My journey!

As I journey through time, here I present a small peak into what I think and experience!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

IIMB Interview Experience

Venue: Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
Date: 23 March 2005
Time: 9am

Started from home at about 7.45am. Thought it would be late by the time I reach the campus but
I was well on time. I was in the panel-1 and the 2nd among only 7 candidates in each group. We
were seated right on time and were explained the process. The panel consisted of Prof. Rajeev
(Economics and Social Sciences group) and Prof. Vasanthi (HR group). They looked very cordial
(how true it is will be revealed in sometime!!) and after greeting us good morning explained us the
process. We were given a case on which we were supposed to think for 10min, then discuss it for
20min and come to a conclusion, and then for 10min we write the summary of the discussion and
answer two questions.

Case: Amar Singh sells water purifiers. His company engages sales persons who do direct selling to
customers. The salesmen show testimonials of how useful the purifier has been to the previous
customers. The incidence of stomach aches has actually decreased among the users moreso in
case of senior citizens. A study published in the US medical journal has found that the contents of
the purifier are carcinogenic. Though they are relatively low (+0.25) in nature but its not
insignificant. Another study in the same journal criticizes the methodology used in the above study.
This study has not caught attention of the Indian media till now.

Should Amar Singh reveal the study findings to his potential customers?

The group discussed the legal, ethical and economic aspects of the above case. Overall, it was a
decent discussion.

Came out and chatted for a while with other students. Hey, I forgot about the conclusion. 10min
was found to be insufficient. I was writing dead fast and my hands actually started aching at the
end of about 6-7min. The two questions that we were asked are:
1) Who is the most influential person of the 20th century. Why?
A) MK Gandhi....blah blah...

2) What are your career plans? How will a PGP from IIMB help u realise that? (This was asked in
the form that we had submitted to them but why this was again asked missed my understanding).
A) blah blah...wrote the same as I had written in the form

The panel collected the case sheet and the summary-question sheet from us and they actually
kept standing awaiting one guy to write answers to both the questions.

Time in: 10.25am
Rajeev = R, Vasanthi = V and the dumb me = M

R: BITS-Pilani
M: Yes sir.
R: You have got such good grades. Why do you want to get into management?
M: not interested in core means more power....decision-making.....
challenges...blah blah....
R: What has your working taught u?
M: blah blah....
R: But you can gain experience and reach the managerial level? Why an MBA?
M: definitely sir but its a longer process. MBA coupled with experience gives a faster growth. Talked
about how the course methodology helps the students get a good base....blah blah.
R: Does your company hire any MBAs?
V: How do u you know so much?
M: Told that my cousin's husband is a IIMB passout whose currently HDFC VP!! Having had
discussions with him and interaction with my friends who are in b-schools, I have come to know of
R: Have you displayed any managerial skills?
M: yes sir, I was the Jt. Sec of a claub called Jhankar in BITS Pilani....we organise professional music shows....divided ourselves into team...each given responsibility...blah blah.
V: You have said you have travelled a lot in India and abroad?
M: Yes, I have travelled netherlands, france, germany, UK, switzerland, singapore. various parts of
the country like uttarkashi, gangotri, calcutta, bombay, puri etc...
V looks to R: Oh! lots of travelling!
R: What has travelling taught u?
M: blah blah....each person is unique...culture.
R: What do you know about Indian Culture?
M: I dont know much but.....blah...
V: How does traveling help u in your worklife?
M: blah blah...
R: In your recommensdations, it says you are little disorganised. What are you doing for it?
M: yes sir...I shall explain once incident which happened....blah blah
R (listens with eyebrows raised): good. So you are working on it huh (smiles).
R: What other interests do you have?
M: I used to play tennis and cricket. but now I dont becoz....blah...Listening to music. hindi songs.
fusion movie with my parents....Have developed a reading habit consciously since
past 1.5yrs.
R: Why do you think reading is important?
M: Develops a analytical ability. Know whats happening around us. Enhances our knowledge.
R: Why people have lost this habit? Is it because of TV?
M: yes, because of tv. lack of resources. laziness.
R: What do u think should be done for this?
M: In college, there should be mentors who should encourage reading, can have competitions
testing on the reading habits, more exposure to libraries. In work life, employers can have good
libraries and should encourage reading. In the official hours, they can ask their employees to
devote some time to reading.
R: Any questions for us?
M: If I decide to specialise in Finance or Marketing, will my IT experience help me in laterals? I mean
will my IT work-ex help me in other fields?
R: What have u learnt through your experience?
M: I have developed soft skills. How to interact with your team members. When we learn in MBA
about the importance of processes in an organisation, I can relate well than a fresher.
R: Right. They look if you have really become mature through your work-ex. If u have gained the
soft skills and all..If u have IT domain knowledge, its well and good. Even otherwise it has its own
M: Thank You sir and Ma'm.

