Placement to Placement...Engineering to MBA...
Final year at Delhi College of Engineering to Final Year at IMT Ghaziabad. The same time of the year, the same dreaded 'P' word. P for placements. The same feelings, the same fears and aspirations. Seems nothing has changed. There is an economic meltdown and C/C++ and Quant practice has been replaced by Sub prime fundas and marketing gyan, but still, the essence of the placement time is the same.
In 06, TCS was the first company, followed by Infy and Aricent. In our quest to quickly get a job under our belt, a majority of the 550 strong batch had applied for TCS. A simple objective MCQ paper, not doing all questions right intentionally, as from what we had learnt TCS rejects you as being "over qualified" if you do all the questions. :-) So, we having done just the right amount of questions right,were overconfident that we would qualify for the next stage and be home for Rakhi which was on the very next day, the day on which Infy was scheduled to come.
The results of the initial shortlisting round came out and while almost all of our batch mates made it and even 100+ got eventually selected(TCS is not known as Bulk Recruiter at engineering colleges for nothing!), there were three guys who were surprisingly left out. There was myself, and there were two other friends, all living in the same floor in the same hostel.
Not being shortlisted was hard to accept, as we knew all the answers(Software companies tend to repeat their questions every year and these are freely available on the net!) and had deliberately marked a couple wrong as not to be "over qualified". What ever the reasons might be, the point was we were not going home on Rakhi and were sitting for Infy the next day.
It's said that circumstances and bad luck bring people together. It did, that day, as three friends bonded over their seemingly bad luck and cursed their tormentor TCS, without any limit. As time passed, we realized that cursing just would not do, and there was a company coming up next day. We arranged for material which would help us crack that. For Infy it meant, the famous Shakuntala Devi puzzle book. So confident were we of cracking TCS the very first day, that we had not even bothered to go through it before.
Interesting things were happening then as we prepared for our savior Infy, which was due the very next day. One of us suddenly got a call from the office, that TCS had indeed shortlisted him for the interview and he had to be there in 10 min. Sitting in his night pajamas, he managed to get ready, tie and everything, in 10 min flat. He went, he gave the interview and came back. Dejected. To join us again for the preparation for Infosys. All in a space of 45 minutes. I also got a call from one of my classmates who also had not been shortlisted and with whom I was on msg-msg terms only. ;-) Call was to stay cool and that "there were great companies ahead, this is only the start, and that I was good enough to make it" types. But it worked. A girl explaining you things always always works.
Then, did we get through Infosys? Well two of us did. Did that girl call again to congratulate me? Well she did! Did something happen between us? Well, we became very very good friends. A lot of stories, related to those three "rejected by TCS" friends happened, from that time when they bonded over their failure in the DCE hostel to today. One is now an electronics guru, another a finance stud and the third, well third is me...going through the whole placement process again, which would start very soon.
The butterflies are back and as I read about how managers should cope with the economic crisis, I hope I mange to come out smiling from the placement season, with some new stories to talk about!