Students Speak!!!

Diksha Pahuja
Converted - IMI, IMT CAT 2017

Gautam sir encouraged all his mentees to leave all the apprehensions behind and share their story. After the first interaction, I was extremely comfortable discussing all my weaknesses and he helped me find a way to overcome each of them.

The sessions with Gautam Sir helped me to build up my confidence for the interviews. I got to know about various shortcomings in my body language. It kept me grounded and gave me areas to work upon every time I received feedback after a mock interview. I became aware of what I am right now and how to present it in the best way possible.

When I had my first interaction with my mentor, I was in shambles because of my poor score. In my head, I had terribly failed. I was utterly disappointed in myself and was on the verge of quitting my dream of MBA and going back to my hometown. As I went on to discuss all this with my mentor, he did hear out everything I had to say and made me realise what went wrong, how it can be corrected and what is best for me right now. He helped me to get out of my zone and bring back my focus. The activity of writing Autobiography gave me a much-needed boost and while discussing it with my mentor, he made me realise how little this failure is in my big life. I discussed my little improvements with my mentor as he believed in me more than I was able to believe myself. CL and my mentor made me feel valued and gave utmost importance to transform me into a strong-willed and a confident person, and not just convert a b-school.

I had scored terribly in the CAT exam and I was really upset about it. I even assumed that the faculty at CL would give most of their attention to the top performers and not people like me who didn't have the best of the calls. Clearly, I was very under-confident about myself.

I couldn't talk face to face with my mentor during the first interaction. I even blanked out while discussing my story as I was very nervous. However, he calmed me and listened to me very patiently and made me realise that the situation is not so bad at all. When my friends and family were sympathising with me, my mentor told me there is nothing to sympathise about in the first place and made me believe that all is well. This thing boosted my morale more than anything else. I stopped being harsh with myself because of my bad performance in one exam and started working towards what's next best thing for me. My mentor helped me to simplify my thought process and make it more logical. I felt more positive about not only my career but life in general. I could hold my head up and talk confidently with the interviewers, smiling all the way. It was because of my experience with my mentor that I was able to do all this and believe in myself.

One attribute that I liked the most about my mentor was that he is a great listener. He listened to each and every doubt that I had very calmly and never dismissed any of my queries as insignificant.

Also, he was very cool and broad-minded and didn't judge me for anything.

I think the PDP Program is brilliant and well structured. All the classes and one on one sessions were extremely helpful and relevant to our interview prep. The most important aspect which stood out was that we were not made to mug up our interview answers or that we weren't told to give a standardised answer. Honesty was continuously encouraged. We were told to refine our answers but never manipulate them. We were constantly told to dig up answers ourselves and present the best & most genuine version of ourselves.

Even before PDP, Shivku sir was constantly there to mentor me throughout the preparation phase. He took our doubts every time in spite of his busy schedule, motivated me and even helped me to make a study plan. Even in the classroom, every doubt of every student was properly addressed by all the teachers. The program not only made me interview ready but helped me build up my confidence and my personality. It helped me gain an insight into myself and have clarity about who am I and what I want to become.

CL has been a great learning experience for me. The teachers have been really supportive throughout. GP sir, Shivku sir were always there to boost my morale when low mock scores bothered me. Mock analysis sessions were quite helpful and helped me find my weak and strong areas. Not only teachers, even the staff at CL was prompt at addressing our queries. PDP Personalised helped me understand myself better and made me more confident. The constant support and guidance by my mentor helped me give my best in interviews. The personal attention and value given to each student, especially in PDP, is something I have never seen in any other institution.

Raveena Karjodkar
Converted - IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C CAT 2017

After my first interaction with Gautam sir, I thought I would not be able to open up to him because he looked like a strict person. But that changed a lot. He is, in fact, very comforting. In the first session, he wanted to know about my life story. He made me feel quite comfortable at points where I was not able to speak. He even told me his life story; so that I became comfortable. It was almost like we were talking like friends.

When I joined CL, it was Gautam sir, who took the first session. He motivated me a lot then and there. That played an important role, because many a time you doubt yourself; and start believing that you would not be able to achieve things.

