Despite a tight job market, in search of a dream placement offer (Photo courtesy: thegoldguys.blogspot.com/)
To help students combat placement stress, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta will allow the 2012-14 batch PGP students to have multiple summer placement offers from companies. The institute is also introducing a day break between the summer process, which companies could use to hold group discussions (GD) for students one day prior to interviews, informed an IIM Calcutta press release.
In the previous placement process at IIM-C, students had to bow out of the placement process once they had a final offer, even if it was not from their stated preferred function (marketing, finance, etc). In the new system, students with a final offer can appear for one more company's interview for an internship from their preferred function. But there's a catch --- the second interview has to be one scheduled on the same day, unlike the 'dream function' or 'dream company' choice at several b-schools wherein you can interview with a dream company regardless of which day it comes to campus on.
So does this mean that the students can have one more internship offer from their preferred function? No, Somesh Kamra, placement representative at the institute told PaGaLGuY. The option is available to students only if they have not been able to bag a job offer from their desired function, he said. Hence, if a student desires a marketing profile but has recieved a final offer from the operations function, he will be able to appear for marketing interviews on the same day while keeping his operations offer.
Since a large number of companies visit the campus each day, students will have a lot of options to choose from, Somesh said.
GDs will now be held in the day break in between the placement days. Earlier, the group discussions were held either the night before the scheduled interview slots or early morning on the same day. The addition of this day break will reduce the pressure and help both companies and students take better decisions, Somesh said.
For starters, the institute is keeping the day-break for only one day during the placement process. "Most day zero companies do not have a GD, but most companies scheduled for day one hold a GD. This is the reason we have converted day one into the day-break, where only those companies who have their interview process the next day will have their GDs," Somesh told PaGaLGuY.
The changes have been introduced in the midst of a job market that stands affected by the global economic crisis. The Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) recently declared that it will cut 10,000 jobs worldwide over the next three years, reducing its current workforce by 16%. Schools with large batch sizes are particularly on high alert, anticipating a job offer crunch. A source at IIM Indore told PaGaLGuY that even a wide alumni base spread across industries worldwide wouldn't completely ease the pressure.
IIM Calcutta's move however is in stark contrast to the likely response of b-schools to a tight job market. The multiple offer system reflects the school's belief that not only would it arrange enough job opportunities to place its entire batch of 462, but they would also have the luxury of choosing one offer out of many options. But given the job market slowdown, allowing multiple internship offers could also lead the cream of the batch to hog the jobs away from the relatively weaker students.
Interestingly, the institute may find support for the incorporated changes in the 2012-13 QS TopMBA.com Jobs and Salary Trends report. Conducted between March and July 2012, the survey has projected a growth in the demand for MBA graduates in 2013 among employers. According to the report, MBA graduate demand will grow rapidly in Asia, particularly India and China, accelerating from 15% in 2012 to 26% in 2013. The report also forecasts a 23% growth in MBA graduate demand in the Middle East and a 2% growth in North America in 2013.
How have companies reacted to the changes in the placement process? According to Prof Krishanu Rakshit, placement in-charge at IIM-C, a number of companies have voiced concerns. The main negative in such a situation is the possibility of students turning down job offers made by the companies, lured by choice.
Questioned, Prof Rakshit insisted that the changes have only been adopted on a trial basis for the summer placement process. They will apply similar changes to the final placement process after a thorough evaluation of the problems faced in the summers process, he said.
Nor will this affect the goodwill between the institute and companies, Prof Rakshit asserted, reasoning that companies would be happier if students joined them out of choice rather than desperation.
The summer placement process will start on November 5, 2012, with the day-long break scheduled for November 6.