For more than three months at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B), hundreds of students go through hundreds of interviews. Some will come away with offer letters promising lakhs of rupees. Others may have to be content with lower salary packages.
At the end of the placement process, months of grades, assignments and activities will face scrutiny by recruiters. But behind the excitement and glamour of the top salary packages is a gruelling, stressful and often disappointing process.
“You have people giving 15 to 20 interviews in a day and if you have not been getting selected in your first few interviews, morale really goes down,” said one student who sat for placements this year, and got placed late at night on the first day.
“Placement here is more of a lottery ticket. If you can somehow answer the right question at the right time in front of the right person you are in. At the end, the happiness is not because you have got a job, it’s because the process is over.”
At IIT-B, the highest salary reportedly offered this year was Rs. 86 lakh per annum. But only a handful of students make it to that stratospheric bracket.
At institutes across the city, where the placement season is on, the pursuit of fat pay-cheques is causing equal disappointment and anxiety.
Institute officials also admit that the placement process can be a difficult time, especially in the current scenario.
“The market is definitely slow and there is a little concern, but I am confident we will sail through,” said Abbasali Gabula, deputy director, external relations and administration at SP Jain Institute of Management and Research in Andheri.
He added that having pre-placement offers and interviews also helped ease the pressure.
In regular colleges too, for students graduating with BAs, BMMs and BComs, the job market is as much of a concern as for those from management and technical schools.
“With students from different streams and different backgrounds, it gets competitive,” said Radhika Aggarwal, 20, a third year St Xavier’s College student who landed a job with Google last week.
“You may think that other students have some subject-specific knowledge that you don’t. After college, people aren’t sure of what to do. Having a job provides security if nothing else, and most want to get one on campus,” she added.