Thursday, November 19, 2009

When should I join the CAT Coaching classes?

Thousands of students ponder getting ready for the CAT ponder over and over again this one simple question: Should I join the CAT Coaching classes in November/December/January or after my exams in May/June? There is one simple, and best answer: Join Early. Let me explain why:
If you decide to join in May/June, and then realize that it was a bad decision you cannot correct the decision. You will either keep ruing your decision, or decide to take a serious attempt at CAT in the following year. Either ways, it is a loss.
On the other hand if you join your coaching classes early, and you are unhappy with the decision, you can always ask for a transfer to a batch starting in May/June. Most CAT Prep institutes that I know of won't charge you anything extra for this, and will be happy to accommodate this simple request of yours. The only thing you need to check out for is if there is a difference in the fee for students joining in Decemer as against someone joining in May. Generally, you will not find a difference in fee as the course content remains the same - the coaching institutes provide an accelerated programmes to students joining later. Even if there is a small difference, it is worth taking the risk - there is just too much at stake.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

IIMs extend CAT deadline

The IIMs have extended the deadline for accepting up the CAT 2009 applications in view of the number of bank holidays in the first two weeks of October ( Gandhi Jayanti, Durga Puja, Eid, Dusshera). You can now submit your filled-up CAT forms till October 11th. The same new date is also applicable for the "edit" feature. Axis Bank will accept CAT applications till October 8th.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

7 new IIMs to come up

The Union Cabinet has approved the establishment of 7 new IIMs (Indian Institute of Management - India's finest management schools). These are to be located in Tamil Nadu, Chhatisgarh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Haryana and Jharkand. This will take up the total number of IIMs in the country to 14. Currently, the IIMs are located in Ahmedabad (Gujrat), Bangalore (Karnataka), Kolkata (West Bengal), Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Indore (Madhya Pradesh), Kozhikode (Kerala) and the 7th and last one was established a couple of years back in the north-east in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya.
Whike the J&K, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand IIMs will be set-up in the second phase while the others are slated to come up in the 2009-10 period and become functional for the academic year 2010-11. If that happens, that's very good news for students writing CAT 2009 as it opens up four new opportunities for them. India is woefully short on good business schools, driving a number of bright students to mediocre b-schools which have mushroomed round the country. Thankfully, at least a few more hundred of the brighter lot will get to receive quality education.
We just hope that the new IIMs won't be christened on the lines of the Rajiv Gandhi IIM in Shillong. Please leave them as just IIMs.

Friday, August 28, 2009

3 Tips for CAT/ MBA / B-School Aspirants

This is a list of tips/advise/suggestions I have drawn up based on my own experience - both while I was a student preparing for the CAT as well as the years at IMS where my job brought me into direct interaction with hundreds of MBA aspirants. Some of these might not apply to you directly, and if that is so, ignore them - please don't try to find convoluted ways to connect them with yourself or your experiences.

1. "I am not IIM Material" - Thousands of students, every year, for one reason or the other manage to convince themselves and more unfortunately, many others that they are not "IIM material". For god's sake, please understand that there is no such thing as "IIM material". The worst thing which happens when you make this decision is not that you don't make it to one of the IIMs but that you will end up in a B-School not even remotely as good. Leo Burnett, the famous ad man once said that "When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get there, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either". So aim for the IIMs - even if you don't make it to India's best Business School, at least you will not end up in one of those fake b-shops.

2. "I am not good at Maths" - The CAT, MAT and most of the other Business School Admission Tests are designed to test your aptitude for a career in management, not your maths acumen. Yes, if you are good at Mathematics it will help. But the vice-versa is not necessarily true. A few of the questions in the CAT might require a high level of mathematical acumen, but then you need to get less than half the answers right to make it through, don't you? With sufficient preparation, you can crack enough of the questions in the Quantitative Aptitude (QA) section that can help you sail through. Remember that not every IITian who writes the CAT makes it to the IIM - they do better than others because these guys are good, diligent students - else they would not have been at the IIT. So please don't let the 'maths' thing discourage you.

3. "I shouldn't waste another year preparing for the CAT" - Didn't make it to a top B-School in CAT 2008, gave up, and joined a mediocre B-School because he/she didn't want to waste another year preparing for CAT 2009.

I don't have any empirical data handy to substantiate what I am about to say so I would recommend you cross-check this fact with a few veterans.

"Students rewriting the CAT have a higher chance of making it to an IIM than those writing the CAT for the first time." We are all human beings, and we make mistakes, more when we are trying to do something for the first time. We make fewer mistakes the next time because we have learnt our lessons. Even a maestro like Tendulkar took a few years to sort himself out before he reached the peak performance level. There are a few lessons that you will learn while writing the actual CAT that you will never learn no matter how many mock CATs you write.
And as for the idea of "wasting a year", it's the most stupid thought that should have ever occurred to you. Please understand that the kind of B-School you will graduate from will very likely decide the quality of the rest of your life. If by "wasting a year" you can greatly enhance how you are going to spend the next 40-60 years, then it's not wasting but "investing a year".

Monday, February 16, 2009

Create a secure campus

For a parent, nothing is more important than the security of his child. If you are running a school or any other educational institution, it is imperative that you put the best security system in place to ensure the safety of your students, and give parents the peace of mind with the feeling that his child is not just getting the quality education that he seeks for it,but is doing so in a safe environment.

ADT is America's no.1 security company and it has been the leader in education security solutions for over a hundred years now, and today, protects thousands of educational institutes - ranging from schools to whole universities. Schools, Universities and educational institutes face a unique security challenge and need to provide a safe environment to its students within the budgetary constraints. ADT understands the specific challenges and risks that educational institutes face in this regard, and therefore is in the best position to provide these solutions. For over 131 years, ADT has been the most respected name in the business of security. Using ADT's security products, you can be assured that the parents will be reassured that their wards are getting quality security and safety.