My preparation and experience of getting into SIBM Pune for MBA Leadership and Strategy!


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About the Author:

Mandar Dixit (SIBM Pune 2020-22)



It is rightly said that Education is the single most important job of the human race. At every moment of life, there is ample to study and learn for those who want to.

I have worked for almost 4 years in Exports Marketing wherein I handled markets in different countries like Russia, Japan, the Middle East, etc. for Home Textile products. I was very familiar with the marketing of the products and its sales in different countries. The work profile also helped me to have an end–to–end control on the operations of the products. In my working tenure, I witnessed the journey of the product from its idea inception to its last sales in the Exports market. I interacted with senior managers and top-level executives and the way they plan, execute, and coordinate was quite inspiring. Even though I gained market and customer insights from my job, sometimes linking it to the business point of view was challenging. That was when I realized getting into an MBA will not only help me understand things from a business point of view, but also learn the art of managing resources and people well.

Further to this, I choose the MBA Leadership and Strategy as this was going to help me work on business problems and try to come up with solutions from the case-based study. This approach is very important in the professional career as each day we have to work on complex business problems. Apart from this, the experienced industry leaders who shall mentor during the course will help to understand how to be an effective leader in the long run.

The preparation for the group discussion for the admission process was tough. I went through the current topics. I also referred to the MBAuniverse.com, which provides an exhaustive list of topics with a summary. First, a clear understanding of the topic is essential to have a better edge in the discussion group. Second, knowing the relevant facts, survey and figures are important so has to showcase your reading and interpretation skills. I followed the 2 topics day pattern from the day of the exam to the day of GD, and this helped me to have a vast bank of topics well summarized with me along with statistics.

For preparing the personal interviews, as I hailed from work experience background so the interview revolved around the last job profile and its challenges. But the panelist wanted me to work on a business problem and explain my strategy for it. Working on business problems and explaining the solution in a short time is challenging. It is a good habit to read about the current happenings in the industry and then working on the solutions for them from their perspective. This will help to develop a thought process like a leader and also provide leverage in discussions on problems like business expansion, loss minimization, marketing strategies, innovations which are very important for an organization.

To summarize the preparation for the GD and PI process would be to have a continuous reading of business news, articles, blogs to stay updated. It is rightly said that a Leader is an expert reader. Apart from this discussion with people from different domains and sectors is very important, as this shall help to enrich the thinking horizon from different facets.

Finally, one last piece of advice that I would like to give - Enjoy this journey of preparation as much as possible and keep the lessons intact throughout your life. This preparation will not only help to crack the round but also help in the coming times of competitions and course.

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