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Road to MICA: My Group Exercise – Personal Interview Experience

Road to MICA: My Group Exercise – Personal Interview Experience

It was early 2015, I think. That’s when I first heard about MICA. Honestly, I procrastinated a bit (read: 1 year) but I knew that this was the place I want to be. And in 24 years of my life, I can assure you that I have never wanted anything as much as I have wanted to get into this college for this specific course.
I attempted MICAT in 2016 and then again in 2017.
2 years, 2 CATs and 4 MICATs later I got a chance to appear for an interview.

A basic run through:

As of now, MICA gives you two shots: MICAT 1 and MICAT 2. Best of both scores are considered. After you get shortlisted, there are two main legs: Group Exercise (GE) and Personal Interview (PI)

I am going to share my GE and PI experience with an intent to give you an idea of how it went for me. (Hoping that if you’re planning to get in, it will help you)

Interview Date: 16th March, 2018
Place: Ashraya Hotel, Bangalore
Slot: Morning (8:30 AM)

 

Group Exercise:
Topic: The XYZ Bank is caught in a scam. Design a marketing campaign to repair the damage and gain the trust of their stakeholders
(The structure might differ from how it was but the central idea was the same)
Group Size: 6 Members
Duration: 30 minutes

We all decided to use three communication channels to promote this campaign.

– Emailers to all its stakeholders
– Hoardings and Social Media (Chart Paper)
– TVC  (skit)

Now comes the interview. This was one of the best experiences I have had so far and thus I suppose this would run a bit longer than you expected. Here it goes.

 

Personal Interview:
Panel: Dr Ruchi Tewari, Unidentified (M) – probably from the industry, Unidentified (F) – she was in my GE as well
Duration: 40–45 minutes

I don’t recall who exactly asked which question so I will address every Question with a Q and Answer with an A

//

As I entered the room, I was greeted with smiles. I asked for their permission to sit and as soon as I sat I was asked a question.

Q: So, Aditya, 30 months in Wipro. What were you doing there all this time?
A: I was working as a security analyst but I have recently resigned since this is not what I want to do.

Q: Okay, so what are your plans now and how are you going about it?
A: I have recently got a job offer from a Media Agency and I am serving my notice period right now. I am clear about the field I want to get into which is also the reason why I am sitting here.

Q: Then why did you go with Wipro?
A: When I graduated from my college I had a job in hand and I was confident that I don’t want to get into my field (IC). I didn’t want to go for a Master’s degree just for the sake of doing it. I was 21 years old then and Wipro had a 1-year bond. So, I decided to invest 1 year and actually see how the industry is from the inside. I dedicated 1 year to it and then realized that as much good I am in what I do here, I don’t want to do this all my life. So, I started freelancing in Marketing and Content Creation during my after-office hours. I did that for almost a year. From this, I gained enough relevant experience to be taken seriously by recruiters and then started applying for jobs in January 2018.  I got a job by February end.

Q: What all were you doing as a Freelancer?
A: I was working as a content writer for an independent journalism platform for 4 months, I started performing poetry and then co-founded a spoken word poetry initiative. Then for a year, I was working as a Brands and Events Curator for The Project Cafe, Ahmedabad.

*The Panelists knew about the cafe and so they asked me more about my role there. I gave them a run through of my JD and KPIs. This conversation went for about 4–5 minutes.*

Q: What are some of the difficulties that you faced within the team? How did you resolve them?
A: I come from an art background. You see, I was scouted by the cafe for the role after we (Povera) collaborated with them for an event. The major difficulty was to balance revenue and engagement models. How did I resolve it? You know how that quote goes – One for the Stomach, One for the Soul? (The panellists smiled at me). I did that. We started doing events that on one hand generated constant revenue and then ran engagement campaigns and events.

*The third panelist now changed the topic.*

Q: Aditya, What is your take on Brands coming up with alternative sub-products based on gender? Like Fair and Handsome/Fair and Lovely
A: I think it can work to their disadvantage. Take into consideration one of the most recent examples. Johnny Walker released an alternate Jane Walker to rope in their female customers. But by doing this brands are losing out on a majority of their audiences – LGBTQIA+ for example. Bifurcation in demographics might not always be advisable according to me.

Q: Then what about the bifurcation on the basis of age? Like Axe for Old Men and Young Men.

*I said something and they looked unconvinced. I then smiled and remained silent for a bit. The Panelists then said that you got the question wrong. What if it is backed by data?*

A: I am extremely sorry. If that is indeed backed by data then it deserves to be tested in the market atleast once.

