My Journey towards getting an admission in PGSEM (2010) conducted by IIM Bangalore

It is a rememberable day today for me as I was one of the students participating in the inauguration ceremony of PGSEM 2010 course conducted by IIM Bangalore. The inauguration program was chaired by NASSCOM chairman Harsh Manglik along with the Director of IIM and Chairperson of PGSEM IIM Bangalore

After around 11 years of experience in IT field, last year during my preparation for my appraisal discussion with my Boss in November 2009 time frame, I decided to pursue a management program to strengthen my career. When I shared this to couple of folks, their first comment was “Why do you want to do a MBA program when you are already a co-founder and Director of a 100+ people Organization?” Though it was very much a sensible question, i was convinced that I had to do a MBA program to get a formal exposure to management studies as I felt that would add value to my career and my company

My search started at that time to find a suitable course that can work out for me. To start with I considered full time program but then I dropped the idea as the opportunity cost for me to do a full time program was too high and my monthly financial commitments didn’t allow it. The next that came into my mind was to do Executive MBA program and most of the Executive MBA programs were of minimally for year duration and that too didn’t fit for me. So I started looking for part time MBA program

The feedback from my Boss on my interest to pursue part time program was “If you are really interested to do a part time program, you should try doing in some premier institutes like IIM otherwise it may not be of use”. It made a lot of sense and started searching for programs offered by IIM Bangalore which is 15 minutes by walk from my home

That was when I learnt about the PGSEM program offered by IIM Bangalore specially designed for experienced IT professionals. When I went through the website / forums / yahoo groups on selection criteria for PGSEM, I almost came to a conclusion that I was not going to get through it as you were expected to have a good score in GMAT or CAT or PGSEM test conducted by IIM Bangalore. When I went through the sample question paper of PGSEM test for the first time, I firmly dropped the idea of attempting it.

Interestingly one day I shared the above to my wife who gave me the confidence to attempt it as i was not going to lose anything even if I didn’t make it. So applied online through PGSEM website and paid an application fee of 1400 Rs online. After applying online I went through the sample question paper again and again and I felt now that I can reasonably do well on Math, Problem Solving and Critical reasoning sections though I was not that confident on language section

Started exploring Landmark for a good book to do my preparation and one nice guy there recommended “GMAT Review 12th Edition” by Graduate Management Admission Council for my preparation among so many books there. Picked up a copy of the book and spent for couple of months every day a minimal of 15 minutes to sometime an hour or so in solving the puzzles in the book after understanding the basic fundamentals

Couple of days before the exam, one of my colleagues suggested me to “Grammar Smart Second Edition” by Princeton to handle language related section. It was an excellent Audio book explaining some of the common grammatical mistakes people tend to do in written / spoken English. I went though that and finally took the PGSEM entrance test on Feb 14 2010

After a long wait, around 25th March to my surprise I got intimation from IIM to appear for the interview. Before you appear for the interview, you were supposed to submit online a statement of purpose too. I prepared a reasonably good statement of purpose, reviewed and corrected at few places by my peers and boss. I also did my basic preparation to answer questions in the interview question related to my domain (SaaS, CRM)

Went for the interview on 24th April and interestingly this time they removed two rounds of interview and instead asked us to write a one page essay on the topic of “Human Resources Challenges / Issues in India”. Around the core themes of Productivity issues, Infrastructure, Politics, Reservations etc I wrote my 1 pager. After 2 hours I was interviewed by a IIM Professor along with an IIM B Alumni.

My interview lasted only for 7 – 10 minutes whereas for others it went for more than 30 minutes. They asked questions about the domain in which I was working, Issues / challenges we faced when we started the company, Reasons for not going for Venture capitalist for funding, reason to choose implementing SaaS based application as our service offering etc. I was very good in academic with an average of around 90% from 10th standard to Engineering and I did Sun certification (SCJP), PMP as well as CPIM during by 11 years career. I used that as a base to convince them that I can very well complete this course too without dropping out by doing required personal sacrifice. I also told them about the strong support from my boss to purse the course.

When I got the selection letter on May 1st I understood that they are very much convinced with my interview and offered me a seat to do my PGSEM course in Bangalore.

