The Great Summer Placements Conundrum

In the movie Spectre, the latest edition of the James Bond movie series, there is a scene which shows Daniel Craig trapped in a seat by his nemesis – Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Daniel Craig is chained to a machine, which has two needles waiting to pierce the skull of 007. However, like many of the previous 007 movies, he manages to make a miraculous escape which is preceded by a set of words – TEMPUS FUGIT (time flies) to subtly convey the time left to initiate a rescue for himself out of the dreaded situation.

If a first year MBA student, on the verge of completing the first trimester and appearing for the summer internship recruitment process, visualises this scene then it rings a bell in the mind of the candidate. Suddenly, the student endorses the role of James Bond and the two needles, waiting to pierce one’s thoughtful brain, are the two choices available. Should the focus be on Academics or should the focus be on securing a Summer Internship and converting the same to a PPO? However, unlike any of the James Bond movies, there is no miraculous escape from these needles/choices. The candidate must make up his/her mind to choose one amongst these choices to gain on or lose out on something. Believe me, this is one of the biggest conundrums that a student faces in their MBA journey and this has the potential to be the longest lasting struggle in a student’s mind.

The reason behind the magnitude of the struggle is plain and simple. Academics and Summer Internships are two major pillars of a successful two-year journey as an MBA student and no one wants to weaken one pillar for another. However, let us put this into a definite perspective. As cliched as it may sound, your academics/CGPA plays an important role all around the globe. There is a 50-50 chance that a student might not get a PPO from the company at which he interned as part of the summer internship program. So, what makes him/her stand out from the rest of the crowd during the final placements? The answer is his/her CGPA/Academic performance. This very factor makes the first trimester crucial for all the MBA students to perform exceedingly well in a competitive b-school environment and maintain an above-average academic record. In addition to that, focus on academic performance demands the student to be at the top of his/her game for two years over a span of four or six semesters. An above average CGPA will aid in his/her attempt to secure a glorious or a dream final placement.

However, if a student decides to focus on securing a summer placement over his/her academics then this sets a student on a different trajectory altogether. As soon as this version of preparation starts, the students put all his eggs in one basket that is to secure an excellent summer internship as soon as the process starts. A dedicated preparation of the first few months, leading to the summer internship process, can bag a prestigious offer from one of the dream companies. The candidate can follow this up by switching his focus on the following trimesters to compensate or balance out the CGPA, which was not focussed upon during the first term. By the end of the third term, he/she requires to put in concentrated efforts for two months to convert the internship to a PPO. This path condenses the MBA journey to a single year. A single year course against a two-year course for which one enrolled for at the start.

At each point of an MBA student’s career, one is forced to make a choice. The choice made will help you achieve something but at the same time, one stands to lose out on something. The choice thus becomes so important because, by now, every one of you might have realised that time flies and it sticks with you for the rest of your MBA journey.