What does Great Lakes Institute of Management look for in a Candidate

What does Great Lakes Institute of Management look for in a Candidate

“Do I possess the qualities required to get into a top B-School?”

This is the question that goes through the minds of all professionals a few years into their careers. Great Lakes Institute of Management goes through thousands of applications each year and only a select few get accepted.

So, what differentiates the selected applicants from the rejected ones?

Before answering this question, one must understand the fact that entrance exams like CAT, XAT, GMAT, etc. are just the tools for primary filtration. If a good test score is the only weapon in your arsenal then you’re in for a surprise as the final selection depends on a candidate’s performance in the subsequent stages that include PI, essays, group discussions etc. The basic idea behind such a rigorous admission process is that a candidate must be able to justify his/her test score with something more substantial.

The Great Lakes admissions committee is always on the lookout for that one factor in the applicants which makes them stand out from the crowd and if you possess even one of the following qualities, you’ll gain a significant advantage over rest of the applicants.

Potential to drive Business Impact through Leadership

Leadership potential is the top box to check when you apply to Great Lakes. We want to invest in an applicant who’ll go out and make an actual difference in the real world. Therefore, you will have to demonstrate that you possess what it takes to be a leader either in your work experience, academic life, extracurricular activities or elsewhere.

Demonstrated Track Record of Achievement

We keenly seek applicants who have a demonstrable record of achievement. We truly believe that achievement can manifest in many forms, from academic excellence to college extracurricular activities to professional accomplishments, to personal wins.

We value demonstrated achievement irrespective of its scale and sphere; whether you’ve started up a company, headed a project at work, captained a sports team or organized a relief fund, we consider all these as examples of achievement.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

As an MBA Grad, you’d be expected to not just be good at what you do but also effectively portray that you are good. You need to be able to market yourself and effective communication and interpersonal skills are the key to do that. If you are a brilliant professional but can’t make a pitch for your ideas and opinions or can’t convince others about your potential, then you probably aren’t ready for the big leagues. The essays and personal interviews are the stages of the admission process where you can showcase your communication skills.

Relevant Work Experience

Work experience of minimum 24 months is a mandatory eligibility criterion for applying to the PGPM program. But more than your career choice, you’ll be assessed on the basis of the progress you made professionally vis-a-vis your earlier self. The factors that make you stand out are the consistent upward movement of our career graph, roles & responsibilities on the job, team-building, managerial tasks and proactive approach.

Thought Clarity & Career Aspirations

When you’re applying to Great Lakes, you must have a few choices to help you lay down a foundation. Whether you wish to achieve a leadership role or switch careers or become an entrepreneur post your graduation, you must be able to clearly communicate it to the Admissions Committee. Remember, it’s not just about securing a place in a B-school, it is more about what difference you want to make in the real world and neither is possible without aspirations and ambitions.

Right Fit with the Program

All MBA programs have a personality. For example, the PGPM at Great Lakes is best suited for professionals who have proved their mettle in the industry and are now looking for an accelerated growth. The PGDM, on the other hand, has a completely different approach as it prepares the individuals to face the real world business challenges for the first time. In order to secure a place in Great Lakes or any other B-School, you’ll have to effectively justify that you’re not just compatible with the program but with the culture of the school as well.

We at Great Lakes are looking forward to meeting you. So, Good Luck and May the odds be ever in your favour.

 

Team Admissions

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XAT 2018 – Last Minute Tips and Strategies

XAT 2018 – Last Minute Tips and Strategies

With less than 72 hours to go for Xavier Aptitude Test (XAT 2018), you must be well prepared for one of the most coveted B-School entrance exams held in the country. In these crucial last few hours, there is no point in cramming up new things. What you need to do now is work towards revising and retaining what you have already studied in the past months.

Now that XAT is just around the corner, here are a few last minute tips that will keep you calm and help you do better on the D-day.

Get Acquainted with the New Test Pattern

XAT 2018 is going online for the first time in the history of XAT and therefore, it will be wise to get acquainted with the new pattern. This will help in saving crucial minutes when you sit for the actual test. You can get familiarised with the new XAT test pattern on www.xatonline.in. The link for the mock test is available on the tickr at the top of the home page.

