Placecomm At IIM Udaipur – The Supposed Omerta And The Real Ethics

Greetings from an IIM Udaipur alumnus!

I bring to you today, a fresh story. Any resemblance to any character living or dead is purely intentional. Those of you unfamiliar with the works of Mario Puzo, do google Omerta.

Let me break the bubble for you. I have never been part of the Placement committee. My roommate was. One of my best friends was too. Our Placement Committee, is not merely selected, but elected by a clear batch consensus at the beginning of the year. The process is not like the Class Monitor election where the popular kid wins, or even like the Critics Award in Filmfare. The process is open to all for applying. Through some rigorous selection rounds by Placement Office, the final few candidates are picked to pitch in front of the batch, as to why they should be the next Placement Committee. The batch then votes for the ones they feel are the best. The elections are conducted as soon as possible to ensure the process is closed before the group dynamics begin to form. Anyone from any other school reading this is welcome to take notes. We do believe sharing is caring.

Ever since my roommate got into Placecomm, her life changed. She worked relentlessly with the other Placecommers in the afternoons after classes talking to HRs, writing mails and reviewing CVs. At night there were frequent meetings and she went away with her laptop to the common room where her team sat to discuss things in closed doors meetings. Yes, the secrecy was tantamount. But any guesses on why? Because it is unfair if a Placecomm Member goes and discusses the upcoming companies with their friends. It is unfair if I get an edge just because my best friend is in Placecomm and yours isn’t. It is unfair if I come to know that the company that is a dream for both of us is coming to campus and I prepare while you go about daydreaming about that pretty girl in the front row, blissfully unaware of harsh realities. Therefore, my dear friend, it is only fair nobody knows till the company confirms that they are coming.

You may ask, why not tell the entire batch as to which company is being invited to on campus? Well, it is a bit like telling your entire family that you are getting a promotion at work and them discussing it with all their friends and neighbours, and their extended neighbours as well. Now if you miss out the promotion, you do feel the heat of disappointment. Frankly at the face of Summers or Finals approaching, disappointment is the last thing a batch needs. There are times I have asked my friend such details out of curiosity. With a polite smile they declined to answer saying “We will soon send a mail to the entire batch”. And sure enough, soon as a company gave a positive nod, the mail charged into our inboxes. Also, before every Placement slot, entire the line-up of companies coming to campus is disclosed well in advance, date wise, so as to give the students ample time to prepare.

The usual contents of the box: Company name and compensation (with a clear break of fixed and variable, unfailingly), Job description and a link to fill the form if interested. We filled that form knowing full well, what we were signing up for – what package and job description. If anything changed at any point in the process, the candidates were free to withdraw.

And yes, that form came to every single student of the batch, whether they were placed or not, to maintain transparency.

I asked my Placecommer friends once, about why a person who is placed is asked to withdraw from further processes. I will share the answer I had from them. We are a budding institute in the first decade of our formation. Our values are the core on which we build ourselves. The relationships we forge with companies now will be important and vital ones in taking us to the pinnacle of success. The values that we show as students show also reflects on the college. If we accept a job, presumably happy with the salary and the job description and leave it later for another company with a better pay package, it negatively impacts the relationship we had built with the former company. It is the same as promising a friend your support and withdrawing if you feel your wallet may be getting slightly heavier elsewhere. If you feel this isn’t the best for you, do not fill the form. If you don’t like the Pre-Placement offer made, don’t accept it. But backing down for money after a commitment has been made shows us deviating from one of the core values of the institute –integrity. We at IIMU, do as we say.

Finally, yes, we do rant a lot about academics being the prime focus and no, it does not mean the institute is indifferent to placements. Throughout the year mock interviews are conducted by industry experts to prepare students and also a dedicated team of executives takes pains to prepare us for all possible scenarios. It is no mean feat for a five-year-old institute to have placed all but 2 out of 133 people sitting for placements.  Also, the remaining 2 continue to receive placement support. Also, as per the very helpful Deferred Placement Policy, 2 of our alumni secured jobs with 15+ packages aided by our Placecomm.

We talk of Placements as a by-product of good academics and not the reason why academics exist. The reason you come to this place is the exposure and the brilliant student-driven culture. The culture that makes an alumnus take up the pen again to tell you the real story. I may add that Placecomm maintaining secrecy ensured that I had equal opportunity and bagged a coveted job in the campus. If you are well prepared, you should not be afraid of a fair fight.

Every institute needs a vision. I wish we could tell you we wish to be the second *insert a name of the b-school you believe to be the best*. We wish to be the first and the only IIMU. It will take some time, but the journey has begun.


One comment

Ashrav Gupta

There is a difference between a professional degree and an academic degree which is why the reason why a business degree exists has to be because of the opportunities it offers. Students are consumers of the service provided by bschools not other way round so to say placements are a by product is ridiculous. If students are driven to come by placements then the institute must support placements not the other way around