With CAT 2020 just around the corner, your preparations must have reached their peak. You have put in months of effort into your preparations to get top percentile, which will open the doors to some of the best B Schools in India for you. But have you considered your options, your end goal? Year after year, we have seen that CAT can actually become a rat race, where everyone is running after high percentile scores. But at this crucial juncture, it might be time to take stock of your options and prepare for your MBA and not just the entrance test.
Let’s lay out the ground realities first: every year over 2 lakh candidates appear for CAT conducted by the IIMs. These top ranking management institutions offer around 5000 MBA seats amongst them. But there are over 5000 B Schools in the country, which means getting into a management institute with your CAT score isn’t the biggest challenge. The key lies in having a clear vision for what you want to achieve with your MBA. Yes, you heard that right! And the problem lies with not having a clear game plan for what you want to achieve with your MBA. Pause for a moment and consider the scenario where you have scored well in your exam. What next? Most MBA aspirants draw a blank when faced with this question. Unfortunately, Indian education system has promoted the idea that you should pick your stream depending on your exam score.
What’s so special about specializations?
Unlike other professional level courses, MBA doesn’t just offer you functional knowledge of a specific field. It equips you to make real life decisions that can solve business problems. It’s also important to realize that very few MBA graduates will start their careers at the managerial level. For the first couple of years after your MBA, you will be practicing and honing the skills you have learned till you get to decision making positions. Now the question is which area of management do you see yourself spending those couple of years building your way to the top?
When in doubt, Read.
Did you know that for the past few years all IIMs and other top management institutes have based their interview rounds solely on GK and current affairs? If you have prepared for the mighty CAT then these interviews should be a cakewalk, right? Wrong! It is often seen that CAT aspirants understand and master theoretical concepts but do very little reading on current affairs. When you are getting ready for CAT and even after that, make sure you read the business section of newspapers, magazines etc.
Make your own reading list for various specializations. For example:
Finance: ‘The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine’ , ‘The Quants: The maths geniuses who brought down Wall Street ’ are engaging reads.
Marketing: ‘Selling The Wheel: Choosing The Best Way To Sell For You Your Company Your Customers’ by Jeff Cox and Howard Stevens, ‘Buyology: How Everything We Believe About Why We Buy is Wrong’ by Martin Lindstrom explain the ins and outs of Marketing.
HR: ‘Kingdomality: An Ingenious New Way to Triumph in Management’ by Sheldon Bowles and ‘Richard & Susan Silvano and Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman & Amos Tversky’ highlight out of the box solutions to problems.
Read with your target in mind, it will help you hit the bullseye with your preparations, for your MBA and not just the CAT.