A Letter From A Placecomer, With Love

Dear All,

Greetings of the day!

I am a Placement Committee member from one of the top b-schools in India.

In every b-school, the Placecomers are the species, who are subjected to intense public scrutiny, distrust, acrimony and much more. We are considered as a bunch of dishonest, manipulative guys on campus who everyone wants to befriend in public but discredit in private. Hence, today I am compelled to write this letter.

We are a group of students who are elected by the entire batch in collaboration with the placement office on the basis of meritocracy. No question of cheating or any jack here. Unlike our batch mates, our semester begins by cold calling the recruiters. The breaks in between two lectures, any off period time is also utilised for this. Unlike others who slog hard right from day one to score high pointers, to win a corporate competition, to improve their CVs; we slog day in and day out to prepare a suitable market to sell these CVs. You think cold calling is that easy? You call 100 recruiters, 30 revert, 20 agree to give a presentation on campus and 10 actually show up on the d-day.

Once we invite these companies on campus, filling up the auditorium for the presentations is another daunting task. We are frequently accused of violent shouting, penalising our own batch mates, making them sit for hours and hours and much more. But for a second, imagine the most reputed firm in the industry coming down on campus, entering the auditorium just to witness empty chairs! Yes, we play the bad cops deliberately to avoid such horrific encounters. Not that we ignore the constant undercurrent in the batch that these presentations are boring and repetitive…better information can be found online in much less time etc. etc. We do care for you guys. That’s why we gently persuade the recruiters to have the Q&A session over a slice of pizza and a cup of hot latte. We have realised this very early that presentations with refreshments tend to sell out quicker.

The planning for your summer as well as final placements begins even before you start preparing for them. The numerous phone calls, meetings, schedules and reschedules, logistical planning coupled with CV proofs validation just to ensure everyone gets a level playing field… it is madness, sheer madness. Oh, and what we get while doing all these activities is doubt, distrust and disbelief!

The high point of this madness is when the actual placement process starts. It is no small task to convince each company coming on campus that today is Day Zero with the best pool of talent at your disposal, to persuade the desi bank HR who is convinced that I am sending the best candidates to a ‘Videsi’ bank because I have some secret agreement with them. Not to forget the ex-employees of some confectionary giant who refuse to eat their competitor’s products, and the alums tugging along with the recruiters leaving no stone unturned to taunt us for some mismanagement. You guys, meanwhile, are getting rejected for or are thrown out in the first two minutes of your dream company’s interview. Students break down, completely heartbroken they cry… Some of them need few words of motivation, some a pack of chai-sutta, some just want a shoulder to cry on… We provide it to them, not just out of compassion but to ensure that the process goes on smoothly. Amidst all this, there is a small problem of our own placements!

When the process ends for you all, it is just the interval for us. Filling up various forms and documents for the placement office as well as the recruiters, getting several approvals and publishing the placement report, we are never off duty.

So next time you boast about your great placement, remember that our efforts are entwined at the very root of it!

Sincerely,

A Placecomer

Comments

8 comments

bipok banit

Dear All,

Greetings of the day!

I am a Placement Committee member from one of the top b-schools in India.

In every b-school, the Placecomers are the species, who are subjected to intense public scrutiny, distrust, acrimony and much more. We are considered as a bunch of dishonest, manipulative guys on campus who everyone wants to befriend in public but discredit in private. Hence, today I am compelled to write this letter.

bipok banit

The high point of this madness is when the actual placement process starts. It is no small task to convince each company coming on campus that today is Day Zero with the best pool of talent at your disposal, to persuade the desi bank HR who is convinced that I am sending the best candidates to a ‘Videsi’ bank because I have some secret agreement with them. Not to forget the ex-employees of some confectionary giant who refuse to eat their competitor’s products, and the alums tugging along with the recruiters leaving no stone unturned to taunt us for some mismanagement. You guys, meanwhile, are getting rejected for or are thrown out in the first two minutes of your dream company’s interview. Students break down, completely heartbroken they cry… Some of them need few words of motivation, some a pack of chai-sutta, some just want a shoulder to cry on… We provide it to them, not just out of compassion but to ensure that the process goes on smoothly. Amidst all this, there is a small problem of our own placements!