Revision

This is the time when you need to focus heavily on revisions and treat your short notes as The Bible. Revise all important concepts, facts, dates and formulae. Don’t waste your time in starting new topics at this stage. Instead, devote your time on clearing confusions and strengthening what you have already prepared.

Speed & Accuracy

Your performance in the upcoming XAT 2018 is highly dependent on what you have prepared and how good your command is over the topics you consider to be your strengths. Remember the fact that speed and accuracy matter more than anything else. There is a negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer and a penalty of 0.05 marks per question if you skip more than 12 questions. But XAT is a low scoring exam, so focus on accuracy is extremely important to ensure that you don’t lose hard earned marks. If you can’t answer a question, it is better to lose 0.05 marks for not attempting as compared to losing 0.25 marks for a wrong answer.

Formulate an Exam Strategy

Entering the exam centre without a sound strategy is like going to a gunfight with a wooden sword. If you want to score well on the exam, you need to finalise a strategy and then stick to it during the test. It is advisable that you set aside 45 minutes for each section of Part 1 of the exam and use the remaining 35 minutes to revisit tricky questions from each section. While working on Part 2 of XAT, get done with the General Awareness section in the initial 10 minutes and then focus on the essay for the remainder of the time.

Don’t be in a Hurry with RCs

Reading Comprehensions are the trickiest part of the paper and hence, take your time with them. Read the paragraphs carefully and follow an elimination approach while attempting the questions. Do not over attempt the questions and revise topics like Active Passive, Direct Indirect, Jumbled Sentences and Figures of Speech before entering the test centre.

Decision Making

Decision Making is a unique section of XAT. But, if you are weak in Quantitative Ability, then you can make up for that in this section. Questions in DM can be a little mind boggling and you might feel that all the options sound like the right one. Hence, be careful, read the questions wisely, and practice a lot of examples. Also, revise all the tips and tricks religiously to keep them fresh in your head while taking the exam.

Don’t worry too much about General Awareness

General Awareness section’s marks are not a part of your XAT percentile calculation and your performance in this section doesn’t matter if you are aspiring for any B-school other than XLRI. Even for XLRI, scoring 5-6 marks here will be enough to counter any negative perception.

Stay Composed and Determined but most of all, DON’T PANIC

If you have prepared well and have given your 100 per cent till now, then there is no reason to fret. Stay calm and confident during the exam. Don’t panic even if you are unable to answer the first couple of questions. Remember that you’ve got this, you’ve prepared well for it!!

Good Luck!!

The Success Mantra for Start-Ups: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

The Success Mantra for Start-Ups: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr DEEPAK GOEL

CEO – KARMACIRCLES

“Do. Or Do Not. There is no try” – Yoda, Jedi Master

Understanding of the above quote is an important pre-requisite for an entrepreneur to be successful. The path of Entrepreneurship is the one that is filled with utmost uncertainties that one can face compared to the other naturally progressing career options.

Being an aspiring entrepreneur, Great Lakes, offered me ample opportunities to interact and learn directly from the masters of this trade. As the campus is located in the corporate hub of the country, Great Lakes, Gurgaon enables extensive industry engagement with entrepreneurs, CXOs and industry experts as they visit the campus regularly to share their perspectives with the future business leaders of the nation. That’s how our batch (PGDM 2017-19) got to meet Mr Deepak Goel, CEO & Founder Karmacircles.

Mr Deepak Goel’s Guest Lecture at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon was a compilation of his life and thought processes that aimed at providing the students with a more Entrepreneurial viewpoint of life rather than just living in terms of pay packages. An IIT-Delhi educated techie who went on to live the “American Dream” with his job at Microsoft to pursuing his MBA at UC, Berkeley to working at multiple companies from scratch with an entrepreneurial spirit and making them grow to where they are today, he has worn multiple hats because of his multi-faceted skill sets. This is what differentiates him from the other bunch of entrepreneurs, at least in the Indian context. He truly learnt the art of Entrepreneurship in and out, theoretically and practically to be able to follow his life calling of creating Karmacircles.

