About Nitij Mishra:
Nitij is born and brought up in the city of kanpur (the then manchester of east). He is pursuing his B.Tech. in PAINT TECHNOLOGY at Harcourt Butler Technical University, Kanpur (one of the oldest engineering institutes in India). He is a sports enthusiast and plays all kinds of sports including football, cricket, badminton etc. Also, he actively follows all the European football leagues, tennis tournaments and Formula1 as well. He has always been crazy about maths and puzzles. Also, arithmetic and calculations are his forte.
Here is the brief conversation with Nitij, about his journey to FMS
When and how did the idea to have MBA degree hit you?
It was in the sophomore year of my engineering when I was part of the marketing team for the annual fest and also a head coordinator and it was during those days where I gradually realised that I was gravitating more towards the aspect of marketing and man-management. I realised that I was enjoying every bit of it.
How did you start with the preparation and what approach did you prefer?
I started with the preparations in my 3rd year. I started reading newspaper editorials and solving questions from random sites until I joined the classroom program of Career Launcher in September where I got an excellent mentor Mr. Niraj Prasad(who himself is an FMS alumnus). Classroom learning is all I did initially for the first 2-3 months. Then I started practicing questions for 1-2 hours on a daily basis on CL’s student portal where they had 7-8 mins topic tests, an hour long sectional tests, and mock testa as well. I used to give 1 mock every month till July and analyse them thoroughly. And then moved on to 2 mocks per month so as to inculcate a habit of sitting for 3-4 hours. During the last 2 months, I geared things up and started practicing questions for 3-4 hours daily alongwith sectional tests every other day. In the last 2 weeks, I gave around 15 mocks including past year papers as well.
Which section did you feel needed the most work?
For me, it has to be VARC, as I already mentioned I loved arithmetic and solving puzzles so QA and DILR were never really a problem for me. But since I was never really an avid reader, VARC was the toughest nut for me to crack. I started reading newspaper editorials and sat for hours reading just passages. I tried retaining more and more as I went through the passage because reading the passage again for each question takes up a lot of time. I talked to everyone I knew who used to read on a regular basis and applied their method. Fortunately, it all worked out pretty well for me as I ended up scoring 94.15%ile in VARC
How did you cope up with the tough times and hurdles?
Talking of tough times, in the month of August for 3 consecutive mocks my scores in VARC were 2, 3, and 2. I was thrown completely off-guard. I knew no matter how good I do in the other 2 sections, it’ll all be in vain if I don’t improve my VARC. Being an English Lecturer, I couldn’t find anyone more suited for this than my mother. She told me to go for accuracy first even if that meant I could attempt only 10 questions in that 1 hour. She said getting the accuracy was more important for my confidence at that time and it actually worked. With each mock after that my marks in VARC gradually increased and by the last 2 weeks I started scoring constantly between 45 and 55.
What was your ‘one getaway’ to rejuvenate your energy?
Like most other engineers, I too have a great group of friends, and our regular weekend outings or movie nights in the hostel were good enough to get my batteries all charged up. But the one thing that kept me motivated during all this was getting to play football in the evening at the college ground after all the hours of sitting for mocks and practice tests.
Which all exams did you give?
I was hell bent in my mind that if I’ll pursue MBA it’ll have to be from an IIM or FMS. So, CAT is the only exam I appeared and I was fortunate enough to Bell the CAT.
Tips for our readers for penultimate day and D-day
The trick is to be patient and not panic. Just go through the formulas and short tricks, believe in yourself, don’t underestimate your preparation if you have given whatever it takes. I personally stopped my preparations 2 days before the actual exam. The level of difficulty will be same for all. Just psych yourself and you are good to go. It’s just another exam and you’ll never be judged based on your CAT scores. You have to reach the exam centre an hour early and sit in front of a blank screen for atleast 45 minutes. Get used to the system and the surroundings. Try to recollect all those tables and fractions to get in the rhythm. Keep an eye on the timer and trust your instincts.
After the first inning(of the examination part) ended, how did you started with the second inning(GD-PI part)?
After the exam, I knew I have done great in both DILR and QA sections but I was very unsure of my VARC. It could have taken my score to low 90s or to high 99s, fortunately, after the official answer key was out, the later turned out to be true. After which I joined the Personality Development Program at CL where they conducted GD’s and WAT’s on alternate days. Also, Niraj sir taught us all about what an interviewer looks for in the answers for different kinds of questions. He even took mock interviews every week and told me about the areas I needed to work on. Apart from this, I read newspaper daily to be aware of all the ongoings around the world. Also, I gave mock interviews to my friends as they knew me the best and could easily heckle me on questions based on my hobbies and other things in my profile.
Which all interviews you gave and your strategy to choose the final institutes from the converts you had?
I had calls from IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode, FMS Delhi, and all the new and baby IIM’s. Since I appeared for CAT only, so to increase my chances of MBA this year I applied for MDI Gurgaon as well and had a call from them. I also got a call for PGP(BA) at IIM Bangalore. I gave my Kozhikode, Rohtak, and MDI interviews offline and gave online PI’s for the rest of them. Due to the current COVID-19 situation, FMS opted out of the PI process and shortlisted students based on CAT and past academic scores. As of 4th June 2020, I have got an admission call from FMS and have converted MDI, IIM Udaipur, Rohtak, Jammu, and a few other baby IIM’s. I have just missed out on the cut for IIMC and IIML with waitlist numbers 15 and 24 respectively. I am awaiting the results of PGP(BA) programme at IIMB as well.
Keeping all the criteria for selection of an institute including institute ranking, peer learning, placement stats and the current COVID-19 situation I’ll be joining FMS Delhi ‘The Red Building Of Dreams’ for MBA(Full-Time) Programme 2020-2022. FMS not only has an impeccable ROI but is also known as the ‘Mecca of Marketing’ and my inclination towards marketing has helped me in making up my mind.
Top 3 leanings you have for our readers
- Whatever it takes: Give your heart and soul to the preparation, give it ‘whatever it takes’. Enjoy your strong sections work hard on your weaker ones.
- Avoid panic attacks: Keep yourself motivated throughout. Don’t stress yourself out even if your scores are low in a few mocks. It might not be your day to succeed but someday it’ll be and till then keep trying and push yourself harder than ever.
- Be consistent: As far as my understanding goes, CAT is all about practice and practice. The syllabus is very limited but you need to practice as many questions as you can to prepare yourself for the D-day. Give at least an hour of your day to practice questions or read articles even on the busiest ones.
Top 3 things that aspirants should avoid
- Avoid skipping classes if you have joined a classroom program.
- Avoid not improving your communication and language skills. Work on these from the very beginning, not only it’ll help you in the VARC section but also prove to be beneficial for the GD-PI round.
- Avoid taking college exams and practicals lightly because all B-schools give 5-10% weightage to your graduation percentage. You don’t want to miss the calls from your dream B-schools due to your low graduation percentage.
Top 3 suggestions for aspirants to answer the ultimate question ‘To reappear or not’
- Trust your gut, if you think you can do better than the last time then there should be no stopping for you. If you have not given it your all and can give it this time then you should definitely reappear. But if you can’t put in all that effort once again then you should go for the college you are getting now.
- Consider all the aspects before taking a call. Go through the institute’s placement stats, its ROI, its STEP, etc. whatever you want in an institute and then make an informed decision.
- Think it through keeping all the things in mind whether you are a fresher or not, maybe an extra year of work ex might help people with 1 or 2 years of work ex next time but would hinder your chances if you already have 3-4 years of work ex. Think thoroughly and choose wisely.