With yet another season of placements around the corner, it is not uncommon to see final-year students huddled up in groups talking about ‘companies’, ‘interviews’, ‘case studies’ and so on. With numerous PPTs to attend, endless exams to take and the seemingly perpetual wait to undergo before shortlists, the institute has drawn the panorama of placements.
T5E talked to Prashanth Pinnamaneni, the Academic Affairs Secretary of the institute, about the backstage exercise taking place to set the stage for placements 2011.
“This year, we have about 40-50 new companies. Around 278 different profiles offered by 244 companies in all,” he said. With all the potential Indian companies apparently exhausted, the focus this year was on foreign core companies. And we now have companies like Hyundai, Sony, Honda, Facebook; Consulting firms from Dubai and VLSI firms from Malaysia
“Broadly speaking, companies can be divided into 5 verticals –Core Engineering and Manufacturing, Public Sector Undertakings, IT, Finance + Analytics + Consulting and others,” he explained.
The number of core companies for each department has seen a steep increase this year with an increase in foreign companies. The placement scene for Chemical, Civil and Metallurgy departments has improved, with a good increase in the number of openings for M.Techs. Also, a few companies which had not been coming for the past few years will be seen again this time.
This year, a common complaint from the PSUs is that they are fending off recruitment from the IITs either because students fail to take up the job offered, or because they don’t stick around for too long once they join. Also, a large number of PSUs have a policy of off-campus recruitment with a common platform- the GATE score. Hence, the number of PSUs this year has turned out to be less than that expected initially. Nevertheless, we have HAL, ISRO, NPTC, IOCL, HPCL, Indian Navy on the list this time.
There was a remarkable increase in the number of analytics firms that came in for placements last year. The target this year was to extrapolate the trend and get in even more companies in the finance and analytics sector. But the global economic change around August and September led to a number of companies backing out. Also, apparently the old companies seem reluctant to offer a fairly large number of profiles. “Don’t be surprised if the number of offers made by each company is much less this year”, he said.
“Demographics plays an important role when ‘big’ companies decide to go for placements. That is why apart from McKinsey and BCG, we couldn’t get in other consulting firms. Due to limited requirements, they go to IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay for recruitment, the two places where their offices are generally located”, he let on.
The number of IT firms have considerably increased with demographics playing a significant role again – South India being a hub of IT companies, many of them choose to fill their requirements by recruiting from IIT Madras.
Slotting of the companies was the next big task. “With many foreign companies having attractive profiles and competitive compensation, the first few days of placements are packed with those,” he revealed.
Prashanth went on to talk about the modifications incorporated in slotting this year. “Utilitarianism- this time, we made sure that the number of core companies per day is balanced across all departments, without the big ones from CS and Electrical stealing the show like before. The number of companies per day in the first few days has been increased in order to ensure that major core companies for Mechanical and allied branches are given fair slots. So we had to bring in a two slot system for the first two days,” he explained patiently.
He elaborated on the shortcomings of the process saying, “Apart from the FTP server, the Blue Book and the soft skills programs, this year’s BCs have prepared core preparation materials/PPT throughout the summer and have been mailing relevant placement preparation material to their respective department groups from August. But mailing of case studies, quant and puzzles started just a few weeks ago. We should have focused more on them and started earlier.”
“Also, we didn’t prioritize placement oriented lectures so they couldn’t materialize. One reason is that all most of the evenings are occupied by PPTs or tests. So we didn’t really have the time or logistics for lectures,”
Addressing those sitting for placements this year, Bait said: “Rain or shine, placement activities will take place. Don’t forget to carry an umbrella around!” he laughed. “I have a few things to say. One- it’s not very smart to focus on one sector itself. Always have a back-up option. Two- remember that campus recruitment is not the end of the world. Lateral possibilities are always open. So don’t get dejected if your ‘dream’ company rejects you. Three- As unwilling as you might be to accept it, CGPA and pay package have an almost direct proportionality. And four- make sure you are physically prepared, too. It’s going to be a hectic placement season this time. All the best!”
As always, T5E will bring to you an in depth analysis of the placement season (2011-12) soon. You can have a look at the campus placement details for the year 2010-11 here, and for the year 2009-10 here.