B-schools Summer Placements Case Study- Devil Wears Prada!
Ruchi Bansal (name changed) and Amit Sharma (name changed) were first year students of a reputed B-school. Both were specializing in Finance, but unlike Amit, who was focused on his long term career goal, Ruchi was more concerned with the immediate tangible benefits of the internship.
So while Amit, who was passionate about a career in corporate banking, did not sign up for any other big names which visited the campus, Ruchi gave it all for the fancy MNCs which paid fat stipends.
On Day Zero, both Amit and Ruchi got shortlisted for a role with a foreign bank which promised the highest stipend on campus, and by virtue of being one of the earliest companies to visit the campus, almost the entire finance batch ended up sitting for the process, even though none of them had much clarity regarding the profile. Amit used his interview to find out more details about the role and realized it was not a core banking profile, but more of an operational support profile. Despite being selected, he did not give in to the temptation of a big brand, the chance to be a part of a glamorous foreign bank and of course, the lucrative stipend. He continued his search, and due to the paucity of companies offering a corporate banking role, he remained one of the few unplaced students at the end of the process.
However, instead of taking up any project out of desperation, he continued to explore options which were aligned with his career objective, and finally, in March, ten days before the end of first year, he managed a telephonic interview with a public sector bank. The role was exactly what he was looking for! He would be working with a corporate relationship manager from the corporate office in Mumbai, and even though it was an ailing PSU which would not pay any stipend, Amit was thrilled. He accepted the offer, spent his two months in Mumbai, travelling in local trains and managing his expenses on borrowed money. However, the exposure he received was unexpected. In an organization where the average age was 50+, simply talking to people with years of experience and getting the feel of how things are done at the ground level gave him the opportunity to understand the business closely.
His learning in the bank provided him with a good platform for his final placements, and his project made a strong statement on his CV, which eventually helped him sail through a leading private sector bank as a corporate relationship manager during his finals. Fast forward to three years later: today Amit handles a portfolio of key corporate clients in the same foreign bank which had offered him a back-office role during his summers! Every time he looks back, he thanks his stars for having the courage to say “No” at the tender age of 21…
As for Ruchi, she had always been a high performer, batch topper, and was not used to waiting for success. The very things which Amit shunned were important to her: the prestige of getting through the first company on campus by beating competition, the MNC tag, the association with a big brand, and a lucrative stipend. The project, the role and the profile weren’t so important to her, as she gladly accepted the offer. The next two months were almost a fairytale, as she put up in the luxurious company guest house in the heart of South Mumbai, travelled by company transport and had plenty of money to explore all that Mumbai had to offer.
However, in terms of work, she didn’t have much to look forward to: it was more of a mechanical and operational role: unstructured and narrow, it did not challenge her, it did not interest her, and it was definitely not what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. She came back from her internship, slightly disheartened, and as luck would have it, she received a PPO from the same company, and it being a recession year, she had to accept it or risk being without a job. Three years later, she was still in the same company in a similar role, providing support to Amit. The money, the brand, the MNC tag: all the things which were important to her as a 21-year old suddenly did not matter so much. All she wanted to do was some quality work, something which gave her job satisfaction and something which offered her more opportunities to learn. But she was stuck; most of the lateral offers she received were for similar back-end profiles with limited growth opportunities. Every time she looked back, she wished that one decision did not change her career so drastically…
- Gearing Up! Preparing for Summer Placements
0 Comments - 2 years 24 weeks ago
- Buyer Beware! Precautions for Summer Placements
1 Comments - 2 years 25 weeks ago
- Back Up Plan! Alternatives to Summer Placements
1 Comments - 2 years 23 weeks ago
- Don't want a PPO, Try this!! Summer Experience of
0 Comments - 25 weeks 4 days ago