Q: You’ve written here that you don’t like imposed gender roles. Which are some of the ads that you think were contributing to this movement?
A: I absolutely loved #ShareTheLoad campaign by Ariel and Touch of Care by Vicks. Those ads really made me think about my stance and if ads like similar message are produced on a regular basis; it can change the outlook of the society and how they perceive gender. (The panel was grinning at the end of this)

Q: How would you suggest a brand like Royal Enfield which is portrayed as masculine should do to be more inclusive?
A: I would ask them to invest in a TV series or branded content. For example how TVF did Triplings; they can get in touch with creators to come up with a series where say two women go on a road trip on a Royal Enfield. Also, as a matter of fact, with introducing Bikes like the latest Thunderbird X which moves away from the bulky image; they are trying to include a larger audience.

Q: What is your idea of Masculinity?

*I was confused here. I remained silent for a bit and made eye contact. Then asked them to please repeat the question because I didn’t understand the context.*

Q: What according to you is Masculinity? It doesn’t need to be an individual outlook but a collective one.
A: I think it is about being comfortable in your own skin and comfortable with your life choices. So, say if I am keeping this beard (pointing at my beard), it should not be a choice taken with the labels into consideration. It, according to me is being content with your life choices.

Q: You say that you don’t like gender bias. What will you do if you find out that the place where you are interning when at MICA has a sexist atmosphere?
A: Well, I am assuming that the place where I work will be a brand. I believe that there should be congruity in the image of a brand both externally and internally. So, it becomes my duty to point this out to the management/HR and figure out a way to curb it. Because, if something like this goes out, it will damage the reputation of the brand.

Q: What do you want to do in life Aditya?
A: At the risk of sounding mushy, I want to tell stories. That to me is my core purpose.

Q: So, how will MICA help here?
A: A story could be of a brand or an individual. I have laid out my preferences and Advertising & Brand Management or Media & Entertainment Management are the industries where I will be able to do the most of what I want to do. And it makes complete sense to me to come to MICA where both these opportunities are fostered under a single roof. Plus, the access to the network is something I am looking forward to.

Q: You perform poetry. How do you think Poetry can be relevant and tangible?
A: There are two poets called Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye who educate people through poetry. In India, Airplane Poetry Movement and Climber are organizing online classes to give people a tool to express themselves.

Q: Have you done anything in this field?
A: I haven’t done something on such a large scale but I did take a workshop on Introduction to Spoken Word Poetry in my School for Class 10 and 12 students. I still get emails from students which gives me immense pleasure because now they have an opportunity that I didn’t. Plus talking about tangible output, a friend of mine recently did a piece on the Farmers’ Protest…

Q: What is your take on that?
A: With such a large scale protest, it is evident that a problem exists. Quite recently Mr Fadnavis said that they are going to approve the demands. But I think that giving Loan Waivers is not a solution. It is just a temporary fix. Much like The Cobra Effect. But then again, I am looking at this from the place of privilege. It would unfair of me to come to a decision about it without knowing what the farmers go through every day.

*Ruchi Mam at this point smiled at me in agreement.*

Q: List out top 5 international brands for us. 

A: Walmart, Amazon, Apple, Virgin, Microsoft.

Q: Which one of these has really innovated and experimented in recent times?
A: It has to be Amazon. With Amazon Key – where you get an option to let them drop a parcel inside your house, to drone delivery, offline pickup stores, Amazon music and prime. They are trying to cement their stand in their biggest market right now – India.

Q: You have listed Instagram in one of your likes. How would you feel if Instagram discontinued from tomorrow?
A: I would feel very sad! Because I don’t use it just as a social media tool but a platform to promote my work. This will be a huge disadvantage for independent creators.

Q: What according to you is the difference between Facebook and Instagram?
A: I had given some facts and figures here and the primary intent of both platforms and the growth stats of both apps.

Q: Tell us one of the most embarrassing and insulting experiences that you have had. 

*I had got a little comfortable and was able to open up rather easily.*

A: I laughed and grinned a little. When I came to Bangalore for the first time, I got to know about this thing called an Open Mic. I decided to try my hand at it. So I went to a very popular place in the city and reserved a spot. When I went up there; I fumbled, spoke too fast and had selected short poems to perform. I was booed off the stage by 100 odd people and the host said some mean things.

Q: What happened after?
A: 
In the first 10 minutes I said to myself that I should stick to writing poems and have someone perform them for me. A month later I tried my hand at it again. Wrote a longer poem. Performed it at a Slam and came second. I gained some confidence and started performing regularly and in the same month, with the help of a friend, co-founded Povera – a platform for poets in Ahmedabad to perform. Give them the chance I didn’t have.

