Thursday, February 18, 2010
Day 0 - Final Part
Day -200 (Year 2 begins)
Recession has hit the job market with full force. There is no 2 day placement for the senior batch anymore, no multiple offers, no picks and choose. The shattered dreams of the senior batch can be seen lying around the campus.
All the dream companies of MBA have either bankrupted or are in major retrenchment. The papers are full of stories of doom, like apocalypse is here. Everybody has the living light scared out of them.
MBA decides to Major in Marketing and Minor in Finance reckoning that he can sit for maximum companies though his interest is in neither and his dream job is WPM (Whichever Pays More)
MBA is being asked to launch new products in the market, increase brand loyalty and implement CRM in an organization. The MBA makes the most grandiose of plans and most arduous of recommendations. And like expected he is getting good grades for it. Last project where he made common-sensical recommendations and tried to get the basics right did not go well with the professor, notes to self made.
MBA is full chillaxed now. Hardly ever reads the cases or prepare for the quizzes and thanks god for relative grading. Most of his time is either spent in participating in B-School competitions or trying to get a live project.
MBA participates into a jingle making competition, a stock market game and an operations quiz. After all using Google and depending upon luck doesn’t require any specialization. The hunt for any and every kind of certificates and need for CV bullet point starts again.
MBA works his ass off to get a live project. The feeling of hard work after so long is surprisingly good. Though MBA had already decided not to work at all in this project from now. If they are not giving him the certificate now to put in his CV then it’s no use, and if they are giving him a certificate now to put in his CV then also it’s no use to work anymore.
Day -30(Lateral Placements Begin)
There is a buzz in the campus. Everybody is running around carrying their Kotlers, Micro Economics and Finance books. Some IT stalwarts are even seen carrying their JAVA and Oracle books.
Rumor Mill is working overtime too. Every other day there is news of one XYZ college who is visited by a top notch company which will not be coming to our campus or a ABC company who picked up 15 people from some other campus though only picking 2 from ours and lastly the PQR company who is giving a better package and profile to an equivalent college of ours.
MBA wonders why he and his campus is the centre of all misfortune in the universe.
The most disturbing rumor of it all. The FMCG Company he did summers in isn’t giving out PPOs this year. People console him by saying “You’ll surely have an edge when the company comes to recruit from the campus”, but rumor has it that the company isn’t hiring this season. People again console by saying “You surely will have an edge on everybody else as your Summers is the most important part of the CV”
The fat balding Bengali guy who came here after 4 years of IT work-ex and whom everybody made fun of got into a MNC IT company on the profile – Consultant! MBA has not been even able to raise his dropped jaw when he hears that he that it might be the highest package in the campus this year.
Day -7 (Week before Placement week)
The bomb is dropped on the batch by the placecom when they announce the news everybody dreaded. Not many companies are lined up for the placement week, the packages are going to be bad this year too, their major recruiters are not coming back to the campus and yes, his company hasn’t offered a PPO to anyone this year.
“So much for the recovery and green shoots in the papers. Somebody shoot them or shoot me”, MBA thinks.
People have taken this news two ways, half have resigned themselves to their fate and waiting with their head hanging for whatever that will happen, the other half is panicky and has started calling everyone from their earlier colleagues, job consultants to their exes for a job. They have dived into books with new vigor and are begging the placecom to let them tweak their CVs one more time.
Day -1 (The night before Day 0)
MBA is nervousness personified. After pouring through his Kotler, Finance, Operations and ever HRM book once the MBA is still unsure of the difference between retrenchments, firing and layoffs. Whether a Master Planning schedule is made first or a MRP. He runs backs to book whenever he forgets the definition of service marketing, full form of MRP – II and difference between Active vs. Passive ETF Investing.
He has everything from a MR as his summers, to a finance live project to a HR quiz won in his CV.
Plus the there is 10 companies whose websites I need to see and check out their balance sheets, P&L account. And not to forget the ICRA reports on their respective Industries.
DAY 0 –
MBA has been shortlisted in a Consulting Firm, a MR firm, a MNC bank, a life insurance firm and a automobile company for the day. He had applied for all as all of them fit the criteria of WPM.
First interview is the big Consulting Firm
He thinks – Do this well and you are set for life!
Consulting Firm –
Partner in the firm- So MBA why consulting?
MBA – This is my dream company. Sir all my life I have been a generalist rather than a specialist and consulting will give me exposure to all kind of sectors and will quench my thirst for knowledge… Blah Blah Blah…
MR Firm –
HR – So why Marketing Research?
