By Jaideep Pathak
As the placement season approaches, we take a look at the backroom activities that have already begun. Raaj Rohan Reddy, The Academic Affairs Secretary, gives us a behind the scenes glimpse of the placement process.
He begins by outlining a slew of measures taken this year for a better placement experience. “This time all the invites that went to companies went via the placement office from the official IIT-M email address. Also, since we have a lot of companies this year, we have arranged an extra slot for the Pre-Placement Talks which will be late in the evening at around 8 p.m.” He also mentions an important change that shall be effective this year. “This time we don’t want any tests in December. Last time we lost a lot of companies such as Microsoft Redmond because we could not give them an interview slot. This year, on the day of the interview, only interviews will be conducted.”
As is the case every year, the institute has roped in a company to organize soft skills training. “We wanted a professional company for soft skills development this year. We got Randstad which is India’s second best company and is also ranked very well globally. They conduct training on every Saturday and Sunday,” says Raaj. A shot in the arm for soft skills training came from the Ministry of Human Resource and Development which announced scholarships for SC/ST category students for this purpose in time for this year’s placement season.
To make the experience of well placed seniors available to the candidates, the Blue Book that is released every year with helpful suggestions and comments by seniors is slated to be out soon. A list of seniors who are willing to help is also available with the Branch Councillors. “Step by step feedback is all that is needed so that you don’t go in the wrong direction,” points out Raaj. As far as training is concerned, a number of initiatives are in place including workshops for non-core subjects such as one conducted recently by the Ministry of Finance. As usual, an FTP server will be set up soon with condensed course material.
Raaj has some good news on the pay packages front. “There are significant increases in pay packages offered by companies for the last few years and the trend continues this year as well.” He goes on to elaborate on what he reckons is the reason for this positive trend. “Even in these economic conditions, we have a rise in pay packages because of the rising popularity (of the institute) in other countries,” he remarks. The number of Indian companies is maintained through start-ups. LinkedIn, Alcazar, PNG, Rolls Royce, Mylikes and Genesis are some of the new names offering high salaries this year besides the regulars like BCG, Morgan Stanley, Mckinsey, Facebook, Microsoft and IBM. 146 companies have registered so far with two months still to go for placements.
One of the problems faced by the placement team this year was the court’s stay on campus recruiting by Public Sector Utilities. Now that the stay has been lifted, the process of contacting PSUs has begun. This process differs from the mostly internet based process for private companies. PSUs have to be contacted through a postal order containing all the relevant documents. Since PSUs have good relations with the IITs, Raaj reckons that in the coming two weeks, we shall see a number of registrations by PSUs.
Some new initiatives are also in the pipeline. Branch Councillors are being included in the Department Councils. If students feel that some particular course will be useful for placements, they can request their Branch Councillor to take it up with the councils. The institute is also trying to incentivise students to take up projects such as the Student Satellite project or CFI projects. As Raaj puts it, “Your CGPA is only one line. The bottom half of your resume also matters.”
When asked about the individual roles of all the members in the placement team, he says, “The placement team as a whole takes care of calling all the companies, the logistics as well as training students for placements. The branch councillors are responsible for all the core companies of their respective departments and the IPR (Industry and Public Relations) cores handle all the non-core companies. The placement coordinators work under their respective branch councillors and also handle logistics during the placement season in December. This arrangement is the same as every year, except that this year, everything has been formalized to a certain extent. All calls/emails to companies made by the placement coordinators are done only through the placement office.”
To those appearing for placements, he has this advice to offer, “Lot of events are being conducted, all you need to do is attend them. The Institute takes good care of you when it comes to placements. All you need to do is to be present at the right place, at the right time.”
T5E will bring to you an in depth analysis of the placement season (2012-13) soon. You can have a look at the campus placement details for the year 2011-12 here.