They looked at each other and came to a consensus that they didn’t have any more questions.

We shook hands and I left.

//

On 31st of March at 12:30 AM I got a message from a dear friend and my to-be senior stating that the results are out.

I made it.

//

My CAT percentile was 70.76 and my MICAT score was 43 (not scaled). This post is also written with an intent to tell you that MICA really believes in the capability of its students and not just marks. I was really scared, nervous and extremely stressed because I didn’t want just my marks to be the decider. And it isn’t.

PGDM-C 2018-20. <3

 

 

 

Why Facebook/Instagram should come up with a feature like LinkedIn Premium

Why Facebook/Instagram should come up with a feature like LinkedIn Premium

by Aditya Mankad 0 Comments

A few days ago I created a poll on Facebook and Instagram asking people if they would buy a feature on Facebook which would enable them to see who has viewed their profile and how many times. A whopping 80% of them said No. Which is well, understandable. But I beg to differ. I think if this feature does come, it can be groundbreaking.

Let me cut right through the chase.

Ever since Facebook hit the market, it has been used and termed as a social media app. And rightly so. Not only is it the most used social media app, but India now forms the majority of its user base. But like every other product, Facebook and Instagram has made a shift in its usage. While a lot of people still use it for its conventional intent – to “let people know what are you up to”; it could be proven that its usage has shifted from just a social media platform to much more.

It has become a normal habit for us to scroll through the feed. And when we see that carousel of “Recommended Friends”, It draws out that metaphorical inquisitive rat in us. Like almost a reflex, we either tap on a profile or scroll through until we find someone who crosses that threshold of inquisitiveness. Or say when you have come right from an event and you overheard someone’s name. It is more often than not that your hands automatically slides to that search bar and you use your “researching” abilities. Quite harmless. Right?

Not quite. While your intentions might be honest, there’s a huge set of people who don’t use it for the same reasons as yours.

“The level of online harassment in India is extremely concerning. Our latest research shows that more serious forms of online harassment including threats of physical violence (45 per cent), cyberbullying (44 per cent) and cyberstalking (45 per cent) are very high,” said Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager, Norton by Symantec, in a statement.

Source: Indian Express

Without delving into technicalities, let me explain what I mean by the premium feature. LinkedIn has this LinkedIn Premium feature which allows its users to see who has viewed their profile among other very helpful features.

In a similar manner, if Facebook and Instagram can provide this feature it would be incredibly helpful to a major part of its users (my opinion).

My argument is pretty simple. It is a two-part argument. Here it goes.

1) Privacy

It is not an alien concept to us of how pervert, offensive and sometimes dangerous people can be on Facebook and Instagram.

This for all you men, ask your female friends of how many creeps/hour do they encounter in their “Others” Inbox or their “DM Requests”. You’ll be surprised. And scared. And then feel disgusted.
Facebook and Instagram do have that option – Privacy Settings and Private Profile. Sure.
(Also, let’s make creeps/hour a thing?)

But that seriously affects your account’s reach. And while it might not make a huge difference to you if you aren’t a creator but if you are; man does it not give you a serious disadvantage.

Let me give you my own example. I have a public profile on Facebook and Instagram. I keep it public because it gives my posts and updates a better opportunity to float on the web. Last year I came across a profile which had stolen my and my friend’s pictures, poems and a few of my posts and was living my/my friend’s life (online). And that is super scary to me. If you are a creator, you know how much of a headache plagiarism is.

Point being, if there was a feature which would have helped me to see who is viewing my profile; I could have reduced the damage.

And this applies to every artist and creator. This feature can genuinely help you to control plagiarism and maintain that privacy without compromising.

Even if you remove that aspect, this can really help you to post things you want to post without worrying about creeps. Just block ’em if you find them suspicious.

2) Reach

Social Media is changing. Everyday. And it is difficult to keep up when the rules change. Facebook and Instagram recently changed their algorithm which can be a small hiccup for medium and large scale brands. However, if you are a small scale brand or an independent artist; Iceberg Alert!

While there have been some major changes in the algorithm; here are two things are very relevant here:

  • The updates from pages will show less on your feed
  • Pages will require to push ads, put relevant content – regularly to keep up

If you’re doubting that this will affects brands then let me show you the result of a small survey by Buffer Social

social media stats about Facebook

This will have two major repercussions – YOUR updates – posts, videos, live videos, etc will have chances to appear more on others’ feed and if you are not too comfortable with ads or don’t have a budget for it yet; your page is going to take a hit.