The lecture was a mix of Startup Organizational Culture, Valuation of Startups, General Principles of Success and quite an insightful bunch of advice to the multiple questions asked by the Students.

At the start of the lecture, he laid a very simple formula for a successful startup involving just four steps. (1) Identify the problem you want to solve, (2) Solve the problem, (3) Monetize the Solution created and then (4) go for more money to scale up the solution. A rather simple algorithm which in reality is really difficult to follow as even developing/handling that one simple product/solution is quite complex. This is what calls for the Product Management Concept. Explaining his understanding and experiences in Product Management, he expressed dissatisfaction of how Product Management is done or pursued by organizations in India as it still remains to be a highly misunderstood concept in the country. Being a seasoned professional in the field, he emphasized how the concept can help in building successful products within a company, going on to creating multiple successful companies within a big company, like Google. Working at Microsoft, he knew much more about Google and its processes than Microsoft which earned him the name of “The Google Guy.” He then shared some insights as to how Google managed its Product Line and has grown from a Search Engine to the huge yet entrepreneurial tech-conglomerate it is today.

He then went on to share his learning experiences under the guidance of Eric Ries of the Lean Startup fame and even Eric Ries’ Guru Steve Blank. The two major concepts he learnt were The Value Hypothesis and Growth Hypothesis. When these philosophies are incorporated in a company in its ideation phase, it significantly enhances its probability of achieving long-term success, thereby, ensuring value and growth creation.

Explaining Value Hypothesis, Mr. Goel talked in detail how companies can create value. Not just in monetary terms, but value that customers can relate to. But for doing so, the companies must have an eagle eye vision of the solution of the problem that they set out to tackle. Giving real examples from the start-up and corporate world, he differentiated how certain companies create value straight away to companies that create value over time.

Constantly comparing his Valley experience to his Indian experience, he stated that Indian start-ups and new-age companies mainly focus only on creating monetary value but not the intangible value and many of those companies go on to create initial momentum, to a great extent monetize it, but keep pushing their goalposts for the value creation. One of the main questions he raised during the lecture was whether these companies will be able to continue the momentum once the cash inflow slows down.

Explaining Growth Hypothesis, he talked about continuously doing what you do best and create personal and home-ground advantage in areas as such to create a true product that can grow sustainably over time.

Commenting on the Indian attitude of approaching jobs, he shared his story further and explained how he took several pay cuts in order to expand his learning curve, something he finds lacking in the Indian scenario. Linking the topic, he shared the factors one should consider while taking up a new job and said that the person you are going to work for, is the most important factor. Not being completely driven by package but rather through the group one is going to work with and the learning outcome one has out of the job as other major factors. He advised students to be ethical and act professionally when it comes to working in organizations.

In the last few minutes of the lecture, he gave a brief glimpse of his passions which include, Social Networks, Mentoring, and creating valuable products that solve problems. Being an aspiring entrepreneur myself, I found this session to be the most illuminating.

Such interactions with industry stalwarts prepare the students for the challenges of the business world and Great Lakes gives utmost importance to these guest lectures as they are the most crucial ingredient for developing business ready managers. The importance of these interactions is evident with the fact that 150 plus industry leaders, entrepreneurs and CXOs have visited Great Lakes last year and shared their valuable insights with the students to prepare them for what’s to come.

Author: S SnehanshN

PGDM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Droom B-Plan: Great Lakes, Gurgaon, Students grab the 1st Runner-Up Spot

Droom B-Plan: Great Lakes, Gurgaon, Students grab the 1st Runner-Up Spot

Droom is recognised as India’s first and only online market place for buying and selling new and used automobiles. The founder, Sandeep Aggarwal, a strong believer and implementer of his own mantra, “Companies may fail, but entrepreneurs never fail”, is one of the mentors in what is itself is India’s first startup reality show, ‘MTV Dropout’.

