May 7, 2011

Aboard PGSEM,IIM-B Ahoy !!!!!!!!!!

After getting my engineering degree I had sworn I would never get back to college.. All I wanted was to join a cool company and earn handsomely and lead a lavish life. No exams, no assignments, no lectures, no bunking but I had no idea these are the things we miss the most. So again I got an opportunity to lead a college life thanks to a admission offer for PGSEM(Post Graduate Program In Software Enterprise Managment) course at IIM-B, pretty much a dream come true.

Before finally zeroing on this course I had a lot of decisions in front of me. The first was whether a higher education in technology or management, the decision was quite simple. I envisioned a need for management education to have a career boost, with a rapid pace of evolution,  technology of today is crap of tomorrow (no offence meant here :)), but the management education remains more or less stable. The next choice was the management options in front of me:

  • Management Education Abroad
 Management education abroad is quite expensive and I am not comfortable taking a loan of 30-40 lacs for the same. Also it didnt make much sense going abroad for the education since I dont have any plans of settling abroad.

  • Full time MBA's in IIM's  and other top colleges
As goes the saying "Its easier to get into worlds top B-school than getting into IIM's", it is pretty much clear how fierce the cut throat competition is. Everyone wants to do it thanks to the brand name and huge pay package afterward. Getting through requires a level of dedication and hardwork, which leaves everything to chance and which I was not very keen of trying.

  • Full time MBA's at local colleges
I was pretty confident of easily getting in these colleges, but the fact that after completing this I might end up with the same level if I had continued working. So didn't seem like a career boost. Also the brand value is a bit less.

  • Part time/Correspondence MBA at local colleges
Blah !!!!!.. didnt even consider them.

  • Executive MBA(PGSEM) at IIM-B
Now finally comes my choice. Getting into this program seemed do-able the competition rate of 25 to 1 seat. Selection process includes written exam which can be CAT/GMAT or the PGSEM specific exam in the month of feb every year. Customized for Software Engineers. With this I would be working and studying simultaneously. After considering all my options this seemed like tailor made for me.

But this program had some negative points too.
  1. No campus placements, since companies wont provide employees sponsorship/permission if there was one.
  2. Since this involves "earning and learning" simultaneously, it will be a tough job to balance both, especially if one has already started a family.
  3. High cost (9.5 lakhs for 2011 batch), but quality management education is never cheap.
Preparations began for the written exam in Jan 2011 1.5 months prior to the exam. It was pretty hard to get back to studies after 3.5 years of lull.  Dusting the brains after so long is a challenge in itself. Also while registering for the exam I had to submit the SOP(Statement of Purpose) too, and nothing was more soul searching than those 5 questions which were asked :D

1. How do you see the PGSEM helping you in your goals? (150 words)
2. How would the PGSEM classroom benefit by your presence? (150 words)

3. What are two major achievements in your career? (150 words)

4. What is a major shortcoming you wish to discuss? What have you learned from it?

5. What is one issue dear to you? How do you see it resolved? (200 words)

Took nearly 2 weeks to complete 2 pages of the document with the most difficult being Q 3 & 4 and easiest being Q 5.  Anyway I wont be publishing my answers here not bcoz I fear it will be Ctrl-C + Ctrl-V ed, but bcoz I deem they way too personal :P.  The exams where quiet easy when compared to the CAT (which I have taken in 2009 and 2010 with zero preparation) standard, but the main thing one has to remember is "its not how easy it was for you, but how difficult it was for others" with only 75 seats up for grabs.

Cleared the written test and was called for an interview in IIM-B campus. Was super excited having never been to this campus and I was greatly impressed with it. It has got a old world charm to it, a campus amid lots of trees and bushes and the building oozes a sense of "blending with the surroundings". The architecture being very eco-friendly with maximum flow of light and air.

First we were given to write on a case study which goes something like this "Indian Market Underserved By Indian IT Industry". Initial couple of mins I was blank, but slowly one by one points started to pour in and in the end the allocated space for the analysis was not enough for me :P. This was followed by personal interviews , with my panel comprising of a young alumni and an older professor. They grilled me for about 20 mins ranging from personal questions like "Y I left my first company within 7 months?", "Y I want to do PGSEM ?" to questions regarding what I had written in the case study. Overall I had rated my interview went pretty decent.

After a couple of weeks the results were announced and to my disappointment I was put into waiting-list. I had given up all my hopes and had mentally prepared myself to appear for the same next year. But again luck finally smiled on me and got into mainlist from the waitlist. History has repeated itself with the same back door entry which I had got for my undergraduate seat as well as my present company :).

Finally I am all set for 2.5 years of gruelling and life-changing experience starting from June 17, 2011. It can be recalled that I had mentioned in this blog some time back that I felt stuck in one place and that I didnt have any goals in my life. Well this is my first step towards a change and I am happy to have achieved it :).


  1. Nice blog! I like your writing way. I'm doing practice GMAT here: . I hope it's useful for GMAT test takers.

  2. I am eager to know how did this programme help to change your career, in terms of role and responsibility and in terms of salary?


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