The year 2020 had just begun, my happiness knew no bounds since I had cracked CAT after three months of self-preparation, and had managed to score a decent percentile. But destiny had other plans. Nearly a quarter of the year has passed and I am sitting at home right now, as my future hangs in uncertainty, due to the coronavirus outbreak. I appeared for some interviews and had others lined up, but the process has halted midway. I’m not even sure how admissions are going to happen this year. The year, which I thought will be the year to pursue all my dreams, to conquer the world, now seems to be the year of uncertainty and doubt!
I’m not the only one facing this uncertainty though. Time has paused for numerous students who had worked hard to be able to realise their dream of attaining higher education this year. Even if the situation changes and the admissions take place, given the recession that the world is bound to enter, will students or their parents be able to afford the fees now? A plethora of questions and no one to answer, apart from the COVID uncertainty, the anxiety regarding my career has deflated all my hopes and highs.
Admission Process going nowhere
The admission process for a given course should be uniform for all, agree? But as COVID-19 hit India at the most important point in the academic year, it has divided the admission process into a before and after. For the process to continue under lockdown, online interviews are being conducted. But certain parameters considered in final selection like writing ability test (WAT) cannot be conducted now. Therefore, some institutes have either scrapped it or have not issued any notification regarding it. But those who gave their interviews in February, before the lockdown came into effect, did take this specific test. So will its score be relevant to the process now? Or will the students who aced it lose out their edge because others didn’t get to take it? Nobody knows.
I am sitting at home with a decent CAT score under lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. I appeared for some interviews and had others lined up, but the process has halted midway.
“Since the scores were divided into WAT and PI (personal interview) in the offline admission process, we had a chance to perform exceptionally in one, if other parameters went bad. However, sticking only to an interview is somewhat demotivating because the day we began our preparation for CAT, we’ve been taught the strategies to crack the selections, keeping in mind the offline admission process,” says Somya Jaiswal, an MBA aspirant.
To Join Or Not
In the MBA world, competition, learning, and the race to grab the best placement start from day one. For a normal academic year, internship offers start rolling out in September, three months after a student’s joining. However, the World Economic Forum has already made it clear that the recession introduced by COVID-19 will be worse than the 2008 recession. Now, getting admission in most of the MBA institutes comes with a hefty fee to pay. How will students repay their education loan if they fail to grab a job post completing their MBA, given the economic uncertainty ahead? Hence we are facing a question not many students did before: Should we even join an MBA college right now? Will it make our job prospects better, or our finances worse?
I have been selected for a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management at a prestigious B School. But given the ongoing situation, visiting banks for a loan application is next to impossible. Moreover, after joining, there’s no surety that I’ll be able to grab an internship or even a job offer in 2021. Therefore, if I decide to take a drop year, what’s next? Should I take the CAT again? But am I ready to put the same efforts once again? Will I be able to beat the score that I got this time?
How will students repay their education loan if they fail to grab a job post MBA, given the economic uncertainty ahead? Hence we are facing a doubt not many students did before: Should we even join an MBA college right now?
This crisis has taught me how life is full of uncertainty and how all your plans can be of zero value even after you’ve put all your efforts into executing them. It was really difficult for me to convince my parents to allow me to pursue an MBA. And now, with every passing day, I feel my dream is getting farther away from me. And the worst part is; I have no control over the situation.
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The views expressed are the author’s own.