Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Creativity and SP - Part 1

A couple of weeks back, I'd had the fortune of meeting one of my colleague's brother who worked for one of the Big Five. The problem with me is that when I disregard something/someone, I can barely manage to hide my contempt...Ditto with consultancy careers and IIMA grads who work in these outfits doing nothing but producing global gas...This particular meeting, which I hadn't exactly been looking forward to, thankfully set right a few of my biases and prejudices regarding the 'morons who worked there'. For half an hour Vignesh regaled me with stories of life at B school, the first job from campus, the accidental switch to consultancy, the goof-ups and gaffes of the first 6 months and how he had settled down slowly putting me at ease and actually convincing me that these guys weren't all nerds or jerks ;-)

After some more bonding, he casually mentioned that he had flown down to meet up with one of the summer trainees assigned to him and brief her about the forthcoming summer project. One thing led to another and we were soon discussing profiles, brochures and selection procedures when I started probing Vig into giving details about how exactly did companies decide on shortlisting people based on whatever little info was given out in the brochure. Surprisingly, he remarked that on most occasions while past pedigree certainly carried weight (read: studied in IIT / Stephens and worked abroad) what was more important was to present something that reflected your personality best, anything that made you stand out from the crowd, so that it would atleast give you a chance to make an impression in the next round. While this clearly appeared common sensical, I was in for a rude shock when I saw some of the write ups he showed me. While most of them mentioned something or the other about their academic achievements (ranging from NTSE in std 10 to best outgoing student to College Merit scholarships) very few seemed to think of it as an opportunity to sell themselves creatively.

It was then that curiosity took the better of me and I mentioned that at SP, the way we had done it was to have a common template for academic and work experience history and use the actual write up to present an insight into one's personality. He appeared to concur with me that it made more sense that way and asked if he could see our batch's brochure (of course, in between I had boasted a lot about how our batch was different and whacky and rocked and blah blah...) Today I received a reply where he has identified the 5 write ups which definitely intrigued him with a remark that he was very impressed in general with the quality of our Marketing batch...

Note: I know some of my batch mates might also be reading this and I don't want this post to take political overtones so I'll let it be known beforehand that I masked the names of the people before sending it to him ;-)

Here are the 'chosen ones' with Vig's comments laced in between, in the same order in which I received it:

"The impossible is often the untried" says India's representative at the ISC Symposium, Switzerland. Optimism & Confidence strengthen him. English literature, Poetry, Formula1 capture his imagination.

Classy write up. The best of the lot. I can almost imagine his personality - strong, decisive, ambitious. There is something about this guy that makes the reader of his profile sit up and notice. The only negative thing I can say is that he tries too hard to sell himself. He's used the 25 word limit and more too. Notice the & instead of 'and' so that he can bring that Switzerland angle ;)

Aspiring CEO and novelist. Sports, quizzing and literary enthusiast.

Brevity is the essence of life. Though the word limit was 25, this guy knew what he wanted to project about himself. His interests are, to put very mildly, extremely diverse.

With a desire to change the world, question conventions and redefine traditions, Amit is a go-getter looking forward to new challenges.

Might sound like a lot of mother-good statements but clearly shows a flair for the language which will help him in a consultancy career.

Dares to 'Dream Big' and believes that one who dreams most, does most. His interests range from trekking, script-writing, volunteering for NGOs to quizzing.

Very different opening. With B-schools full of ruthless go-getters (I do not need to look beyond the first person in the list) this dreamer comes across as a refreshing option. His interests seem to mirror his personality as well.

An IIT graduate with a natural flair for marketing. Believes that life and market opportunities lie in the villages. His interests include swimming and badminton.

This guy means business. Look at his guts - ready to stick his neck out on opportunities in rural India. Maybe has something to do with his background but I'd definitely have a look at this profile though he would not fit into a consultancy role.

Besides the above 5, I thought this one came pretty close too if it weren't for the fact that I am biased against Bengolis.

From extempore, skits, copywriting to classical music: Aunindo is in love with creative pursuits. Hardworking guy, likes saying "I'm ready todirty my hands!!"

Now, Now...I am sure this made someone's day...Wotsay ;-)


neha said...


Our interviews used to be in the dead of the night. At about 3 30 AM and what not.. and I used to so pissed by then, because the next day the classes were to start again at 9 AM, and most organisations would announce the final list at about 6 AM.

In a bit where we had to talk about our strengths. I wrote

I am very patient. (I have a younger sibling)

Apparently that is what got me in. (yeah, the damn organisation did really test my patience during those six months!!)

Tier 8 B school student said...

If you thought that was creative, wait till you read mine :)

neha said...

Err.. Waiting

Man with no Name said...

non B school passout.. U'll have to lie so much to get into a job U dont want? great! and which one's U, btw?

Jupe said...

Midnight interviews stopped with Under-grad..Think I wrote a post on that s'time back (yaaa..shameless self propoganda)...and this patience thing, you gotta be jokin'...Your journal just says the opposite ;-)

*scratches his head* errr...for what ? *sad frown* thoda duh hoon...

Yours is not a profile..Yours sounds more like a pickup line :-p

At the time of writing those bag of lies, there were dreams being dangled in front of our eyes...reality checks happened later ;-)

Btw, I LOVE MY WORKPLACE & MY CUBICLE MATE...Now lets see u say that ;-)

Venks said...

Mama..got Tears in my eyes....

Tanx machchi...!!! funny the selected write ups have 3 D -Wingers, if you include Dada 4
Raghu,Me,Suman and dada....

Anu said...

Right brain and Reality....

HR Ques:A bumble bee is not designed to fly.How does it fly ..

Ans: A Bumble bee does not know it is not supposed to fly , so it flies.

HR:Wow,You are a right brainer.You have lateral thinking, you are selected.

At work:

RSM: What makes you think you can be an ASM with jus 6 months of exp ...

same lateral candidate : I never knew it takes more than 6 months to learn this murky trade ... So I think I can very well become one..

RSM: You think too laterally , I think you are a culture misfit...