Placements are what maketh an MBA:
In the end, two years of hard work & toil boils down to getting a good job. The placements season at L is a period of intense fervor, excitement, joy and sometimes even disappointment. When it comes to placements, there is no room for mistakes; at L these are conducted extremely seriously and professionally. It is amazing how the entire batch that is responsible for holding the placements comes together in groups each with its own responsibility.
There is the main Placecom committee that carries the entire show, the logistics team that is responsible for tracking each candidate & ensuring that he or she appears at the right interview at the right time, the mess that moves from its usual location to the venue and ensures that students do not lose out on a job simply because of an empty stomach and then there are the main liaison teams that interact with the different companies. The liaison teams are further broken into company interface, controls, and logistics - each with its own set of responsibilities.
We got our first taste of this efficient process during our summer placements at L. Campus recruitments at L in our penultimate year were a tough time. 2002 saw a fall in the recruitment market & all B schools suffered due to this. I have witnessed some really strong scenes during these days: final placements at a B school can break even the strongest individual. It is extremely important to remember that it is not the end of the world if one does not land a seven figure pay packet from these placements. After all these B schools cull and train the best talent in the entire country; there is absolutely no dearth of opportunities for talent of this magnitude in the world.
Before the final placements, IIM L also conducts the HEPP program – Higher Entry Placement Program. This program targets students with 22 months or more of prior work experience. Unlike the main placement program, this is of a shorter duration with fewer companies but nevertheless an important event. Companies that come during the HEPP program value the individual's prior exposure along with his or her performance at the B school.
All's well that ends well:
Luckily for us the tide turned by 2003 and our HEPP program as well as final placements went smoothly. Many of us may not have got our dream job, that which we had our eyes set on the day we entered a B school. But the experience of graduating from one of the top notch B schools of the country ensured that we secured our desired place in this world.
Today my memories from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow is a huge collage. Each day of those two years seems intertwined around classes, assignments, case studies, night outs over coffee & maggi, presentations, RG, CP, Globe, activities, summer placements, final placements, cold winters, sweltering summers...phew!!! While each of these has played an enormous role in my life after L, the biggest take away for me was a lesson in survival. To survive in the face of the worst odds & the biggest problems because no matter how bleak today looks, it shall soon pass & give way to a brighter day tomorrow. That is what a B school really teaches you - to fight and survive. Everything else can be found in a text book!