You’re Placed (Finally)! Dummies Guide To The Placements Process

One of the highlights of any graduate’s MBA journey is the placements season, that harrowed part of your two-year sojourn when the lakhs spent in getting into the MBA School finally start to bite and every rejection starts making you feel even more left out and dejected. This is the story of that constant cycle of random shortlists, heated group discussions, tense interviews and the ensuing jubilation that pretty much defines the worth of your MBA Degree. It is that time when ROI starts making sense outside your Finance textbooks, and CTC becomes a more commonly used word than MC!

You first get an inkling that something is afoot when the placement committee goes on overdrive and terms like dream, day zero and batch addresses start getting thrown around. Classes take the backseat as everyone is busy preparing for D-Day as Normandy draws close. And then the first companies start arriving. Wearing the lush suit and you feel you’re already half way into your corporate life. Your first GD panel and the person who sat next to you in class, accusing you of DCP every time you spoke, now fires away as if his life is on the line and the churn begins. You feel pity for the moderator who is trying to make sense of all the chaos and every now and then a view gets through so that as the “Group Debate” subsides you are left wondering on what basis the selection is ever gonna happen!

And then you have the quintessential interview, myriad in its forms, from HR to technical and stress to laid back. More than two decades of your life’s history and learnings now lead up to twenty minutes of “Alternative facts” and stories of lore and triumph, trying to bring out the best in you. Every company wants you to tell them about yourself, a question so vague and open-ended that it has spurned an entire industry, from books to workshops and dedicated blogs to personality gurus. When Deep Thought announced “42” to be the answer to the Universe and Everything, this was perhaps the Ultimate Question he was looking for. It took 7.5 million years for the supercomputer to compute that, and the indomitable MBA graduate is expected to find the answer to that within the first quarter of his life.

And every now and then companies come up with new tools to gauge your inner manager. Where on one hand guesstimates make a mundane activity into a structured thinking process, on the other hand, case analysis’ helps remind you of every HBR study you were supposed to scrutinise but never did. And then there’s the mysterious psychometric test, a test so mysterious in its making that even the Oracle of Delphi would be proud. So as the volley of questions tries to gauge your true capability, you are simply left with a sense of melancholy at how little you know about yourself. These modern age psychics are sure to give Frank Herbert’s “Melange” a run for its money.

After all these tribulations have passed, the results drop in, and you are out! No DRS to your rescue here. This is one rejection though that you cannot fret about without feeling guilty for not celebrating in your friends’ success. And then again, which dejection can survive the onslaught of Foster’s and BP’s especially when they are free!

Another day, another company but the same old process with the same stricken results. A few more pegs down the rabbit hole leading up to wonderland. As the moons wane, disregard gives way to despair, and the only way to motivate yourself remains to revel at the reduced competition. But as the saying goes, “Seek, and ye Shall find” and find you do, the one that sees the spark in you and is willing to take you under its fold. That elusive suitor.

In the words of Tom Cruise himself, “ How can you not be romantic about placements.”

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