Total seats : 180 (for all categories)
Total calls issued : 900 (approx figure given by some students there when I asked them about it)
So, the ratio is about 5:1
As soon as the calls to the candidates were issued, they sent an Annexure to everyone that contained 5 questions to be answered in 1 week. They were,
1. Explain in brief your long term goals and your reasons for applying to SIBM Pune? How will SIBM Pune help you in achieving these goals?
2. Suppose you had to choose two people to travel with you on a cross-country trip. Who would you choose and why? What would you hope to learn from them?
The people could be alive now, from another era or fictitious characters.
3. What single achievement or event has been most significant in your life? What were your learnings from this event or achievement?
4. Describe an ethical dilemma you have experienced firsthand. Discuss how you thought about and managed the situation.
5. What do you consider to be your major strengths and weaknesses?
My interview was scheduled on Jan 29th 2010 at 1 PM. In the call letter we were asked to reach the SIBM old campus at Senapati Bapat Road, Pune by 11.30 AM as there was a bus leaving for the new one at Lavale from there. The bus journey was quite comfortable, the bus had good speakers and some nice songs were playing at a high volume. It was fun. During the journey I saw a lot candidates reading the newspapers and mugging up different kinds of figures. I, on the other hand, was enjoying the beautiful countryside outside my window.
It was a 45 min drive till the new campus which was located on top of a hill. The view was just outstanding. I cant even begin to imagine what that place must be like during the months of August-October when Pune is at its best. Anyway, as soon as the bus reached, there was someone waiting for us and guided us to a auditorium. We sat there for about 15 mins after which the registration process started. During the process, they just checked the our marksheets and certificates, and gave us a name tag. Then each individual was sent to an Assembly Hall where he/she was made to sit according to his group. Each group had a coordinator (GC) assigned to it. Ours was a guy by the name Sanjeev Balachandran. He was of a lot of help as he cleared almost all our doubts and gave
us invaluable insight into the whole process.
Anyway, my group had 12 people out of which one was absent, so in all we were 11. There were 3 stages, Group Discussion (GD), Group Task (GT) & Personal Interview (PI). There wasnt any particular order for them. Before all this, though, they showed us a presentation about SIBM. It was quite interesting.
Our group started with the PIs first. I was the second one to go.
There were 3 people in the panel,
L1 : Young lady to my left
P1 : Old (but cool and jovial) professor right in front of me
P2 : Medium-aged professor to my right
Me : (Knock at the door) May I come in ?
L1,P1 : Yes yes please
Me : Good Afternoon
All 3 : Afternoon. Please sit down.
(I sit down on the chair)
L1 : What is this surname 'Sem' ? Are you Sushmita Sen's cousin ?
Me : No, madam its not Sen, its Sem, with a M. I am a Punjabi Brahmin.
P1 : Where do you belong to ? Whats the history of your surname ?
Me : (Gave a gist of the story)
P1 : Hmmm, tell me why does an engineer like you who is currently working for HSBC need to do an MBA ? Ok forget that, first tell me why did you join HSBC ?
Me : (I answer)
Some discussion about HSBC continues. They ask me about the CEO of HSBC GLT (GLT is arm of HSBC I work for)
Questions about the cross country trip question from the annexure follow, and some discussion goes on.
L1 : Now, tell me about a life-changing experience of yours that is not an achievement.
Me : Can it be an underachievement ?
L1 : No
(Actually I was stumped by this question, but then told them about an incident. Later on, when I came out, a lot of better answers came to my mind. :P)
P2 : (Finally spoke) What are your hobbies ?
Me : Answer (also included watching Hollywood movies)
L1 : Why not Bollywood movies ?
Me : I explained about how the Hollywood movies had more of a storyline and logic and less of masala.
L1 : (Still not convinced) Which genre do you prefer in Hollywood ?
P2 : (Simultaneously asked) Tell me your top 5 Hollywood movies.
Me : Answered both.
All 3 look at each other.
L1 : Am done.
P1 : Ok, you can leave.
Me : Thank you.
The whole interview took just about 10 mins I think.
After that we were taken for the GD. Just before we entered, our GC told us that the guy in the panel was a retired Army Colonel and looked for confidence and strong communication skills in a candidate. And of course, he didnt like any guy cutting a girl while she was talking.With this in mind, we went inside and sat according to our numbers. He announced that there would be negative marks for a fish market. He then proceeded to introduce the second person in the panel asked a few questions to the group (like how was our day, what did we have for food etc).
The topic for the GD was 'A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make a turn'.
Time for thinking was 5 mins and for the GD was 10 mins.
Overall, I think it went fine. Everyody except two people in the group spoke. They were then asked about what they felt about the topic and later 2 people
were asked to summarise. (The panel said that there wont be any extra points for this.)
I started late in the GD, was I think the 4th speaker, but then explained the topic in detail. Gave an example of Sir Albert Einstein, who failed 300
times before inventing the bulb. And after each attempt, he would say, that, "I have not failed, I have just discovered another way that does not work."
Also gave the example of Japan as to how they were bombeb by the US and today they are the second largest economy in the world. I think spoke for about 4-5
times in all.
Then our GC took us for snacks. They were quite tasty and were really needed by everyone in the group. We had a nice chat with our GC about the whole
culture and life at SIBM.
The last thing in the day was the GT. In that, we were first asked to give a psychometric test, had 30 questions to be answered in 3 mins. Then we proceeded
for the task. We had to stand (all 11 of us) on 2 bricks for 15 secs consecutively. We had 3 mins to strategize and execute the whole thing.We tried hard but only 8 could stand. As soon the 9th person came, our Burj Dubai became the Leaning Tower of Pisa and we collapsed. There wasnt time left for another attempt. Then we were asked specific questions about the task and about our performance.
Ours was one of the lucky groups. The whole process was done by 5.30 PM. We exchanged our mail ids and then took the bus back to Pune city.
Results Expected : Feb 9th