Great Lakes, Gurgaon, Students – Rupali Jain, Tejveer Singh Kalsi & Tushar Singh grabbed the 1st Runner-up spot at the prestigious national level B-Plan competition organized by Droom.

We met with the team to know more about their overall experience

Q. What exactly is the Droom B-Plan Competition? 

The basic idea of Droom B-Plan Competition is that the participants are required to come up with the ideas regarding the expansion of Droom in C2C market and submit a Business Plan for the same.

Q. What was the Business Plan your team came up with?

As per the problem statement, we were supposed to carry out a market research that comprised of three components i.e. competitor, product and consumer research. Based on the market potential that was analysed, we came up with a disruptive Go-to-market strategy that would help Droom in garnering maximum market share in C2C space.

Q. How tough would you describe this competition?

This competition expected to recognize the brightest business minds across the country by assessing them on their strategic response to real business situations experienced by Droom. It was open for all and saw an overwhelming participation from a huge number of colleges and corporates including IITs and IIMs of the country.

Q. How would you describe the overall experience of your outstanding performance on this platform? 

It was an immensely enriching experience for us to have been part of such an event which not only helped us in putting all the learnings acquired from GLIM into practical implementation but also provided us with credible wings so that we can fly in the direction we coveted the most. Moreover, the honour of being associated with one of the stalwarts of the business world is in itself a feeling that is hard to depict in words.

 

Random B-School Musings

Random B-School Musings

Even as term 4 for PGPM 2018 is underway, it seems like yesterday when I entered the campus of Great lakes institute of management, Gurgaon. I think it will be fair for me to say that by now our learning curve has grown exponentially (I was actually looking for an even more superlative word) for having studied twenty two courses in these four and a half months. In the aftermath, however, we have sixteen ‘not so frequently opened’ yet bulky pillow sized books for our perusal (I honestly don’t know when and how these will actually be used.)

But as I recount the seemingly short experience here, I struggle to describe how awesome this journey is panning out to be. I am unable to elucidate that feeling where, on a Friday night – 11:53 PM to be exact – you are still in the Academic block and ceaselessly trying not to miss the midnight deadline for a class group project and at the same time keeping your subconscious mind alert about the pre-reads you have for next day’s schedule that has an early morning lecture on Statistical methods for decision making and Financial accounting.

TGIF? Nah, not for a B-schools student. (Now I know why corporates crave for Fridays)

But all this seems lame and off-centre without the most important ingredient in this recipe for what I call the ‘B-school Khichdi’ – “The almost ready future Manager”.  Yes, the My B-school herd has been the most entertaining and the most Heteroscedastic (Prof. Bharadwaj, please forgive me for the usage) bunch of individuals. Ok, a quick recap – Heteroscedasticity refers to the circumstance in which the variability of a variable is unequal across the range of values of a second variable that predicts it. Thank me later.

These people have made life interesting and I would be irreverent if I don’t mention the kind of people I have encountered here. So, in no particular order, let me first introduce you to:

  • The Future CEO. No, the batch’s current CEO. PGPM batch of 2018 knows who that is. This person is extremely good at everything without being the best at anything. We all know the phrase – “Jack of all trades and Mas…” (Just kidding. Or am I?) Talking of class participation, this person speaks regularly and intelligently in class without ever saying anything remotely controversial. Diplomacy is the word!
  • Ok sorry. I am getting ahead of myself – In economic theory, and also in lay man’s opinion, there is a notion that whatever goods and services are provided, they must be paid for by someone – that is, you don’t get something for nothing. As Prof. Himadri would say, “There ain’t no such thing as free lunch”. Or as I abbreviate it, Tanstafl.
    But we sure have “Free- wait for it-loaders”. These are the clever ones. They know the knack of delegating responsibility without giving the slightest notion that part of the onus is on them too. But we all sure have a lot of things to learn.
  • Moving on, we have the ‘Friend-setters’ who have continued their trendsetting attitude of being jovial and cordial with everyone. But there are also people from the exact bipolar end.
  • The Solitary Reaper – No, that is too optimistic a phrase for this person who thinks the world is an illusion and human interaction is a mystery. William Wordsworth would never want me to tag such a person with his beautifully written metaphor of a nightingale. The lone wolf would be a suitable phrase, yes. But who knows. Although termed aloof, they are the fiercest of friends and they have their own little world. They are focussed with full intent on one goal. Ok, too much philosophy. Apologies.

