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June 22, 2008
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IIMC PGPEX is a 1 year general management course and requires a minimum of 5 years of work experience (by 31st March 2009).

– The class profile of the first batch ( 2007-2008 ) has a Median work experience of 10 years (not the mean).
– Students with 5-8 years of experience comprise 41% – thats 15 out of 37 students, and with 9-12 year of experience comprise 45% – thats 17 out of 37 students. The batch size this year increases to 48, which should give around 19-20 seats for the experience range 5-8 years.
– The placement statistics for the first batch is very impressive. So is the list of recruiting companies, which I feel is more updated since it has a few companies not listed in the placement statistics for the first year.

On to the essays now (which have no word limits, use extra pages if required !!) –

Essay 1 – Give detailed descriptions of three activities you performed in your workplace in the last five years which will help us assess your abilities and strengths.

I think the theme of the essay is wonderful and asks you to evaluate not just your skills, but the demonstration of these skills and your ‘performance’ at the workplace. Since there’s no word limit, the descriptions can be as detailed as you want, but care should be taken to project your abilities and strenghs coherently and concisely. And there shouldn’t be a new strength popping out of every sentence, cos then it ceases to be a strength – some suggestions for the skills that can be highlighted are given here. Other skills that I can think of are – Client engagement and cross cultural adaptability (if you’ve worked at the client location with a direct client focus), Leadership – in your current or past job description or any other initiative in your organization where you’ve led from the front, & Mentoring. Be aware that this essay doesn’t ask you to list the salient points from your resume, the focus should be more on ‘how you performed’ these activities and what inherent skills helped you in making a difference, rather than on ‘what you achieved’ (appreciation, promotion etc.). Though of course, the results are as important and must be mentioned to reflect your maturity in assessing yourself – we do make the mistake of judging ourselves by how ‘hard’ we have worked rather than the ‘results’ our hardwork has achieved. Only the focus should be at the right place.

Essay 2 – Narrate an important / unusual incident of your life when you had to face a very demanding / challenging situation. How did you overcome the situation? What lessons did you learn from this incident?

Tell your story. If it was an unusual incident, it must have been demanding and challenging at the same time. Show what extraordinary steps you took to overcome it (or deal with it), and how it became an important juncture in your life. Did life teach you the relevant lessons when this happened ? Since you’ve already talked about your work and will discuss it further in the third essay, take this question personally and the words will come on their own.
If you think you’ve never been as challenged by any single incident throughout your life, then, well, think again. They want your story here. Remember, all good and happy stories are similar, its the unusual one which is bound to be different. Especially your take aways from the whole thing.

Essay 3 – Statement of Purpose (!)

A SOP, to a large extent, should combine the answer to all the basic questions – why MBA, why now, why you, why IIMC, and how it’ll help you in achieving your goal(s). The FAQ on IIMC website answers it thus – ‘You may write on “Why you want to join the programme and what benefit you foresee on completion of the course”.’
State your purpose, it need not be different and unique from everyone else’s, but its the way you state it that matters.

I had a deadline of 22nd June to be ready with the first draft, and all I’ve managed to do so far is write this post. I MUST begin today (or soon :)), so that I can refine and finalize my version well before 15th July.

IIMC PGPEX is the programme I had in mind when I re-took my GMAT last December. Only lately have I seriously started considering an international MBA (or US and European MBAs, to be precise). Even if I think that my profile and requirements is a very good match for this course, there’s no guarantee that they’ll help me sail through. We’re talking about India here, and the competition for these 48 seats is going to be tough. Very tough. Though its reassuring to think that when I can target colleges like Wharton and Kelloggs, IIM C should too be within reach.

If you’re an IIMC PGPEX applicant for this year, I’d like to know what other B schools are you considering. One advise (and a lesson learnt from last year) – don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Either the basket will crack with the weight and you’ll be left with no eggs, or you’ll regret that you didn’t put the eggs in the right baskets at the right time, even when you could have.


Update on 29th August, ’08 – Shortlisted for interview.

21st September, ’08 – Interviewed.

29th October, ’08 – Dinged.


End of my tryst with the IIMs. Finally.


8th December, ’08Admitted in updated list!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Ritz permalink
    July 19, 2008 12:26 am

    Hi There,

    I am applying to the PGPEX Calcutta. Almost done with all the essays, which includes the SOP, the 3 activities and the unusual incident. I am not sure if they have come out really good. I am really not sure about my chances as my exp is about 6years 9 months in Mar31. do you think I should write the additional optional essay?

  2. ahembeea permalink*
    July 21, 2008 10:24 am

    Ritz – what do you want to add in the optional essay ? Do you want to justify why your other essays didn’t turn out as per your expectation ?! In my opinion, use the optional essay only if there’s something substantial about your profile thats not been covered elsewhere in the application. As for your exp, I think its fine (more than mine at least !).

  3. September 24, 2008 1:10 am

    r u targeting all the biggies in first cycle?

  4. ahembeea permalink*
    September 24, 2008 8:14 am

    Ash – yes. Everything in R1!!

  5. September 25, 2009 9:10 pm

    Gud one!!


  1. IIMC PGPEX - Admitted! « B School Bound

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