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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Campus Placement story

Imagine the plight of a child (say its a boy) in India, born to a middle-class family. Now I hate this fucking middle class mentality but that story is oft told and let us put it away for the moment. Now the child is told stories about heroes and achievers of the world. Nope Vivekanandas, Gandhis and the Kalams aren't the heroes in those stories. The heroes are the second cousins twice removed who made it big after they obtained a "highly coveted" engineering degree from a "reputed" institute. And by making it big, I mean, either he works at Goldman Sachs or at TCS depending upon which end of the spectra his family belongs to. Or he might have passed out of an IIT and become some never to be heard of professor at a US University. So the child starts to dream big. "Dude, I am going to crack JEE, get a 50 lpa job at an MNC (or win the noble prize in the case of the class prodigy), marry the most beautiful girl, spend money on anything and everything ( like ride an Audi A8 W12, wear Breguet watches and saville row suits, live in a farmhouse), in short enjoy the life......" or some variant of this dialogue. Somebody (the media, the second cousins, the parents, the all-knowing neighbours and teachers) puts it in their brains that the "khul ja sim sim" to this treasure trove is IIT. Therefore JEE......... Now how to crack jee? Why? They have all the answers "Practice makes a man perfect" "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration" So the youth (no longer a child) practices, perspires until he has solved some 20,000 different problems from various books to get into the treasure trove called IIT. Now what happens next?
"Dude, before I came in here I thought everybody got 70 lpa jobs in companies like facebook. At the end of 4 years I can hardly find a company willing to part with 6 lpa without a 3-year bond. On top of that, some 4 lpa company comes in conducts 3 levels of tests, then GDs and then 2 levels of interviews to select students. Seriously WTF is going on?.................And its been 15 days. I am still not placed yet." So the sympathetic (actually apathetic) friend says "What the hell are you talking about? So many companies with the most lucrative packages have come and gone. Why can't you get a job?"

Why the hell can't I get a job then?

1. Because my department isn't Computer Science. Select few get the chance to study computer science in IIT. But most companies with the lucrative packages come for CS guys. So why the fuck would the authority keep increasing the mechanical engineering seats and not computer science seats?

2. Because after wasting the whole of my youth in this treasure trove locked behind the doors of freedom, I wanted out so desperately I thought just give me a job and I will leave this place, never look back. Never did it occur to me to go for higher studies. Therefore I thought why the hell practice for CAT, GRE, CFA, etc when I am not going to do it?

Then comes our companies:

Day 1: All finance companies with the 10 lpa jobs..........question: What are options?

Me: Beg your pardon..
Q: options??? never heard of it?
Me: (what I should have said) Motherfucker, have you heard of the term herringbone gear or Bell-Coleman Cycle? What the hell do you think I was doing these 4 years in here? If you don't even know which subject I did my majors in, why the hell come in here to recruit people like us? And If you think we are talented enough that a training program at your company will make horses out of us donkeys, then why the hell ask this question even before recruitment?

And the show goes on.........

Day 7: The time of the consulting companies........
Its the written test... I am finding the aptitude questions easy enough. Any high school student should be able to solve them. The point however isn't if you are able to solve them. Its whether you can do it in time. Now who does that? Only those guys who have practiced rigorously for CAT, GRE, etc. Now, what does it tell you about their intentions? That they are never going to join the companies even if they are selected or even if they join they are going to leave as soon as they find greener pastures.
So can the genius recruiters say why the fuck people like me who are going to remain faithful to the job can't clear the test?

And the show goes on.........

Day 15: The time of the IT Companies.........

Me: "Dude, Seriously? After all the hard work in high school to get into IIT, then all the boring work of hammering and filing through the mechanical engineering classes, I am going to join a 6 lpa software firm, that too after I have already forgotten the syntax of the scanf statement?"

Nevertheless I sit for the test which comprises of mostly botany questions like how many leaves in a tree, which I can make neither head or tail of. However I do solve the puzzles part. Lo and Behold! I get shortlisted for interviews. The first interview is HR interview......

