Before starting off with the subject it is important to understand what a “gap year” is. It is the period of time when one is not engaged in college(i.e. after graduation) mainly to prepare for the CAT and related examinations. Many students take the CAT (and similar exams) while pursuing graduation so that they can start applying in B-schools as early as possible in order to begin their MBA journey right after graduation. But many other students prefer to take a break to prepare for CAT properly and they choose to take the exam after graduation. The main reason to take a break is to focus more on the exam. Most business schools want to ensure that their students have been productive even in a gap year. There is always some hours of time left daily if one prepares just for the exam during the gap period. If B-school interviewers do not think that a candidate hasn’t used that time productively then there is a good chance that a candidate is rejected.
Productiveness is the focus of the answer to this question. So, we need to prove to the interviewer that we have been productive. Now, this objective can be fulfilled in various ways so let’s take a look at these.
Work experience is valued a lot in the corporate world so working for a company is always seen as a good option. When you work for someone you have hands-on experience about the job. Besides, you also understand many related domains that are linked to that field.
Internships are of a shorter period so they are more convenient to handle while preparing for CAT. The convenience here extends further as there are ‘work-from-home’ internships that students can opt for which eliminate traveling time entirely and the tasks assigned can be done with lesser restrictions. A short period of internship also gives you an option to go for another internship in adifferent field which enhances your versatility and flexibility.
Serving the society in one’s own capacity is considered to be a duty of a citizen of any country. Thousands of NGOs are engaged in social work across the country. You may choose to enroll yourself for volunteer work and serve in the manner you want to. Teaching poor children, distributing clothes, initiating campaigns, etc. Are some of the many activities undertaken by the NGOs where you can offer your service.
Freelancing work is also valued where one has to work upon an assigned task or project; on completion of which the stipulated monetary compensation is rewarded. It can be web designing, graphic designing, animation, data entry, teaching, programming, SEO servicing, etc.
People read articles and blogs because they are informative. So you can start a blog of your own to share your ideas. Technology, fashion, sports, gadgets, finance, marketing, and many other domains are there which you can choose to write about. You can also choose to write about random topics if you want because different types of people relate to different things. It expands your horizon and enhances creativity.
You can use your spare time in the gap year to learn a new skill. You can join online courses to learn about various technical topics and master a skill. It is preferable to learn a course related to your future targeted stream. For example, if you want to go into marketing it is obviously better to go for a digital marketing course than a course about the stock market.
Starting a business of your own can be a herculean task but it lays a strong foundation for the career you are aspiring for. An entrepreneur gains a myriad of experiences and valuable learning when he runs a business. Decision making, problem-solving, communication/negotiation, patience, and dozens of other skills of the entrepreneur get tested when he engages in business. No wonder it is one of the best options to opt for.
For example, if you know how to make cakes then start a bakery business. Prepare cakes at your own house and sell it via online marketing. Create your presence on all social media platforms and inform people about your product. Take orders over the telephone or the social media itself and deliver them through a suitable medium.
Influencers on social media are increasing day by day. Influencers have a huge follower base and it is very useful to promote ideas and setting trends. Influencer marketing is becoming common among brands where these brands get their products endorsed by the popular social media figures. So this is a new way of marketing and an important tool in the modern marketing world.
All these are one of the best options to go for when you take a gap year or a gap period to prepare for CAT. But it is very important to have a document as proof of the activity you engaged in. So make sure you collect the certificates of the internships, social work, freelancing work, online courses, etc. that you do otherwise all your efforts might go in vain. In case you start a business, make sure you get your business registered.