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Entrance exams report – Achamba The Super MBA

Written by Sameer Kamat

You remember our friend Achamba – The Super MBA, don’t you? Oh c’mon, just because he’s been busy with some important MBA work that lesser mortals like you and I can’t fathom, doesn’t mean we write him off.

We bumped into him on Facebook when he shared this picture that seems to have gone viral.

Entrance Exam

Despite the pathetic resolution, everyone and their dog has been forwarding the image to everyone else and their cat. So we asked Achamba if he’d be willing to take up a secret assignment on our behalf. He had cracked the engineering entrance exam and then the mba entrance exam. He seemed like the best candidate for this critical task.

We asked him to reach out to all the characters in that cartoon to find out what really happened after the animals took the competitive entrance exam. Being a cartoon (literally and figuratively), Achamba took up the challenge. His lineage allowed him to access forbidden worlds that our MBA admissions consultants can’t.

What Achamba uncovered was surprising and enlightening. He has shared the follow-up story exclusively for MBA Crystal Ball readers.

What happened after the Entrance Exam

A little bit about the tree first. After a recent acquisition it’s now called – Corporate Tree. Its primary function is to bear fruits, which are then shipped across the world. In the early days, it would produce apples. But after the first two beta testers (tasters, rather) identified as Mr Adam and Ms Eve complained of forbidden psychological and physical side-effects, the Tree’s senior management decided to produce something safer – oranges.

Achamba first met up with the monkey. As expected, the monkey had cracked the challenge in the entrance exam, graduated from an elite business school (the one that rejected Achamba’s application) and went back to take an enviable position on the by-now-familiar Corporate Tree.

The rest of the test takers (again as expected) didn’t fare too well. Though everyone had high expectations from the crow, surprisingly, it was disqualified for cheating. ‘You were supposed to climb to the top, not fly. Shortcuts not allowed,’ was the explanation given.

Not being content with this abrupt ending, Achamba was keen to find out what happened to each of those who had failed the entrance exam. He didn’t have to hunt too hard for them. The monkey said he was still in touch with the others, as they were providing services to the Tree.

The elephant had opened up a security company. His team now protects the Corporate Tree from unauthorised access. As part of their CSR activities, they also provide protection to endangered species in national parks whenever movie stars are expected to go on a tour.

The penguin launched a startup called Just Chillin’ that provides processing and refrigeration services to the corporate tree. The company makes impressive profits, the culture is informal, the policies are employee friendly. The only gripe that the employees have is with the dress code that the founder loves – tuxedoes.

The technically astute crow started ‘Escrow Payment Services’, an online payment gateway that allows the Corporate Tree to accept orders online. It has recently attracted Series A funding from some of the best Venture Capital firms.

The fish and the seal started a partnership venture (‘Fishy Deals Sealed‘ or simply FDS) to transport the fruits via sea. After all these years, they still can’t climb trees. Also, allegedly, one of the founders (hint: the one with the fins) suffers from body odour. So, all business meetings happen over Skype. Customers have been happy with their service though, and it reflects in their balance sheet.

The dog had a track-record of, er, barking up the wrong tree. Well-wishers told him that his public displays of affection were unprofessional and needed to be controlled. But that’s not what we are talking about here. We are more intereted in his professional life. Numbers and excel sheets were boring. Marketing seemed like an exciting area to get into. Thus, the seeds were sown for the marketing consulting firm ‘Doggy Style’. You might’ve heard their tagline – ‘We make your bark better than your bite’.

What Entrance Exams really teach us

It was heartening to see that despite the perceived failures during entrance exams, everyone had done well for themselves. In fact, those who faced failure earlier struggled harder and were now enjoying the fruits of their labour. As entrepreneurs, they provide various services to the Corporate Tree. The monkey, despite cracking the toughest entrance exam, was still working for peanuts.

All this might seem like an untold chapter from the folk tales and fables you’ve read as a kid. But just like in those stories, there are lessons here as well. Not from the entrance exam itself, but more from what can happen after it.

Achamba - Super MBA

Lesson 1: When corporate fables involve 2-dimensional animals that take entrance exams & manage companies, the level of credibility can be extremely low.

Lesson 2: The seeds of entrepreneurship just need some fertile ground. The inspiration to follow your dreams can help you overcome odds and find workarounds.