By the way, this ‘One goal’ theory brings me to the most important subject of discussion that any B-school has to offer – Placements.

Needless to say, even as I am drafting this, the Pre-Placement preparation scenario is in full swing and it never ceases to give jitters as soon as a JD from a firm that is offering jobs is released. But the most dominant part of this preparation has to be the “Group discussion” prep and it is hilarious at times.

I hope the PlaceComm doesn’t throw me as an outcast when I talk about the observations I have made in these sessions. The observations are actually on the participants. So I think I am safe.

Every group discussion (I’ve observed) has these. And I am one among them (so much for modesty). Here’s a broad categorization of the four typical characters I have encountered in GDs so far:

  • The “Know it all” sort – The genuinely, just, ridiculously smart person of the batch who often brings up unusual and weird (yet relevant) opinions on the table during a discussion. This person sure has a way of getting noticed, for the right reasons. Sadly, all we can do is look up to him/her.
  • The “I agree with you” sort – Always finishes the other person’s sentences and adds the aforementioned phrase. Seldom has unique points but vehemently participates nonetheless.
  • The “Search engine optimist” – This person has gone through that One link on the internet (Invariably the first link that pops up on a basic google search. No matter how remotely irrelevant the current topic of discussion is, this genius will try to bring in some fact or figure from that One link
  • The “Silencer” – The loudest noise this person makes is from his pen when he is scribbling stuff during the initial two minutes that are given to gather ones thoughts. This person has all the right points to discuss, but fails to bring them out in speech. Definitely noticeable when the group discussion is a fish market.

There are innumerable memories that are etched on our minds since the past four and a half months and I am sure a lot more is in store for us as we head on to the placement season with vigour and zeal.

Godspeed!

Author: Samuel Johnson

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Celebrating the 80 Years of Dr Bala V. Balachandran

It was the day of Guru Purnima when we were to meet the founder of our prestigious institute, Dr Bala V. Balachandran and it was an honour to be with him to celebrate his 80th Birthday on this auspicious day. All 270 students on campus were extremely excited to be the first ones to welcome him here in India. The campus was bussing with hyperactivity, students were preparing for the cultural event in every corner of the campus with never seen before passion, and kaleidoscopic colours of ethnic dresses could be seen everywhere. The entire aura of the campus was exuding enthusiasm as we were looking forward to celebrating our Guru’s birthday on the eve of Guru Purnima.

The amphitheatre had massive arrangements to make the upcoming evening etched in our hearts forever. A great stage was setup with a potpourri of decorations, lights and cameras, and each one of us was instilled with delight to welcome our founder with sparkling energy and zest.

Everyone was spellbound when he finally arrived. The energy that he has even at the age of 80 is something you’ll have to see to believe.

The evening started with birthday greetings given by great dignitaries and our dear faculty members. The heart touching poem on the journey of Dr. Bala written and recited by our very own professor, Dr. V.P. Singh awestruck everyone present in the amphitheatre. This poem was all about struggle and challenges faced by Uncle Bala and how he managed to overcome all the challenges to shine bright like a star. In the words of Uncle Bala, “A great aptitude with a good attitude takes us to a higher altitude” and he has gone way beyond the extra mile to prove it.

Next, it was time for students to showcase their talents for which they had put in a lot of effort, taking out time from their busy schedules and practising rigorously to greet Uncle Bala. There were some fabulously mesmerising performances comprising of dance, drama, singing and the stage was completely on fire. The energy of the Great Lakers didn’t end here, we had a spectacular flash mob where all the students joined and performed an amazing random act.  We also had an electrifying power-packed dance performance which was a mix of Bollywood, Bhangra and Fusion. I really enjoyed being part of the flash mob and the group dance performance. Not only did we had relentless practise sessions (helped me lose some weight as well :P), but also learnt so much from peers, made great friends and had the most memorable time of our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

Uncle Bala was fascinated and spell bound by the amount of energy and creative young talent we have at our institute. He gave us his blessings and sang a beautiful song for all of us. It was an unforgettable moment for everyone in attendance. All his teachings and inspirational words have motivated us to move ahead and achieve great heights with a positive attitude. The heart-felt memories of this day would be cherished by us forever.