Interviewer: Take me through your CV
Me: blah blah blah....
Interviewer: What is your aim in life?
Me: (what I should have said) Dammit! The aim right now is to get out of this hellhole and yes it includes this particular room
Interviewer: where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Me: (what everyone should say) Listen asshole! Today I am giving an interview for a job at a software firm. This morning I was sitting for a test in a core company Yesterday I appeared for a GD in a consulting firm. A few days back I was updating my knowledge in derivatives which no longer seem to involve my beloved greek letters, because the finance guy was offering 15 lpa behind the interview table. Nobody knows where I am going to get a job or what kind of job I am going to do? I don't even know what will happen tomorrow. So how the fuck would I know where I would be 5 years from now?
Interviewer: So tell me about your strengths.....
Me: (If I was desperate I should have said this) You tell me what kind of characteristics you are looking for in the candidate who is essentially going to write and correct codes all day in front of a desktop inside a cubicle. Name them and I guarantee that you will find them in me.

And the show goes on......

Day n (I forget the count now......) Some core company comes to recruit.

They say that they are the foremost manufacturing company in India and they are looking for talented, knowledgeable people for their R & D.
By now you must be wondering what the hell is wrong this time? Surely I, who have been complaining about lack of preparation in finance or aptitude will ace the tests based on core subject.
Except the greatest manufacturing company suddenly doesn't allow the manufacturing science specialization of mechanical engg. They say that they are only looking for thermal science specialization students. One of our guys who happened to do his industrial intern at the very same company approaches the recruiters with his CV to explain how he has studied all the subjects in thermal science and how his projects are totally related to the work they are doing (as explained in their pre-placement talk). But what do they say?
"Sorry, but its against company policy"
What we should have said:
"Alright jokers! just explain this: Do you want the degree or the guy? Who is going to do your job? The piece of paper or the brains of the guy you are going to recruit? And as you said that you are recruiting us because you want the best quality brains so that you can grow in the international market as well, then why hide behind something like "policy"? Just get the best person for the job!"

And why on earth after such a heavy buttering of "you people are the cream of the crop, etc etc" would you recruit all 2 yr M. Techs? (No offence to the M.Tech students but we did beat you fair and square during JEE, exceptions not withstanding)

I will tell you why? Because the best undergrad students in thermal science and engineering who actually have good knowledge of the core subjects have already been placed in banks and trading firms within the first few days. yeah! The irony of it all!

Not to mention that even the core companies conduct only aptitude tests in first rounds.........Somebody should ask them why.

And the no show goes on............

So there you go.............

If you have a dream like the one mentioned right at the beginning of this post, either crush it now or try to do it without the JEE part. Or if you want to do the JEE part specifically please ensure that you have some higher aim, so that you work constantly towards that and not get satisfied that you belong to the top 0.5% of the population in intellectual acumen.

NOTE: No I am not suicidal. I have got a job. How I got it is another funny story. Maybe I will tell you sometime. However to clarify things I am NOT suicidal not because I have got a job finally. Its because I have already been through it all...........This post has come much much later. I was already enlightened by my 3rd year.

And if you are laughing after reading this post because you think the IITians are losers, thinkagain.......because you see as Tyler Durden would have said, everybody is a loser. The only difference between you and me is that I am smart enough to know that, while you need to be told that.


  1. Sudipto, it is the completely unaware (that is unaware of the nothingness of existence) who most often and apparantly bask in worldly 'success', in mundane terms. So if you are not so completely unaware, be prepared to be self-assertive or self-deceptive.
    Well! Don't mind the job, you write well :)

  2. wow! you captured my thought exactly....

    and thanks!

  3. BTW the most amazing thing happened. I never even thought that this post could be important enough that someone will do this: (Have a look)

    Also read the "About Me" part

  4. Damn it, I should have written my experience at IIM Lucknow's interview. It was awesome and I was not selected because I spoke my mind