When I first embarked on the TAS journey, it was quite difficult to find information that could have helped me with the process. After quite a search, I stumbled across tYro’s blog much like Bilbo Baggins had stumbled upon the adventure of a lifetime in the Hobbit series.
I gave my GMAT in the month of September and when the registrations opened for the TAS In-House 2017 program, I promptly registered. The details of the process can be found on the TAS website – TAS In-House.
In the second week of February, the GMAT scores were announced. The long wait was finally over and I was happy that I had cleared the first hurdle. Ten days later a final shortlist was announced and on the same day, a mail from the TAS office arrived and we were given an application to fill out and submit by the end of the month. (2nd Hurdle cleared \m/)
The application is on the lines of a typical B-school application with questions on our mission statement, experiences with adverse situations among other things. Filling out the application is an introspective journey and I would suggest the future participants be prompt and start this journey as soon as the applications arrive. Once you are done with the introspection and the application, it has to be submitted to an SPOC from the local HR team. Review the application carefully before submitting. A good application creates a good first impression, which I believe can help in the later stages as the panel now looks at your applications at the presentation round as well.
Another agonizing week later, another mail arrived with the news that I had made it to the GD & Presentation Round. We were given the dates and the case study which we had to present.
Note – Progress to presentation round is only once you have cleared the GD round. Even if anyone thinks that the odds are stacked against them, I would still suggest preparing the case study properly. Even if you don’t clear the GD, you would have gained some good insights into going through the case study. J
My GD took place in Bangalore at the Titan office in Yemlur, Bangalore. This was the South region round and there were 35 applicants. The excitement was palpable and everyone had their game face on.
As luck would have it, ours was the 3rd group in line and the long wait again made an appearance.
Our turn eventually came and off we went to the conference room. Our group was pretty amazing and we had some really constructive discussions on the cases given to us. (Note – The cases were almost the same which tYro has mentioned in his earlier posts.) All of us left the room fairly confident that we had given our best.
We waited for the last group to finish their GD and then the results were announced within 20 minutes. I can still feel the relief I felt when my name was announced. Finally, 8 people were selected who had to now present their case studies. We broke for lunch and then immediately it was my turn to present.
Note – Regarding the GD, I did not do anything extraordinary. I simply kept my calm and approached all the cases with clarity.
My presentation went smoothly and the panelists asked the questions simultaneously. Questions were fairly centered on the case study with the occasional tough question. I believe, I did fairly well and was happy when I walked out.
After a wait of 3 days, the results were announced and I had made it through to the final round. I remember being giddy when the mail came. The shortlisting had a lot to do with it as well as the opportunity to visit the iconic Bombay House, the pulse center of the TATA group.
The TAS office arranged our stay at Mumbai and also the tickets to and fro. We were to report a day before the actual interview. The hotel was at a walking distance from Bombay House and quite comfortable. A walk on the Marine Drive in the night helped settle the nerves. I would recommend the future participants to do the same. Marine Drive and the glitzy Mumbai skyline will definitely help in reducing the anxiety.
The D-Day arrived and we reached Bombay House at the assigned time slot. There were two slots – Morning and Afternoon and two panels for conducting the interview.
I was third in line and after a wait of couple hours was called in for the interview.
The feeling when you enter the interview room is perhaps indescribable. The nervousness and the excitement both come to the fore and the time to orient yourself is pretty less.
I got settled and then the interview started. I was quizzed on my background and how it can help TCS going forward. Also, whether I achieved the goals that were assigned to me in the last two years. The discussion also moved to the latest technologies that were coming up and how they could be leveraged to create a competitive advantage.
The interview lasted for about 35 minutes and I was happy that at the very least I was able to answer the questions put up to me.
Then it was time to roam around Mumbai for a while and head back to Bangalore.
The next two days were the most agonizing days I have faced in recent memory. A quote came to mind. ‘Time stands suspiciously still in moments that look like ordinary life’.
On the day when our results were to be announced, the anxiety reached its zenith. I felt like I was in a Harry Potter scenario, waiting for the owl to come with my letter of admission to Hogwarts. (Apologies for drawing such a parallel :P)
The mail finally arrived and I had made it through! A sense of relief and elation washed over me.
The next few days were a flurry of emails from the TAS office. We were asked to join a month after the results.
I have been at the program for a week now and I can say that it really is pretty good and gives a chance to see the work that goes into making a brand like TATA.
I wish the future participants best of luck for their TAS journey. Lastly, a special shout out to tYro for all his help.