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MBA admissions: Your questions answered

Last updated on: January 10, 2013 10:11 IST

MBA admissions: Your questions answered

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As the CAT results were announced yesterday, in an online chat with readers, Rajesh Balasubramanian and Naveenan Ramachandran, mentors, 2IIM, addressed queries related to CAT 2012 and offered advice to management aspirants on how they can choose the best b-school based on their scores.

For those who missed the live chat, here's the unedited transcript:


lalit asked, 98.36 percentile 92% in 12th 89.9 in 10 Fresher- B.tech - 8.30 OGPA What next?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Good score.My guess is you will have a good shot at colleges outside of the big 3, ABC. Final admits are even tougher for freshers, so make sure you prepare really well for your Interviews. The IITs, newer IIMs, SP Jain,perhaps even FMS. These could be open
phani asked, Hi Cat quants-87.5 verbal-96.73 OA-94.86 10th CBSE-92.2 12th AP state board-96.6,B.TECH- I.T [VIT]-9.17/10 CGPA 29 months exp[...what next ?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Phani ... Good acadmics there ... And a good verbal score too ... If not for the quant score, you might have got a call from the newer IIMs ... I think it is going to be a little touch and go ...
lalit asked, MDI is good?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
MDI is an excellent college. WOuld probably rank in the top 15 in India
phani asked, Thanks...even I'm expecting the same...what colleges i can expect atleast calls

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
The IITs(barring perhaps IITD and IITB). Newer IIMs. IIM K. SP Jain.
lalit asked, Sir for Top three IIMs how much percentile required?

Naveenan answers,
Hi ... Above 99 percentile with 95+ percentiles in each of the sections ... By the way, this is probably just the 'requirement' and not 'sufficiency'
zzz asked, cat 87% and 80+ in academics + 2 year work exp.. any chance in IIM's

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
If you are from general category, IIM A, B, C, L, I K would be tough. Newer IIMs I would say an outside chance. Last year the newer IIMs shortlisted quite a few. So, if they follow a similar model, you might geta call. But these new IIMs have not expanded that much yet. So, the processes with the newer IIMs are still not clear. Since they are finding their feet. They might continue to give lots of calls. Conversion rates with newer IIms might be tough to predict
shruti asked, hello sir, can you suggest some carrier plan along with education

Naveenan answers,
Hi Shruti ... A very broad question indeed - If you could be a little specific about whether you want to do an MBA in India or abroad; full time or part time; one year MBA or two year MBA, then we could also help you better
deepak asked, i got 98.5 overall with 99.2 in verbal and 92.6 in quant, more than 85 in 10 and 12th. 70% in engineering from mumbai university. I have 2 years of work ex. what colleges can i expect... do i stand a chance for iim abc

Naveenan answers,
Hi - Afraid not. Due to the 92.6 in quant. Pretty good chance with the newer IIMs and some of the IITs though.
xyxy asked, got 98.78 percentile. 8.4 CGPA from an NIT. 88% in 10th. 85% in 12th. 1 Year experience. What now?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Good score. Overall pretty decent acads as well. With one year experience, ABC might still be tough. I, K are still possible. Newer IIMs - nearly sure to get called. IITs, SP Jain, Bajaj, MDI, perhaps even FMS.
Kanni asked, 90% in cat -- 10 - 67% 12 - 64.4 % B.Sc. 57% and MCA 70%. Any chance in IIM's

Naveenan answers,
Very slim chances ... 90 %-ile puts you in the top 18K students in the CAT pool. Very slim chance if the application belongs to the 'general category' at the IIMs.
Venkat asked, HI Rajesh, im looking for a 1yr executive MBA...my acads Gold medalist from Anna University with 3yrs of IT experience...what are my chances and im in Bangalore, let me know good institutes in Blore Venkat

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Hi Venkat, The best institutes for one yer course are the IIMs' PGPx and ISB's program. For all of these yuo will need to take the GMAt exam. Dont think there is any great course in Bls apart from IIMB. For the PGP-X programs, one might need 5 years experience also. So, you need to keep that in mind
Kanni asked, work exp. of 12 years as well..