Entertain the possibility of this feature:
What if you knew who was looking at your profile? Would it help you as a creator?

Everytime I come back from a show, within 24 hours I upload a video of my poem or a piece. This is the perfect time to do so because not only you’re engaging your followers but are also giving a relevant update to the new-found followers. You’re giving them what they probably came for.

Probably.
Because, you don’t know much.

Who are they?
What if there was a chance to know?
Would you take it?

Do you know how people say I was at Right Time at the Right Place.
Well, what if there was a way to show The Right thing to The Right person at The Right Time.

Won’t it give you a clearer idea of who your audience is but also insights on how to target them?
If used properly, this feature will arguably give better results than Facebook Ads.

There, I rest my case.

Note:

This feature won’t make much of a difference to you if you’re just using it for socializing (which indeed is its primary purpose).

It would be better if there was a provision in this feature that the users who have opted for it will have an indication of sorts on their profile. Thus, saving that inquisitive metaphorical rat an embarrassment without affecting your cause.

There’s no doubt that it has its cons. This will change the face of social media marketing. Question is, Do the Pros trumps the Cons?

You tell me.

Image Source
Why Sarahah works.

Why Sarahah works.

Quite recently we have found our timelines flooded with screenshots and status’ about sarahah.com. A few months ago a similar wave was created by famously infamous sayat.me

For a week I have been trying to avoid sarahah and go seek attention and validation in the conventional way – social media platforms.

Well, that’s true. No? Isn’t the core intent of a boomerang, an Instagram Story, a Facebook Live, A Hashtag, A Snapchat message, A YouTube video, to seek attention? Isn’t that the purpose of social media? To spread moments all across the web so that they can trace back to you and form an image of you (that you want)?

I am not at all saying that it is a bad thing. (It could be though).

While platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc indirectly cater to the need of validation and attention; platforms like sayat.me, sarahah.com, AskFm (I don’t know much about this though) directly scraps the BS and puts forth the naked need of validation. No?

I was sipping coffee today (trying very hard not to put an Instagram story about it) and thinking of why these platforms work. If you are unsure if it works or not; here’s some data:

 

sarahah- google trends

Note the surge in search for sayat.me and sarahah.com in past 90 days. There are multiple instances where sayat.me has surpassed twitter.com and almost has more hits than Instagram.

 

And sarahah.com clearly wins the race (atleast for past week).

Moreover, it has 5 Million downloads on Play Store.

So the question comes (as obvious as it can get) –

Why is it so popular?

With some time on my hand, need for attention and some curiosity – I decided to write about it albeit give my opinion on it.

Here are a couple of reasons:

 

  • Anonymous Opinions FTW!

When someone we can see, stalk (over social media) and interact with, gives us feedback, we instantly co-relate that opinion to their personality traits and their image that we have built up in our minds.

The importance of an opinion is always measured on a scale of how much value that person holds in your life.  We know for a fact that opinions are always measured on a relative scale. Scale being the person’s competency on that matter.

To simplify this – I would take the opinion of an established writer on my poetry more seriously than I would take a 10-year-old kid’s opinion.

Now, with anonymous comments; the scale disappears. We don’t have a scale to measure how much that person matters to us.

Hence, we treat anonymous opinions with utmost urgency. Which is why we give a LOT of fuck about what they say. Which is why we share those opinion and justify ourselves. See, the point is that with that we risk tearing the mask we have so carefully stitched. But we still do it because, for all we know, these could be the very people for whom we wore the mask in the first place.

What I mean is,

ANONYMOUS OPINIONS CREATE URGENCY.

 

  • The Bandwagon Effect

The bandwagon effect is a phenomenon whereby the rate of uptake of beliefs, ideas, fads and trends increases the more that they have already been adopted by others. In other words, the bandwagon effect is characterized by the probability of individual adoption increasing with respect to the proportion who have already done so. As more people come to believe in something, others also “hop on the bandwagon” regardless of the underlying evidence.

The tendency to follow the actions or beliefs of others can occur because individuals directly prefer to conform, or because individuals derive information from others. Both explanations have been used for evidence of conformity in psychological experiments.

What I believe is that it is also an extension of Fear of Missing Out. I think the Bandwagon Effect in this case also works because the need for staying relevant is too damn huge. (I could be wrong)

I am unsure of how much important the feedback is to people or how much it affects them. I have personally come across a lot of people are really bothered about these are going out of the line to justify themselves.

All that this is doing is feeding the need of giving a fuck. And guess what ya’ll? We do. We do give a fuck.
Which is why this works.

Peace out.