Time out: 10.45am

So the interview was very cool. No academics and no technical questions. Overall a decent
experience. Probably the panel consisted of such members who did not want to stress we poor

Sunday, March 20, 2005

IIMC Interview experience

Venue: IIMB (K-block)
Date: 17 March 2005
Reporting time: 9.30am

Took an auto from MG Road and told him to go to IIM, Bannerghatta road. Soon, I realised that the auto driver did not know how to go there. Then started our journey of adventure. We kept on going asking auto-drivers on the way as to how we go. By the time we reached the intended place, I felt like I had travelled half of the Bangalore city. Luckily I reached at 9am, comfortably before time. Met a few known faces and so had a chat for awhile before the list of students and the panels was put up. Right at 9.25am, we were seated in the classroom and were explained the GD process. Proof that the IIMs are sticklers of time was that the GD started bang on 9.30am.

The topic was "Anytime anywhere access is everytime everywhere intrusion into privacy". We were a group of 10 and I was the 8th. It was a decent discussion with almost everyone getting a chance to speak. I spoke about how there are advantages as well as disadvantages of anytime access. Technologies like ATMs, Internet Banking are examples of how useful they are in our lives. At the same time though mobile phones and webcams are so useful, they can be misused as well. Points like unsolicited telephone calls, defence secrets, medical transcripts were raised. At the end of about 12min, the panel randomly asked everyone of us to summarise for a minute. I could not end my summary which I felt was otherwise a negative point in my GD performance.

The candidates were called in the order of their seating in the GD. Since I was the 8th, I had a long time to go. Whenever someone came out, we asked them how it went and realised soon that our panel (and in general other panels too) were very cool. They were asking very arbit questions. Few candidates had a 20-25min discussion on sole topics like "Why MBA", "Career goals", "Interests" while a few had about 10min discussion on their engineering basics and hobbies. Surprisingly none were asked any maths as happened in the previous year. Infact, IIMC is very famous in grilling students on Maths but this was a surprise change in their way. Actually this year, most of the IIMs have changed their way of conducting interviews. Very few have had stress interviews (I have heard only about 1 or 2 cases till now!!). Candidates have had very smooth and coochie-coo type of discussions with the panel. This has led to students coming out with a blank face not knowing if their interview has gone well or not. None know if they are IN or OUT.

Anyways, my (M) turn came at noon.
There were 2 interviewers (I1 and I2) in the panel.
Time in: 12.30pm

