Indian School of Business, Hyderabad - Interview with Deepak Chembath

 | April 03,2010 01:05 pm IST

Q. Can you tell something about yourself and your pre-MBA qualifications?

I’m basically an engineer with degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from College of Engineering, Guindy, Anna University, Chennai. After passing out in 2001, I joined Infosys Technologies Ltd. at their Bangalore office. In six years, I worked across a variety of technologies, primarily in the transportation and logistics space. Also worked in USA and Canada for almost 3 years.


Q. So when did you decide to go for MBA?
A. Immediately after college, I gave CAT in December 2001 and even made interview calls from two lesser ranked IIMs, but somehow could not clear the interview. Then I put my MBA plans on the back-burner. Finally, around June 2006, while chatting with a close friend of mine, I realized that I should re-kindle my passion and I decided to go for my MBA.


Q. What was your first step to start preparation for getting into the school of your choice?
A. I knew I was not going to appear in CAT because I was mentally not prepared for IIMs' 2-year PGP, and was actually a year younger for PGPX (I was 26 last year). So I decided on ISB and some European B-schools and took my first GMAT diagnostic test in July 2006. Contrary to my expectations, I did reasonably well, the very first time.


Q. Which MBA institutes and programs you identified for your MBA?
A. I basically narrowed down on three institutes in the following order of preference: -
i) INSEAD, Paris (Ding )
ii) ISB, Hyderabad (Accepted )
iii) Rotterdam School of Management, Rotterdam, Netherlands (Accepted ) 



Questions related to Pre-MBA Preparation

Q. When did you start your preparation?
A. My preparation for GMAT started around the second half of July 2006 when I took my first diagnostic test.


Q. How many months and how many hours daily did you devote for preparation to entrance procedures?
A. I took my actual test on September 30, 2006. So preparation was little over two months. Every day I devoted 2 hours after work and cooking (I was in US then). In the last month, every Saturday and Sunday I took full length tests with the AWA section as I realized that GMAT was more a test of my stamina.


Q. Did you take up some coaching institute or you believed in self-study?
A. CAT / GMAT are more of aptitude-type tests and I always believed in self-study and loads of practice tests.


Q. Can you tell us which are your favorite books, books that you used for preparing for entrance, books for self-development and books for pure relaxation?
A. For GMAT, the 'Official Guide' and 'Manhattan’s Sentence Correction' books are a definite must. Apart from that, the widely-circulated '1000 Sentence Corrections' and '1000 Critical Reasonings' were invaluable for practice.


Q. What was your experience with coaching? Some feedback about faculty, coaching material and your overall experience with particular center.
A. Not applicable.


Q. What are the others books & tests which you used for your MBA preparation?
A. "GMATPrepTM" software from, Kaplan and Manhattan Tests gave me the necessary practice. As for books, "How to get into Top MBA programs?" by Richard Montauk was simply incredible. You don’t need to read anything else apart from this one book.


Q. What was your strongest and weakest area while preparing for MBA coaching?
A. Strongest link: Quant and strong Work Experience
Weakest link: Reading Comprehension


Q. Some tips which you used for mastering Quant, RC, etc.
A. Quant came naturally (GMAT quant is just 25% as difficult as CAT quant). For Reading Comprehension, I just practiced a lot.


Q. How much time did you put for MBA preparation everyday? How did you manage this while working full time?
A. I put in 2 hours every day and for the last one month, I did two full tests every week-end. It was quite stressful to do this along with daily work but being in US helped a bit because the commute to work is not so much tiring as in India.


Q. Which all Exams and B-schools you applied to?
A. Only GMAT. Applied to three institutes in the following order of preference: -
i) INSEAD, Paris (Ding )
ii) ISB, Hyderabad (Accepted )
iii) Rotterdam School of Management, Rotterdam, Netherlands (Accepted )


Q. Your present B-school and course.
A. B-school: Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Course: PGP.


Q. What procedures your school has for admission to its MBA program?
A. First GMAT, then Admission Essays, and if short-listed, you get an Interview Call.


Q. What is the range of score for students who are admitted?
A. GMAT Score Range: 600-780
Average GMAT Score: 708


Q. What was your score?
A. GMAT Score: 740/800. 


After Joining MBA 

Q. After joining the school, did you ever wish that you should have known certain more things about the school before you became part of it? What are those?
A. I should have enquired about the level of competition here. It is insane here.


Q. What is the toughest area to handle in your studies?
A. Well, class participation sometimes gets to my nerves. Otherwise, I have been doing ok.


Q. Which one is your best subject?
A. So far I have done very well in marketing subjects and I’m gonna specialize in marketing.


Q. Is there stress level during studies?
A. It is insane. All sleeping and waking patterns are out for a toss here. All I know is there are times you are awake and times when you are not. On an average, one gets 4-5 hours of sleep (maximum) a day.


Q. Who is the best faculty?
A. We have faculty coming from Wharton, Kellogg, LBS, UNC, etc. So you can imagine the level of teaching. Personal favorites so far are Robert Stine, Mark Finn, Bruce Allen, Amit Bubna, Milind Sohoni, Krishnakumar, Bhagwan Chowdhry and Ramana Sonti. The pedagogy is simply mind-boggling.




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Suzerain Vashishth on 10/29/10 at 08:14 pm

this interview was knowledgeable n catered to all the queries I had in my mind..Thank You