MBA – This is my dream company. Ma’am I think I am good in research and MR is a very good way to get into the field of marketing where you can directly see the result of all marketing activities … Blah Blah Blah…
MNC Bank –
HR - Why our Bank MBA?
MBA – This is my dream company. Your Brand Name has the kind of reputation which no other bank enjoys in the market. In last year’s recession when all the major banks either perished or had to be bailed out your back was one of the few who were fiscally sound…. Blah Blah Blah ….
Life Insurance Company –
HR – So why this sector?
MBA – This is my dream sector .India as a county is very under penetrated when it comes to Insurance and thus there is a immense potential this sector and according to the latest IRDA report … Blah Blah Blah ….
Automobile Company –
HR – Why the Automobile Sector?
MBA begins to wonder whether there is some HR Penal Code by which they will be tried if they did not ask this question. The Placecom has already told them that I am on four other processes and they are the only automobile company on the campus so they should know that I am just trying to get a job like they did when they first passed out.
MBA – This is my dream company. Being an Engineer I was always fascinated by machines and what better machines there are than automobiles? And the automotive sector has started to pick up again… According to the latest SIAM report …. Blah Blah Blah ….
MBA is astounded to see the most of the scumbags and free riders of the batch are through and not to mention the girls! While the batch topper, the half the placecom and the Finance whizkids (read cleared CA / CFA / FRM/ etc etc) and the Marketing Gurus are still here.
Lesson 3 of MBA – All is takes, is to be in the right place at the right time. Luck or any other synonym of it does matter!
Day 1 –
Shortlisted in a Indian Bank –
Panelist – Why our bank?
MBA – I was always interested in a bank. Management of risks in Bank was my favorite topic….
Panelist (interrupting him) – But we are offering the profile of Relationship manager so you won’t be working with the risk management group. Havent you seen the JD we had sent and our PPT?
MBA (foot in his mouth) – Yes Sir. But I wasn’t clear on the JD. I mean I was. I thought I could switch afterwards from CASA selling to Risk Management.
Panelist – No you can’t.
MBA (Irritated, he wants to shout “I am a MBA from a top notch B-School and you are some bank PO, you don’t get to tell me shit.”) – I don’t think I’ll be able to perform very well in this role then Sir. I’m sorry.
After two more rejections his friends gather around him. Many pieces of infinite wisdom fly his way.
“Don’t worry something better will come your way. “ Don’t worry you’ll get placed in some company. ““Our college people are fools they don’t know how to push students. ““ Oh, you shouldn’t have said that in the interview. ““You should have given NCFM along with me, that’s what every bank requires. ““ Actually with your engineering background you should have been prepared for manufacturing companies. ““Here, wear this tie when you go in for interview next time, this is my lucky tie. ““Say this in the interview next time… Blah Blah…“
Day 2 –
Only one shortlist in a new telecom company.
MBA thinks – Now I am screwed for life
MBA finally gets through for the role of sales manager at a meager salary compared to his classmates.
Day 100 –
After his MBA and the so called orientation the MBA is thrown into a small town for looking into the town’s sales and to supposedly learn. MBA tries all his customer engagement, brand building and sales management knowledge into it but nothing seems to be working.
MBA also realizes it’s no use wearing a suit to the office. In fact he was the laughing stock of the office.
Day 101 –
MBA unlearns all the strategic planning, keeping the strategic intent of the company in the company in view before sales planning etc etc. There is no brand building to be done here, he does not have to design the distribution model or to set the pricing and he has no say in the capital structure of the firm either.
So much for all the subjects taught in the MBA course!
MBA loses his tie too
Day 200 –
MBA realizes that running a business has little to do with cramming up AIDA model and CAPM equations. It’s more about common sense, managing people and having a good sense of things to come. And of course also about keeping your boss happy.
Day 3650 – Ten years have passed since MBA faced his day 0 in the same college. Now he returns as the Marketing head. He had a fast track growth in a then small company that grew by leaps and bound in those years and left competition behind.
MBA arrives on Day 0 in his alma mater to pick up students for his organization along with the HR team. His company has managed to get a day 0 slot because of its package offered and the number they are looking to pick up.
MBA – Tell me something about yourself…..
Other MBA – Sir …..
Maybe now the circle is complete
Lesson 1 of life – The race is hard and long. But in the end it’s only with yourself. Sometimes you might think you are ahead ,sometimes you think you lag behind but you can never win or lose until it’s over.