Soumalya Banerjee secured All India Rank 2 in NCHM JEE 2014. Equally talented in science subjects, the boy from Mysore also secured decent rank in some of the engineering exams. However, the NCHM JEE AIR 2 holder preferred admission to IHM Mumbai than getting into an engineering college.
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In this interview with Careers360, the NCHM JEE 2014 topper talks on his exam preparation strategy and his ambitions for a career in hospitality sector. Saumalya, who scored perfect 10 CGPA in high school examination, believes that to crack NCHM JEE examination, good quality of self study is much more important than a coaching institute. He also talks on his future plans in this interview.
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Careers360: Congratulations for your outstanding performance in NCHM JEE 2014! How you celebrated your success?
Soumalya Baneerjee:Thank you! The occasion was big for me but I was interested in celebrating my success in a simple manner. As it is just a first step towards my goal to make a mark for myself in the hospitality sector.
I went along with my parents for dinner to a restaurant. Some of my friends also joined to congratulate me at the restaurant.
Careers360: What were the factors responsible for your remarkable success?
Soumalya Baneerjee: I was quite strong inGeneral Knowledge & Current Affairs and also blessed with sharp mathematical ability. Owing to these two factors, I was able to deliver my best performance in the written examination. I was able to complete my paper nearly within 140-150 minutes. The remaining time was utilized in revision and attempting some skipped questions.
Besides, I skipped not a single question from “Aptitude for Service Sector” section as the section carries no negative marking.
Careers360: Did you appear in other competitive examinations also?
Soumalya Baneerjee: For hotel management I appeared only for NCHM JEE 2014. I managed to score NCHM JEE All India Rank 2 in my first attempt. Apart from hotel management, I also appeared in some engineering entrance examinations. I have qualified and secured decent ranks in SRM B.Tech exam and VIT B.Tech exam.
Careers360: Please share your preparation strategy for NCHM JEE 2014 exam?
Soumalya Baneerjee: I have not formulated or adopted any strict study schedule for NCHM JEE exam preparation. Iused to study just 4-5 hours in a week. My study hours used to be dedicated and wholehearted study from my side. Thus, a minimum of 5 hours in a week was sufficient for me.
Reading novels, magazines, and watching hospitality and tourism themed television programmes also played an important role in enhancing my overall exam preparation.
Careers360: Which section was the easiest and the toughest for you?
Soumalya Baneerjee: I found two sections- “Numerical Ability & Scientific Aptitude” and “General Knowledge & Current Affairs”the easiest. I struggled a bit in “Aptitude for Service Sector” section, so the same was the toughest section for me.
Careers360: Which IHM you secured admission to pursue B.Sc. in Hospitality & Hotel administration course?
Soumalya Baneerjee: I have secured admission at IHM Mumbai. I have completed the admission formalities and soon I will join the academic session at IHM Mumbai, which is scheduled to start in first week of August.
Careers360: What was your time management strategy during the exam day across different sections of the paper?
Soumalya Baneerjee: I attempted questions as they were sequenced in the question paper. I did not targeted any specific section to attempt in the first half and then to move to other sections. I went with the flow of question paper. However, I skipped questions on which I was less confident without wasting time.
The unattempted and skipped questions were given due attention in the last 30 minutes.
Careers360: What are your hobbies?
Soumalya Baneerjee: I am a big movie buff. Recently I watched “Transformers: Age of Extinction” movie. I am also fond of reading novels and magazines. My favourite writer is Stephen Edwin King and novel is “The Fault in Our Stars.”
Careers360: What are the reasons to opt for a career in Hospitality sector?
Soumalya Baneerjee: My father, Gautam Banerjee, who is associated with the hospitality sector, has served as source for my inclination towards the hospitality and tourism field. I am determined to follow the footsteps of my father and this is the reason I decided to establish my career in hospitality sector.
I will emphasize that my father, who has 10 years work experience with “The Oberoi Hotel” and is currently designated as Manager at Kings Kourt Hotel in Mysore, did not made efforts to influence me to join hospitality sector specifically.
He encouraged me to pursue a career in my preferred sector and also to appear for other entrance examinations apart from hotel management.
Careers360: How important is coaching for the NCHM JEE preparation?
Soumalya Baneerjee:To crack NCHM JEE examination, good quality of self study is required, not enrolling with a good coaching. Enrolling with a coaching class is not mandatory as the syllabus is not too tough.
Careers360: Your tips to aspirant on how to ace exam without enrolling with any coaching institutes?
Soumalya Baneerjee: I will like to share some tips, which I followed to prepare for the examination:
- Read newspapers every day as it will immensely help an aspirant to stay updated with current affairs and latest happenings.
- All the dimensions of important national and international news must be followed and understood.
- Read travel and tourism related magazines like Go Now, Destination India, and Outlook Traveller.
- Have clarity of basic concepts of Science, Mathematics, and English. Consult class 10 and 10+2 NCERT books to revise the syllabus.
- To ace Reasoning & Logical section, I will suggest aspirants to refer Arihant publication books and solve questions on daily basis.
Careers360: Your plans after passing out of IHM Mumbai?
Soumalya Baneerjee: I will pursue MSc in hotel administration. After passing post graduation, I will probably enroll for MBA course.
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