- Rishabh Agrawal , SWD Nucleus




1) First of all, we would like to know about your journey in this campus.
Letís start from a time when I was about to join an engineering college. I had two choices, BPHC and IIT BHU metallurgy. Honestly speaking; I wasnít keen about doing engineering, I made peace with the thought that I may have to pursue something else. However, I wanted that I get the opportunities to experience a life full of extra-curricular activities because of which I chose BPHC. When I came here, for my first year I used to feel quite out of place. Actually I was a dropout and hence was upset for being unable to fulfil the expectations of getting into an IIT. Also, I had some old friends from my home town studying here, due to which I didnít feel like socialising. The only thing I did in my first year was getting into the Department of Security and Hospitality. I was a person who likes to be on the stage and perform. Towards the end of the first year, Shangri-La took place. And this was the point that I felt the need to do something as I saw my fellow mates doing so many interesting things. As a result I gave a few inductions in my 3rd semester and got into a few clubs like the Journal Club. However, I didnít like Mechanical as a branch. My CG was really going down. However, PS 1 which I did at HMT Tractors; Chandigarh, gave me a positive change from the campus life. In my 5th semester, I was the CoSTAAn of DoSH; which was really a great experience. However there was a point in my 6th semester when I felt like being nothing. I didnít have my CG, didnít like my branch and didnít know what I was doing with my life. It was the lowest point in my life. However, at the back of my mind I always had that I am made for Management. Then I got quite serious about my career and started exploring the options available. I came to know about MIM program. After this I started preparing for GMAT which I cleared with a score of 740. Going with the flow I cleared CAT as well with a score of 99.34 percentile. This was kind of salvation for me and now I really feel that I did something at the end.

2) As you said you reached a lowest point in your life, and then you reached to the top. What was the driving force that pulled you from the lowest point to the peak?
Basically I was filled with disgust. I didnít know what I was doing with my life. I just used to watch TV series and movies nothing else. Gradually I didnít even like watching them but I still kept watching them just because I was habituated. So I reached a point where falling deeper wasnít possible; the only option was getting better. This was a point where my ambition started to overpower my habits and I improved myself. Actually before that point I used to think that I can handle everything alone. But I realised that talking to people is actually good and can help in finding solutions to many problems.

3) How did being a CoSTAAn change your life?
I would say it changed my life completely. Earlier I didnít used to go for things I didnít get passionately. I used to accept whatever I am getting and leave others. I didnít fight for the things I wanted but couldnít get. As I became the CoSTAAn, this attitude didnít work out. I had to take independent decisions and make things work my way. I discovered a side of me I didnít know existed. I kept aside all the laziness I had in me. Those three days of ATMOS taught me how it was to have a goal or ambition and work for it. These three days made me believe that yes I can also work for a goal. It made me self-confident. Other advantages like making contacts and learning how to manage crisis were obviously there.

4) Would you like to share any mistake that you did during your journey that you still regret now?
I believe that we regret the things that we donít do. Hence I regret everything that I couldnít do like I didnít take projects, I didnít pay attention to classes and also didnít pay attention to sports; which used to be my hobby earlier. Actually I used to be very stubborn. I used to do only those things which I liked and used to leave rest. Due to this attitude I happened to screw my CG up which is not at all suggestible to anyone. I request everyone to maintain a decent CG.
One more mistake that I recall is following my immediate seniors blindly. Never do that. Always remember that your immediate seniors have also seen a limited world. Itís not bad to take their suggestion, but avoid following them blindly. I was always told by my seniors that thereís no scope in mechanical due to which I lost many good opportunities. So I suggest not doing such thing.

5) How do you like to spend your free time?
I would say thinking and worrying about stuff. Frankly speaking I ended up ruining all my interests that I had earlier. Recently Iíve discovered that I like talking to people. So this is the new thing that interests me; talking to people. One more thing that I like to do is to know what Pakistan thinks about India. I follow some of the Pakistani news channels which provide pretty decent panel discussions. They take India as an example and discuss their problems. So itís like ego boosting for me. So thatís how I pass my time.

6) What are the difficulties that you faced throughout your journey and how did you overcome them?
Some of the difficulties I faced were lack of motivation and problems with socialising. I would like to share an instance that I recall here. Initially when I joined the Dramatics club, I was unable to mix up with the people there. I just used to sit in a corner with my friends and see others having fun. We just used to go and enact our roles and then sit back in the corner. But things got better eventually and I was able to mix up with them. I just went with the flow and believed that one day things are going to turn my way and be alright. So thatís what primarily helped me overcome this.

7) As we observed that youíve decided to pursue a career in management, what would you like to suggest other people who are on the same lines and want to pursue the same?
First of all I would suggest everyone interested in a career in management to attend talks. They keep you up to date with all the options and possibilities about your field of interest. I personally came to know about MIM through one talk. Also I would suggest maintaining a good CGPA. Above 7 is the minimum required and if you can manage above 8; then your life would be very easy in the future. Management is all about listening to people and applying your knowledge. It may seem very easy but trust me itís not. Hence, I suggest talking to people. This helps you develop a skill of listening and understanding different perspectives and responding to them appropriately. I would also suggest improving your English. Take up the electives that may help you in future like Effective Public Speaking to improve speaking skills or something like Theatre Arts to get over stage fear. Talking specifically about GMAT and CAT; I would say they are just projected like some big mountains to achieve similar to Physics that we used to study in 11th and 12th grade. I would suggest making your basics strong and concentrating on strengthening your basics rather than going for difficult problems right from the beginning. Regarding coaching, I would suggest not relying completely on T.I.M.E as they are still following the old pattern of problem based teaching that doesnít work anymore. Join T.I.M.E but donít rely completely on that. One advantage of joining T.I.M.E will be that you will be quite regular with preparations. Also appear for as many practice tests as you can. It will make you realise where you actually stand. I wonít be able to tell anything specific about CAT but taking about GMAT, follow the official guide and a forum by the name GMAT club which comprises of the people whoíve already cleared GMAT and are just willing to help others appearing for GMAT. I guess this should do it.

8) Any particular field in management that interests you particularly and what do you think is the scope of that field?
Consultancy is the field that I am particularly interested in and want to continue with. I like this field because it gives me exposure to work in many different fields as I have to deal with solving otherís problems. According to me, this is a field that will stay forever. Consultancy is very human oriented; all the firms in this field just aim at problems faced by other companies. As we know that problems will stay; hence consultancy will also stay and for that matter grow in the future years.

9) Any last Words of Wisdom for the readers?
Sure, I would like to say two things. Firstly, donít ignore CGPA by saying that itís just a number; whole system runs on number so just have a decent number by your side. Secondly, I would like to say something that I follow; though it can be risky at time; ĎThink negative when you are in total control of something and think positive when you totally lose control of somethingí.

So that was it for this edition of Campus Whiz kids. It was great having Mr Aditya Taank sharing his experience with all of us. We hope you all get to learn a lot from this interview.

Next Sunday we are coming up with an interview with the Beauty with Brains, Ms. Simran Kapur. Thereís a lot more lined up for you guys. So stay tuned.