Lesson 3: Statistically, out of every 3 lessons that you read on the internet, only one is worth remembering. In this blog post, it is lesson 2 (so please read the previous point again).

If you have felt disappointed with your performance in entrance exams of any nature (IIT entrance exams, medical entrance tests, MBA entrance exams) or are feeling paranoid about taking one, let this post take off some of that pressure.

Share this story with your friends. Tell them what they can expect from you in a few years.

We thank Achamba for being our undercover reporter for this story.

If you found this interesting, read more about the adventures of Achamba – The Super MBA. Also show thy generosity by clicking the social media buttons.


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Sameer Kamat

About Sameer Kamat

Founder of MBA Crystal Ball | Author of 'Beyond The MBA Hype' | Cambridge MBA Connect with me on Google+ | Twitter @mba_cb


15 Comments

  1. Rohit Gupta   |  Wednesday, 24 April 2013 at 7:31 am

    I just loved the way this story is told. Maybe we need to step back once in a while to gauge what’s really important for us. And yeah, entrance exams can cause real headaches, if we look at it!

  2. KNidhi Sharma   |  Wednesday, 24 April 2013 at 10:06 am

    Too Good , totally enjoyed reading it … A rat race is defined so well and the best part is everyone succeeds in it ..

  3. Prashant   |  Thursday, 25 April 2013 at 8:19 am

    Very well written :)
    Point to be taken (along with lesson 2 of course) is that failing to crack an entrance exam/landing a job in the corporate tree is not the only thing in life. You can do what ever you want and still be successful.
    Great concept Sameer. Kudos.

  4. Sameer Kamat   |  Thursday, 25 April 2013 at 8:40 am

    @Rohit and Nidhi: Happy to see that you like animal stories :-)

    @Prashant: Seems like I missed the most obvious lesson in there, about the irrelevance of minor set-backs in the long term. Thanks for mentioning it.

  5. Naveen   |  Friday, 26 April 2013 at 6:19 am

    Hi Sameerji,

    A good story for everyone to re-assess their goals and what actually people want in their life.. Enjoyed reading it.. A simple and effective approach to put your point across.. Good Work..

  6. Amar Shahi   |  Saturday, 18 May 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Inspirational Story! Loved it! It solved my confusion over my future plans! There is not the only way to get success! You can be successful in your own unique & innovative terms & way! Thanks Sameer for this amazing eye opener story !

  7. Arvind   |  Wednesday, 29 May 2013 at 8:23 am

    Really interesting read. After reading this post, I remember a quote in a book called “The Personal MBA”, in which in context of top grade MBA programs the author feels, “If you’re good enough to get in, you are bound to do well in life, irrespective”.
    True that people who are unable to get in will not necessarily end up as failures and vice versa. But undoubtedly a good MBA program can really help achieve a perspective in life, and help broaden the thought process. Thanks for the share.

  8. Sameer Kamat   |  Saturday, 01 June 2013 at 8:23 pm

    @Amar and Naveen: Dhanyavaad.

    @Arvind: You are right. An MBA can be useful, but no point sulking forever if that plan doesn’t work out.

  9. Taabish   |  Friday, 07 June 2013 at 9:57 am

    Fantasic allegory..with a lot of humour included….hahaha. Absolutely loved it :-)

  10. Shwetanisha Ganjewar   |  Tuesday, 02 July 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Loved the humorous yet real take on this subject.
    Wish you good writing always.

  11. saif   |  Friday, 26 July 2013 at 4:25 pm

    1000000000% correct………….
    Its kind of motivating to us…

  12. Nikhil   |  Tuesday, 24 September 2013 at 8:31 am

    Funny , interesting , innovative & a “Knowledgeable” post! :)
    Keep up the good work Sameer. :D

  13. varun   |  Monday, 24 March 2014 at 5:34 pm

    hi Sameer sir,
    i loved the story.BTW what’s your story,sir?
    would like to read and learn from your life……..

  14. Sameer Kamat   |  Monday, 24 March 2014 at 5:47 pm

    @Varun: Shukriya! You should choose better role models though.
    But if you insist on knowing, I’ve shared my story here –> Why I left the corporate world.

  15. Varun   |  Tuesday, 25 March 2014 at 9:13 am

    Sir,
    a wise person learns from others’ mistakes. Though, my point of knowing was just to expect that i’ll learn from your achievements. :)

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