M: Good afternoon, Sirs
I1 and I2: Good afternoon!! (I felt like nobody had wished them till now. They were studying my form)
I1: Intelligroup?? Whats your work?
M: blah blah...
I1: How many in your team?
M: Currently I am working in a team of 50. And in my module, we are four people.
I1: ok, But mech then s/w?
M: Sir, I work on SAP which is an ERP. So its somewhat related to what I have studied in Mech.
I1: ok.
I1: BITS-Pilani! So what are your interests?
M: I mean is it in acads. Well, I like Workshop, Automotive Vehicles. And some courses in maths like Optimization, OR.
I1: have u worked in Workshop?
M: Yes sir, we have actually worked in a workshop. I have worked on a lathe, shaper and planar.
I1: hmm, so u have worked on a lathe.
M: Yes, we had a practical assignment in which we were supposed to make a candle stand and so we have worked on lathe. In casting, we have just made some moulds.
I1: So u have not cast anything.
M: No sir, we had some wooden patterns and so just made some moulds.
I1: Welding?
M: Yes sir, we have also worked on that.
I1: You had electrical subjects?
M: Yes sir, we had Electrical Sciences-1 and 2 in which we dealt with the basics. We did not go much in depth.
I1: Oh, so u have not done any electrical courses?
M: no sir.
I1: Electronics?
M: We have done basics like semi-conductors, doping etc.
I1 looks at I2 who reads a line in my essay in the form: "...create comfortable lives for the society..."??
I1: (smiling says something like yes yes, even i saw that)...
M: Yes sir, we can create value for the employees of the company, the shareholders, and the society. Thats what I have written further. Take the case of Infosys which has....blah blah...we have to contribute back to the society.
I2: ok.
I2: What is turbo-charging?
M: blah blah....(not a perfect answer).
I2: Examples where its used?
M: Racing cars....(give few more examples)...
I1: What all calls have u got?
M: I have calls from IIM A, B, C, K and NITIE.
I1: Not applied to XLRI or FMS?
M: No sir.
I1: Why NITIE?
M: Sir, I was interested in Operations. But I did not get a final call from NITIE. So now I have only the IIMs
I1: ok.
I2: What are your interests?
M: Travelling, listening to fusion music. As such I do not listen to any specific music. I listen to everything hindi songs, english songs, soft music etc. I usually do not get much free time from office (thats a fart!!). Whenever I get time, I watch tv and listen to music.
I2: You dont read?
M: Yes sir, I do. Infact, since 1.5yrs I have made a conscious attempt of developing a reading habit. I am a member of the British Library. So I read novels, books on stock market. I am interested in stocks. So I have read books on that. Whenever I get time in my office, as in when I dont have work, I go to the library and read The Financial Times and other papers.
I2: ok.
I2 to I1: anything more?
I1: Ok Rajesh, thats it. Thank You.
M: Thank You, sir....(I was like...what is this...end of interview...u have not asked me anything? but then did not say anything and came out)
Candidates waiting outside: Done, so fast?
I look at my watch....Time: 12.40pm

My interview went on for about 10min. No stress, no acads, infact nothing. Total timepass kind of interview. So no idea if I am IN or OUT. Next was a bitsian friend who came out laughing in 5min. He was asked about BITS and about his father and the Birla family feud. So either IIMC wants to take in all bitsians or they dont wanna risk taking them. Whatever it is, things will become clear in the second week of April when the results will be out.

IIMA Interview experience

Venue: Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
Date: 12 March 2005
Time: 9am

Started from home at 7.45am. On the way saw famous companies like Bosch, Oracle, Verisign etc. I should agree that these MNC companies have really changed the landscape of the city and have brought in a transformation as to how important looks are in today's competitive world.
Reached the campus of IIMB on the Bannerghatta Road after about an hour what with the approach roads being under renovation and the heavy vehicular traffic, another sign of the metamorphosis of the Silicon Valley of India!

Was thrilled to read the plaque of "Indian Institute of Management Bangalore" at the entrance. I was entering the portals of a renowned institution which has been a career launching pad for so many individuals. A minute's drive brought me to the Administrative block. The campus is decently large but much smaller than BITS which is much larger but felt this is enough for a university imparting only management education. My cousin wish me best of luck and left.

Entering the admin block, I could see the reception counter much like what we see in hotels. There was a board displayed on which directions were given as to where would our interview be. Walking along the corridors sensed in me a feeling as how lucky I was to have this opportunity. The huge stone blocks and the high ceilings imitated the photos of the campus I had seen in the PGP brochure sent by IIMB. Irrespective of what the final outcome would be I was savouring the moment. I felt proud enough to be a part of the priviledged few to be chosen among the lakhs of aspirants. Well, if you think I was really having all this feeling while I was walking, I am sorry to disappoint you. I was having none of this feeling. It was just a simple blank-minded walk to the interview block!

