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Topper Shiv Raj, who secured 99.94 percentile in CAT 2016, credits his performance to following a consistent preparation strategy. His work with a healthcare organisation meant that he had to manage his preparation with work. But he still made sure he gave an hour to his studies everyday. An engineer from IIIT-Hyderabad, who dabbles as a painter and poet, also participates in social activities through NGOs and plans to incorporate his understanding from these areas to his management studies.
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In this interview with Careers360, Shiv points out the importance of smart work. He also talks about his interest in working in the field of Finance and International Studies.
Read the full interview below:
Careers 360: Congratulations! How are you celebrating? Were you expecting this score?
Shiv Raj:Thanks, I was expecting a good percentile. But was unsure of getting a such a high percentile. About the celebrations, well, I just had a good night’s sleep and finally stacked all the books in the cupboard.
Careers 360: What is your section wise percentile?Shiv Raj: In Verbal Ability I got 98.04 percentile while in Data Interpretation and Logical Reasoning my percentile is 99.91. In Quantitative Ability I got 99.75 percentile.
Careers 360: How was your exam? Which were the toughest and weakest sections according to you?
Shiv Raj: This year the exam was tough compared to last year. Though VA was on the moderate side, DI-LR was tricky and time consuming. QA was also on moderate side.
Careers 360: How did you prepare for CAT? Did you opt for mock tests? How much time did you give for your preparation?
Shiv Raj: It was mostly through self study. As I was working, I made sure that I took out at least an hour each day after work for studies. This helped me to maintain continuity and flow. I took up test series and also enrolled for a course with online coaching. So, in all, I gave about an hour or two for preparation on weekdays and about 6-7 hours over the weekends, which included taking a mock test. By the time I wrote CAT, I had given close to 30 mock tests. This prepared me for the unseen.
Careers 360: Which is your preferred business school? Which specialisation are you interested in?
Shiv Raj: I look forward to get calls from the older IIMs. I plan to do an MBA in the field of finance or international strategy.
Careers 360: How is your preparation for the next rounds?
Shiv Raj: Preparations for GD and PI varies with respective IIMs. Though I am clear about questions like ‘Why MBA and Why you?’, questions pertaining to choosing a particular IIM have to be worked upon.
Careers 360: Is there specific reason why you want to pursue MBA? Do you think having work experience would help you during your programme?
Shiv Raj: I have always been involved in management related work since my college days. I was a member of Students’ Parliament at IIIT-H, so I always thought I could be a good leader. I’ve been very active in social activities like working for NGOs, NSS and company’s CSR. I plan to take these things in the corporate world. I work with a top US healthcare organisation where I’ve got enough exposure in multiple fields pertaining to how businesses are run. This should help me in my MBA studies.
Careers 360: Tell us about your present educational and family background?
Shiv Raj: I am a BTech graduate in ECE from IIIT-H. Prior to this, I completed my high school and intermediate from St.Peter’s College, Agra. My father works as Chief Manager in Central Bank of India. He’s currently posted in Basti, UP. My mother is housewife and holds a PhD in Fine Arts. I have a younger sister who’s currently working in Accenture.
Careers 360: What are the tips that you would like to give those who plan to take up CAT in the coming year?
Shiv Raj: Stick to a plan. Get clear on your basics. Start with short and timed tests. Whenever you give a mock test, assess not only the wrong questions but also the right ones. Sometimes you may score very high, while on other occasions you might get a low score. Do not get demotivated with low score and don’t become overly confident when you score high. The key to success in CAT is perseverance and not hard, but smart work.
Careers 360: What are your hobbies? Do you enjoy any kind of sport?
Shiv Raj: I am an artist. I’ve been sketching and painting since my school days. Recently, I also auctioned my paintings for charity donations. I love writing and reading poetry, both in English and Urdu. I also like reading mythology and philosophy books. I play table tennis , snooker and chess.
Careers 360: Which is your favourite movie?
Shiv Raj: That’s a tough question! I guess Inception/Shutter Island in English and Fire-Water-Earth trilogy and Gulal from Bollywood.
Careers 360: Are you active on social media? Were you active during your preparation for CAT?
Shiv Raj: Yes, very. But while I was preparing, I refrained from posting though I was aware of what is going around!
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