Since I was in the final year, I had a lot of courses to complete, along with the preparations. There, he helped me a lot with time management; and gave a lot of examples from his personal experiences, which motivated me. He talked about all sorts of people-not only those who were doing well in life, but also those who had to face a lot of hurdles to reach where they have today. Those examples have remained with me ever since.

He told me that you have to write down the whole story of your life, from beginning till date. When I told him the entire story, he enlightened me by highlighting aspects of my life and personality that were unique. He also pushed me to think about how certain experiences have impacted me. He gave me tips on framing those experiences, so that they become presentable; as one needs to present one's experiences in a way that the person in front accepts them. He made me realize that I have actually achieved a lot in life.

I was confused about what is going to be asked in the interviews. I had the idea that the IIM interviews are very random; and don't focus on any single aspect. In one of my interviews, I was asked to perform drama on a formula, since I am from Mathematics background. It was very weird; and had it happened without me being counselled by GB sir, I would surely have panicked.

In my mock interviews, sir would ask me all sorts of random questions. He would ask me to study something; but would not ask questions from those topics! Instead, the questions would be from other topics. So, in a way, I was prepared for all sorts of surprises. He used to say, "You never know what the interviewers might ask".

Another thing he used to say was, "An interview hasn't gone very well if you have managed to answer all the questions. It is good if the environment is chilled out". He helped me here, as well. While I was scared of him during the mock interviews, making and keeping the environment chilled out made me feel much more comfortable in front of the actual interview panellist. I was like, what could go wrong?

Had I not taken the sessions with Gautam sir, the interviews would have been very different. I would have had a lot less content, and probably would not have been that confident. If he hadn't guided me on what to read and how to prepare, I would have had just bits & pieces in my mind, with an improper flow. Hence, I would not have been as confident as I was when I went there, knowing that, OK, I know at least these many things.

He is usually very friendly, but when he is taking the interviews, he changes his personality completely. That prepares you, because the panellists actually do that. It helped a lot. He grills you and pushes you to achieve a lot within the restricted time.

He was very accessible. When he would message me, I would, may be, reply the next day, because I am not a phone person. But, he would reply immediately. Many a time, when I wouldn't call him (like after my IIM-B Interview), he would call me and ask about my preparations. That is very rare in case of such a big institute, where people are mentoring so many students.

The program was very flexible and personalized. Apart from the personal meetings, the mentors were accessible by phone and mail. They would reply quickly; and hence, were really helpful. Depending on personal requirements, they would schedule sessions with other mentors, as well. In PDPP at CL, they don't waste your time; and were flexible in scheduling sessions-unlike some other institute I had previously joined, where, because they have taken money from you, they want you to attend all classes. Over here, I think it's more about content development than compulsory attendance, which is good; because I can make the best use of my time.

Damanbir Singh Sandhu
Converted: SIBM-P, NMIMS, MDI CAT 2017

My first impression of Gautam Sir when he was teaching a class was that although he was a great teacher, I'll get mauled if I ask him a stupid question. But once I had a chance to speak with him after he became my mentor, I quickly realised he is quite a compassionate and approachable person. I shared the transcript of every interview with him and he took time out to point out things that needed work and those that were good.

I found the sessions with Gautam sir extremely helpful. They helped me identify my motivations, my strong points and my weaknesses. More importantly, the approach to these sessions helped me engage and gain confidence in myself.

My interaction with my mentor was extremely fruitful for me. He helped me be at ease and then express myself. His suggestions were clear and I left these sessions feeling motivated to work towards my improvement.

Towards personality development, Gautam sir would hear my response out and give suggestion on how to be clear with my ideas and expression, which really helped. Towards confidence building, he put me at ease during his interaction so that I was able to express myself, which gave me belief in my story and I was able to gain confidence in it. Towards self-awareness, he heard out my story till now which in of itself was a self-awareness exercise. He then was able to tie my underlying motivations in my story, which helped me have clarity about myself as well.

As my story was a little different from others, Gautam sir helped me in expressing it in a clear, confident and coherent manner by telling me how I could summarise it, and what points of my life do I need to focus on. He also did tell me on which subjects of my graduation to focus on.

