When thinking about higher studies people usually opt for either of the two situations
Now if you fall in the second category the path gets a bit rocky. A gap year to prepare for an entrance exam does not reflect very well on the resume. So a lot of people choose to work and simultaneously prepare. This act of juggling two things turns out to be quite a hassle and sometimes result in doing justice to none.
While observing the journey of one of our intern, I realized doing both of them are possible if you can maintain that clarity and the organization come forward to support.
When Nehal joined ColoredCow as a design intern she came with the clarity that next year she would like to go ahead with masters in design. She discussed it during the interview and shared her desire to work in that duration. Now as you might remember from your mock interviews in college, mentioning the desire to study more is considered the end of your interview. Remember the placement teams telling you, “Never mention you want to study ahead, say you want to work with the organization for a long-term or maybe forever.”
There is nothing wrong with saying this if you mean it! Otherwise, you start a new chapter with a lie and keep living with it for a year or two or three or five in some cases unless you clear your CAT/ GMAT/ GRE, etc.
Will not clearing the exam be easier if you and the organization are clear about your goals ahead. We knew from the start that Nehal wanted to stay for a year to work and grow her skills and so we were clear while assigning assignments to her. The things she worked on during that year added to her dream of pursuing higher education while contributing to the organization as well.
With this transparency we knew about her exams date, and when she needed leaves. So rather than calling out sick she would discuss with the team and plan her work accordingly so that neither her studies nor work gets affected. As an organization it helped us in working better together, Nehal was able to work on multiple projects in that one year which added to her portfolio and we were not left with half cooked assignments when she left. And I think it worked well for Nehal too, at least that is what she shared in her farewell speech before she joined National Institute of Design, Bangalore for her Masters in Design.
After this smooth journey with Nehal, we realized there is no harm in taking people who want to pursue higher studies. If you want to clear exams like CAT/ GMAT/ GRE etc. but also want to gain some exposure before it then why not do it without the pressure of hiding and juggling things.
We at ColoredCow are open to having people who have clear goals, and value the associations we create irrespective of the time we are able to work together.