Fresher’s guide to cracking CAT | Karan Khatri

Karan Khatri | SIBM, Pune 2020-22 Batch
Karan Khatri | SIBM, Pune 2020-22 Batch

About Karan Khatri:

Karan Khatri has done his Civil Engineering from The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. He has won various national level competitions in science innovation and public speaking. He is a receiver of the ‘Ignite Award’ and was felicitated by Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at IIM Ahmedabad for an innovative project in 2014. He truly believes in the idea of amalgamation of businesses, innovation and science which can create a lot of positive impact in society. Developing strategic and analytical acumen, leadership and communication skills have always been on his radar.

He has converted SIBM Pune, NMIMS and few IIMs, and will be joining SIBM Pune in 2020.

Karan’s Journey to SIBM, Pune

How did you start with the preparation and what approach did you prefer? 

Born and brought up in a business-oriented family, the world of business always fascinated me. Leading teams and executing work has always excited me. Thus, opting for the path of MBA was an easy decision. 

I joined MBA preparation classes-IMS-in my 6th semester of engineering as I had the clarity that I wanted to appear for CAT-2019, seriously. In the initial phase, I primarily focused on the basics of Quant which included topics like numbers, ratio proportion, Algebra which were already taught till 10th standard in CBSE. I also developed a habit of reading blogs on websites like Aeon and started practicing Logical Reasoning problems to develop a basic understanding of DI-LR section of CAT.

Once, I was familiar with the basic idea of the competitive exams, I started focusing on the application part of the foundation which I had built in the initial phase.

Soon did I realised, that my strength was quant and DI-LR section. VA-RC section required a lot of work. Once the test-taking season started in May 2019, this observation was reinforced. 

Post that my focus was to strengthen my strengths and improve the VARC section (which was a relatively weak section for me!) till the limit that I can cross the cutoffs easily.

As CAT was approaching, giving a mock in every 3 days had become a ritual. Analysing mocks and constantly revising the topics took the majority of my time. I was also extremely focused to crack other exams like SNAP, NMAT, IIFT, and XAT. Fortunately, I cracked all of them and scored a decent 97.6 percentile in CAT.

How many interview calls did you get?

I got calls from NMIMS, SIBM Pune, SCMHRD, IIFT, XLRI-HR, MDI, and few IIMS. 

How did you prepare for your B-school interviews & GD?

Debating, Group Discussion, and Paper Presentation have always been an area of strength for me as I have participated and won various National level public speaking competitions. Thus, I did not have to focus more on my communication skills but the improvement of my content including current affairs and a basic understanding of business. 

INTROSPECTION is one word that an aspirant must keep on the highest priority when we talk about PI. Knowing oneself is pivotal to answer the majority of questions in PI.

Also, mock GD and PI are conducted at various institutes like IMS. These platforms provide a first-hand experience to experience the interviews in the right environment. I highly recommend aspirants to be a part of it for a better understanding of the process.

Also Read  5 Career Paths After MBA In Marketing

What type of questions were asked in the interviews?

I will categorise the question in 3 broad umbrellas

Introspective/ hygiene questions – In this, you will be asked about yourself, aspirations, goals, interests, decisions, etc

Profile related questions – In this, you will be asked about your involvement in activities, academics, extracurriculars, competitions, sports, arts etc

G.K. – These questions demand a basic understanding of current affairs and world affairs especially in the business world.

The list is not exhaustive and it can have many more layers to it.

How did you make your final decision about choosing a college over others? What factors did you consider?

There are many factors while finalising a college and it is a very subjective decision. Some of the factors I considered while making the decision is mentioned below in the right priority order for me.

  • Rank/cloud of college
  • Domain interest
  • Batch size
  • Quality of roles offered
  • Fees/ROI
  • Geographical location

Learnings you have for our readers

Just 3 words will drive your path to a good B-school or any daunting journey you be a part of.

Hard work, perseverance and motivation

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