Friday, November 21, 2008

Ground reality of D-Day

Dreams, Ambitions and Passion. These are the three things that everyone entering the halls of an IIM would bring with them. The expectations of their friends and family, the responsibility of being the nation's brightest talent and the pressure of competing with the best in business makes people work like they have never before and they will never after. But to all this persistence and hard work, there lies an riskier albeit easier alternative to get through the IIMs with the least effort and the best rewards. This is the summers. Summers offers one way to everyone to get the best campus placements (fair to assume most have the same goal), with two months of hard work and a fair bit of luck (here is where the risk is high; the luck part). People come in, make others look fools to be slogging their asses off, get the best interns, a PPO and party even harder later. Obviously, the stakes associated with the summers are then very high. And all the fiasco and conundrum that take place is an experience worth living through.

The day one enter the portals of IIMB, he is told about the summer placements four months down the line. In fact, even before coming here, I was told that IIMB places huge importance on resume building, which I believe is not an inch away from the truth. The amount of time spent on making the same deed look better, attractive and finally amazing is more than all projects combined till date. Now, that is some effort to put in. This year was an exceptional mix of economic depression, bigger batch size and a more experienced batch. The placement committee might have had little trouble making the corporates believe that these are some of the best resumes floating around in the country, but the competition within to get the Day Zero offers was a building volcano waiting to erupt. I personally, completely neglected the academics, for the first time gave my mid terms without bothering to open the book (no need to say i fared badly), spent a hell lot of time to brush up my basics and get ready for action on Day Zero. There is a whole lot that happens before that, but that can be discussed sometime down the years.

Cometh Day Zero. People with 15 16 17 shortlists waiting to get into the process and enter the their most preferred company. Some were lucky to do so. And some not so. I was out of the process in half an hour, which was a big relief and reward to all the hard work over the past one month. But there were others who were made to survive anxious moments and some who couldn't make it on that day. There were some lucky ones who got much more than expected, and there were some immensely good guys who left Day Zero empty handed. There were people who shifted focus from consults to I banks, rather unwillingly and some accepted offers from bankrupt companies. But none there was willing to accept that it was just a summer placement, me being no exception. It was not just the career at stake, it was the pride of being the best among India's best. It was about proving to yourself and others that you deserve all the glory you yearn for. It was all a myth.

The real glory for me came to stand by your friends who after a number of interviews go into the room hoping to get an offer from the next one. It lies in you being there before them to show the world that nothing differentiates you from your colleague. It is one time, if any, to show that there was solidarity in you, and the center of the human body, was still beating hard as it was when you were going into that room. It lies in the thank you that your friend says when he gets an offer. For me, it was the biggest takeaway from the process. I made friends, and I stood by people when they needed it the most. You need not worry what the others are doing. You need not complaint that the others are not there. All you need is compassion and empathy. The very hyped up Day Zero may break the hearts of many. But make the bonds of friendship so much more stronger.

Well, I think it is time to throw the heavier stuff out of the window, and tell some of the most cranky things that happened during those five days. It could be a certain someone asking a girl to lift her pants up (literally dude, get a life) or it could be the same girl praising someone else's pink tie and it could be us who just embarrassed the poor lad. It could be the end reward for someone getting clicked with all the girls of the class, or it could be the red ass you carry out of MDC, which stamped the delight of everyone on your success. All these stored in pics and memories. The process for me was highly memorable, and I think I am glad I was there.

The summers are over and I am suffering with Sleeping Sickness. I am looking for a cure to it and some enthusiasm to come close to my performance in term 1. Right now I am miles away. But things will change. Now it will be Ankit Part 1 all over again. The dreams, ambitions and passion is still there. And bigger and better than before.

Good Night and Good Luck


Ganesh said...

Good you had fun in the midst of it all :-) Only few are fortunate enough to see the visual proof though :P

Ankit said...

They will always see all the proofs.. The way it turned out.. Deja ignored two pics and made an analogy. Deja, you are so dead now..