, by then the application process for admission into IIMs were already started but I was still in two minds. Due to changed circumstances at my present organization I decided to give it a last shot. I had decided if I don't make it to IIM this time then that'd be it.

But that was not to be. I am indeed going to IIM for my MBA this year. I am part of class of 2012 of PGPEX at IIM Calcutta. But surely miles to go before I sleep :)

Somewhere there's a place for you,
I know you believe it too
Sometimes if you wanna get away
all ya gotta know is what we got is here to stay, all the way!!!

Lyrics (c) Bryan Adams.

January 27, 2011

We are like that only!!

February-March is the time when almost all salaried person makes last minute hurry to plan for tax savings. Various investment options are explored and invested in, so one can have tax saving. So far so good.

"Hey, do you know some travel agent? And medical shop?" Another usual conversation around this time. Remember, usually this is the time when you have to claim leave travel allowance and medical allowance. Which is reimbursed on actuals. Well, how many of us need to utilise entire amount of medical allowance and lta? Not many. But hey, both are part of my salary, my hard earned salary. Why should I give tax to govt. on these. So, I'll find a travel agent and medical shop , who can give me bills for the entire amount which I am entitled to in return to a few percentage of the amount. That way I retain the tax money which was in fact suppose to go to the govt. Its my money after all.

But when Mr. A. Raja and Mr. Suresh Kalmadi does the same, then it is corruption !!!

Are we not like that only.

January 20, 2011

Cinderella's Shoes !!

Year was 2001-02 and time was not really good for we guys in the final year of engineering. Recession had hit the usual buoyant mood in the campus. There were few and far between companies coming for the campus recruitment. One such company was X, which came calling for us. They conducted a written test, mostly on business awareness, as part of their recruitment process. Those days I used to regularly follow a business magazine, BW,  and this magazine used to have a regular quiz on business awareness. After the written test of X, I was  totally confident of getting through to next round as this test had almost all the question referred from the magazine BW. But to my utter surprise I was not called for the interview, the next round.

A test which was to test you on business awareness and where you have answered almost all the questions correctly was not enough to get you the interview call. I was shocked. But that was it.

Later I mailed the guy, who came to our college for recruitment on behalf of X, explaining my stand. I wasn't expecting a reply to this mail, sent by a disgruntled student. But a few days later there was a reply from this gentleman. While explaining his company's recruitment policies he asked me to recall the story of Cinderella. He asked me "Amit do you remember Cinderella's shoes? Its about the right fit of the shoes and the feet.And it does not really judges the size of the feet."  Something similar goes on with the selection process, he said closing his mail wishing me luck.

And the lesson stuck with me. I went on to finish my academics and went back home without a job. Around a month later we received a mail from college's TnP about a company, perhaps last visiting our college for our batch, coming for recruitment. I was again back to college. This time I was through to second round after aptitude test. My first round of interview was OK except that I told the interviewer that I wanted to work of couple of years after which I'd like to go for MBA. As opposite to other guys I wasn't called for second round of interview. But to my astonishment I was one of the selected student. 

And thus I started my professional journey 8 years 7 months and 10 days back. After exactly 3 months from now I am going back to academics with the hope of another level of transformation. First level came with the association with REC Warangal. Which taught me to believe in my capabilities; be myself and true to myself; aim high and perseverance and not to miss out Cinderella's shoes :)