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 http://www.amazon.com/Grammar-Smart-2nd-Guides/dp/0375762159 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