Saturday, April 9, 2011

Mastermind V2.0 : The MDI Interview Experience

The last interview of the season - MDI. I had my doubts, whether to attend the interview or not. Whether to join or not etc; but I put all of it behind and convinced myself that MDI is a good institute to join and anyways, I wasn't doing much either, sitting in hostel and there was a sudden void in my life, with the rush-life from the days of Editorial Board suddenly missing. 

Went to Delhi by Tamil Nadu Express and my 'cold' returned to haunt me the moment it sensed the 'Delhi Weather' and I had to keep blowing my nose through out the night; though part of it was to irritate the guy sleeping on the other upper berth. He was bloody damn irritating, from first look - unfriendly stares, not switching the light off when I told him it was irritating me, to placing his darned luggage on my berth and not removing it when asked to. 

Day went from bad to worse when I got 'fooled' by one of those many travel agents outside Delhi Station and went to this 'Great Shiva Deluxe' hotel. The only problem being there was nothing 'Great' or 'Deluxe' about the hotel. And the 'Bhajan' sessions at the 'Banke Bihari temple' right opposite it, made things worse if not unmanageable !! The voice of the old lady is still ringing in my ears. Terror!

And Delhi is pretty much Bhopal when it comes to lazy hotels. Nothing can really beat Chennai's hotels which start serving at 7 AM easily. After a bath in terribly salty water, which left me yearning for something nice to taste; I was shocked to see every single hotel in the area near the station closed! The only thing that was open was a tea stall, and I had to make do with the Tea Stall Idli, though I should say it was pretty good. 

A crowded and delayed metro ride later, I reached MDI campus to see one guy earlier than me (Interview was from 2 and it was 12-30 when I reached there). So chatted up with him. Then other people came over. Had a surprise when a couple of them said they had read my blog. :-O. Never knew my blog had that big a reach. (Thinking of starting another one for just personal rants given that this is no longer personal space where I can say anything and everything)

The process started at about 2-15 with 7 people present out of 10. The process consisted of a GD and an interview. 

GD Topic : India 2020 - Poor and Shining
The topic was pretty general and I thought I gave in a few valid points though there was scope for a few more entries. There was this guy very similar to my good friend at college, Pritish Roy who kept throwing in these amazing stats and reports and new ideas at every instant! Felt he was pretty extra-ordinary. 

Then the wait for the interview and somehow I didn't want to be the 5th in the slot this time as I've always been. My prayers were answered and I was third. The panel consisted of two profs. 

P1 - Cool dude, T-shirt wearing prof who was after me
P2 - Formal, normal prof who was pretty chilled out
& of course, Me.

P1: Come in, Come in.
Me: May I come in? (Just for courtesy's sake :P )
P2: Yes, take a seat. 
Me: Thank you sir, good afternoon. 
P2: In brief tell us about yourself, Shrinivas
Me: Sir, I am Shrinivas .. (and the normal blah blah about PSBB, NIT Bhopal, Hobbies) .. Sir, I have been a quizzer from a very young age, and have won prizes in many quizzes including the ESPN School quiz.
P1: (Cue for him to start his attack) Ok, A R Rahman. How many Grammies has he won?
Me: Sir, he won 2 grammies. Both for Slumdog Millionaire. 
P1: Didn't he win more last year also?
Me: Sir, actually the Grammies for Slumdog Millionaire were presented to him after the Oscars and stuff, last year. So those are the only Grammies he has won till date. 
P1: Hmmm. What is his real name?
Me: Sir, Dileep Kumar. A S Dileep Kumar. 
P2 (Laughing all the while)
P1: Which is the only continent where lizards cant be found?
Me: Sir, I am not sure, but if I can take a guess, logically speaking, it has to be Antarctica. 
P2 and Me laugh aloud. 
P1: Hmm, you said you were good at quizzing. This is why I asked you all this. 
P2: Okay, carry on with your Intro. You were telling something about writing. 
Me: Sir, I like writing, I am part of the college Editorial Board and have been maintaining a blog for the last 4.5 years. 
P1: (Still not done with taking my case) Editor .. Hmmm .. Spell .. (Pauses to think of the toughest word he can think of) Massachusetts.
P2 breaks into laughter once again. 
Me: Sir .. Hmmm Hmmm . .M.A.S.S.A.S .. Sir, I'm not sure, sorry. 
P2 : Okay, what do you like writing about? 
Me: Sir, initially I started out with Film and Music Reviews. Later on I've started writing about general stuff too. 
P1: What films? Hindi? English?
Me: Sir, Regional Movies. Tamil ones. 
P1: How many Filmfares has Ilayaraja won?
Me: (Woah! This guy!!) Sir, I'm sorry. I dont know. 
P1: Do you atleast know who he is?
Me: Yes sir, of course. 
P1: Vikram Seth?
Me: Sir, he is the Indian Author who wrote 'Suitable Boy'
P1: What is his most recent book?
Me: I'm sorry sir. 
P1: You said you are a quizzer but dont seem to know stuff!
Me: :-D .. (Gave my best possible smile)
P2: Have you written for any magazines and stuff or just on your site?
Me: Sir, I initially started out with writing for my blog. People came to it through Google Search and later on I got an offer to write for a Tamil Actor's Fan Magazine as well. (No! No! I'm not lying, seriously!!)
P2: Okay, go on with your intro. 
Me: I also like watching Football, Cricket and Tennis sir. 
P1: (I wont leave you at all!!) Hmmm, Football. Who won the World Cup last year?
Me: Sir, Spain won it. 
P1: You know Argentina? Till which stage did they reach?
Me: Sir, the Quarter Finals. They lost to Germany 4-1.
P1: Who was their Coach?
Me: Sir, it was Maradona, who won the World Cup for them in 1982. 

