An Open Letter To Parents, Peers & Juniors About Placements At IIMs

Dear Mom/Dad/Friend/Junior,

I know that, as an IIM student, I am expected to bag a hefty 7 digit pay package. Well, a lot has already been written about the placement process and preparation fundas; about all the good, inspirational and motivational things. I’ve just tried to make people understand how to react and what to expect from a regular IIM student amidst this tiresome and stressful placement period.

For Parents

– The 1-crore or a similar fat package that you hear about in news does not tell the real story. Let me spill the beans. There are so many factors affecting the same. The average packages(that companies claim) during placements are nowhere around them. Moreover, the differences in the salaries are not so much because of your ward’s lack of talent, rather because of their choice of career, industry and job profile. ¬†Next time when you compare salaries with other parents, bear this in your mind.

– Do not ask your ward about the maximum package of the season when he/she tells you his/hers. Even though you ask unintentionally, it isn’t conceived in the same way as you think. This is not the primary school, where you used to compare your child’s marks with the highest one. So, don’t get disheartened when you hear the maximum package of the campus. Your kid ward get there in just a few years of time.

– Placement is an extremely stressful time for some and your attitude can improve or worsen your ward’s situation. Rise above societal pressure of packages and big brands of companies; rather be there with your ward; possibly with an incredible amount of belief, confidence and most of all satisfaction in them and in whichever company or profile they crack.

For Outsiders

“Are tu to IIM me chala gaya, teko kya load hai” is not the thing we want to hear. The struggle is real and the competition is fierce. We might have an advantage over you in terms of the brand name, but then again, everyone is branded equally. It’s a level playing field. It isn’t always a cake walk; in fact, it never is. The struggle is the same, the preparation is the same and the feeling of rejection is the same.

If you can’t respect the midnight oil we’ve had to burn to reach this place or to survive it, at least don’t set unrealistic expectations from us.¬†

For Juniors

– People getting placed on day 2 or even later aren’t any lesser than the ones placed on day 0 (or day -x, as they call it). It’s just a matter of time and sometimes even of choice. Do not, I repeat, do not ever judge anyone based on his/her placement performance. It’s such a petty thing to judge a person’s talents.

– Different companies have different requirements for the role and altogether different criteria for selection. One never knows where and how he/she got rejected. So, your idea of a “gawd” company might be vague and that shouldn’t be your yardstick to define an internship or placement.

– Always remember these words of an interviewer who politely replied to my question about my suitability for the role, saying, “We don’t expect you to know everything. We just want to gauge what skills have you picked up in college life and how good are you at them”. So, people, shed the shroud of complacency and make the most of your two-year MBA journey. Pick up different skills, learn and master them, after all, they will not only define your stature and credibility in your campus but is also going to be a lifelong asset and the biggest takeaway.

– Remember, on average, we are left with a career of 35 years. As said by a wise Professor earlier, five years down the lane, the company you are placed with or the nth day you cracked a placement on will hardly matter, but what will matter is your perseverance and confidence in yourself – now and always. I have seen people settling for companies far lower than their capabilities but I am pretty sure they won’t let that define themselves.

In case, you need to listen to the stories of perseverance, look around, there are umpteen examples in your B-School. Examples not of people who cracked the likes of MBB but of those who change their fate by sheer hard work. In fact, everyone sitting in placement will have their own story. Talk to them.


This article was originally written by Nawazish Parwez:

Nawazish Parwez is a final-year undergraduate at IIT Kharagpur and he will be joining Citibank as an analyst after his graduation in May 2019. He’s often found quoting his favourite line – “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world” – from his favourite character John Keating of Dead Poets Society. A true bibliophile at heart, he dreams to set up his own library one day. A Potterhead since childhood, he believes that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times; with friends, bad jokes and a good tea. His friends describe him as “a writer trapped in an engineer’s body”, but he says he’s figuring out the meaning of life one story at a time.

Pratik Ranjan

Pratik is an MBA candidate at IIM Lucknow. He is an ardent aspiring marketing strategist. His passion for marketing multiplied multifold post his internship with Unilever, where he was conferred with a PPO. Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug & seized by afflatus to read, write & explore, this twenty-something believes in the power of dreaming with his eyes open. He is a columnist in various newsletters and is up for any discussion that involves the nuances of marketing and strategy. P.S: He's charged by the fuel of caffeine.



Amit Nayak

What on earth do you mean by “outsiders” , we and you.

But never mind, no one believes that (barring a couple of top IIMs) you have any sort of advantage. Brand or otherwise.

People are aware of the facade.

You could begin with telling your wards not to get into the mba brand business and not to join the rat race.

Or is it the CAT race??

Amit Nayak

Wow..another generalized statement. And with support from the author himself. You surely wear the same feathers.

Don’t know what to make of your msg