I liked his compassion and drive to really help me out, as well as the love for his work. He also has a considerate leadership style in motivating his mentees and guiding them towards a strategy that works for them. I was super nervous about this second stage because of the terrible profile I thought I had. I had graduated in 2014 in BCOM(H) with 63.5% and had no work experience as I had been studying and sitting for UPSC examinations all this time. I gave only one other PI interview with another teacher which I completely mucked up for precisely this reason. This was less than a week before my first call at Symbiosis, so I got together some friends with whom I had formed a group to conduct mock PIs to ask me the same problem questions. That really helped.

I sent a transcript to GB sir after every process, to which he would rate my performance and areas of improvement. I met him once more, and the meeting too was on the same lines. What I felt was both meetings were geared on making me feel "I'm alright" when I go into a PI process. I feel like this was exactly what I needed.

Two and a half months on, I have converted all the calls till now, Symbiosis, NMIMS and MDI. I am very grateful to have come to CL to help me with this goal. I never expected that in such a big organization, things would be done with so much love for the process itself. To my teachers and mentors, I am eternally grateful. I hope that what I have received, I pay it forward, from you guys.

For me, the PDP Personalised program was a huge boon. It puts the students at its centre. Also, the teachers involved in it are in love with what they do and it contributes to its success and also motivated students like me who are involved in it. The best aspects of it for me are its Student Centricity, Faculty Engagement, Mentor-Mentee model and the Concept classes. It has been an experience that's going to stay with me forever. The Concepts classes were unlike any classes I had been in before in terms of my personal engagement in these, the clarity of the teachers who conducted them and their latent long-term impact on my approach towards the 2nd stage of the admission process and on my thinking.

Every aspect of the programme has been so beneficial for me. The questions in my Handbook, the Ikigai concept, and most of all my mentor, Gautam Bawa sir. I was so nervous before PI1 with him, but it turned out to be an experience which gave a great clarity. I had already got some clarity from writing the "Who Am I" essay which I cannot fathom why is not a more widely used tool, or something I was not aware of.

For my life beyond the immediate goal of the program, the session has helped me be self-aware, identify my motivations, my good qualities and my shortcoming. It will help strategise towards working for what I am passionate about and also identify how I need to improve in order to get there.

Being a CL student has been a boon for me. Over and above the academic learning I took from this place, I got to see what can happen when people in an organisation get together to work towards what they love to do. This experience is what I would like to emulate towards things I will be involved in, in the future.

Divyanshi Chowdhary
Converted - IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C, IIM-K CAT 2017

It felt like Gautam sir wants to listen to know you better and is genuinely willing to help you figure "Your Story" out. My sessions with him ended up being discussions instead of interviews. The conversations I had with them, Bhavna and Gautam sir, made me realize that there are shortcomings in my story. I had the matter but maybe I was not putting my best foot forward. There were some rough edges that were very evident and could have let do a bad interview experience. I guess just having that realization well in time helped me tune myself better.

My interactions with GB sir were very helpful. He is very interactive and is willing to walk you through your doubts. His style helps you figure out your own solutions and hence gives you the confidence of believing in your own abilities. You can walk up to him with 20 different problems and 30 different analysis of those and he will help you find your own simplest matrix of 2x2 amongst them. And to your surprise, you would have figured the answer and it was not laid out on a platter. I think this is the approach that gives you the confidence to tackle almost anything that will be shot at you in those prestigious B school interviews.

It was just a plain simple exercise of building your story that helped me the most. I knew there are twenty ways of doing things but he helped me find the best amongst those. He is patient with your stories and doubts. He never judged me on the stupidest doubts of mine.

CL PDP simplified my doubts and helped me find the right answers myself. It's not something that is fed to you. It is an exercise and if you are determined then you will find your way.

Shourya Gupta
Converted: IIM-K, FMS, IIFT CAT 2017

"I choose to learn from the best. When it comes to learning about your own self and how you can use your own strength s to find out what you are really passionate about, Gautam Bawa is that person-he's skilful, humble, passionate, teaching from personal experience, and excited to show you the way. What he teaches you, it will help you improve your personality, not just during the course for interviews, but beyond."

