MBA is about finding your own strengths and introspecting on what you really want to achieve in life- Yogesh Patwari-IIMB-Class of 2008


Yogesh Patwari graduated from IIM Bangalore in the year 2008. He is a Commerce Graduate from St Xavier’s Kolkata and a Chartered Accountant as well.

He is currently AVP at Deutsche Bank, Kolkata, having worked earlier at Citi and HSBC.

He is an avid blogger. Do read his writings at

Snippets of his conversation with

1) Among the manifold career choices, what made you opt for an MBA at that point of time? In retrospect, how would you reflect on your decision?

I was a regular Calcutta Marwari boy, all set to complete my Chartered Accountancy (CA) and take up a career in Auditing / Accounting. It wasn’t until I cleared my CA Intermediate level in May 2005 that I had heard of this strange animal called CAT. A few of my friends from St. Xavier’s were planning to take CAT in November of that year, and I was completely fascinated by the concept of a competitive exam that tests your innate skills and not how adept you are at rote learning. I loved solving the mock tests, and gradually, in the process, found out more about the opportunities that MBA offers. I took CAT and XAT that year, more with an intention of testing the waters, but was able to clock a decent score. I received interview calls and finally, joined IIM Bangalore for their PGP Program (2006-08 session).

In retrospect, I am happy with the choices I have made.

2) What were the key aspects of your MBA exam preparation strategy, both for the written test as well as the personal interviews that follow?

I hadn’t really undergone a structured coaching process for CAT/XAT. Once I got the interview calls, I enrolled myself into a reputed coaching institute for GD/PI preparation.

3) How does the MBA course life transform an individual?

  1. Learning for each of us could be very different. One’s social (and professional) background, personality, and moral values have a major impact in the learning process. For me personally: Staying in a hostel, away from the comforts of my family was a new experience and made me a lot more independent. It also helped me come out of my shyness in public dealing
  2. I would put a lot more emphasis on the softer aspects of the MBA curriculum than what you actually ‘learn’ in the classrooms. Most of my personal learning was away from classrooms, during my interactions with the 250-odd batch-mates, each of them representing excellence in their chosen fields, and all of who had made to IIMB through a rigorous filtering process. With a majority of the batch having prior work-experience, interacting with them helped a fresher like me prepare for the life ahead. It is perhaps an intended outcome of the program that much of the ‘office politics’ I faced later in my professional life did not surprise me at all.
  3. While you are invariably thrown into a ‘rate race’ from day one, the course is about finding your own strengths and introspecting on what you really want to achieve in life. The earlier one realizes the futility of the ‘bell curve’, the easier it is to deal with the stress. The ‘real big bad world’ is simulated effectively to groom you for the future.

4) In your view, what are factors a student must carefully consider before deciding to embark on the MBA journey? (Aptitude, career aspirations etc.)

Be practical; evaluate your options in terms of pay-offs over a reasonably long period of time; don’t get carried away by the hype. What is good for me may not necessarily be good for you too.

5) In a nutshell, what would be your advice to future MBA aspirants?

Work hard. Have faith in your own abilities. Make your own path, take your own time, and don’t fall for peer pressure. Nothing is more important than your and your loved ones’ happiness (and while we are at it, what really is happiness?)

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