- Hi, I am Sumeet Jangir, a Chartered Accountant and an MBA graduate from IIM Udaipur.
- I was born in Bheerana village in Sikar District, Rajasthan, India.
- Growing up I loved accounting and always wanted to be a junior accountant (not a CA), as I considered CA to be out of my league.
- Owing to the turn of events, I pursued CA and before I could even qualify as one I was selected at IIM Udaipur for an MBA.
- Here’s my story of deciding to do my MBA while I was busy with CA articles and how it completely changed my life.
Back story: Why CA?
I was in school ( class 12th) preparing for exams when one CA coaching institute came to our campus for a talent hunt exam. I was not interested in taking it but I gave it a try and did well.
They explained the CA qualification and the career path and I was sold on it. To add, they also offered a discount in CA coaching fees. I asked my father for his opinion, and he gave his approval. This is how I started pursuing my CA.
I remember the day of my CPT results came. One of my cousins called me and said “congratulations Sumeet!”. This was the first time someone congratulated me in English.
“Haa… Congratulations!” with a joyful smile on my face, I replied.
I studied in a Hindi medium government school, so the journey of English was challenging.
CA requires lots of effort to be a top or above-average student. For me, it was a similar experience; however, I could manage it well with proper planning.
Deciding to do an MBA from IIM during my CA articles
For my articles, I moved from my small village to a bigger city, Ahmedabad (India), in April 2013.
One day I passed by a majestic campus with red bricks and for the first time, I came to know about the IIM Ahmedabad campus.
I enquired more about it, and my principal from my CA firm motivated me to pursue an MBA from IIM. He explained the nature of this course and the potential benefits of how good the program is.
Fees for MBA are higher, so that was my main query as I was not in a position to afford them. But he suggested that I try a study loan.
I decided to visit the campus and interact with people there. I went to the IIM A campus on a Sunday, but the security told me that it was closed. I went again on Tuesday, but he told me that I need permission to visit the campus. So, I went back home and applied for approval.
I finally got an appointment and was in awe of how it looked inside. It was an environment that I had never seen before. I loved it!
I interacted with some students there, and they explained the nature of the course, method and rigor. As an 18-year-old, I had made up my mind that one day soon I will also apply to IIM Ahmedabad and pursue an MBA.
Preparing for CA finals and CAT exams along with articles
Fast forward, after working as an article assistant in Auditing for almost a year, I was sure Auditing is not my area of interest; I found that my skills would add more value to corporate finance functions. This made me more determined to pursue an MBA immediately after qualifying my CA exams!
My CA final exams were due in November 2015, and so were my CAT exams in November 2014. To get into a prestigious college like IIM, one needs to pass the CAT exams.
I made a study plan for two years and decided to prepare daily for both the exams.
In April 2013, I started my CA articles and in July 2013, I started my CA final exam prep along with my CAT preparations from secondhand books.
(With my saved articles stipend, I ordered some second handbooks online and also bought a Dell tablet.)
I found self-studies more efficient as nine to ten hours of office home lifestyle was challenging.
Practice is key in CAT exams; I also did free mock tests online and watched YouTube videos with my 2G network.
Selected at IIM Udaipur…before passing my CA exams
I gave my CAT first attempt in 2014, but could not score much. I practiced again and gave it a second try in November 2015.
In January 2016, CAT results were announced, and I got an invitation for interviews from all the new IIMs. I was offered admission in IIM Amritsar first, later IIM Udaipur also shortlisted me, I eventually selected Udaipur.
By February 2016, my admission was secured with IIM Udaipur, however, here is the twist, I was yet to clear CA Final Group 2 exams (I had cleared only CA final group 1 previously!)
I also had to start my MBA in June. So I made up my mind to use the time in between – March-June for my CA Final exams.
In March, I started the CA final group 2 and had only two months to prepare as the CA exams were in May.
Just after the exams, somewhere in early June, I started my MBA at IIM Udaipur.
As destiny would have it, by July 2016, the CA Final results were declared and I passed the exams. I was officially a CA!
Needless to say, I was so excited to share with the entire MBA class….dreams do come true!
Questions I get asked often.
“How was your experience of taking a two-year gap and spending so much for an MBA?”
I won’t consider it as a gap. It is an entirely different experience. It gives you added qualities that professionals need.
It is like preparing a product as per the requirement of the customer rather than manufacturing something and finding buyers for it.
It was fun. I was concerned a bit initially because most people around me were smarter and spoke good English. But gradually, I adapted.
“What is the interview process at IIM?”
The process starts once you get the interview invitation:
- You have to attend the interview and write an assessment test
- Interview invitation criteria are different for all IIMs
- There is a comprehensive score generated, and admission is offered based on your merit
The interview process was simple. It is conducted in four to five major cities only. You have to appear for a short essay writing test for 30 minutes and then proceed for a personal interview taken by senior professors. They asked friendly questions about why I wanted to do an MBA and what inspired me.
“How was your MBA journey?”
Month 1: I could not understand anything. I was in a class full of intelligent people. Things were so fast and required a lot of hard work.
Month 2-3: Some friends were made based on the study groups and my roommate.
Month 4-6: Assignments, exams, competitions and then started the summer internship campus.
Month 7-9: Campus placements were done, new semester, new subjects and new challenges.
Month 10-12: Rural immersion program of two weeks to live in rural areas and understand how other people live. Preparation for summer internship started.
Second-year was different: A new class, new section, new subjects, cultural fests, campus competitions, outings, late-night assignments, campus placements and farewell.
Second-year also comes with responsibilities as you are a senior. You have to handle your junior’s questions and mentor them. You get assignments from corporates and volunteer for research at the faculty.
“How does one fund an MBA at IIM?”
If you have an IIM admission letter, you don’t need to worry about funds!
Banks organize camps on the day of admission. They provide loans on nominal rates without any collaterals which covers your tuition, accommodation, food and personal expenses up to 60K per year.
You can repay in 10-15 years, depending on the bank.
I decided to go for SBI because of its convenience. I had my bank account with them, so it was smoother to get the credits and repayments. Interest rates are more or less the same.
“When you completed your MBA, how did you start your career again?”
Well, I got an offer from campus and my job was in Jaipur. After two months, I got a good offer from a sister company in Dubai. The average package at IIM is 12-15 Lakhs. (It all depends on the company and the individual. IIM doesn’t guarantee you a high paying job; they can only guarantee top-class education.)
MBA is not a solution for an immediate salary jump; it is more about a long-term perspective for growth. It is not a race for money, but a life-changing experience.
I am an Assistant Investments Manager at a multinational investment holding company listed on the Abu Dhabi stock exchange.
“What advice would you give CAs and CPAs who want to consider an MBA?”
I strongly recommend an MBA after a CA qualification. It completes you and industry/recruiters like this combination.
You get to do things which you missed due to CA studies such as experiencing campus life. Your peers usually are smarter than you, so you learn a lot through cross teams. You get to work with international students as well.
MBA is a fun learning course; it opens up avenues for you and completes you personally and academically.
After studying for an MBA, I noticed a significant change in me – I was totally transformed! The person I was when I walked into IIM and the person I was when I left were two different people.
I made lifetime friends and we shared memorable experiences. I shared the colors of diversity and celebrated festivals. I submitted assignments at 2.00 am. I did weird things. I felt proud. All of these experiences were a life-changing journey.
Is an MBA for you? You have to answer this question depending on your career goals. It worked for me, the time and efforts definitely paid off!
Now It’s Your Turn…
Are you interested in doing an MBA or are you already doing an MBA? Would love to know your story.