During my MBA entrance exam preparation days, I was hoping to crack a top B-school given that I was consistently scoring above average in my mock tests. Fast forward to CAT 2018, I messed up the DI-LR section and ended up scoring 98.89 percentile which wasn’t sufficient for B-schools which considered only academic scores as a basis to offer seats. I applied to SPJIMR after hearing great things from my senior who was studying in the college at the time and fortunately, I secured an interview call.
Honestly, I wasn’t very keen on joining and thought of giving another attempt at CAT. But my whole viewpoint changed right at the time when I entered the SPJIMR campus in Mumbai for my interview. I was greeted with some super cool seniors and I was mesmerized by the fact that the whole admissions process was managed by students with faculty just taking the interviews. Right from document verification to the interviews, the whole process was so smooth and well managed. The admissions committee made sure everyone was calm, well-fed and they were in their best selves to give a shot at the process.
I still remember the Group Interviews which is unique in its way where everyone was made comfortable with icebreaker introductions of each other. Surprisingly, everyone was given enough space and time to speak and express themselves. It wasn’t like those fish markets which happen usually in typical group discussions. Everyone was so humble and supportive of each other’s opinions. Whether it was the ambiance or the aura of the panelists that created such a great experience, I still don’t know.
After my second group interview round which lasted for almost an hour, I was asked to leave after grabbing tea/coffee and sandwiches. I had to go back to Pune by bus and I still remember that during the whole 4 hours journey, I was living that interview experience time and again. I never had been so honest in my life and I kept thinking if I should not have been so upfront about my answers or what possible answers could I have uttered. But I kept concluding that being truthful was the best thing to do then. The amount of introspection I had done on that day itself was sufficient for my entire life till now. Suddenly, I was at peace with the decisions I had made in the past and I was no longer cribbing about it.
As you would have guessed, I was offered a seat and I realized how much showing honesty with your heart and reflecting integrity with courage mattered in life. Fast forward came the Mumbai networking meet which is an informal interaction with alumni and professors. It was after this meet that I became perfectly sure that I wanted to join SPJIMR.
I was fortunate to be a part of the admissions committee and life had taken a full circle. It was such a humbling experience for a year. I worked with an amazing team to manage logistics, marketing, budget, and whatnot. I learned so much, under the guidance of Bindu ma’am and Sheila ma’am, from so many stakeholders including all the applicants and professors taking the interviews.
I want to close this piece with one particular incident when I was going through a personal issue and I hadn’t talked to anyone about it. Then the Dean, Mr. Ranjan Banerjee in one of his classes said, “If something is bothering you for more than 15 days, please talk about it with someone.” I quickly gathered the courage after his class and I went and talked to Bindu ma’am since I knew her well. She connected me to Aditi ma’am and because of the institute’s amazing open-door policy, I went and talked to her freely. She treated me like her own son and helped me out. I felt like I was at home even though I was so far away.
I started to realize the importance of being down to earth in such a short time and I could never forget a single moment I have lived at this magical place called SPJIMR.