Thoughts, Musing and Random Factoids You NEVER Wanted to Know About My IIM-K GD/PI Process!
Okay, so here she was. Shrutz in the Big Insti. I plonked my bags into a room on the IIMB campus a day early and went around asking seniors for gyaan on filling the forms! (Small aside here: You can get LOST in the campus. But it’s really pretty. Also, Bangalore is too cold for my Mallu self. I can live without the cardigan/jacket, but the semi-lukewarm-water masquerading as hot water was too cold for me to take… literally!) I was put up in a really pretty hostel room from where I could look at the peaceful vistas of… construction work. Yeah, looks like many more seats up for grabs this year But, yeah, the setting is really idyllic. Unfortunately, I got lost along the whole executive block-CCP-administration maze a couple of times. I am still not entirely sure where I had my GD and PI!
PS: Looks like there’s a nice Cafe Coffee Day outlet *somewhere* on the campus!
D-Day dawned as bright as a new penny.
My GD/PI process started at 2 PM. I was escorted there (no, not shouting and screaming!) by a friendly senior, who also helped in the nervousness department. (“Don’t be.”) After being mistaken for a PGP student by another of the prospective K-students (“Where’s the K interview taking place?”), I plonked myself on the nearest seat (which was a huge cement block) near the interview rooms.
First impression: There were close to 30 people! Wall-to-wall. People looking nervous, checking the certis, yapping away, verifying their certis. And there I was, unusually quiet. (Poor me ) After verification was done, I finally met someone who wanted to TALK. We spent the next 5 minutes exchanging information (aka gossiping!)
At 2 sharp, a very sharp gentleman escorted the 10 of us nouveau-acquainted souls into Panel#3 and arranged us along a table. Yours truly was #3. Our panel was blessed in that there were three of the fairer sex. Yeah, I am sure the guys must have been SOOOOO happy. (yeah, right!)
We were handed small slips of papers and asked to read through the passage and make points (if we liked) for 3 minutes.
I looked down.
10 lines that made sense only after I shook my head a few times.
“Modernity is an ambiguous word. It depends on societies. *yada yada* The present was its flower”
I shook my head again!
Thoughts of CAT VA came floating back into my mind, unbidden….
I pushed the treacherous doubts back and stared at modernity again, and decided to do what I usually do for GDs.
Fly on the moment…
Suddenly, “You may start”
Dead silence for 2 seconds while everyone looked at each other, wondering who the unfortunate neck on the chopping block would be.
“Ahem, friends, today the passage that has been given…” yeah that was me.
Yay! I started.. Uhm, So WHAT?
After 7-8 minutes of people talking in a very rational and peaceful manner, the moderators had enough. (“Where’s the blood? the gore? the vehemence? Some good points, maybe?”)
All in all, quite a peaceful GD, though I disagreed with one lady who said “the most peaceful GD I have attended.” Makes me ask “How ARE the GDs in Hyderabad?”!
Not too many points were brought up. I wasn’t too happy with my performance. I just tried to stay out of trouble and kept a low profile throughout, came into the GD only thrice.
Since you people have gotten this far into the experience, let’s move on to the PI. (yeah, lucky you!)
Venue: Panel Number 3
Interviewers: Two extremely cordial and chill gentlemen (who even opened the door for me! Seriously!). P1 and P2, say?
Setting: Fluoroscent lights and very chatty, informal atmosphere.
P1 takes the file from me and starts looking through it. P2 is reading my form (oh NO!)
P2: “You have mentioned here that you an Army background and were inspired by your mother’s entrepreneurship. Could you explain?”
Me: “Yessir! My father’s an Army officer. My mom has a petrol bunk…”
P1: (interrupting) “She owns it?”
P2: “Where in Trivandrum?”
Me: “…” (No, not giving it to you!)
P2: (Ascertaining actual location…)
P2: “Okay, let’s hear something about you.”
Me: “I am Shruti George, doing my eighth semester *yada yada* hobbies *blah blah* I believe in giving 110%.”
P2: “Why not 120?”
Me: (Huh?) “Sir, it can as well be anything higher than 100. (sooo cliched!) Just a number!”
Me: “I am okay at acads.”
P2: (looks down at file) “You call THIS okay at acads?”
Me: “You can always strive to be better!” (Hehe!)
P1: “Are you the topper?”
Me: “No sir, top 10% in class!”
P2: “Okay, you’ve said being the placecomm rep was a cathartic experience. Explain”
Me: (launching into long winded explanation)
P2: (after hearing everything.) “Yes, I understand. but why?”
Me: (confused) “well, sir…” *Another story*
P2: “What does cathartic mean?”
P2: “Not exactly.”
Me: “Sir, I will check it up!”
P2: “Do that!”
Edit: It’s more to do with ONE moment that is life-changing. *Sigh* I had an answer to that too. Ought to have used it
P1: (closing the file) “So, Miss. George. You said you play the violin.”
P2: “Name a famous Malayalee violinist.”
Me: “Err.” (Yeah! I ought to have seen that coming.)
After some painful exchanges….
P2: “Look that up too. So, can I ask you ANYTHING about your hobby?”
Me: (realisation ALWAYS dawns late) “err, sir, I actually learnt the WESTERN violin.”
P2: “Ahh, yes! So what’s the difference?”
Me: “Funda on chin rest, tuning, musical notations etc”
P2: “Are you a novice or are you good?”
Me: “I am quite okay. Gave three grades of ABRSM.”
Me: “Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music”
P2: (nods his head and looks at P1)
P1: “So, Miss. George, what about your schooling?”
Me: “I had a semi-Army schooling.”
Me: “Unlike most Kendriya Vidyalayas, our school had more Malayalees.”
P1: “Miss George, Malayalees can be in the Armed Forces too.”
Me: (hopefully, without missing a beat) “Yes sir, but my classmates were settled in Kerala for 12 years and were mostly bank officers’ kids. This was peculiar to my school.”
P2: “Pattom?” (Yay! Mallu alert )
Me: “Yessir. The school was marvellous!”
P1: “You’re from Kerala. Whom do you think will come into power?”
Me: “Sir, it’s obvious it will the Opposition. It’s the pattern”
Me; “Sir, Malayalees are very politically aware. Added to the anti-incumbency factor and the view that the government has done nothing to address the problems of the common man. The deficit is huge and the Treasury is in shambles.”
P1: “That’s been a problem for ages”
Me; “Yes sir. For a long time.”
P1: “Do you think there’s something wrong?” (Scribbling marks down)
Me: “It’s easy enough to be in our positions and say ‘This is wrong’ I think the government, like so many others, got caught in the same old.”
*Talk about IT-tourism and BMW-cum-hartal, trade-unionism*
P1: “What do you intend to take up as a specialisation?”
Me: “Sir, either Finance or Marketing.”
P1: “Both are very different”
Me: “Sir, I intend to see at the end of the year what I am really good at!’
P1: “What makes you think you will make a good manager?”
Me: “Sir, I am very enthusiastic”
P1: “Just that?”
Me: (correcting self) “Since I have been young, I have been at the forefront of most activities *self glorification*”
P1: (nods head and smiles)
P2: “Sir, I have a final question. You talked about trade unionism. Did you ever have to face it in the business?”
Me: “Yessir. Once” (long story)
P1 and P2: Thank you.
I almost ran out….