Archive for February, 2006|Monthly archive page
It’s like you’re in a high-powered sports convertible. It’s careering at high speed. For some reason, the steering wheel is locked in position and the gas pedal has been pressed to the floor. Nothing you can do about either. And yes…in the distance, you see the edge of this ravine…fast approaching. Its simple…I’m supposed to jump out…but am frozen…in fear. Now that’s just one of the feelings I’ve had in the last week or so…for obvious reasons…its placement season. Times of uncertainty…second-guessing myself…high stress. Realized it’s mainly coz of the myriad parallel trains of thoughts in my head…what do I want to do? What’ll make me happy…wish I had a clue...did I get that nickname right or what!
First, an update on G6 (I’d tell u what that means…but then I’d have to kill you) and its ‘extended’ family. Sachin…Infy…ES; Koshie…Wipro…IT Strategy Consulting; Vishal & Clint…Citi…IT & Ops; Shammak…KPMG…Senior Consultant; Soups…Apollo/Godrej…Marketing; Jyoti…Tavant…you’ll read abt that one in the papers 😉
A recap of placement week…from the perspective without a clue. Started with infy…interviewed twice…second time at 1am…liked the idea…but didn’t get offered the role I’d be interested in. next in line…had 3 interviews lined up for Virtusa, ibm and cognizant. Had a good time in all of those…the panels liked what they heard… offers from all of them. Enjoyed the ibm interview the most…why? The first question I got was “if I said that Steve Waugh is a better bat than Sachin, what would you say? Make a consultant’s argument” J Weighed the roles…passed up a higher pay with V for some brand equity and role. Picked CTS; Assistant Manager – Business Development.
Agonized endlessly over the veracity of my decision…interviewed with a couple of others…realized the pay didn’t matter to me if the role wasn’t up to scratch. the process has been mindnumbing…have regained some of my balance though…made the right decision…this is just the beginning and there’s plenty to do…if I were me…I’d back me… 😉
Wonder how many times this question raises itself in people’s lives. You know the safe…almost too well actually…its familiar…its comfortable…like your favorite pair of jeans. That other…is none of those things. It’s not very familiar…not quite comfortable. But at the same time you know something else…even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself. It’s exciting…unpredictable…it’s a lot more than anything you thought you’d ever encounter.
I reckon we’re all creatures of habit…not very keen on surprises…at least not unless we expect them. ’expected surprise’…an oxymoron if there ever was one. Not to brand our lot as wimps…we plunge from great heights at unbelievable speeds…twisting and turning…hurtling towards the ground only to seer away towards the sky while at the same flipping head-over-heels in a 360. if that’s not death-defying what is? But then think about it…would we still be in that seat had there not been a reinforced steel bar across our shoulders…double-strength nylon straps…and a proven safety statistic that says you’re more likely to hurt yourself sitting in a chair than in a rollercoaster? Fun?…sure but…
So…the unknown is fine…as long we know exactly what we don’t know...
So it’s settled…safe is better…definitely. Now only if that other wouldn’t set your pulse racing…wouldn’t get you to smile without even realizing it…wouldn’t make you feel as alive as the safe could only hope to in a lifetime …
Safe…or…Sorry…? I do wonder how many ppl are thinking it right this moment…are you?
Added a cool superbowl commercial (scroll down and on the left).
Check it out…(needs broadband…click the ‘play’ button in the middle of the screen)
The ‘not-shortlisted’ emails seem to be making a beeline for my inbox these days! They were all expected in a way, some more than others, considering the immense interest that the batch has in those particular jobs…shown by the fact that they are all Day 1 companies. A couple of them were more disappointing than others though. My CAS page shows the unholy ‘not shortlists’ to be leading the ‘shortlists’, 6-3. It’d be an overstatement to say that each one is a body blow, but, they do feel like banging your knee against furniture…too many of those…and you’ve got a broken foot/ankle/knee…take your pick.
