No one really has a clear idea of when b-schoolers will get back their eye grabbing salaries and zip-zap-zoom campus placements. However, students are definitely not cooling their heels and waiting for the situation to normalize. Their logic is simple: if companies will not come to campus then they will have to go out into the real world to snap up job offers. People usually get involved in activities such as adventure sports, trekking and whitewater rafting if they are on holiday or have lost their jobs. B-schoolers on the other hand are going for these activities and coming back with jobs in their pocket!
What’s more, such trips are part of the course at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A)! I know that deals abroad are often struck over games of golf and people take their games seriously. I wonder how it works out in this case. Meeting corporates in the woods and while rafting is very different from making conversation over tea and biscuits in a boardroom. I imagine that a dive to save a drifting CEO or a skill of lighting bonfires will help in getting brownie points on such trips.
In India, companies directly recruit students from b-school campuses and this model is very different from that present in foreign colleges. Students in American business schools visit companies and look for jobs without the institute setting up a systematic campus placement process. Such a process allows students to get to know more about how companies operate and also provides them with more freedom in choosing job offers.
There are various reasons why companies choose to recruit from IIM campuses and not directly from the job market. However, the recession has prompted students and institutes to relook things. This year, all b-schools had to follow a rolling placements process so that the entire batch of students could be placed. It will be interesting to see if more b-schools adopt this strategy of setting up interactions with company representatives and corporate figures. Such changes will result in b-schoolers actively searching for jobs and not being restricted to the placement rules imposed by institutes. MBAs will also be prompted to search for jobs that are more connected with their interests. Campus placements at Indian b-schools often result in students getting pressurized because of placement rules and strategies being followed by other students. These problems may be overcome if b-schools choose to operate in a different way and give students a lot more freedom.