Edit: I realised my mistake that it was Paolo Rossi who won it for Italy in 1982 and Maradona was in 1986, the moment I completed my answer. But the 'Wow, right answer' nod given by my interviewer didn't want me to apologise and change my answer. And I reproduced my answers verbatim here, without corrections. 

P2: Okay Shrinivas, so why do you want to do an MBA?
Me: (Well rehearsed answer, refer previous interview posts)
P1: You want to come here to learn football? What do you want MDI to teach you? To play football?
Me: Sir, I do not want to become a Football Manager, but I want to become a person in the financial Side of Football. If you take any Football Club, it has a financial side which manages the finances of the club. Basically a club markets itself and earns money through sponsorships, tickets etc; which the financial team uses for the various needs of the club like salaries and stuff. 
P1: But why an MBA for this? Why do you want to read through balance sheets and tough accounts and in the end go into football?
Me: Sir, Today if you see the IPL, each team has its team to manage the finances. It is the same with Football as well. Football in India is full of oppurtunities. 
P1: But still, how will MDI help you in this?
Me: Sir, after passing out, i want to work in a finance company for about 5-7 years. After gaining sufficient experience, I want to jump into the wold of finances. 
P1: Which are the biggest Indian Banks?
Me: Sir, in terms of number of branches and business it would be the 'State Bank of India'. 
P1: Sure? How do you measure business?
Me: I am not very sure about that sir. But an Ad of theirs in Economic Times said so. 
P1: Others?
Me: Down south, Indian Bank is huge sir. 
P1: I am asking for Indian Banks!
Me: ICICI is the biggest private bank of India sir. 
P1: What is the expansion of ICICI?
Me: Sir, I dont know sir. 
P1: You said you like banks and dont even know this??
Me: (In shock. When did I ever say that !!!!! )
P1: Okay, are you sure about this. Axis Bank has opened a lot of branches of late in urban and semi-urban areas. 
Me: Sir ...
P1: Leave that. What if in the year you pass out, no finance company visits MDI for placements?
Me: Sir, I would try off campus for a job in the sector.
P1: What if you do not get a job off campus either? 
Me: Sir, I will ..
P1: No, you dont. What is your back up plan?
Me: Sir, I have always wanted to get into journalism. Few years back there was this idea about a football magazine that was online. I'd probably make that dream come true on paper. 
P2: What is the point of doing an MBA? You seem a pretty artistic person .. Writing, movie reviews and all that. Why dont you get into publishing a novel and all? It is pretty lucrative these days?
Me: Sir, writing is only a hobby of mine. And I can always do that, even when I'm doing something else. What I want to do now, is something I want to do really. 
P2: Why MDI?
Me: Sir, it is one of the top 10 MBA colleges in India. It has a huge alumni network, excellent faculty and facilities ...
P2: What is your percentile in CAT?
Me: 99.27 
P1: What other calls do you have?
Me: Ahmedabad, Indore, Kozhikode and the new IIMs. 
P1: How were the interviews?
Me: Sir, Ahmedabad was neither too good, not too bad. Indore was pretty bad and Kozhikode was the best of them in my opinion. 
P1: Ok, what would you choose between Kozhikode and MDI?
Me: Sir, I have not yet thought about it. I don't want to count chickens ......
P1: (Interrupts) No, I am forcing you to choose now. 
Me: Sir, IIM-Kozhikode sir. 
P2: Thank you, Shrinivas. You may leave. 
Me: Thank you sir. 

And thus ends the Interview phase of this MBA season. Results are expected to start trickling in from the week starting April 18th. Hoping for the best and wishing all other aspirants reading this, All the very best too :).

8 comments:

Randomness said...

Your interview seems to have gone pretty well. I had mine in the morning and it sucked. :-(

Mandy said...

Ahem..You have done Paolo Rossi a great injustice. 1982 was his year! Maradona ran riot four years later.

Shrinivas said...

Well, my GD made up for my good interview :P.

@Mandy, made a small correction to my post now. Anyways, thanks a lot for the feedback and I dint mean to do injustice to the Italy of 82 and Paolo Rossi. :)

vinsh said...

germany 4 argentina 0 not 4-1...and maradona in 1982... lol !!!!! and he approved it too.. echa icici full form theriyadha... hmmm good interview...they dint ask technical like iim's.. anyway this is down the pecking order na so it does not really matter :)

gowtham r said...

bro cool..nice one!!
but not so long interview...wish you good luck:)

Saket Mishra said...

Your interview was v.good indeed :)

Abhishek said...

Awesome Article.

Wish you good luck for all the calls. I am a student at MDI and responsible for handling MDI's Public Relations, can say you will be an asset for your B-School Media Team.

Have marked your blog among fav.

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