Sanjiban Dutta

IIM is like a dream for every MBA aspirant in India. I was not an exception. It was a desire two years back, which gradually built up into a dream as it continued to elude me. I performed pretty well in the mock exams although my preparation was not up to the mark. CAT went well, and I fetched an above-average 99.04 percentile. But I was shocked when I got just one call from the older IIMs – IIM Indore. The dream seemed distant and the lone IIM call was like a make or break for me. I attended a couple of mock GD/PI sessions conducted by the top-notch MBA coaching centers for the IIM call getters. Those sessions were real eye openers, which exposed my weaknesses and made me aware of the competitions that I am going to face in the GD/WAT/PI rounds. However, at the same time I was sure that these coaching centers would not help me much; I need personalized attention, as there are lots of areas to improve upon in a short period of time. It was then when I heard of Backspace from a friend and decided to pay a visit. I understood that very day that this was exactly what I wanted. The interactions between the Backspacians were pretty different from the so-called GD/PI sessions. There were role-playing exercises based on real-life situations, presentations by the students themselves and even going out and interacting with unknown people on the streets apart from normal essay writing and GDs on various topics. These activities actually help people to improve on their communication skills, reduce their inhibitions and build up the confidence required to tackle any real-life situation, which the interviewers might try to create. I would also like to mention about the one-to-one interviews that were conducted in front of all participants, which helps the interviewee receive diverse feedback and eventually different ways to tackle the questions. The whole concept of Backspace and its success in making people achieve their dreams owe entirely to Partha Pratim Das aka PPD. He is an extremely hard-working person who would manage everything very sincerely, and with utmost ease as it seems. He would always keep you updated with new tasks and constant reminders, which worked extremely well for a lethargic person like me. He would literally force you to attend as many sessions as possible with constant follow-ups and will patiently listen to all your worries until late in the night. Lastly, helping peers, which PPD always encourages will actually prepare you for the life that you are going to spend in the coming two years. That is in short Backspace and PPD for me. It has worked wonders for me and will surely change the future of hundreds of others who would join this place. You would realise the change within you; you would realise the potential within you to achieve the dream. PPD also taught me to handle failures well. One other interview or rather life trait which he taught me is to always wear a smile and shun aggressiveness. There is a thin line which demarcates Assertiveness from Aggression, and one should always be careful not to tread the wrong path. Thus there were a lot of other immensely useful lessons which I learned from my interactions with PPD.