Last but not the least, we all wish that you keep on climbing the ladder of success and keep on inspiring us for many more years to come. Wish you an amazing year ahead, Uncle Bala.

Author: Sakshi Khurana

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

The Great Lakes Approach to Learning Microeconomics

The Great Lakes Approach to Learning Microeconomics

The concepts of microeconomics are the driving force behind the key personal and business financial decisions that we make in our daily lives. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the core fundamentals of microeconomics via experimentation rather than through mere theoretical observation. Coming from a technical background, my concepts of economics were, let’s just say, a bit blurry. But, I and many of my classmates who share the same academic and industry background learnt the entire concept of Microeconomics in a matter of days through experimentation.

The Micro-Economics project of Term-I at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon was very different. As part of this project, the batch of 120 students was divided into groups of six and every group had to start a business inside the college campus. The business could be anything from product manufacturing and home & personal care to food delivery and miscellaneous services. Our investment cap for the business was established at INR 500 and initially it seemed impossible to start a business under that amount. But all the groups then started analyzing the market, needs and demand of their target customers. Everyone did extensive market research before starting the businesses to understand the requirements and needs of their target market. Market research was done through questionnaires, by conducting interviews, taking suggestions etc. Every group collected the primary data about their prospective customers before starting the business. After the research was over, it was time to put it to use and execute the business idea. There were twenty groups and hence, twenty businesses. Some of these were SantaKaBanta (a soda point corner), Fortune Coffee (a small scale coffee house and coffee delivery service), IceExpress, DeliverIt, a Bhelpuri corner etc.

Our group started a business named “Need2Home.” It was a delivery business in which we delivered anything and everything that is required by the students on a daily basis and could be bought from the nearby areas. On day 1 we designed our team’s pamphlet and distributed those among the students and staff members. We then started taking orders. Initially, we didn’t get many orders and most of the orders that we did get were from immediate friends. But, slowly our business started picking pace and after 2-3 days of providing impeccable services, we became quite famous among the students. We enjoyed managing all the important aspects of running a business like marketing, operations and maintaining balance sheets. Although it was a project of Microeconomics, we applied the knowledge of all the subjects that we had learnt in Term-1 of our course.

We had quite a free hand when it came to experimenting with our business. We (i) fluctuated the price of the services depending upon the market conditions (ii) reduced the profit margin (iii) made demand forecasts etc. Initially, we had kept a higher profit margin but due to severe competition from another team, we had to lower our margins. However, due to this, we managed to secure a large number of orders and as a result also managed to increase our sales figures substantially. And yes, we had a competitor in this small business space. We also felt threat from Amazon, Flipkart and other e-commerce entities because, as a small scale business, we did not plan on entering the online marketplace.

The Happy Customers!

Altogether, it felt like having a real business. By the time the project got over we earned more than INR 5000 in revenue. Considering the fact that we invested about 100 bucks in the venture, it was a tremendous achievement.

Finally, we had to prepare a report based on the data collected from our business. We used all the basic concepts such as demand equations, curve, cost function, profit maximization, regression analysis and demand forecasting techniques to prepare the business report.

This project helped us in the following ways: (i) It broadened our vision towards the various business dimensions, (ii) It helped us understand the concepts of Microeconomics, and, (iii) it gave us the ability to realize and overcome the challenges in business world.

It was truly an extensive and amazing learning experience and we enjoyed every bit of it. I believe such projects help a lot in practical understanding of the theoretical concepts and we are extremely grateful to our faculty, Dr V.P Singh Sir, and the college for providing us such wonderful opportunities to learn in a practical manner.

Authors: Akhilesh Tripathi & Shubham Singh

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon