Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day Zero

In every MBA’s life the most important day is the day 0 of placements. Everything else is peripheral noise surrounding it. At day 0 dreams are full filled or shattered and futures are made or ruined. People judge each other’s worth by the package and day of the placement.

The term day 0 was introduced to placate the egos of other MBAs who are in the recruiting side. Perhaps day 2 was too demeaning to them to recruit on so the concept of day 0 was introduced so that the second day people can still have day 1. The students felt better too, who wouldn’t want to be recruited on day 1 rather than day 2?

Everything else in the life of MBA can be referenced taking day 0 as origin. Day 0 was all he ever came into MBA for.

Day -1095 ( Day minus one thousand and ninety five or three years before Day 0) –

MBA participates in the Debate competition, Rangoli competition and in the Treasure hunt in the college fest to get certificates for help in his MBA admission. He will tell himself as an excellent Communicator, Creatively inclined or Team worker & Problem solver depending upon the competition he wins.

And of course there is the blood donation camp and the volunteering in the college fest.

Day -900 (or three months before the CAT) –

MBA is working hard to mug the tables till 30, squares till 25, Baye’s theorem, shortcut for calculating percentages and the GRE word list.

Day -810 (CAT day or the D day as it is referred to) –

MBA tries to peek in the question booklet while trying to keep the sweat forming on his brows in the November cold from falling on the OMR sheet. His heart is in his mouth. The hard work of preparing for the CAT, the mock CATs on early Sunday Morning when the whole world slept, the missed Saturday night parties, the endless quant questions...

He thinks – Do this well and you are set for life!

Day -750 (CAT results announced) –

Yeehaw! A good percentile! Imaginary Champagne bottles pop open in his head. He thinks which college to go to, which specialization to take, what tie to wear for Interviews.

He thinks – Now I am set for life!

Day -735 (The calls have come in)

MBA panics on reading the last year’s GD topic and the Interview Questions on Pagalguy.com. What the hell is “All chickens are Hamburgers” supposed to mean? And has no clue about whether India should India go in for 100% Capital Account Convertibility. Nor did he care about the Victims of Haiti, the GDP of his home state, capital of Namibia and the e-governance in Andhra.

In his panic he subscribes to WSJ, McKinsey Quarterly, The Hindu, ET, The Economist and starts reading UNDP report, Investopedia, and his old college books.

Asks everyone what to say in strength/weakness, ten year plan, whether to say Marketing or Finance, why MBA and others.

Day -700 (Day of the first Interview)

GD Topic – Should reality shows be banned?

MBA (After no one letting him speak for first 3 mins) – Yes reality shows should be banned in India they are corrupting the moral fibre of the nation’s youth... According to a recent survey in India Today 70% of India’s youth lacks ethics and we as youth...(Somebody cuts him and then the discussion goes to lack of morals in youth, promiscuity and ways to promote safe sex)

MBA thinks maybe the moderators noticed me.

Interview –

MBA – Good Morning Sirs and Ma’am! (Showing teeth and his most enthusiastic voice though he hasn’t had water since morning and feels like fainting)

Panellists – Good morning Mr. MBA. Tell me something about yourself.

MBA – Sir I was born in ...My father is ... My little brother Chintu likes mint candies... Blah Blah...

Panellists – Stop. We did not ask about your family history. So how was your GD?

MBA – It was good. I made a very important point in the GD that gave it a new direction.

Panellists – So you think that shouting in the middle of the GD was the best you could do?

MBA – No I meant ...... (This is not what he had imagined)

Now on the back foot. He replies everything in an earnest but calculative tone. Speaks about his true Strength and weakness, and admits he has no idea yet where he sees himself 10 years from now. And he is doing MBA because MBA jobs pay better.

The Panellists are scandalized. There is a moment of silence in the room like he admitted being ‘Jack the Ripper’.He realizes that no one has given them this answer.

Panellists – So you just want to do MBA for money? You have no greater goal in life? And you have no long term vision! And how are going to be a manager if you are slow at learning things? Blah Blah...

After 10 more minutes of grilling.

Panellists – Thank you MBA. You may leave now. All the best for your other calls.


Day -690 (Second Interview Call)

After the same grind of GD, Essay, Psychometric Tests and others, MBA reaches to the Interview room.

MBA – Good Morning Sirs and Ma’am! (Showing teeth and his most enthusiastic voice though he has a headache and his heart is pounding)

Panellists – Good morning Mr. MBA. Tell me something about yourself.

MBA – I did my schooling from... My College from ... And now I wish to pursue MBA.

Panellists – So this is all that is there to know about you?

MBA – No there is lot more I was the head boy captain of my school cricket team, I played badminton at district level, (seeing panellist nodding) I won the Rangoli competition in my college , I organized the blood donation camp in my college and also the college fest.

Panellists – Very good. So why MBA?

MBA – (mistaking their smirk for a smile) Sir I wish to be an entrepreneur. And use the skills that I learn to add value to the nation’s economy and provide jobs for the poor people of India.

The panellists lose it by now. Not only had the last guy said the exact same thing but this one likes to use jargon a lot too.

Panellists – So why didn’t you apply to National Institute for Entrepreneurship & Small Business? What skills are that you plan to use? Have you thought of any venture yet? How many ml of blood is taken out from one donator once? What is the weight of the cricket ball? What is the size of the Badminton court?

MBA drowns under the barrage of questions and his own unpreparedness.

Rejected Again!

Day -660 (Third and final interview call)

He thinks – Do this well and you are set for life!

Again the same grind of essays, extempore, GDs. By now MBA has learnt the capital of all West African countries, India’s GDP breakup, Human Development Index reports, Petro-Dollar Warfare, meaning of Debt to Income Ratio, number of malaria deaths in Taiwan, and also something from his mistakes.

MBA Spins a fantastic story about how his poor father was an electrician who always saw his son becoming the CEO of GE and this is his life’s dream. How he worked hard juggling his studies and his father’s work through school and college. How he showed leadership skills when once the entire college had blacked out right before the annual day and he repaired the transformer core by leading a team of 5 other students and by putting in a new core.

The panellists are visibly impressed. This is a new one ever for them. No surprise he gets through. And also the fact that there were no electrical engineers in the panel who could realize that repairing the transformer is no joke.

Lesson 1 of MBA – Bullshit can get you everywhere!

(To be continued....)


  1. for me, this is your second best post till date ... specially last 3 paragraphs....

  2. Thank You.... Which was the best according to you ?? The next 2 parts coming up soon....

  3. Stop watching Dexter and work on next 2 parts..waiting anxiously!!!

  4. Perfect..Loved reading it..More or less reflects reality of every MBA :)

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.


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