Met many known faces waiting for the GD/PI process to start. My fellow friends were reading newspapers trying to catch up with the latest happenings and I too joined the party. At 9.15am or so, a few of the professors came out and started calling out names. Mine was the 3rd interview panel and we were taken to the classroom. I was the 2nd in the order. The panel explained us the GD process as 5min for reading the case, 20min for discussion and another 5min for writing the summary.

Case Study (in brief): Gopal passouts from IIT and joins a helmet manufacturing company. Its helmets are well-known and are of ISI certification. The company is about to make losses due to poor sales. As part of training, he is assigned the Inspection Dept. He tests 10 helmets out ofwhich 6 fail the test.
There has been a recent legislation in the state making helmets compulsory for 2-wheelers due to which there has been a spurt in demand. Many players have entered the market and cheaper quality helmets are available at lower costs.
Gopal goes to the Inspection Head Gautam and tells him about the test who says that he will take some action. But nothing happens even after few days. Gopal then goes to the MD and apprises him of the test results who says "I shall take action in 3 days". But again nothing happens.
Gopal then goes back to Gautam as to why no report has been filed of the test. Gautam says "Why do you worry so much? We need to improve our sales and profits. I hope you understand what I mean?"
What should Gopal do now?

Discussion went on for about 20min. A cool decent discussion and almost everyone had a chance to speak. We were then asked to write a summary of the discussion. It ended right at 9.30am, an indicator to how disciplined IIMA was. We were asked to wait outside and that candidates would be called in the same order as their seating in GD. So, I was the 2nd goat waiting to be skinned by the tigers inside!

After about 15min, the 1st guy came out and said that he had had a decent discussion about technical, work-ex and current affairs. I was the next person to be called in.

Time in: 10am
Interview panel consisted of 3 members, the left-most of whom looked young and dynamic! (I refer to him as L and the centre guy as C and the right guy as R).

L: Whats your work?
M: I am a technical consultant in....blah blah
L: Intelligroup?
M: blah blah....
L: What is the difference between Optimization and OR?
M: blah blah...Optimization is optimising equations of real-life problems while OR is the methods of solving such equations. We have methods like Simplex and Complex (???) method.
L: What is complex method?
M: I dont have much idea about it. I know simplex method.
L: Simplex method, why linear programming?
M: blah blah...the equations and constraints are linear in nature. When we draw a graph, it will be a linear one
L: for a linear programming, obb the graph will be linear....but why...?
M: blah blah...
L: If I give a equation y=3x2 + 4x + 1. Draw the graph?
M: I draw the graph on a paper.
L: What is it?
M: Its a parabola.
L: facing upwards?
M: yes sir (actually it was facing downwards :(...realised it later)
L: What are neural networks?
M: blah blah...
L: give me an example.
M: I shall take stock market as an example...the parameters are the number of shares, volume traded and some abstract parameters like market sentiment, political factors which I doubt if they can be represented mathematically.
L: what are the number of shares?
M: BSE-Sensex is of 30 shares but there are around 1000 shares traded in the exhange.
L: ok, go ahead...
M: blah blah...
L: Give the example of the project you did in the course.
M: Sir, I did not do the course.
L: Its here in the transcript.
M: No sir, I withdrew from the course. You can see "W" written to its side.
L: Oh, I thought its work done on that course! Then I wont ask you on neural networks.
C: Draw a process flow chart of your process of getting into IIMA
M: Should I start from the beginning, i mean from deciding if to do an mba or not.
C: go ahead.
M: Can I take sometime sir. (take a min or so to draw some flowchart)
C: so, have we reached half way?
M: yes sir...almost done...
C: Where's CAT?
M: sir, its here, but I am not sure what figure to use for #@$%#@ process.
C: you dont have flowcharts for converting functional to technical spec?
M: no sir, we just go from sales order, we go to this table and then that table..
C: hmm...
L: Whats this special project in the final sem?
M: I did a project on GDT...geometric dimensioning and tolerance...
L: whats it?
M: we developed a way of how to manufacture a product. If we have to drill a hole on a slanted surface, we first drill the hole and then slant the surface.
L looking at C: Will we have any problem if we do the other way?
M: Sir, the drill bit will face difficulty in drilling a hole on a slanted surface...
L: but thats common sense right
M: this is ok but in case of complex surfaces like...
L: so what did u do?
M: we use an algorithm to find out the optimised way of manufactuing.
L: What algorithm?
M: (shit...) I am not able to recollect it sir.
L: You only did the project right?
M: (smile on the face) yes sir, but i dont remember...
R: You said travelling is your interest. what all states have u travelled?
M: I have travelled many states in the country like Goa, JK, Kerala.....blah blah...yamunotri, gangotri....and also abroad like amsterdam, paris, london, interlaken in swiss.
L: Name 5 museums in Amsterdam.
M: (uhh..err...mmm) Madam Tussads...
L: Thats not a museum.
M: I dont remember any sir. We did not visit any museums there. Actually, we stayed some 60 miles from Amsterdam in a place called Barneveld.
L: What are the stations u come across when u go from ams to barneveld?
M: umm..err....Utrecht...I am able to recollect only one sir...
L: whats the difference between Amsterdam and Rotterdam?
M: Rotterdam is a port city while ams is not. Ams has underground rail while rotterdam does not.
R: Whats the problem in Goa?
M: blah blah....not very convincing.
R: During which months is the Kedarnath temple open?
M: We had gone in may. So i suppose its may june july...
R: July!! After the monsoons have started.
M: hmm...I think its april may june.
R: is that fine or u want to say mar apr may?
M: No sir, apr may june is fine.
R: whats the capital of Uttaranchal
M: (shit shit...why the hell do I suffer from short-term memory loss...Raipur..I know its not...its something else...whats it? not able to recollect....shit)...Its Raipur
L: What other calls do u have?
L: ok then, thats it...thank you....please have a toffee.
M: thank you sir.

