DTU Times interviewed Lakshay Singla, 4th year, CE who secured 99.73 percentile in the Common Aptitude Test 2018 and received an admission offer from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA).
When and why did you decide to pursue management? What role does DTU have to play in your success?
I decided to pursue Management after I had the opportunity to work on a research project in IIM Ahmedabad. I realised that doing an MBA from a premier institute will not only enrich you in knowledge from the professors, but also from your peers and make you industry-ready.
DTU has some of the finest brains in the country. Hence, I had the opportunity to prepare for entrance exams with them which helped me in the long run.
How does having a technical degree help someone who wants to foray into management?
A technical degree is very helpful for honing your analytical skills. Any organization runs on three basic things: Man, Machine and Capital. A technical degree gives you the knowledge of a Machine and a Business administration degree compliments it with the knowledge of handling manpower and capital. Basically, if you have a technical degree along with qualification in Business Administration, you have a holistic view of how business organizations are run and how can they be improved.
What is the best way to prepare for such management entrances? How did you prepare and balance college work with the entrances?
Most of the management entrance exams are aptitude-based exams covering topics like Verbal Ability, Data Interpretation, Logical Reasoning and Basic Quantitative Ability. One does not need outright help for them. However, I suggest that aspirants can take up online or offline coaching from any reliable institute as they have a lot of experience that helps you to tackle exams better, identify weak areas and most importantly provide a mock exam series that goes a long way in making you exam ready.
I took offline coaching and regularly gave Mocks to improve. Graduation marks are very important criteria in most of the B-school selection process, I made sure that during my mid-semester and end-semester examinations, I completely focus on college and rest of the time I prepared for entrance exams.
What is the relative importance of academics and extracurricular activities for getting into a good management institute?
Academics are really important for getting into a good B-school. Most of the top B-schools give weightage of 10-30% to academics in the final selection process, which includes class 10th,12th and graduation marks. Also, a good academic record is a validation of your sincerity towards academics and every B-school looks for that. Extracurricular activities do not play a role in your selection procedure; however, extraordinary extracurricular achievements can help you create a good impression in your personal interview.
How are the Group Discussion and Personal Interview rounds conducted and how does one prepare for them? What are some of the most interesting questions that you were asked during the interviews?
GD and PI rounds are conducted a couple of months after CAT post the release of shortlists by various colleges. The best way to prepare for interviews is to look for interview experiences of that particular B-school, and work on things that are specifically required by that B-school. General questions are on why M.B.A., General knowledge, Maths and your graduation subjects.
Questions in my interviews were pretty general. But in my introduction, I had mentioned that I am a stand-up comedian, hence, in my IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Calcutta interviews I was asked to perform stand-up comedy during the interview.
What advice would you like to give to all students aiming at getting into IIMs and other prolific management institutes?’
My advice to all the aspirants would be that they should make a balance between graduation exams and MBA exam preparations as graduation marks are really important. Then for entrance exams, which are mostly aptitude based, they should focus on clearing the basics first and then use mock tests to prepare a strategy and identify weak areas.