Naveenan answers,
I think you should rather take the GMAT and attend the 1 year executive education programs in India meant for people with lots of experience. With so many years of experience, you would be towering over the others in terms of perspective. Just a thought.
fasd asked, got 96.8, 10th 91% 12th 92%, engg 89% 3 years work exp. what can i expect?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Good chance with new IIMs. IITs. MDI, IMT, SP Jain also likely possible destinations
a asked, hii...sir i am starting my MBA prep for 2013.. but i also have a plan for MBA IN 2015 abbroad... i want to know abt the MONEY that will be needed for doing MBA in say USA or UK in a good college??

Naveenan answers,
Hi .. US or UK - the best colleges will set you back by around Rs50L. Put in your best for CAT 2013 and make it to the IIMs - Arguably, one of the best bang for your buck. All the best!
Rajesh Balasubramanian answers, a Good MBA in the US will cost around $100,000 +. There are some colleges that offer for a lower price than that. But most good colleges, that is the ball park figure.UK would also be in the same range.
Venkat asked, Thanks for the prompt response rajesh...How about XIME & NIMMS in bangalore? are these good...

Naveenan answers,
Hi ... Considering your gold medal position and 3 years of IT work experience, why would you want to take a sub optimal option. They are good institutes indeed - But, you have to take a call from YOUR position.
fasd asked, Thanks Rajesh, any chance of getting a call from FMS? Also I got a call from IIFT, how good is it compared to the rest?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
IIFT is a very good college. There is a misconception that IIFT deals more with trade than with MBA. IIFT is an excellent place to do an MBA from. Probably in the top 15 in the country. IIM ANCL, XLRI, FMS, I, K would be the top few. IIFT would be in the bunch below this
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh

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Tags: IIFT , MBA , MDI , FMS , abc Naveenan

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'What are institutes I should be looking at?'

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Amritha asked,
Hello Rajesh, I wanted to do executive 1 yr MBA...I have a MS in Mechnaical from USA with 9yrs exp out of which 5yrs is international exp...What are institutes that i should be looking at and what should be the GMAT score or GMAT really necessary?

Naveenan answers,
Hi Amritha ... You are definitely better off by going to a course which requires a high GMAT score. A course which does not require GMAT score is probably not that popular in the eyes of the applicant as well as the recruiter. You should aim for a strong 720+ score. With your experience and diversity, your application will be considered favorably at most places. All the best!
sadf asked, got 87.4, 10th 72%, 12th 59.4%, work exp.2.5 yrs.what are my chances?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Unlikely in the top few IIMs and IITs. Unlikely at FMS, Bajaj, SP Jain also. Best bet might be in colleges such as Welingkar, newer IITs DOMS (such as perhaps, Rourkee). 12th mark is a bit of an issue. So, you will have to come up with a good reason for that and do really well in interviews. Best wishes
skn asked, CAT 88.31 , QA 96 , VA - 60 , FRESHER , XTH 89 , XII-86 , BTECH - 76 , Where to try

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
VA is an area of concern. IIT Madras might be difficult, but IIT DOMs below IITM could be a decent bet. Welingkar, SOIL, might be decent places to try
deepak asked, why quant 92 should stop me from getting calls from IIM ABC, as per the critaria realsed by them minimum sectional cut off is 90 only

Naveenan answers,
It is just that the probability goes heavily against you. If something is spectacular about the profile, you could still get the call.
Pradeep asked, Hi, I got 98.78 percentile, 64.11% in Engg, 76% in 12th, 86.08% in 10th. Do I have chance of getting in to any of the IIMs and FMS delhi?