bipok banit

on of cheating or any jack here. Unlike our batch mates, our semester begins by cold calling the recruiters. The breaks in between two lectures, any off period time is also utilised for this. Unlike others who slog hard right from day one to score high pointers, to win a corporate competition, to improve their CVs; we slog day in and day out to prepare a suitable market to sell these CVs. You think cold calling is that easy? You call 100 recruiters, 30 revert, 20 agree to give a presentation on campus and 10 actually show up on the d-day.

bipok banit

deliberately to avoid such horrific encounters. Not that we ignore the constant undercurrent in the batch that these presentations are boring and repetitive…better information can be found online in much less time etc. etc. We do care for you guys. That’s why we gently persuade the recruiters to have the Q&A session over a slice of pizza and a cup of hot latte. We have realised this very early that presentati

bipok banit

ta, some just want a shoulder to cry on… We provide it to them, not just out of compassion but to ensure that the process goes on smoothly. Amidst all this, there is a small problem of our own placements!

Ashesh Mitra

Hey Placecommer,

Good to hear one side of the story , Now give me the opportunity to present the second side of story. While your claim of becoming the “selected few” is something that can be related to non jack, I have my reservations against calling them “meritorious” . These “selected few” are from same batch mates with similar credentials (1 month since all have crossed selection process), and the criteria for selecting these elite persons vary from highly qualified in excel to dominating looks and arrogancy to some one who can slog to someone who does knows how to ask less questions. While these may be some quinessential features to create an “elite pack” of placecommers , I highly doubt that these features in silos are required in industry and help you understand business , which anyways “selected few” wanted to learn in a b-school.
Don’t get me wrong but once the “selected few” start their cold calling process, I agree they work their ass off but so do the IB’s and Consultants of the world (do they also work for free) , but is it philanthropy for the batchmates? I doubt!
Now here comes the dirty part. Every B-School student knows this and probably the incentive for “selected ones’ are the placements and the “push” they get while in placements. The names appearing suddenly in shortlist, jumping rounds in b-school interview, selected students (I mean “non selected ones”) getting replaced by them, certain anonymous (read: selected) companies coming only for the cream (not sure in terms of merit or designation). While all this happens, they get to give the best shots at companies (which can be manipulated) while the rest of college who did what they were supposed to do i.e. study business, stand in line to wait for the pipeline of “Selected ones” to finish or get placed.
Are grades that good a decision maker ? Am I not getting biased by saying that placecommers don’t deserve coveted job profiles (just or unjust means)? I think the articles answers this, since the placecommers are so busy for more than 15 months out of the 21-22 months of MBA, their effective business learning is zero (definitely they learn persuasion and cold calling conversion, pardon me for not counting that as tangible learning), And if that is the case then why waiting for them to be placed in the last, push them for job as soon as they enter the campus. It pains me to see the meritous students getting forcefully removed from the process just because they aren’t the “selected ones” – A Bschool created reservation, where you disguise your ambitions to land up a coveted job in wrapper of philanthropy and goodwill for the batch. It is a vicious loop where you get the blanket to justify all the mis deeds under the name of placing the batch. But are these selected people to be blamed? I sometimes feel why our Indian MBA are downranked is essential due to such practices where the order of getting a good job is as per the following hierarchy .. CAT Score > MBA > Placecom. And when these guys end up in companies the difference is minimal between these “selected few” and a normal NON MBA grad, except for the cold calling abilities.
The moment Indian MBA becomes a “PULL” product because of learning and quality of students graduating, you guys are one of a kind “breed” which will become extinct. And please understand as an industry person and an MBA, I can tell you we from industry know all your tactics and gimmicks (Kids, the age you are is equal to our work experience),but the point is such is the quality of all b school in India that we don’t mind choosing any of the offered candidate, because we anyways know we have to bring them upto mark with coaching them on job. So please don’t be proud on your “PUSH” ability, its an expensive art to learn after paying 20 lakhs!
Peace!

-Ashesh