Author: Tony Xavier

The IIM Selection Criteria: Will I get a call from the IIMs?

Apart from the — how many questions should I answer to score a 99 percentile on the CAT — question, one of the questions that I get asked to answer most frequently both from my students as well as people on Quora is the one that is more or less framed as follows: I have X% in X, Y% in XII and Z% in GRAD, will I get a call from the IIMs? Given the popularity of the question, I think a post on the same is more than par for the course.

CAT ’20 Achievers’ Meet: How to make the most of your MBA

Every year the final session that I do for all of those who have secured admits (or are waitlisted) into the Top 30 schools is called How to make the most of your MBA. I had hoped that we will be able to conduct at least this session for CAT 20 students in person and that I could may be meet a few of you who have attended my Masterclasses over the course of the year. The world has bigger problems than this and so we go ahead and do the session online. Date & Time: Sunday, 13th June 2021 @ 11:00 AM Register before Friday, 11th June 2021 till 2:00 PM via http://tiny.cc/Achievers-Meet-21 Note: Students who have registered for the Campus meets need not fill up the registration form again. They will automatically get a zoom invite for the achievers’ meet session.

DI-LR: Improving your core strength

DI-LR, as we know, has been the nemesis of many a CAT aspirant over the past few years, and every serious aspirant asks me that — how do I improve my DI-LR skills. Over the last two years, I thought that it is primarily about two things — set selection and comfort with mathematical reasoning (many sets over the last few years have been based on Arithmetic and Modern Math concepts). But even so, I knew that to select the right sets and then solve 4 sets, one needs to solve the two easiest sets quite fast, and this pace would come from the regular practice of DI-LR sets (irrespective of difficulty level) and Sudoku. Even then I still felt that a lot was left to the “natural” capability of the student. There was nothing concrete I could communicate (apart from a 5-minute average for Medium Sudoku sets) like say a particular reading speed or a particular set of concepts.

My MBA Journey: IIM-L

Recently, a colleague was asking my if I knew any fresh B-school graduates for some events and I told him that of late given that I am no longer actively teaching or running cities, most of my students are Eklavyas, who just read my blog and attend a few sessions, and not Pandavas! Kaushik, was a student of mine back in my IMS Chennai days but as you will read from his post, we did not interact much. He got in touch with me whenever he had to make a big decision, which, if I am not wrong was once a year before or after each of his CAT attempts. In a way he was an Eklavya who occasionally spoke to me! So, when Kaushik texted me a fortnight ago, with a DP that wasn’t his face, I had to figure out who he was and asked him to confirm if my hunch about his background and appearance were right! And thankfully, I was. Kaushik had an exceptional academic profile, was a CA, worked in …

My MBA Journey: IIM L – PGPSM

It was back in the 2015-16 season if I remember correctly that Sachin first managed to track me down by leaving a comment on my blog. I was handling the IMS business in Chennai, he was a student of IMS based out of Kolkata and he wanted some advice on quitting his job and taking another shot at the CAT. The thing with really mature students is that they need guidance only at a  really broad level, the rest they customize themselves (and there is the blog, anyway) and Sachin is one such individual. He went on to get an admission into the relatively new Sustainability Management Program launched by IIM-L. Since then he has been doing quite well and has even played a part in helping an administration out during the pandemic. If you read his post you will find he had all the ingredients that a student joining a new or baby IIM or a new program needs —  this post. Here is his journey in his own words. From back of the …

How to choose between an HR program and a regular MBA

I think I have said this in another post — India is probably the only country where people will be willing to shell out more than 20 lakhs for a product and at the same time be willing to accept whatever variant the seller decides to give them. What am I referring to here? When I ask students who have both BM and HR calls from XLRI, what their preference is, or what they would prefer between XL-HR/TISS and IIM-K/MDI, most are very clear — the specialization does not matter, all that matters is the brand; others start bringing ROI into the picture. I feel people put in more thought when choosing between a diesel and a petrol car! We are so crazy after elite institutions that we fail to even consider whether we will succeed/fail in or like/dislike a particular field. The objective of this post will be to give you enough information to choose the right program when faced with a choice between a premier HR program and other programs.

My MBA Journey: IIM-Visakhapatnam

The post on the new and baby IIMs last year was meant to be a sort of reality check for aspirants who have to choose between these schools and others. My intention was not to dissuade anyone from joining but to help them make the right choice when faced with a list of schools to choose from. An alum of IIM-Visakhapatnam and still a regular reader of this blog, Abhishek, commented that the new and baby IIMs were not as bad as the post made them out to be. We got talking and it turns out that since since I had only mentioned established private schools — with schools such as NMIMS and SIBM in mind — it was construed to mean a much longer list, including schools that I would never bring into the comparison. But all is well that ends well and Abhishek has written a piece about his MBA experience from IIM-V And yeah, I will vouch for Vizag (the shorter and more used name), the city I was born and raised …

My MBA Journey: IIM-Udaipur

Give the number of queries I get about the new and the baby IIMs, I thought the best way to shed a bit more light on them is to get my students who have gone there to write about their experience. This one is by Siddharth, who is not a student, but was part of the IMS Team in Kochi. I met him whenever I went down there to take a session, which was usually once a year. Siddharth graduated recently from IIM-U and this is his take about the same. Some of the parts were new to me as well, especially the part about why he chose IIM-U —  I think knowing why you want something, being clear about it, and not trying to invent ten other reasons apart from the sole reason is not a common trait (a great lesson in no FOMO) So here are his two cents on this experience at IIM-U. MBA was a kind of an escape plan for me back in 2017. But it turned out to be …

IIMs versus FMS, XL, MDI and other top schools

Now that the first round results of almost all the b-schools are out, we get regular queries about which b-schools to join. There is rarely any confusion about A, B, and C but after that, it seems as if aspirants are having a lot of trouble choosing between the IIMs L, I, and K and other top b-schools such as FMS, XLRI, MDI, and others. How does one go about making the right choice between the IIMs and other top schools? One of the terms thrown around a lot these days is ROI.

My MBA Journey: IIM-Visakhapatnam

The post on the new and baby IIMs was meant to be a sort of reality check for aspirants who have to choose between these schools and others. My intention was not to dissuade anyone from joining but to help them make the right choice when faced with a list of schools to choose from. An alum of IIM-Visakhapatnam and still a regular reader of this blog, Abhishek, commented that the new and baby IIMs were not as bad as the post made them out to be. We got talking and it turns out that since since I had only mentioned established private schools — with schools such as NMIMS and SIBM in mind — it was construed to mean a much longer list. But all is well that ends well and Abhishek has written a piece about his MBA experience from IIM-V And yeah, I will vouch for Vizag (the shorter and more used name), the city I was born and raised in — it has a certain charm to say the least and …