Posting this one a bit late - though had kind of decided that I would post all my GD/PI experiences at one shot - after having got through a particular b-school - and here I am now - a proud to-be-MDI-alumnus penning down the experiences of this year..
Jan 30th 8 AM- Pune ( first batch in the entire GD/PI process spanning 4 days)
Institute: Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM)
Batch - 1XF ( had a SNAP 100 scorer in this batch too )
Composition: 10 boys, 1 gal... but well - the gal wasnt present in the GD's and GT's with us...
The sight of SIBM wasnt really a pleasing one for me, as I had seen it the previous day - as it was nothing more than a building - frankly speaking even smaller than my school. Though I was here, and I had to attend the GD/PI now. The previous evening had been spent meeting friends, and also meeting my buddy Chinmay at SIBM (a buddy was supposed to guide he/her through the entire GD/PI process)
There was a crowd outside SIBM - the line of students for registration had reached the road ( the institute is one building right outside the road ). I got in the line - and it didnt take time to finish the registration procedure. I was given a batch tag - and was directed upwards to one of the floors above. We were made to sit in a classroom - some 3 or 4 batches in the morning. After a brief presentation by the seniors on SIBM and its culture, we started off. The first thing on the programme was the essay
Essay as told above - Whistle Blowers are guardians to democracy..
Hardly any time to recollect thoughts and write some stuff, in fact the topic needs better understanding and better examples as a good essay - which of course mine lacked.
Rating - 5/10.
Following this we were led to separate rooms where we sat with our buddies/other coordinators, who I must say were extremely helpful. My batch was seated in a small circle, and the coordinator gave us more ideas on how life at SIBM is. Soon we were called for the interviews - which was unexpected to come before the GD's. I was the third on the list in the group. We were led to another room, where the three of us had a seat on the bench outside. The first person was a guy who was from PG (Pagalguy.com) - and had interacted with him in the morning. He seemed to have a good profile (2 years at DRDO, owner of a tech-forum online etc), and I was all apprehensive of him going before me. Still I was more at ease then expected. He had a cool interview, and so did the person before me - a 2 year experienced fellow at GE.
The next to enter was me. The following is how it all went.
Panel: One internal faculty(in middle) - F
One Senior HR Manager from Pepsi - P
One IIMA pass out - A
Myself - M
F did most of the questioning.
M (enters, greets and sits down)
F: So Ashish, tell me about yourself, your schooling, your extra curriculars, your workex, your hobbies and so on.
M (prepared answer): blah blah
P: Hmm ok - so which coaching institute have you prepared this answer from?
M (taken aback): Frankly this is my own prepared answer Sir, I do not require any external preparation for this - so I did not take help from any coaching class.
P: Thats good - its a general answer rite - so it doesnt require any preparations.
M: Yes Sir it doesnt
F: So Ashish, you have had workex as a technical consultant, so why an MBA now?
M: Blah blah - interests in HR etc
F: So Ashish, I see you have done your schooling and graduation at Goa. Why then do you want to come to Pune to do your management from SIBM? I am sure Goa too has a nice management institute.
M: blah blah - why SIBM prepared answer :D ;) - qualities SIBM possesses.
F: So what in HR interests you?
M: Blah blah - more on Traning and Development
P: Ohk - tell me more about what kinds of trainings are there in Oracle
M: Blah blah
P: Ohkay - are all these trainings required at all levels?
M: No - as you go higher in the ladder, you require to take certain types of trainings.. blah blah ( had discussed most of the T&D part with an HR manager I knew - phew - was saved here ;) )
F ( looks at A )
A: So you say you like reading - what books do you read?
M: blah blah - all kinds blah blah
A: So name some books of Paulo Coelho
M: blah blah
A: Ohkay so you have interest in Hindu mythology...especially in Mahabharata - so I suppose I can ask you anything from it (big grin)
M: I guess so (scared a bit ;) )
A: Ohkay - how many siblings did Dhritarashtra have?
M: (oops!!) - Oh sorry - he had one sibling - thats Pandu
A: Are you very sure?
M: Yes Sir
A: Hmm - I think you need to revise your concepts on Mahabharata again then (all laughing)
M: Perhaps sir - if you say so...(was reasonably sure of the answer)
F: Ohkay Ashish - so what if we dont offer you the admission at SIBM? Whats the backup plan?
M: (prepared answer): blah blah - have to do it this year itself - maybe correspondence in HR - cant pursue a residential MBA after this year - blah blah
F: So you are hell bent on doing HR this year itself
M: Yes Sir
F: Ohk then thank you Ashish.
M: Thank you Sir
M (thanks all and leaves)
Quite a decent interview - would rate it 8/10.
Was bugged as they didnt go through my files at all - though they were there in my hands all the while etc. - Had really arranged them well and brought - and I tot i had some things to show in them
GD - Case study ( I guess all had case studies )... first case study of my life - hence was a bit nervous...
The case was about a person who joins a company as a programmer, then the company changes its domain of technology, and along with it, this 4 yr experienced guy has to adapt to the new domain, and new business. He is unable to do it , and underperforms, hence is warned from HR manager to be removed. The guy gets pissed, applies to other companies, gets reco letters from known people etc etc. One year down the line or so, the HR manager tells him that he has to leave the company. The guy loses it and threatens to sue the company for the treatment and show the reco letters as proof etc etc.
What should the HR manager do?
PS - this is as far as I can remember the case - ne one else please correct me...
Okish discussion - lot of argument - there was more talk about the reco letters and the suing , rather than the HR manager's alternatives for tackling the problem - probably thats where we lost out. (my opinion).
The two panelists were ok (one male one female) - the female leader stopped us twice to make the quiet people speak - the male guy was noting our expressions, how we spoke etc... the GD was stopped by the female lady (probably she got bored )
Rating for my performance: 7.5/10
Group Task: (This was the weirdest part in the procedure)
Panel: 2 old gentlemen
Task 1: This was a handkerchief placed at a distance from all of us - and we had to somehow touch it by crossing the line before it, without touching any part of our body to the ground. Weird rite? We discussed for a major part of the time - but I landed up convincing them to spend more time on doing the task at the end - so we somehow started. One fellow volunteered to be held by the others - and we all held him in some strategic method. Somehow we managed to do the task eventually. Looks like they were observing more of the group dynamics in it.
Task 2: This was a restrainer-captive task - where the prof stands at one end. We have to pair ourselves with a partner. At one instance I am the restrainer, trying to hold my partner from reaching the prof at the other end of the room. Next I am the captive, and he is holding me, preventing me from reaching the prof. We had this exercise - and well, I had some fun tickling my partner (he complained, but I retorted sayin that the prof had mentioned 'the restrainer can do nethin in his power to stop the captive'. So it was kinda allowed. :D ;) . At the end of the task, we all were made to stand in a line, and were questioned one by one on whether we liked to be the restrainer or the captive. This was dumb as the others further in line would try to mould their answers acc to what we answered. I chose to be the captive, as I gave some gyaan about having a certain goal to move to etc.
Tough to rate myself - but would give it a 6.5/10.
Our group was the first to finish that day. We left at around 12 - and me and my restrainer partner (Akaash) went over and had something at a Java Green center nearby. From there we departed, and I moved to my friends place where I was staying, and prepared to leave Pune.
Overall I was kind of satisfied with the entire experience - knowing I had done well with most of the proceedings - though I knew that if I got other calls later, I would have to leave this one for them - as the last date to pay the fees (75k) was 28th Feb. Eventually I did land up converting SIBM, but took a strong decision and gave up the seat without paying the fees. I had other better interviews to attend - and was confident in cracking at least one more of them.