18th May 2012 -> 3 seasons -> 6 programs -> 710 in GMAT -> XLRI The journey to XLRI might seem simpler above but only I and Partha (he refuses to be addressed as ‘Sir’) know the significance and effort behind each of the arrows. The journey commenced on the recommendation of one of my friends and I joined Backspace on 18th May 2012. At Backspace, we refrain from marketing and the success speaks for itself as students are the brand ambassadors. At that time, I was struggling with both writing and communication skills. In an era where students refuse to acknowledge the contribution of their mentors, on my first visit I was surprised to see two students, who had already made it to IIMs, sitting there, reading, and discussing. On that very moment, despite having enrolment in another coaching institute, I joined Backspace. I am a sceptical person especially when it comes to following advice and instructions, and multiple failures have added to that. Even after joining Backspace, I didn’t follow the instructions by word and spirit, which led to not-so-good results, twice. After that, I was contemplating on the idea of leaving the MBA dream and keep on working as usual. This also led to the lack of focus on my entrepreneurial venture which ultimately I had to close. Partha sensed that and offered me a scholarship through which I could join any of Backspace’s programmes for free for an entire year. And maybe because of that encouragement, I kept my MBA dream alive. On the suggestion of Partha, I started Preparing for GMAT and he made sure that I get a good score. I also promised myself that this time I’m going to prepare exactly as instructed by Partha. More than me he was adamant that I shouldn’t give up until my goal is reached. That’s why when I was delaying the essay writing he reminded me again and again and made sure that all submissions are on time. My first attempt in MBA essay writing was reprimanded completely but then with the feedbacks and continuous evaluation, I was able to submit quality essays which led to getting calls from all the colleges I had applied to. The biggest challenge during the journey was the interview preparation owing to my faltering communication skills. At some point of time when even I was apprehensive of my selection, Partha with his never-ending optimism and deep belief in self-fulfilling prophecies ensured that I remain on the right track. I was the person who got the maximum scolding and random tasks during the GD-PI session; initially I thought those were weird and used to feel bad sometimes, but now while connecting the dots I realise that it was a part of a well-thought strategy to remove the fear in me, to prepare me for the possible interview situations. This helped me in remaining positive and maintaining my composure and equanimity even in the most stressful of situations. The entire session is so meticulously planned- be it institute specific interviews and all sorts of eclectic questions that the panel may throw in the actual interview, mock GDs or numerous group activities, that it prepares the students for all kind of hurdles in the B-School admission processes. Even after the selection, he kept on guiding me on various things so that I can do well in college also. The different things that I learned there even during that short time, are helping me tremendously here at XLRI. The journey of Backspace is incomplete without the mention of some of the nicest human beings that I have ever met. During the struggling phase, Saket Bhaiya and Pradipta Da were always there to help and guide me. Backspace has also given many good friends and I’ll cherish the moments I that spent at Backspace, all my life. Thank you, Partha, and everyone for being there. Always a Backspacian!