In less than a month, approximately a quarter of a million Indians will appear for the CAT exam. It is a travesty that only the 1%ile will get to study in the top #MBA schools, while the rest will have to settle for the mediocre ones. If for some reason, you are not scoring 99%ile.
Here are the 3 things you should do right away - 1. Get exceptional work experience: A few people ruin their MBA journey by pursuing it right after their undergrad degree. This is a grave mistake. If you go into your MBA/MPP classrooms with a few years of work experience - everything from operations to strategy to finance will make a lot of sense. It will also be much easier to contribute in classes, or network across industries for your internships and jobs later. In case you are not able to find the right experiences, link down below will be a great starting point. 2. Don’t enroll in random MBA Programs: At IIMs, students thrive not because of their professors or their curriculum. But because of their peer network. The peer network is diverse, self-motivated, and keeps each other accountable. Instead, focus on creating your own diverse peer network. Become part of communities of Medical doctors, CAs, Lawyers, and Engineers - and build ventures at the intersection of Policy, Health, and Finance. I have seen this happening a lot at Global Governance Initiative - where GGIans have founded businesses together and pivoted into their dream roles - all while continuing with their jobs. 3. Constantly invest in yourself: The best investment you will ever make in life won't be in Stock Markets but by investing in skillsets, relationships, and experiences. Learn everything from Product Management to Management Consulting to Public Policy to Liberal Arts - before you set a foot inside your #MBA programs. Many of the GGI scholars were able to perform incredibly well at INSEAD, Wharton, and Kellogg - but failed to get admission into the IIMs. They performed incredibly well in their MBA journey because they already had industry connections, relevant skill sets, and networks even before their started their MBA journey. Don’t fret about prospects of 'ruining' your CAT exam. There are incredible opportunities waiting for you.
Feel free to message me if you are concerned about the outcomes of these exams. Now is the perfect time to fail, learn, and thrive!
Author - Naman Shrivastava, Cofounder Global Governance Initiative, Ex- United Nations, Former Government of India Advisor