Gautam sir was highly interactive and was easily approachable. He was of great support and help and guided me in the best possible manner. He also taught me to have a positive outlook towards life in a broader sense which is highly appreciative. The sessions helped me analyse my own strengths and weaknesses.

The PDP Personalized is of great help to crack interviews and improve your personality, most importantly. It was a fantastic experience and will miss my whole journey of CAT and interviews. It was of immense help and learnt things I wished to learn in a short span of time. Quite hopeful and positive for what lies beyond this.

Loved it! Was a great experience.

The foremost task given to us was to write your own biography. Which is when all the past seemed afresh and we were aware of ourselves even better as in day to day routine, we usually don't think what we are good at, what we are bad at and channelize the directions according to my profile.

The PDP Personalized is of great help to crack interviews and improve your personality, most importantly.

Personalized interaction with the mentors is the best aspect of PDP Personalized.

The Career Launcher is highly supportive in instant availability of resources. Also, highly adjusted schedules according to the suitability of the students.

Helped me to know myself better and now I know the areas I need to work on in order to excel in life. Also, how one must have a positive outlook in the most adverse situations.

It was a fantastic experience and will miss my whole journey of CAT and interviews. It was of immense help and learnt things I wished to learn in a short span of time. Quite hopeful and positive for what lies beyond this.

Loved it! Was a great experience.

Anjanay Saxena

I thank Career Launcher's PDP and SNAP+ XAT night classes programs for helping me structure this extremely chaotic time yet important of my life.

The journey with PDP has been nothing short of enlightening for me. From the very beginning, all the aspects of this program were carried out meticulously ranging from administrative tasks to content delivery. The idea of PDP was not to convert the calls (although that's the underlying objective of most students), but instead its all about finding your true self and polishing that identity to make it more presentable, without detaching from that true self. I'd like to thank my mentor, Mr Gautam Bawa aka GB, for being the ideal mentor in this journey. His guidance was thorough and accessible throughout the program. He squeezed out my life's story out of me and put it in a presentable, prioritized and structured way, that I could never have done by myself. This session was emotional yet powerful and was, in my humble opinion, what I'd primarily wanted out of this program. From form filling to mock PIs and discussions, GB sir was quintessential in me discovering myself and in helping me convert my best call: SPJIMR's coveted PGDM(finance). I'd also extend my gratitude to Mr Sujit and Ms Bhavna for conducting my PIs and giving me relevant feedback for improving my overall visibility and communication. I'd also like to bring attention to the timely work carried out by Mr Vaibhav Mittal on the administrative and logistical tasks and Ms Mehekka for clearing far-fetched doubts and presenting current affairs in the most lucid way possible. Telegram group is yet another takeaway from this program as it helped me learn and celebrate with everyone in this journey. I also made a few friends due to that with whom I'll stay in touch for the majority of my life. The bodhi group channel is aptly named for it was a brilliant knowledge source. From covering GDPI tips to daily news, it had it all. The PDP portal on CL's SIS was also very active and was helpful in booking slots for all my interactions with CL. Plus it was aesthetic. So that gave the experience a professional outlook.

Overall, this is a well-polished program with many knowledge points which are nicely synchronized and easily accessible. It helped me achieve my goal so I'd recommend this program to everyone aspiring to convert their calls through self-discovery.

Thank you Career Launcher. Not all coaching centres do justice to the word 'coaching'. You, on the other hand, bring fun to this and make the process worthwhile.

10/10 will recommend.

Madhurima Khosla
Converts: IIM K, SIBM Pune, SCMHRD, IMT Ghaziabad CAT 2017

I was slightly intimidated by Gautam Bawa Sir initially. His cool, confident and sarcastic demeanour made me a little hesitant to open up in the very first class. I often find it difficult to separate reality from a sarcastic remark and perhaps that was the reason. However, with more personal, one to one interactions my inhibitions went away and I was very much at ease with him. I very well remember how he listened to every story of my life that I related to him during the first interaction to which he listened to with great attention and involvement. He created a very comfortable atmosphere so I can talk about literally anything with him. This laid a foundation of trust which is very important between a mentor and a mentee.

All my sessions with Gautam Bawa sir were extremely helpful. The WAT session was extremely well conducted and gave some workable ideas on how to organize our thoughts.

