B-schools mulling over cancelling placements – an inside story

Don’t be surprised if you are asked to hunt for your job next year.

This and some more similar submissions were made at a secret and high-level meeting called by the Ministry of Human Resourcefulness, to discuss the dismal state of placements in b-schools this year. The meeting held in the Capital last week, was attended by high ranking officials from Indian b-schools, a few from international ones, besides a couple of former b-school directors. A few corporate bigwigs were also invited.

The meeting lasted for some four and a half hours and according to sources was action-packed with almost everyone in the room losing his cool, thanks to the nature of the subject being discussed – placements. At one point, PaGaLGuY learnt that even the honorable minister F Kaju threatened to walk out of the meeting regretting why he even called for one. “I want a solution, not this jamboree which I see in Parliament every other day,” he was heard shouting, in an attempt to calm down warring attendees.

The meeting, apparently, started with b-school officials and ‘company’ representatives swapping charges against each other. The b-school group accused the business lobby of being stingy with jobs, since not only had offers come down this year but also fewer companies were campus-hopping.

“Not all b-schools are built in the back of beyond locations where you have to reach on a bullock-cart or trek up mountains so why the fuss,” asked an official. Another added that this year his school had done up the guest house (where corporates are put up when on campus visits) with bright new curtains and silk sofa covers. “We had also worked on a new ‘organic’ menu for lunch but with no one around, we faculty had to eat it and I must admit, it did not have the same taste as Indian daal-baath and fry machi,” said another official.

The corporate brigade refused to sit tight. “Arey, I am retrenching staff in my company. Why should I come to the campus and hire,” was one retort. Another said that his company has decided to hire B.Com graduates because not only are they cheaper but they have the same skills when it comes to analysis. Still another corporate bigwig said that he is going to employ journalism students this year because “I will not have to teach them how to write emails.”

At about 4.00 pm, the meeting broke for samosas and masala chai. An Admissions official from a London b-school drummed up a bit of an issue with the samosas. “Good Heavens, these samosas are dripping in oil. We in London have conducted ample research that proves that your samosas are not only fattening but can also cause digestive problems.”

No, the Indians were not going to take this sitting down. A group of b-school officials, mostly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar almost got to the collar of this person. “So all the burgers and pizzas your kids binge on are good for health kya?” one of them charged.

Before anyone else could say anything, an official from a Singapore-based b-school butted in that Chinese tea was a better alternative than Indian tea. “It is good for the wellbeing. Besides, why do you Indians add spices to your tea? In Singapore, when we visit an Indian restaurant, we know that the toilet trip the next morning will be earlier than usual, thanks to all your spices.”

Just then, an Admissions person from a school based in Madurai said. “Nothing to beat South Indian filter coffee for that refreshing feeling.” A Mumbai-based school represented by a woman academician had the last say though. “No, green tea is the healthiest. Not only does it refresh, it also slims you down.”

The coffee break got extended to 2 hours, thanks to the fervent argument on samosas and toilet visits. The meeting restarted at 6.00 pm but only to end at 7.00pm.

The minister who had to attended his drivers sons birthday party signaled to his PA to conclude the meeting and jot down the important points.

They were as stated below:

-Placements to end and Placement Committees to be disbanded immediately.

-Students to start finding their own jobs as soon as they get into the second year. Likewise, the first year students will hunt for their internships from the month of August.

-Media to be sent truthful and honest placement reports with real reasons for students who do not secure jobs.

-The placement report should have a proper break-up of salary which should included perks and actual take-home.

A final decision on whether the suggestions will see the light of the day or not will be taken on April 1, 2013 at another meeting in Mumbai.

(And this is the update of the article. No, there was no meeting today, just as there was none in the Capital last week. Yes, it was an April 1 joke. Good for those who got it instantly? For those who thought it was true even for a minute, think over it. While the article was a prank, the issue discussed was not. Placements are definitely a serious matter in b-schools. We, in PaGaLGuY think, they are taken a bit too seriously. It makes sense to rise above the vagaries of the markets and take some sensible decisions which will hold good for the future.

And for those who found other things wrong with the article, chill – it is April 1)

(The writer is an upcoming columnist, this being her first attempt. While this is not exactly a column, she decided to fill PaGaLGuY in with details of this rather important meeting which only she had exclusive knowledge of ).