AIM….Achieving Indispensability with an MBA!! How could my aim be anything else when I could achieve the heights I never could imagine with this chocolate topping? I wanted to do management…..sure I wanted to! Why??
Because….because….ummm…ahemmmm……because…..probably Vishal is planning to do the same and he being the topper is always bound to be right……or maybe because I wanted more from life than spending my years testing and coding…..or maybe because I hadn’t had enough of remaining a student….the freedom that came with it…or maybe because I had consistently maintained a 59.9% percentage throughout my engineering course leaving me out of the race for top companies who demanded a 65 plus and the lesser ones who would be satisfied with a 60 plus. Gosh…I didn’t want the scavengers lovingly called neighbors to pounce on me stamping me a loser and good for nothing engineer. I didn’t want my parents to have that sorry look whenever those morons enquired why I had not been able to land a job when my friend Harish from B-wing had managed one in his third year of engineering itself!! Yes this had to be it…..this was definitely the reason……the reason I decided to rise from the ashes from the fire I myself had set by not going the extra mile and digging into books. The fire I myself had set by joining this University which found joy in robbing the students of their marks. Why don’t the companies understand that different Universities have different marking patterns….you would see a guy from the X University getting a 90 plus percentage and still not be among the toppers of the batch, and you could see a guy from my University Y who at 68 percent is the University topper. Why don’t companies take this into picture when keeping their cut-off at 65 and sentencing the lesser mortals like me to a lifetime of gallows!! Yes….this had to be it…..I was a very good speaker and among the most creative of the batch…everyone suggested that I would be a right fit for management. Yes….I had to erase the dispensable tag that came with my average degree with the indispensability that came with a management degree…..This was why I wanted to do an MBA…..to stamp my mediocrity with a three letter word which I visualized taking me places. I wanted to do an MBA because of all this. I was so clear why I wanted to do it. No doubt whatsoever. Then why was I lying today. Why should I not tell what my heart feels and rip off the standard dialogue that guarantees you a seat in the most elite of institutions?
My interview panel consisted of three people. People were not having an easy time inside and had sweat glistening on their brows whenever they were freed from the hour long torture that was taking place inside in the name of interviews. I was pretty relaxed because this was my first interview and I had many to follow, primarily because of the decent score I had tried to manage myself in CAT and more importantly because my father was generous enough to let me splurge his hard earned earnings on applications to all top 15 institutes under CAT!! I had managed calls from 7 of these. My calmness could primarily have been due to this. I was not unnerved even a little bit when I saw a girl coming out red faced and bursting out. The guys around got into action by surrounding her and helping her out. I smiled at the thought of how blessed these gals generally where. They could command undivided attention at the slightest wag of a finger. And our race would look on eagerly waiting for that little wag of her finger. A second delay in noticing the wag, the alert ones would stamp you over. I smiled at the thought how I was amongst the one stamped today. The next tortured soul came out in half an hour. He had completely messed it up by saying he would leave this college if he managed to secure an admission in the School of Management. He came out and started shouting names at someone from the coaching classes he attended for polluting his views. Apparently the coaching classes had suggested this moron that being frank would be seen in good light. What they failed to drive into the pigeonhead brain of his was that you cant do a crash course in psychology and no two persons would take the frankness in the manner which was desirable. Maybe the same frankness would get him some brownie points in his next interview. It was all plain luck. My name was called in next to walk the red carpet. The coolness that exuded from me till this moment suddenly flied out my ear. I could feel it. Yes I felt it……it had decided to desert me. Fear gripped me. I tried to comfort myself, 6 other calls if this one doesn’t work out Balu. Don’t panic……don’t panic. I wished the panel and walked in. The interviewer looked at me. His eyes seemed to scan me from top to bottom. I was trying to look as confident as possible though I was shaking in my boots. I had a good GD and a good interview would virtually book my seat at the college. It didn’t matter if I had 6 other calls waiting for me. I would very well want to get this one and save my ass from repeated torture in the coming month! The introductory part went well and I had started to come back to my original self. I handled questions on current events with élan and moved on to eminent dangers that were in store for us if we failed to keep the thing in check. It was going good.
But how could it go so well. I was about to be asked to leave and a tick to fall on my name in the list when the serious looking guy decided to throw in a spanner. “Why do you want to do an MBA and what do you see yourself doing after getting one, Mr. Sandeep?” I smiled back at him. It was obvious right! I had bloody sat through the two hour ordeal called CAT and had sat through this torture from morning to do an MBA. Why do I need to put my feelings in words? My thoughts deserted me. Even though I knew that this would be a sureshot question in the interview, I had taken it lightly and thought that it would come on its own instantly at that moment. The moment had arrived but the answer conspicuously was absent. I knew why I wanted to do one as I have already discussed. If I would be frank enough to tell them that, I would have a badly burnt back at the end of the process. I said the first thing that came to my mind. “I want to be a marketing manager in a FMCG sir. That’s why I want to do an MBA because it is the prerequisite. Plus it seems to be a natural progression to my career.” What was I saying?? How on earth could I defend that natural progression into being a marketing manager in a FMCG from an electronics engineer?? Shit!! I had dug my own grave. The panel continued to decorate that grave with flowers and candles for the next half an hour. They lighted the last candle atop my grave when they asked me the final question, “Do you know what FMCG stands for, Mr. Sandeep?”