Ankit Amlan is a student in the MA Human Resources and Labour Relations programme at TISS, Mumbai. The interview will provide an insight on how students should prepare for MBA entrance exams, TISS and what outlook students should have towards doing an MBA.
Q1. What are you doing these days?
Ans. MA in Human Resources Management and Labour Relations at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
Q2. What motivated you to go for an MBA?
Ans. I had special interest in the field of HR, which arose from my interaction with the HR executives of the company where I was working and I felt the skills which I have will suit me best for a career in Human Resources.
Q3. Did you take coaching? Do you think coaching is necessary for acing MBA entrance exams?
Ans. No, as I was working in a Manufacturing Plant, I didn’t have the privilege of coaching. Coaching is not necessary but, it helps in a way that it eases your preparation. There are concepts which any graduate can easily grab, but, to catch these concepts faster, coaching can help. However, if you are strong in Mathematics or English or any one of these, you can capitalize on your strengths and need not go for coaching. Again, if you have time and opportunity for it, I’ll suggest you to go for it.
Q4. How did you prepare for MBA entrance exams while doing job? How did you manage your time?
Ans. In a job in the manufacturing sector, you don’t have a specific time schedule of work, unlike the IT sector. In my case however, I utilized the most of my training period, where from July to December, I had a good amount of time. After returning from work, I generally used to read during the night. But, I would say that I was not regular, as sometimes I used to get tired.
Q5. What were your strong areas? What were your weak areas and how did you tackle them?
Ans. Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning, both verbal and logical, were my strengths. I was weak with DI and RC. I tried to make my strengthsmore stronger so as to score in accuracy in them. With DI, I couldnt practice more but, used good calculation tricks. With RC, I would say newspaper reading helped.
Q6. From which institutes did you get calls ?
Ans. I had got calls from TISS Mumbai, XIM Bhubaneshwar, IIT Kharagpur and IIT Kanpur and converted all of them.
Q7. How did you prepare for the WAT/PI round?
Ans. Of all the calls I got TISS was the most difficult to get into. So, my preparation was centered into that direction. Firstly, for the WAT, I used to read and write the newspaper editorial everyday. As, I had very less time, I got through all the social and political issues to boost my essay contents. Somehow, I managed to do some research on different essay topics and tried writing each of them.
For the PI, I would say a clear mindset for the course for which you are applying is a must. Hence, I kept asking myself various questions from my life. The best way to do is to look at your CV/Resume and ask yourself the reason for each. Also, I did some research on the recent business happenings and HR issues. Believe me, at my interview at TISS they asked me a question on the PF regulation, which was amended the previous day and I’d read it in the morning newspaper. So, keeping your eyes and ears open is a must.
Q8. How was your WAT/PI experience at TISS?
Ans. PI at TISS started on a very healthy note. I had written on my form that I had a brief stint with the VP HR of my company as a Trainee and as his mentee. This caught the panel’s attention and they kept asking me questions on the HR policies of my company and asked me as to what can be done to improve them. So, you should always write something interesting so that you can handle and guide through the interview. They also asked me to design a Training program for motivating different employees which I used along the lines of my company’s training module. Also, they asked about the PF regulation which I have mentioned above. Lastly, they asked me a couple of Labour Laws which was easy because I had prepared for HR.
Q9. How important is one’s profile in order to get an admit from a top B-School in India? How can a student build his/her profile if he/she doesn’t have any work experience?
Ans. Its importance depends entirely on the ambitions of the candidate. If you want a career in the corporate for a management role, a degree from one of the premier B-schools will definitely boost your career. Also, a B-school of good reputation will give you a better platform and brand value for life. Work experience, more than building your profile, helps you know the business better. As I always say, had I not been to work at TRL, I wouldn’t have done better. However, for a fresher, the college time is the best time to prepare. You have a lot of time to build your profile and prepare well for entrance exams. You can take part in intra and inter-college competitions as well. But, utilize the final year completely for your preparation. You will get more time than any work-ex guy for that. And if you do clear all the processes well profile will never be an issue.
Q10. How is your life at TISS,Mumbai ?Are hostels provided at TISS?
Ans. Life at TISS Mumbai is very hectic, starting from the very first day. As it is a research driven social sciences based Institute, it builds students for all set of skills. Hostels are not provided in the first year. However, the institute has selected a lot of licensed house owners to provide PG in the first year.
Q11. What memories of VSSUT, Burla do you cherish?
Ans. VSSUT Burla has great role to play in the making of a person which I am today. I can never forget the North Hostel night-outs and each celebration was homelike. Even the music club has given me a direction in life. Kalia and bulu are unforgettable places and should keep flourishing.
Q12. What would be your advice to the students of VSSUT, Burla who are preparing for MBA entrance exams?
Ans. My advice is very simple. The college life is the best time to prepare for MBA exams. You will never get such time after you join service. Try to score in your semester exams as well as some colleges really ask for your grades. Also, make yourself fit for the interviews. Build your character and personality. See, I always say… It doesn’t really matter what after these 4 years… How you spend these 4 years, is of utmost importance.
Q13. What tips would you give aspiring students to crack TISS?
Ans. TISS HRM and LR is one of its kind in India. It has only 68 seats. So you have to compete with students from all over India. For TISS, three things are most important – GK, Essay and interview. So, focus on these things. I would like to say here, TISS doesnt ask for your past grades, so it is a great opportunity for a lot of students. And for any specific help you can always ping me.
Q14. Are there other institutes which have great courses other than the IIMs?
Ans. IIMs are one of the best when it comes to Business Management studies. But, there are other institutes as well, TISS Mumbai being one of them. Also in the top ten we have FMS, Delhi and SP Jain, Mumbai.
Q15. What should be students’ approach/mindset/need while going for an MBA? What are advantages of doing an MBA from a reputed institution?
Ans. Approach should definitely not be, to earn a lot of money, because that will lead you nowhere. Keep in mind if you are aware of the business environment or business scenario in India and abroad. You should be ready for hard work, a lot of it – During preparation, during doing MBA and after getting a job it multiplies. Some people who look at fat pay cheques don’t know the hard work behind it. So be prepared for it as well. A reputed institute will provide you with a good learning environment and a great platform in the form of a good job at a reputed company. Thereafter, it’s your work which will take you ahead.
GOOD LUCK AND ALL THE BEST…..
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