A year and a half at a B-School, but now I feel a strange vibe here. I feel like a stranger now. The days are as hot as stark summers, but the nights make me shiver even in my blanket. Somebody, for sure, is playing mind games here. Apart from the weather, the other buzzing topic in the campus is the festive season of Placements. This entire journey seems to be like a relay race which has come down to its final lap, i.e. PLACEMENTS.
Placement, for a student is that tonic which tastes sweet when taken first, but as the time passes by and as we fathom the initial hullabaloo, we start to experience its sourness. It begins with the student being shown the magical CTC(COST TO COMPANY) figure which woos even the best of the minds on campus and once the magic fades away, we are left with the unwrapped FIXED Salary figure. We know all this, but still run for it.
The populists used caste system to divide the voters into segments, we have placements here as the dividing basis. The forward classes are the PLACED STUDENTS who look forward towards receiving their call letters and joining dates. While the backward classes are the, UNPLACED STUDENTS who fight for the mere basics! They keep on refreshing their inboxes in order to find a suitable company that would take them out of their miseries of being unemployed.
The placed students are out of all the ‘Moh-Mayas’ of the MBA. In their thoughts their Post-Grads are as good as over. The only letters or E-Mails drawing their concern are those from their recruiters. Normally, a student waits for holidays, or some other reasons to go home when he/she is a part of a residential program. But these guys look for reasons important enough to make them stay in the college!
A suitable example would be that of my own room-mate who went home to celebrate his niece’s birthday! The niece is too small to understand what birthdays are!!
Earlier, parties were supposed to be special occasions for me, but post the B-School life, I came to know that it is something which you can have any day once you are placed. The life cycle has undergone tremendous changes. The, so called, forward classes here don’t generally have mornings. Mornings are the new nights for them! And the night (which is commonly known to us) is the time for them to socialize where they discuss all the illogical stuff. This is how their schedule is and this is what keeps them busy. The only productive task which keeps the placed students occupied apart from their regular time passing stuff either is talking to their existing girlfriend, or an attempt of making one.
Gym, fitness, making a mark for oneself, and many more similar idealistic, spiritual and motivational GYAAN is bestowed upon the unplaced ones by the placed people. And the recipients of such profound knowledge are supposed to live by these words since the ones telling them have already run their part of the race successfully!
Left with no other options, the unplaced students enjoy and celebrate the success of their superior ones in their booze parties with a hope that they will throw even more grand parties once they are hired.
And I am a member of this community. Tough luck! I know. But this is what I do to keep myself rejoiced, I consider myself to be over qualified for the jobs. I may be under qualified in the eyes of the HR managers who come to hire us, but who cares! As long as it keeps me upbeat and hopeful, I am totally fine with it. And then after rejecting us, these recruitment managers tell us (rather, console us) that we don’t lack the caliber or talent, but it’s just about the JOB FIT which they didn’t find in us. Honestly, after being rejected from a plethora of job profiles, we start to doubt whether we have the job fit at all in us for any job. We start to wonder if we are fit enough for anything. Oh lord is there a job for me anywhere on your good, green earth?
But then there are certain influences among us who plant the seed of ENTREPRENEURSHIP in the fertile soils of our minds. I must confess TVF PITCHERS was one such influence for me. Probably having our own business won’t let our job-unfitness haunt us! The harsh reality, though, is that our B-PLANS rarely get the daylight and are lost somewhere etched on the last few pages of our notebooks.
Similar to the placed ones, we too rock the time by,
- Partying –Parties thrown by the placed ones,
- Movies– With the ones who are placed take us with
- TED Talks – Which the ones who are placed, suggest us to see
- Drinks and smoke– Which the ones who are placed sponsor.
Even as I am writing this, my friend sitting by my side tells me that dude, I am just 1 company away from breaking the Undertaker’s historic winning streak of 21-0! Well, speaking of sports, we have found new interest in them. This is not to keep us fit, but to divert our minds from the constant mails regarding the placements.
With the passage of time, after giving so many group discussions and personal interviews, we have become accustomed to a particular way of talking. One where we start the conversation by stating the GDP of the developed and the developing nations and similar facts and figures. Later on, though, the puzzled faces of our friends do make us realize that all that we spoke was absolutely illogical in the context of that discussion.
We have a strong union. The union of the unplaced people. The placed guys are very loosely bound and can be found scattered here and there in the college campus. The sole aim of our union is to become one of those scattered ones as soon as possible. We meet every day over a Puff of cigarette to discuss about the companies, the placements of other colleges, the CTC and other similar stuff. This has helped us in developing a deep understanding about each other.
Oh! How did I forget calling my parents today! We say this, but we deliberately avoid calling them. Consequently, my dad gives me a call to ask me about my well-being. After my father, my mother takes the phone in her hand and asks about the food that I ate today, the climate in the city I live in and my health. Afterwards, when all the usual things have been discussed, there comes a point of complete silence. No one talks from both ends of the call. This is the point where you automatically understand the question that is hovering over your parent’s mind. This is the question you really want to avoid. Yes, it is about your PLACEMENT.
The phone call ends, and so does our momentary non-comfort. Another unsuccessful day draws towards an end. The last task for the day remains. I open my laptop/phone and refresh my E-mail ID to check if another “dream company” is going to come the next day. I sleep to awaken my dreams.
-@ramta Jogi and Akshay Toplay