Among all the new pressures piling up on them right from day 1 like assignments, surprise quizzes, placement, committee selections etc, also comes the time to face the most (in)famous aspect of B school life - the placement committee.
Now there are so many stories floating around about the placement committees in business schools and their behavior. Let me at the outset address them very frankly, so please bear with me.
In case you are impatient to go straight to my story, scroll right down to the heading that says 'Now my story'.
Anger management issues
A lot is said about their 'anger management issues'. Yes, that is absolutely true. They suck at anger management. They ABSOLUTELY suck at it. A small mistake you do and they will act as if you threw away the whole college's reputation! Let me tell you a real incident. In our first year during the very first address by the placecom, many boys came sporting beards. I say beards, and not unshaven face. They were decently groomed beards. Now all of us are two years away from a first step into the business side of the corporate world, and hence everything was obviously new. When I was in my pre-MBA job in IT, rarely did I see anyone of my peers even shaving at all. But the company did not seem to mind, as long as there was no client visit happening. I saw mostly the managers with shaven faces.
So, it was probably wrong of those boys to still sport beards as they will now be moving to the management side of the corporate world. But like I said, it was new to us. The placecom never even gave any guidelines about etiquette beforehand. Maybe it was implied, but that does not mean guidelines must not be given! So, without any prior information given to us about etiquette they just started abusing those guys in the foulest language. Apparently sporting a beard is not professional in management, but losing complete control of your temper and mouthing abuses apparently is!
Please bear with me a bit more and I will move on to the story of how I took a stand.
Rigging the process
They are accused of rigging the placement process. Well, to be honest, I have never directly seen any rigging happening, but there were definitely suspicious cases. Like one case about a former placement committee member whose then-girlfriend (now wife) was the placement committee member of our batch, before the committee was 'restructured' by the authorities. The guy got a job in Maruti Suzuki, and within a year, came to the campus as part of the talent acquisition team and guess who was hired? No prizes for the correct guess. Today those two are happily married. This may not be an exact example of the placecom rigging the process, but the alleged rigging was nevertheless done by ex-placecommers. That shows the attitude of these people.
Copying case study competition submissions of others
Now this would be a very easy thing for them to do. Because in most cases we have no choice but to submit solutions for case study competitions only through placecom, with a few exceptions. In that case isn't it easy for them to just see the best submissions and modify their own submission before submitting?
Hold your horses, fellas. Now, this is something I will give the benefit of the doubt slightly, if only slightly, to the placecom. Because truthfully speaking I did not see enough cases of placecom guys succeeding in the competitions to make a definite conclusion. In fact, I admit this one may slightly be leaning in their favour. I saw very few teams having placecommers that have made it to subsequent rounds of competitions. Though that does not necessarily mean they did not copy, they might have just copied a submission they thought was good but in fact, might have been rejected by the panelists. However, this also does not say for sure that they copied.
Now my story...
The part you must have been waiting for.
The placecom was supposed to address our division's juniors for the first time. I came to know that the time of the address was 9 PM on June 18, 2018.
I reached the venue a few minutes before, and sat among the students. They were all curiously looking at me, asking me questions about the upcoming address. All of them looked on edge. No doubt they have heard of all the 'horror stories' from other divisions who had the address before them, as well as from our batch.
I waited. I think they might have been 10 or 15 minutes late, but they came. My tall, ex-roommate was the first one to come marching in. He started shouting "Everyone keep phones inside, bags off the table....."
I did not let him finish. From the opposite end of the room I came forward shouting "Hey get out, don't show your arrogance here!"
You should have seen the look on my ex-roomie's face and on the other placecommers! They did not in their wildest dreams even dare to imagine that someone would dare to be brazen enough to talk back to them!
My ex-roomie and the other placecom guys, stunned, said "Man, what are you doing here?! Go out!".
I responded "I am not going out. What the hell will you do?"
They were speechless for a moment before they said to the juniors "We are going away now, not addressing you guys. We will not be responsible for your placement. None of you guys are getting placed if this guy doesn't leave."
I said to the juniors "Don't listen to them, they are just joking. Just chill, go home, nothing to worry."
Then the upset placecommers left, then I too left.
By next morning many in our batch heard about the incident. There were all sorts of reactions. Some were just "Is it true you did this?", a few I am not sure what exactly they were - positive or negative. I don't remember completely, but I think there were some openly negative reactions too. I think a few positive "Well done" reactions also maybe? Hoever, I am very sure behind my back were quite a number of negative reactions. I was not exactly loved in the batch because I had the sense not to waste money on drugs, cigarettes or booze. Instead I spent on my favorite sport - tennis. I wonder where have the days gone when sportspersons used to be the popular guys? When I was not so much into sports, at that time maybe. Now those times are long gone. Anyway, that's not my concern, and I digress from the story.
By the way, the placecom members never got a chance to carry out their 'no placement' threat, assuming it was even a real threat at all, as just about a month after this incident, the committee underwent some 'restructuring' and all members were replaced with new ones.
Takeaway for MBA aspirants
Listen to the placecommers. Yes! You might be surprised why I have said this, despite a full article criticising them! All said and done, it is a huge responsibility on their shoulders to get 100% placement. Or at least as close to 100% as it gets.
But that does not mean you put your head down and your tail between your legs and take whatever crap they throw at you. If you are sure they are just being a pain in the you-know-what, then tell it to their face.
Because they have no right to do as they please. You have your own dignity, they have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to strip it away from you! Stand up for yourselves! After all, by this behaviour, the placecommers are being exactly what they accuse the batch of being - unprofessional! Tell me which proper company tolerates such behaviour? If they behave like that in a decent company, they are highly likely to be sacked.
I wish to remain anonymous for this story
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