Finally today my journey towards pursuing a MBA programme begins and i hope that would meet my expectations and add value to my career and my company. Looks like it is going to be very demanding and would keep you all posted on my progress. Hope this info would be useful to other aspiring PGSEM folks in future


27 thoughts on “My Journey towards getting an admission in PGSEM (2010) conducted by IIM Bangalore

  1. Hello Venkat,
    This article I found really helpful and it is very clear on the scenarios and feelings you had before getting into PGSEM. I myself find in the similar situation as you are in this juncture . I am thinking of PGSEM and working as a software professional with more than 6 years of experience. I need some advice and clarifications in this regard. Could you share with me your email id , so that I could communicate with you regarding PGSEM.


  2. Hi, very interesting preface. Although the rest of the story will be interesting/bore depending on how you perceive it. I was thinking abt a executive MBA too, and finding really hard time getting the notion to sit and study. Have 3 years exp in IT now.
    My mom wants me to do an MBA for the heck of it, although i am genuinely interested so that i can get into techno-sales kinda job. Will see how can i make up my mind to sit and study.

  3. Hi Venky, Very inspiring story. I am in a similar situation too. With an IT experience of more than 8 yrs, I have been planning to go for PGSEM for quite sometime now. Can you suggest me which is better: giving GMAT and using that score or taking PGSEM entrance directly ? Please advise.
    Also, I hope that by now you would have finished a semester. Could you please share those experiences too ?


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  5. Hi Venky,
    I have a small query. How many months of preparation would be ideal? I have just started my preparations. Hope I will be able to make it by Feb.

    • I would like to understand about your experience / education background before i can answer. If you are very serious about attempting it, please feel free to call me in my mobile 9980063280 during working days after 3 PM IST


  6. hi venky,

    Very nicely written article!!. You must be on the verge of completion of the course now. I have around 3 years of work experience in software development. I have been thinking about PGSEM. I am interested to know about the value addition in terms of knowledge, skillset and perception of this course by industry. I will get personally in touch with you for this.

    • Hi, You can feel free to call me in my cell on any working day between 4 – 5PM. If you are serious about the program I would be glad to assist you.

      • Hey Venky, I am very much keen to do PGPEM(PGSEM) from IIMB could you please assist me in this. Im currently with 3+ years of experience.

  7. Hi Venky,

    I wanted to know about the duration of this course and whether classes are conducted on weekends only?

    Looking forward for favorable response ..
    Thanks in advance..

    Kanishka Dutta

    • Hi, please o brought he PGSEM website to understand the details. If you need any further additional inputs, write to me

  8. Hi Venky,

    Very nice article. I am too in the same juncture. I have 5 years of work experience in IT and I need some help to better understand the selection procedure.

    I am in great dilemma as my academic background is weak. Any advice on this matter would be really help me to a great extent. Thank You.

    Best Regards,
    Krishna Kishore Govada.

    • Hi, the details on the admission process is very much detailed in the PGSEM website. If ou need any additional details after oing through the website you can write to me

      • Hey Venky, I am very much keen to do PGPEM(PGSEM) from IIMB could you please assist me in this. Im currently with 3+ years of experience.

  9. Hi Venky….I am acutally looking forward for this course. But, i am bit concerned about the experience mix in this program. I see that the eligibility for the program is about 2 years of experience. I have about 12 to 13 years of experience and i do not want to end up in a wrong group by going for this program. Please advise the typical experience distribution you had in the class. Thanks for the inputs..

    • Hi Sravan, The average experience is 6 years. You should not be worried about your experience. You can definitely make an attempt if you are sure that this adds value to your career. Feel free to call my mobile during any of the week days post 5 PM, if you like to know more on this.

  10. hi Venky, I just end up here while searching few blogs on internet and It is one of the nicely & clearly written blog I have read till now. I too have plans to pursue this course. I have 4.5 yrs of It experience. Could you please share me your email id as I have couple of queries 🙂

  11. Hi Venkatesh, I am Venkatesh here, I really enjoyed this article, as I hope you would have completed the course, could you please feedback me as how it went and PGSEM/PGPEM vs EPGP, which one do you suggest from cost, learning, and campus placement perspective? thanks, and god bless you !!

  13. Hi Venky,

    A comment on your last line – “Hope this info would be useful to other aspiring PGSEM folks in future”

    Though the course structures have evolved and even the course name is changed to PGPEM, this article definitely helped 🙂

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