Naveenan answers,
What about the verbal and quant percentiles? If they clear the cutoffs, then newer IIMs should give you a call.
axis asked, Hi, I have scored 97.6% in CAT Acads - 10th 80, 12- 73 , BE(IT) - 8.4 CPI, 3yrs exp in L&T.. my chances?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Good score. Good experience. Barring 12th acads are also decent IIM ABCL, FMS could be tough. IITD, IITB could be tough. MDI, IMT, SP Jain, Newer IIMs, all IITs - I would look at this bunch.
emil asked, I i got 98.13 percentile. what calls can i expect(QA 76.11, VA99.89)?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Good overall score. The break-up could be worrisome. IIM ABCL, FMS would be tough. Everything else you have a shout. Interviews need to go well in order to overcome the QA 76. Great show in VA, though.
google asked, Dear Sir, I got 98.87 in CAT and having in total 8 years experience (currently settled abroad,earning already handsome salary),whether I should go for an MBA in India

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Tough one. If you are keen on returning to India, make the shift. Otherwise it is going to be bit of a gamble. With a different profile, you will probably get calls from the top IIMs. You should probably shoot for ABC, and not settle for anything else. Once you get the fianl admit,then re-evaluate. ABC are really good places. Might compete with the best in the world. So, it could still be worth it if you land in ABC
12345 asked, Hello sir I am Kumar this side, I have done by Graduation through SMU and want to seat in CAT next exam... Can I seat????

Naveenan answers,
Yes - As long as you are a "graduate", you can take the CAT. There are some percentage requirements which get published in catiim.in
trghdf asked, Studying in IIT KGP with Comp sc and would be graduating next year. Would you suggest me to do MBA ? My Current CGPA is 96.7 and AIR was 354.

Naveenan answers,
Good profile ... Will depend on the placement that you get. The call is between going to ABC or working for two years and going to Harvard/Stanford/Wharton. Do take the CAT. If you are able to get into some of the best places to work, then the choice will be tough.
aa asked, sir people here say that they have 89% in engg?? and i am BE from Mumbai university..the toppers have abt 80% max and other have a aggregate above 65 which is considered good?? So how do they balance out university marking schemes??

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Good point. The belief is that the IIMs take these kind of things into account. Even within a college a CGPA of 8.2 in elec could be great while 8.5 in Chem could be average. Those kind of things do get lost. The B-Schools do have the knowledge about established colleges. So, they will keep this in mind while shortlisting. But some of the randomness is tough to factor in
12345 asked, Thank you very much sir....I have also total 7 years exp... Can you also advice us if there are some courses from IIFT, New Delhi.. I am interested in Supply Chain Management...

Naveenan answers,
Hi ... Not sure about the courses offered at IIFT. If you are really interested in SCM, then you could look at specialised programs available at Ross (U-Mich), MIT - Sloan etc. They will be a better fit for your experience level. Thanks.
parmesh asked, i completed bcom in year 2005 and having 6 yrs experience as an accountants executive ans also done CS inter cleared. should i go for MBA thn hw to prepare for it and wat are the recommendation to be considered for studying for MBA enterance for 2013 ?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
By all means prepare for it. preparing for CAT is not as strenuous as people make it out to be. It really improves your general aptitude as well. If you can set aside 7-8 hours per week, go for it. It helps to join some coaching center to bring some discupline into preparation as well
Naveenan says, The interview stage is going to be pretty important for those who have crossed the first hurdle - at any of the colleges. Nowadays, they allocate a lot of importance to the PI / profile / perspective.

kill asked, when will the shorlist come out and what can be the expected cuttoff for IIM ABC ?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Most shortlists will be out in the next 5-8 days. IIM ABC cut off for freshers will be in the 99.5+ percentile range. For 1 year exp, it will be in the 99.3-99.5 percentile range. For Მ years exp, it should be in the 99-99.3 percentile range
Naveenan says, If you are going to say in the interview that you want to specialise in, say, finance - you should be able to talk about your defend your choice and take about your passion and understanding of the subject for at least 10 minutes (do not bother that they will cut you off after they get convinced about your interest)

12345 asked, Thanks. So Ross(U-Mich) , MIT-Saloan providing any correspondance course...

