Why Summer Placements Are More Important Than Final Placements

June is that month of the year where a batch comes out of a ride and a new batch looks forward to the same for the next year. Summer Placements. When I was a b-school student I used to hear and over-hear casual remarks about this like “It’s just SIP (Summer Internship Placements)”,” 2 Mahine ki to baat hai”, “go wherever you can and get out of this race”, “Finals me faad denge”. As a fresher (Or even as a lateral), you don’t have much idea about the processes and maybe you lack confidence, you feel less-than-prepared, or cant decide where to go. By the time you understand these while also settling into b-school curriculum, activities, committees, etc. SIPs start. So first thing first – I believe SIPs are more important than Finals. WHY?

NOTE: Most of the points are in context with Tier 2 b-schools as well as those where rolling placement processes happen.

– Good companies (usually) give only PPOs. No final placements.
This is true, especially for Tier 2 colleges. A lot of big companies like ABG, Godrej, L’Oreal, BCG are more inclined towards PPOs and it is wiser on their part to test a candidate for 2 months and then decide. Which is why these companies pay attention towards recruitment during SIPs itself so that they choose cream candidate & don’t have to visit campuses again. More than knowledge about a work, they are intrested in self-awareness and drive for working hard. In a way, you have a better pool of companies (based on quality and not necessarily on quantity) during SIPs than you have during finals. This is the most important reason to prepare for SIP diligently & choose wisely.

– When in doubt, try! Take a chance!

So before joining MBA, we come with a lot of apprehensions. It is because we are unaware of the type of work in a Sales, Finance, Investment Banking, Consulting firms. Which is in turn because most of the batch has engineers and from IT jobs. There would hardly be someone with Sales/ Finance experience.  SIPs are a boon for such people to experience these jobs for a while and get enough gist of it and be able to decide whether they would want to do that more or want to do something else. For example, if you are (somehow) interested in Marketing but you think you can do finance too? Go for a finance role-based company for internship. You will either like it or not bt you’ll be able to decide to some extent. And of course, it’s not so Black and White.

We usually make up our mind by listening opinions of seniors and batchmates but I think we should try things ourselves because apart from Exchange program, SIPs are the only time you can take a chance during MBA failing which won’t really make huge losses for yourself.

– The risk is not very high because ultimately it’s just an internship.
Plain and simple. Not everyone wants a settled and chilled life at the very kickstart of their careers. So some of you might want to experience working in a startup. SIPs is the right time. It might not add good CV points (if at all there is anything like CV point) but you might have a lot to talk about your internship, hopefully. Secondly, companies do not come in the order of your preference.

Suppose you could not get through Consulting today, FMCG is in tomorrow’s line-up and next is Consulting after which startups will visit the campus. And you want to go only for consulting then do not apply for FMCG. There is no surity of getting shortlisted for Consulting and if you can’t get Consulting, you might have to work in a startup. But, take that chance, I’d say. You won’t know until you try.

If you have an appetite of come-what-may, you can do whatever you want and apply for everything. But if you are specific or inclined towards a set of companies/roles during a SIP, take that risk! It will be worth it.

These were my thoughts about why SIPs are to be taken with utmost seriousness and not about why those 2 months of work is important or how to spend those 2 months or how to convert an internship to a PPO. I hope it was useful for readers.

Gaurav Bachhawat

Gaurav Bachhawat is a Marketing Management Graduate from Xavier Institute Of Management, Bhubaneshwar (XIMB). He works in India's Leading Sanitaryware company in Gurgaon.