My first interaction with Gautam Sir involved an analysis of my life in general so far, with great emphasis on my goal in life. He listened to my views and problems and not only expressed his opinions and solutions, but, related incidents from his own life and experience wherever he could in different contexts. One of the things during these interactions that Sir didn't categorically taught me but I learnt from him was being straightforward and being to the point. He never unnecessarily sugar coats things or ideas to make them sound better. He always expresses his ideas in the most concise yet lucid manner, as they are. Till date all my teachers and mentors have treated me like a kid, but, Gautam Sir treats his mentees as mature adults. This enabled me to get a minute glimpse of the behavior that shall now be expected from me. To take my own decisions and be quick and confident in them. After every interview, I used to message him my experience in as much detail as I could recall. He had been very swift in his response and pointed out areas where I could pay more attention in next interviews. After my Kozhikode interview went bit haywire I called him immediately and he very patiently listened to the entire rant and motivated me to be more optimistic.

My long-term goal/desire is to be in the education sector (preferably in university lectureship). However, the more obvious steps towards this goal after completing B.Com(Hons) is M.Com or fellowship programs offered by IIMs, which I was reluctant to pursue. Most of my friends advised me not to mention academics as my aim as it might involve loads of grilling during the interview process. I was pretty much confused myself. Gautam Sir instilled in me confidence by changing my perception. What I perceived as a problem he presented as a uniqueness in my profile. He advised and even helped me to chalk out a raw path towards my goal via the MBA program. With that, I became more confident of my answers. I was self-assured for 2 reasons. First, I didn't have to lie anymore and come with any made up or manipulative answer for my- Why MBA question. Second, I now had my path more or less planned which I could talk about confidently to the interview panel.

My overall cat percentile was 97.71 with both DILR and Quant 98+ but my verbal was 83.65. Due to a deficiency of 1.35, I missed out on many top B-school calls for which I was very disheartened. Sir had been very optimistic in this aspect as well, motivating me not think of the calls that never came and directing my energy and focus towards converting every call that I had.

I believe it was his easy-going manner that I found the best. He was very particular about punctuality in his sessions, that's one area where he can never be taken for granted. But his approach towards his mentees is extremely friendly. It's like talking to a very reliable friend who gives you an utmost honest opinion (and not always something that you want to listen).

PDP program has been structured very well. I initially found the exercise of answering questions about myself bit tiresome, but, I was surprised to across attributes about myself that I guess I wasn't fully aware of. The program and its exercise are created in such a way that I guess, we surprisingly end up answering 50% of our questions ourselves when we take a comprehensive analysis of our lie and achievements. It not only provided me with an excellent mentor who helped me and answered my queries but, gave me an idea on how to handle my questions on my own by making me more aware of myself.

I believe it was being part of common groups that helped a lot. I have already talked about how WAT and GD sessions were well conducted and added much to my learning. Though we had been assigned a specific mentor the entire team of mentors was available and very easily approachable.

PDPP is a program that doesn't merely helps you, but, makes you efficient and capable to help yourself.

Taraana Talwar
Converted: IIM-A, IIM-B, IIM-C CAT 2017

He is the nicest yet brutally honest person I've met :P (So what I mean is, he will give you a reality check but it will have a positive and motivating impact on you, not a negative one), always available for the silliest of doubts we had, very encouraging and engaging (So you want to listen to and follow what he says). The best quality he has is that he is VERY punctual. (So am I, and I rarely find this quality in people these days).

Gautam sir was VERY interactive and always ready to help. He used to listen to every interview experience also very patiently as I would rattle on and was always there to calm our nerves before the Interviews.

I am an under-confident person and sir really helped me gain my confidence by pointing out my strengths and how I can capitalize on them at interviews and in life, in general. The Mocks interviews with GB sir were like a constant wake up call. When I would run out of ideas or answers, or when my answers lacked substance, like I did, while identifying my weaknesses, sir would help point those out from the essay we had written or the conversations we would have. He helped a lot to even articulate our answers better and helped identify the right things to say.

