Have not heard for a long time from 1Across, neither from Goks in L so looks like the placement fever has hit both campuses..Cannot believe it was just two seasons ago that i went through the same circus..
Aunindo, Venki, Rags, Ankur, Suman and I - The Band of Brothers... 6 of us with IT experience and specialising in Marketing....TCS, Infy, IBM... Name it and we had people from all these companies..While most of us had got in with dreams of making it big in the FMCG sector, a month into B-school, hard cold facts had brought us down to earth..Nobody had ever heard of the biggies like a Levers or an ASPA hiring software engineers...Of course, this did not deter us from filling in that lousy P&G online application nor the soul-searching TAS form but i, for one, wasn't kidding myself that I'd make the shortlist. (unbeatable combo that - fresher / pretty woman ) While Rags and Suman hoped against hope that the miracle would happen, I remember how I was ready to even get into a Henkel or Perfetti and prove my worth. Besides this, I was also trying on my own to get my preferred White-Goods companies come to campus, in vain..
When the actual jamboree started and the firsts shortlists filtered in, what was shocking was that even a smaller FMCG company like Madura Coats refused to touch us with a barge pole. A few more kelas happened. What was really scaring us was the fact that we had an excellent Information Management batch, 45 really good candidates with whom we would have to fight it out in case we decided to get back to IT. It was during those first two days of results and the ensuing madness that we, The Band of Brothers, stuck together. While Ankur had his own support system :-) and Aunindo found solace in daaru, the rest of us were always together discussing strategy/plans and helping each other out with the forms. It was during one of these particularly distressing evenings that we decided to chill out by going out for a movie. Since it was more to let out steam than to have fun, we decided to just drop in at Navrang which was a stone's throw from our campus. Navrang, without exaggerating for effect, is as dilapidated as a hall can get (Its like Plaza in B'lore * 10 times) and screens soft porn in the morning and current flops for the rest of the shows. I remember it was a Thursday since the poster said LAST DAY and so we settled down to watch AWARA PAGAL DEEWANA 6 to 9 pm. The movie will go down in my records as one of the stupidest ever made but what makes it unforgettable was that when we came back to the hostel, we had our first big break. Out of the 6 of us, 5 had been shortlisted in Tarang Technologies. At that point of time, it did not matter that Tarang was hardly a known entity in the software field. What only mattered was that we had opened our account. (Though there was no stipend in sight) Delighted and also relieved, we realised Navrang had been the key to our success. We were no believers in superstition but unwilling to take any chances Venki, Rags and I (Deewana, Pagal and Awara) went again to Navrang on Friday evening. Thankfully the movie had changed and we ended up seeing YEH HAI JALWA, that Salman / Amisha starrer. And guess what happened when we came back..We found ourselves in the Levers and Nestle shortlist..Again the truth is that almost 90% of the Marketing batch had been shortlisted for the former but we were ecstatic and felt all the good luck had to do with Navrang. Mercifully we did not do a hat-trick since there were classes scheduled on Saturday morning ;-) but by then our confidence was sky-high.
As expected most of the IT companies save HCL ended up shortlisting Information Management candidates while some others like Wipro refused to consider Marketing guys with IT background since they wanted 'fresh perspective'. Slaughtered from both sides we could have so easily quit.. But we didn't...Unfazed by Wipro's harsh treatment we still applied hoping they would throw us a lifeline. A few of us made it to the shortlist and also converted it. Towards the end, things became easier and the so called unfortunate tail-enders (who were in reality playing a wise wait-n-watch game) ended up getting excellent deals like Britannia and IBM. As they say "God only serves those who stand and wait". Looking back now, though those were difficult days what helped us most was our attitude. We always believed we would make it and never took setbacks to heart. Of course, what definitely worked for me was the fact that i was always in touch with my non MBA pals which brought a semblance of normalcy to my harried life. I also appreciated the presence of people who were truthful even in the toughest moments, who did not offer false hope or say things they did not mean. Its so easy to fall for traps like "Don't worry man..Col Pal aint a great job at all" after you have not made it there. And this is one lesson i put to great use during finals. When a few of my closest friends were down, I could sense that they knew they would make it but what hurt them more was the long wait. During those days, all i did was stay with them throughout - dine and chat with them, listen, egg them on, help them prepare and of course, pray like crazy...Yeah.... I said Pray.. coz if there's one thing that i learnt from this whole carnival, then it is the fact that there is absolutely no logic or reasoning behind the selection process. Of course one needs to put in effort but ultimately ur fate is decided by destiny. And I've seen that more often than not, peeple who didn't crib about what they got but still labored on were the ones who finished on top.
If shortlists itself was such a battle then the interviews and then PPIs and of course, finals taught me so much more... and these lessons, i strongly believe, were worth much much more than those insanely long hours put in S&D and Pricing. Damn these classes !