My Journey to the place to “B”e

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It all started on January 17th 2014 at 18:18 Hours. I was at office and was busy coding a Stored Procedure and querying multiple databases. I also had a Client meeting in another 12 minutes. Simultaneously, I was checking the webpage of IIM B for some updates. As IT Professionals we always use Alt+Tab to the fullest. The moment did arrive and the admission link got activated. I entered my credentials and secretly prayed to every God in this universe to give me a shortlist. The webpage rolled over and to my shock it showed a “Congratulations!” message. For a moment, I was elated, thrilled, joyful, emotional and nervous. Never had I experienced so many emotions simultaneously. I had been giving CAT since 2011. I had converted quite a few B-schools in 2012. But, I always wanted to study at an IIM. I already had 4 years of experience and I wanted to get back to the classroom badly. The next few days were awesome. I started filling in the required forms and prepared myself for the D-day which was 3rd March 2014. I admit, I slogged really hard for the next 45 days. I read a variety of topics and also learnt a lot. I had a couple of friends who were equally excited and we started to prepare ourselves for our respective interviews. With a straight reject from SP Jain Institute of Management and ‘not-so-great’ interviews with SCMHRD, Pune and IMT Ghaziabad, my heart started to beat much faster for IIM Bangalore.

I started from Chennai on 2nd March and took a bus to Bangalore. The bus halted at Madiwala. I picked up the essential Kannada, ‘Kannada Gothilla’ (I do not know Kannada) almost instantly. I took an auto to Bannerghatta road and checked in at a hotel near IIM B. I refreshed myself and took a walk across the Campus walls. It was evening and the last rays of the Sun were shining through the campus gates. I wasn’t feeling nervous. At the same time, I was not able to relax. I went back to my room and started to read from my laptop. As the clock stuck 2 AM, I shut down my laptop and slept off. The next day I woke up around 8 AM. I passed some time watching TV and started to get ready at 11 AM. I reached the campus and passed through those holy gates. I was filled with awe and admiration, instantly. I reached the block where the interviews were held and spotted my name on the list. Soon we were called for our WAT. We had two professors and an Alumni member in our panel. They gave us a brief introduction about the process. As the WAT process started, my phone’s alarm started to ring. Actually I kept this alarm to wake me up everyday post lunch at office. I quickly grabbed it out and switched it off. I proceed with my WAT and was very happy with my performance. I was able to connect and present the topic very well. Then came the interviews. I was absolutely moved here. I saw a new culture at B which I had never seen at any B-school. One panelist personally came out, called out our name, shook hands with us and wished us good luck. I felt very calm and confident by this gesture. The other two gentlemen greeted me with a smile and the first few minutes of my interview revolved around the meaning of my name. It was a very casual discussion and we spoke about various topics. The interview lasted for 20 minutes and I felt very good and confident.

As I was walking back to my hotel room, the campus began to have its impact upon me. I have never longed for anything in my life. But this time, I wanted this badly. As the night fell, I watched the gates of B from my hotel room. The bright yellow lights, the amazing breeze made it look special. The next few days of my life were amazing and tiring. My entire interview got rehearsed almost every day in my dream. Then came the results and I converted B. I was elated and overjoyed. This was the best gift after three years of waiting. I could not have asked for anything better. It was indeed a blissful moment. More than anything, I learnt life’s beautiful lesson, ‘Everything is possible if you believe!’. I am sure this experience of mine would remain memorable throughout my life. Also, whenever I am out of confidence, I could always come back to this memory to boost my morale.

Natarajan R
PGP 2014-16