The best thing about him would be that whenever he would give advice, he never made it sound boring or preachy, he puts it across in a way that you want to listen to him and actually follow it. That's a rare trait to possess. I can feel the difference in the way I communicate, my articulation skills and my confidence level.

Also, Anand sir's mock interview and the newsletters helped a great deal.

Summing up, PDPP exceeded expectations. Shall recommend it to anyone who comes back for my opinion.

Garima Malik
Converted: MDI, IIM-L, SIBM-P, NMIMS CAT 2017

Initially, I perceived him to be arrogant and rude however later I realized I myself couldn't handle sarcasm or differing opinions well leading to the initial false perception. Gautam sir assisted me immensely and changed the way I perceive interview situations and myself. He is probably one of the most friendly and supportive mentors one can be associated with.

Being somebody who always perceived herself to be incompetent in terms of the ability to handle an interview and to end up clearing 4 interviews especially IIM L, I owe my entire success to the PDP sessions. Honesty and confidence about who I am helped me clear these interviews. Now, even though at times I do break down and get scared eventually I rise up with the confidence that I can deal with life whatsoever it throws at me. This is what the PI rounds did to me. I developed a friendly bond with my mentor and felt comfortable sharing the varied issues and self-built problems which came up during the entire interview process. My mentor was very interactive and I felt relaxed and confident after obtaining his guidance and suggestions.

His understanding nature, enthusiasm, positivity and his ability to stay calm often relaxed me while interacting with him during stressful periods, is what I like most about him.

The PDPP an amazing program which assisted me in boosting my confidence and personality. I learnt a lot about my own self during the interactions with my mentor and self-awareness helped me in optimizing my strengths during the interviews. Extending life lessons while building up the aptitude to deal with interviews, I feel the best aspect of the program is the entire program itself –the mentors, the structure and the group sessions. The entire faculty was amazing. I had joined doubt classes and Shashank sir helped me a lot. Besides that Rekha ma'am also assisted me whenever I faced management related issue.

Arshiya Tawakley
Converted: IIM-L, SPJIMR, IMT Ghaziabad CAT 2017

Initially, I was very intimidated by him. I was a nervous wreck in PI - 1 and wasn’t able to express myself. I didn't communicate with him properly before my first interview. Things changed when he followed up with me after that and asked me the problems I had faced. We spoke at length about my issues with the interview and the PDP.

My opinion definitely changed after that day. He immediately addressed all my issues. I told him the kind of person I was and that I responded better and worked harder with encouragement rather than negative motivation. He changed his approach with me completely the next time I went. He told me about his MBA journey and it comforted me to know that everyone's journey is similar and equally difficult. Every interaction after that was a fruitful one. Hats off to GB Sir for moulding himself for his mentees.

The sessions with him were thought provoking. They made me think about my career goals and aspects of my personality that I would like to put on display. Also, ways of moulding my answers so that I align with the college's philosophy yet stay true to mine. It also gave me an insight on how my expressions and body language are perceived by others. I think this is integral for interviews.

I had a tendency to get nervous as the interview progressed and sir made me aware my how my expressions gave it away and sometimes could be misread. He also recognised that I had a tell when I was nervous and told me ways to combat these issues.

The thing I like most about GB Sir is that he doesn't sugar coat things at all. He gives it to you straight and I really appreciate that. Sir is like the mirror you need to look into for a reality check before the process begins. I believe you need to have the ability to showcase your strengths and recognise your weaknesses and work on them.

I think PDPP is a great program and does wonders in the limited time. Apart from the personal interactions, which in my opinion are fundamental to your growth, the NewsCanvass newsletters were extremely helpful. So were the concept sessions with the other mentors.

Also, I don't think I can do without mentioning Vaibhav Sir. He was great at accommodating all my needs because I had a lot of commitments at work. He also chased me to attend Mock GDs and WATs which, in hindsight, were beneficial.

Overall, I'd say it was a good journey now that I've reached my destination :p Honestly, I can sum up my experience in one phrase - Reality check. When I went to GB sir, I had a long list of weaknesses and far fetched goal. I was truly unaware of my strengths and versatility and GB sir not only made me realise it but showed me how to utilise it to my advantage. I think all of us have the tools but the PDP trains you to use them properly.