Time out: 10.26am

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

NITIE experience

Date: 7th mar 2005

I was in front of the NITIE auditorium by 8am sharp. Got my call letter verified and then
sat in the audi knowing that there would be a presentation initially. As expected, at around
8.30am the presentation started as to what NITIE is and various other slides revealing some
facts and figures about the institute. And then started my long wait.

Well, at about 12pm we were called for GD. Till then watched the movie "Liar Liar".We were 6 in the group and after verification of our documents, we were led to the room
where a panel of 4 were waiting to judge us. The topic given to us was "B-schools produce
only managers, not entrepreneurs"...How true, aint it?...Anyways, our group was cool, no
fish market...Each one had his time to speak and everyone pitched in with some points.

Then started the part-2 of my long wait!! Watched Swades for sometime and some shitty ads
were screened...Was getting really pissed off when my turn came at around 5pm. The interview
panel consisted of about 7 members all looking to vent their frustration of sitting such
long hours on me!! Anyways, I went in and after wishing them sat in the chair. Felt like a
goat tied in the jungle as a tiger's bait!!

Interviewers = I (7 members with some commenting/laughing among themselves sometimes)Myself = M

I: What other calls have u got?
M: I have got calls from IIM ABCK.
I: Where are you working?
M: Sir, I am working in Intelligroup, Hyderabad on SAP...I mean essaypee
I: Why "sap" and then "essaypee"?
M: Sir, the common people call it sap while in the industry people call it essaypee.
I to I: haa haa, the common people use $%#$%@#$#^... (dont hear what they r saying)
(Note that someone or the other of the 7 profs sitting there were firing questions while a
few others were passing time or watching me keenly)
I: Do u know what is SAP in german?
M: No sir, I know what SAP stands for in english but in german.....
I: SAP stands for "dog" in german, thats why they call it essaypee.
M: Oh ok sir.
I: How come after BITS-Pilani, u landed up at Intelli?
M: No sir, in campus, I got thru Infosys....I did my internship in Intelli...I liked the ERP field and so decided to join it.
I: What campus, infosys?? (he did not hear me properly)
M: Sir, I made a job in Infosys through campus placements but I did not join there because I
do not like the work that goes on in Infy. I dont like to work on Internet technologies.
I: What? You are the first guy from whom I am hearing that u dont like work at Infy!!
M: Well sir, thats the fact. Thats why I did not take up Infy.
I: Ok Rajesh, what do u do at Intelli?
M: Sir, my responsibility is getting the functional requirements from the client, its
technical realisation and coding, and testing of the program till its final delivery.
I: (This guy was on a rapid fire round) Intelli, nitie...Where does it fit? the kind of work
u do
M: Sir, thats the exact reason I did not join Infy. By working on SAP, I gained functional
knowledge in various areas..
I: What modules have u worked on?
M: SD, MM, PP..
M: Yes Sir, I have also worked on that..we dont work on one specfic module but work on
various modules.
I: But after NITIE, u cant go back to Intelli?
M: Sir, maybe I wont fit in as a software engineer but I can become a manager.
