It’s that time of the year again when most top schools are close to completing their placements and thus soon the season would come to an end with a display of the year’s best piece of creative writing – The Placement Report. While the year has been generally good everywhere and salaries are bound to increase on each campus, there are certain things I believe are fundamentally wrong with b-school placements. These are not specific to any campus but for the process in general.
Lack of Control – According to me the biggest problem you face is the sheer lack of control over your own fate. While the idea of community welfare in the name of what’s best for your batch and school sounds good in a socialist society, asking someone to take decisions in the best interest of the batch while sacrificing his/her own chances of getting the best sounds flawed in capitalist framework of MBA. An individual has little control over his fate because he plays by the rules set by someone else with an objective different from his own.
Shortlists – Easily the most contentious of all things in b-schools in India. While I’ll like to believe that these are created after thorough analysis of all the applicants but with the kinds of shortlisting seen in the past two years, I am pretty sure some did use a randomisation algo to make the task less tedious. It would be great if this process was made simpler or atleast comprehendible.
CTC – The most overused thing in the entire process is most flawed. It is a device meant for delusioning the students. A CTC is also the worst but most prevalent metric used to compare two offers. The beauty of these 3 letters is that it turns basic laws of mathematics upside down. A 15 lakh CTC could yield you higher monthly than a 21 lakh one.
Ambiguity – The most ambiguous of all documents prepared by companies is The JD (Job Description). If you believe the “skills required” section of the JD, you will find yourself suitable for every job on campus. I think most JDs are prepared from a common universal doc and altered slightly depending on the role. So you are expected to commit the rest of your life to a job which you have little clue about.
Personal Branding – When you sit for placements on campus, you come with an image that you have created for yourself in the past two years. This decides how you get treated in the process. Your emphatic image gets its due respect in the GDs as well.
Opaqueness – B-school placements are marred by opaqueness. There is nothing that you know for sure about the process in advance. Anything related to placements is the most closely guarded secret on campus. The opaqueness also exists from the side of the recruiters who reveal little about the roles while hiring. The entire extravaganza is like a shot in the dark.
Distrust – Placement season is also the nastiest time on campus. In the extremely competitive environment of MBA, it is each one for himself fighting for the coveted job. This gives birth to a lot of distrust. The activities of everyone is viewed with suspicion. Although everyone will be nice to you on your face but you know you are hated for getting a shortlist that others didn’t.
Hypocrisy – Placements is all about pretence. There will be different standards for different persons and each individual will be judged on the basis of his/her loyalties.
Rat Race – B-school placement is a rat race, which is obvious for a process which is the culmination of a rat race for MBA admissions. You fight so vigorously on campus to get what you believe is your dream job but then you see half of your seniors switching jobs before the completion of an year on job. So the entire pursuit is for the self-gratification of having achieved a desired CTC.
Heartbreak - The worst part in this process however is the heartbreak of few individuals, few aspirations and few dreams. It’s sad to see a few of your friends who had high expectations like everyone from MBA lose out on the dream. All they wish for is to get it over with. Everyone knows it’s not the end of life but it surely is the beginning of new life which no one wants to start on a bad note.
PS: I have tried to keep a neutral perspectives but what’s writing without a bit of personal feel. Placements is definitely the most debated topic on campus and each one has his/her view. It’s all about perspective, if all has been good – you care less and if it has been bad – you think everything is wrong. I just think it needs to change just like many other things in our flawed education system.
Ishan Arora is a student from IIFT who has had a very regular life- an engineer, an IT professional and now an MBA student. He is very passionate about writing and writes on a personal blog A Vent in the Delirium. He is also in love with music and plays on internet radio in his college.
You can Follow me on InsideIIM at Ishan@insideiim.com