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Placements post recession

Placed in Infosys, Ashmita Randhawa from VNIT, Nagpur, recalls the maddening experience

Back in my first year, when a senior of mine had commented, “By the time you get in to your final year, your pay packages will beat all records!” he probably had not envisaged that we’d be left chasing even the saddest jobs that passed our way. When recession hit the economies in 2008, we saw our senior batch take the biggest hit with some 70 odd jobs being indefinitely deferred and the college authorities standing helpless. Having witnessed all this, our batch had practically zero expectations from our lazy T&P department.

Better than others
Today when around 322 people on campus are placed. In fact, such is the relief at being placed that my half-delusional friends are telling me that we’ve done a whole lot better than most other colleges.

If I were to compare our job story to last year’s, there is no denying that the quantum placed is lessened by almost a 100! And this dent is rather evident, when I see both my neighbour’s waiting to be placed.

In the initial days of the placement season, the mad rush we saw for the jobs, made it clear how the majority of the lot was intimidated by the recession and made grabs for any offer that came their way, irrespective of the company profile or the pay package. This first job was to be some kind of a safety valve having secured which, the hunt for the plumper job was to be started. I have some 8-pointers in my class who are placed in some unknown auto-parts company with a package of 2.3 lakh per annum. Sadly, the fatter kill seems no where in sight.

The companies had a slightly tougher stance this time. The number of rounds increased and so did the emphasis on technical questions in some cases. The difference was mostly in the number of people they recruited, which was very few.

Core companies
The number of core companies that visited our campus was more or less the same. Major players like BHEL and Reliance Energy Ltd were missing, but then, they were substituted by the presence of some first timers like Adani Group and Michelin. Since most students prefer to work in core engineering, the presence of a mass recruiter like L&T was sorely missed, who after last year’s fiasco was allowed by the authorities only after much deliberation. Much time had passed and they ended up picking up only 3 candidates.

Most of the junta is stuck to software companies- Infosys recruited 67 students! Being part of the ‘cattle class’ hasn’t resulted in much ecstasy for them, except that of being exempted from sheer joblessness.

Our batch did exceptionally well in CAT and other entrance exams, including GRE and GATE. Now one isn’t sure whether this was due to the sheer brilliance or the fear of having to accept a sad job that kept us going. I second the latter.

Now as the semester ages, hopeful students still walk up to the T&P notice board, yearning for any sign of that dream job.

This is the third part of JAM’s placement series