I: But after u leave Intelli, do u think they will take u back?
M: Sir, I have stayed with intelli for about 2yrs till now. I dont see any problem in that.
Moreover, I dont think I will be joining Intelli after I passout from NITIE.
I: What are you interested in?
M: Sir, as of now I am interested in Finance. While working I got interested in the stock
markets and started investing in the stocks. Slowly I began to learn other things and so
developed an interest in Finance?
I: So have u made profits?
M: Yes Sir, I have about # shares and fortunately I have made profits in all of them.
I: Which subject do u like most?
M: Is it in academics? In BITS, I liked automotive vehicles.
I: Why is there a third valve in Yamaha?
M: I dont know sir.
I: What type of bike is it?
M: Sir, its a 4S bike.
I: 4S!! I am not talking about the new bikes, but the older version...Whats the difference
between Yamaha, Honda and #%@#%@%@%
M: Sir, I dont have much idea about bikes. I own a Bajaj Chetak.
I: What type of engine is it?
M: Sir its a 2S vehicle....
I: What is compression ratio?
M: Its the total volume by swept volume. I mean the (swept volume + clearance volume)
divided by the swept volume?
I: (nodding his head like a No) Why then do u think the efficiency of a bike keeps increasing while there is a carbon deposition as the engine keeps running.
M: Sir, Do u mean in a long term or a short term? I dont think the efficiency increases in a
long term. The mileage keeps on decreasing. I have not seen a case when the mileage a
vehicle keeps increasing as it runs.
I: But the efficiency curve is a inverted parabola naa.
M: I dont know sir.
I: How will u sell an engine to a lady?
M: Sir, u mean engine or the bike as a whole?
(laughter all around)
I: engine...
I: (some other rustic) haa haa, ok, let him sell the whole bike?
M: (with a smile) I will tell that the bike is of lighter weight and gives greater mileage.
I: What other subject do u like?
M: Sir, I liked Thermodynamics.
I: Define temperature.
M: uh, eh, err....I dont know how to define temperature sir.
I: U know the zeroeth law of thermoD. what is it?
M: Yes sir...If a body A is in thermal equilibrium with B and a body B is in turn in thermal
equilibrium with a body C, then A and C are said to be in thermal equilibrium with each
I: Now can u define temperature?
M: No Sir.
I: U have mentioned in ur hobby as fusion music? What is it?
M: Sir, its basically fusion of various rhythms of instruments like tabla, guitar....
I: Is it an Indian word?M: (what the hell)...No sir, it can be applicable to any country.I: but tabla is an Indian instrument its an indian term, right?
M: In india, the mix of western and eastern is fusion. For say a western country, their
music and eastern music comprise fusion. So it can be used in any country as such.
I: What do u hear?
M: Sir, I have heard fusion music by Mrigya, Euphoria, Strings..
I: Strings is fusion?
M: Yes sir, they also perform fusion music. I have heard them in our college (thats a fart!
I mean they do perform fusion but I never heard them in my college...hee hee haa haa)
I: ok.
I: Ok Rajesh, fine then, thank u.
M: Thank u sir

Come out smiling with a feeling that I hav done well. How true this is will be known on 11th
Mar 2005 when the results will be put up. Anyways, I am waiting for the big leagues to
happen. Not very much bothered about this result!!!