 

P.S. These are totally my beliefs. I am open to your views on this. Let me know what you think. And if you want to do so anonymously; here: adityamankad.sarahah.com (touché)

Do what you can’t – Casey Neistat

Do what you can’t – Casey Neistat

Yesterday a well-known internet celebrity called Casey Neistat released a video called “Do what you can’t”

What he essentially asks you to do is to challenge yourself.

Taking into account how popular he is; most of you might have watched it already.
If not; here.

There’s a reason why I am writing about this.
This website will complete a year in about one month.

Since that day, I have made religious efforts in working on new things. New projects. Learning other art forms. Starting something new. And I have been doing this for a year now.
Consistently, if not continuously.

The point is not to smear this on your face. And if it feels like that; consider it as one of those birthday cake that your friends/family smear. It is a friendly gesture. I want to grow. And I genuinely want people in my circle to grow. And this is a very selfish intent.

The more you learn; the higher the chances are of collaboration. And higher the success rate. Whose? Ours.

Let me justify that a little later.
Focus on what the gist of the video is.

There’s this quote from Pursuit of Happyness that fits perfectly.

You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.

 You might have met A LOT of people who told you that you can’t possibly do it.
10 months ago when I tried my hand at spoken word poetry for the first time; I sucked. BIG TIME. It was an Open Mic and I was a little humiliated. But thanks to this one quality that I have (shamelessness); I thought of giving it another try. But at that very instance, I felt like shit. I thought maybe I should stick to just writing poems and not perform them.

3 weeks ago I started a YouTube Channel. I’ll be uploading videos of my performances there. I’ve posted one video already. Here it is.

While I may have subtly promoted my video; the point I am trying to make is this:

The way I am performing in this video is way too better than my first performance.
I can still improve.
But I have been improving.

Now, coming back to the collaboration argument.

If there’s one thing that I have learnt during my stints at performing and organizing events; it is this: Everyone has one thing that they are passionate about and one thing that they excel at.

They work on in. And grow. They challenge themselves. Set targets. Consciously sometimes, subconsciously otherwise.

Collaborate with them. You know who wins? EVERYONE.

 

And, let’s face it; I am not saying anything new.

You know that practice makes you better.
You know that persistence is the key.

All you need to do is start.
So stop giving excuses.

DO WHAT YOU CAN’T.

P.S.

I consider myself as a multipotentialite; don’t know what that means? This TED Talk will help.
I am thinking of taking a challenge where I’ll try to learn a new thing every month.
Do what I think I can’t.

Want in?
Tell me in comments; we’ll figure something out. Let’s make this fun!

Nahi Chalta

Nahi Chalta

I cannot explain how important Gender Equality seems to me.

That’s right. I started with cannot.
I remember some English professor telling me that never start a speech or something you want to address to people with a negation.

But I did.
You know why?

Because negation appeals to us.
Let’s face it. As much as we want happiness; we feed on cynicism.

We want to do something about something.
But it’s too much work.

This is not a rant. I don’t want it to be that. But I don’t know if it will end up being that or not.

I have a sister. We’re twins.
I come from a family where gender equality has been a given.

Listen, I am not stating that everything is perfect.
I am saying that it is a little better.

Don’t believe for a second that we didn’t have restrictions.
But it was for both of us.

Maybe that’s why I cringe every time I see acts on the lines of sexism and gender bias.

I remember having this conversation last night while we were having dinner.
Kapil Sharma’s show was on the TV.
He must’ve passed a sexist comment maybe.

And as always,as if in perfect sync,
I squinted my eyes,tilted my head, pursed my lips and my teeth… they pressed against each other like long lost lovers.

I am sorry for dramatizing that whole thing. default setting that.

Yes, I am trying to make a point.

The problem is that gender bias has delved deep into our skins.
And as much as it hurts us, we have managed to make peace with it.

Heh. we’ve made peace with it. such an irony.
You know why I am saying that.

This chalta hai attitude is killing us.
You know what?

“Nahi Chalta”


Consider this as a preface. Over the month I will try talk on some topics which I think are important to be discussed. Let’s talk about them. But let’s not stop there.

There’s a fundraiser that has been started by me.
You all might be aware that Global Citizen India is giving free tickets to the Global Citizen Festival for someone who raises 50K in 30 days for the fundraiser.

Let me tell you, I am not doing this for the tickets. I won them already.
This is about addressing a larger, ongoing issue.

I would appreciate if you can go to my fundraiser at donate.
I donated 200 bucks.
Start small. But start.

Gender Equality is a Necessity. Help me raise fund

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