Naveenan answers,
No ... They are full time programmes.
RAKESH asked, CAT SCORE 97.17 . How to proceed and which colleges can i expect a call from?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Barring ABCL, FMS, you should have a shot at most other colleges. Depends on other aspects of profile also, but most of the IITs, newer IIMs, SPJain, you should be able to try
ASHISH asked, I have scored 91%.I am BTech(CSE)and having 2 years experience.Is there any scope?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Newer IIMs, some of the IITs. Among other colleges, leave out FMS, Bajaj, MDI. Apply to a few in the next bunch.
suryakant asked, what school could one expect with 99.89 percentile and matric , plus two above 80% with two years of experience

Naveenan answers,
If your verbal and math percentiles are above the mark (which I think you you would have) a call from all the ones.
parmesh asked, sir u answered to keep 7 to 8 hrs in a week thts not the issue .but will you recommend me the books to prefer and coaching classes if u can to prefer here in mumbai westeren line?

Naveenan answers,
Well ... On that account, you have to take our word with a pinch of salt! Our opinion will be biased because we represent 2IIM in Dadar and Ghatkopar.
12345 asked, Thanks... Any other option to the best course in Supply Chain Management... what about the SMU- Distance learning course..in MBA

Naveenan answers,
In general, Distance Learning courses do not help you shift your career as well as full time programmes do. So, it depends on your goal / target.
RAKESH asked, Whether one has to apply or the institutes will send in their confirmation of admission

Naveenan answers,
IIMs - you need not - provided you ticked the relevant boxes while booking a date / time for the CAT exam. Everything else requires an application.
Ranjith asked, Hi, I got 99.36 percentile. I got 62.11 in Engg undet VTU university, 82% in 12th Karnataka state board, 86.08% in 10th from Karnataka state board. I have work experience of 5yrs in IT company. Do I have chance of getting in to FMS, IITs and IIMS, IMT ghaziabad?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Good score. Engg might be slightly low, but other acads are above par. With your level of experience, you have a chance at almost all the colleges. Should have a great chance at IITs, IMT Ghaziabad
Naveenan answers, Pretty good chance in all of these institutions ... Only issue may be the VTU scores ... Prepare well for the GD and PI.
simin asked, CAT SCORE 86...10th(72%)&12th(66%)cbse school...which college should i need to apply??..i am intrested in IIMK...is there any chance??

Naveenan answers,
Very slim chance unless the applications belongs to any non-general category.
Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
WOuld be tought to get into IIMK. Very tough. Top IIMs and IITs would be difficult. SP Jain, FMS, MDI, Bajaj would also be tough. It would be best to look at the bunch beyond the top 15
parmesh asked, ok sir but will you let me know wat expenses it will be incurred to get enrolled in those coaching classes?
Naveenan answers, You could reach us in Dadar at +91-22-24386346 or +91-80970-48484. Name of the institute is 2IIM. Our fees is Rs19,900 and most of the coaching institutes charge above Rs22,000.
RAKESH asked, Do you suggest that i take coaching for GD,PI & Essay writing , if yes , which institute

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
Probably good to take some classes. AS Naveenan has already mentioned. We work with 2IIM, so our opinion might be biased. In my view, of course, 2IIM is best :)
Naveenan answers, Hi .... You could take coaching for GD / PI / Essay writing .. check out http://iim-cat-gdpi.2iim.com/mumbai_personal_interview.shtml
sadf asked, what sort of thinking or ideology a student should have while pursuing masters?

Rajesh Balasubramanian answers,
An ideology of trying to learn as much as possible in the two years on campus would be best
Naveenan says, Thanks for the enthusiastic participation. We enjoyed the process ... Wish you all the very best with the next leg of GD / PI preparation. You could reach us at Naveenan@2iim.com or Rajesh@2iim.com . Details of GD, PI preparation have been shared at http://iim-cat-gdpi.2iim.com/mumbai_personal_interview.shtml

Naveenan says, Thanks to Rediff for providing the platform.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier




Tags: FMS , Naveenan , IIM ABC , RAKESH , CAT

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