Vantage point

Friday, February 21, 2003


Don't groan, this is not another cricket related post. It's about the placement of our senior batch at IIML. Everyone, except for 2 guys got placed in 2 days, and many companies could not come because there was no one left to take. Not only does this mean a great sense of triumph and relief for the entire institute, but also a holiday for us today, which was originally scheduled to be a placement day too.

This batch was the first one with a strength of 240 (the last one being 170), which had reduced to 230 after failures and dropouts. There was some anxiety about whether we would be able to place this huge number at a time when the economy is in a perpetual state of recession. But we managed it. =-)

The IT companies are back on a hiring spree, with Infosys taking 30 , HCLtech taking 20, Wipro taking 6 and TCS taking 6, among the big companies. That itself means 25% of the batch. The consultants did not come this year, and the number of finance jobs was very less. The evergreen field of marketing was the mainstay of placements though, and people got great jobs in it.

A lot of oil companies, like BPCL, IOC and HPCL came with the intention of making at least 10 offers or so, with a very hefty pay package, but no one was left. IOC took 5 guys, but apparently wanted 20 or so.

I do feel very bad for the two guys who did not get placed though. I may not give much indication of it in my blog, but IIML is a very demanding place, both in terms of the effort you have to put in, as well as the emotional resilience you have to possess. There have been 1 or 2 nervous breakdowns every year. All this on top of the one year of intense preparation for the entrance exam, CAT. Just to give you an idea of how hard it is to get in, this year 107,000 undergraduates and graduates took the MBA entrance exam, of which only 900 will eventually make it to the top 4 IIM's (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta and Lucknow). Figure out the odds. After conquering such daunting odds, those two guys must have got in, survived the excruciating 20 month course, and hoped to start their careers.

But instead they were rejected by many companies. Even the companies which came towards the end, left without taking anyone rather than taking them.

I can't even begin imagining how they must be feeling right now. Prof Ravisundar, the Placement Incharge, has assured them that he will get them jobs within a day or two which will be of a comparable pay and position, so they need not fear unemployment. But can you imagine how taxing this must be on their self esteems? Business schools can be cruel, and only those who can stand immense stress and still come out with their self respect and confidence intact should try for it. Especially top B-schools where your classmates are so talented, motivated and focussed that they keep pushing the bar up. No wonder some people expand IIM as "Institute of Infinite Misery".