My sunny disposition can also be partly attributed to yet making a shortlist but not going all the way. Can honestly say, I didn’t quite want to, but when fly-by-night IT companies decide not to interview you, you start to wonder. The VP – Strategic solutions decided to shortlist a whole bunch of people and then subject us to group discussions to then pick the final few to be interviewed. The gd itself, my first, was a handy experience, made me mindful that the group you’re in has a huge impact on your chances.
The real deal starts in 2 days (1 day for the Mck, BCG, ATK aspirants) and the feeling of being grossly unprepared is making its presence felt (anyone who’s read previous posts is not allowed to comment J). Whats that they say about those who get going when the going gets tough…? …no…it’s not from an ad for a laxative
Note to self: Keep the faith…think positive thoughts…get beer J
I don’t know what the big deal is…I really don’t…this placements business I mean. Everywhere, there are people scurrying from one meeting to another preparing for their interviews like their lives depended on it. Then there’s me…watching my 3rd movie since term ended on Friday and got done with most assignments. Take today for example…spent the first half watching Australia pummel a hapless Lanka, something like what a heavyweight champion would do to a welter-weight…who’s been hogtied…and yeah, the champ’s just been told that the l’il fella’s been making merry with the champ’s wife when he’s away turning people’s faces into pulp with his fists. ouch! than made a pretence of working on a couple of applications that are due tomorrow…then there was music…a nap…surfing…TV…all the good stuff.
The fact that I’m still wondering if there’s a correlation between the amount of prep and the quality of shortlists/interviews/jobs, that pretty much explains why there are people who’ll land the plum jobs and they ain’t me J With less than a week to go before the first interviews begin, a barrage of short–listed/not-short–listed emails is expected to hit mailboxes starting tomorrow. For all this bluster about being all chilled out, am myself kinda curious to see how I react once I’m aware that I have an interview slated for so-and-so date and time where I’ll be asked to convince some absolute strangers in the span of an hour or so why I’m their biggest find of the season. Will I overheat and explode at the first sign of stress or will I be able to stay composed and represent myself with some justice…only the next few days will tell. Oh boy…and how J (in case you noticed, am discounting the possibility of not being short–listed at all…if you haven’t already figured…am an optimist 😉
Yup, we’re into the last term break of our time here. Before lapsing into clichés about time and its inevitability, there is the small matter of placements on the minds of everyone right now. A week to go before companies are on campus, hunting (or scavenging) depending on what part of the food chain they emanate from. 7 has been the most standout term so far here, not necessarily in good ways. The interest in academics was almost non-existent which was quite a departure for many people around as most crammed their time with focus group meetings; some for the majors (fin, marketing et al) and others, slightly more minor…‘how to sit across from the interview with your jaw lined up just right for max impact’. Maybe I exaggerate a l’il J Slogged away on two yesterday and now left with just one more liability for the term (read assignment). Its kinda funny to imagine that very few people around campus have any idea where they’ll be just a couple of months from now. That reminds me I really shouldn’t be ‘wasting’ time on posting inane details of my life…rather attend focus grp meeting dedicated to ‘modulate your voice just right to get that james earl jones baritone’. Or maybe I’ll just go watch a movie (rang de basanti to be precise)
Long day…enervating classes…a couple of ad-hoc (but highly useful) sessions…assignments to complete…applications to submit. But this post’s about something else, or rather, someone else.
He’s been around so long, that, as supporters of the team wearing blue, we claim a certain ownership; almost as if he was this huge corporation, of which there are over 1 billion shareholders (even more if you count the lovers of the game world–over). And a hugely profitable corporation at that. If an ad were to be made; the famous mastercard storyboard would go something like, cable connection…Rs. x/month, time off from work/school…Rs. Y…watching Sachin bat…priceless!
Be it ever so simple as that. In the test series, Sachin got out to Shoaib, fending a short one down the legside. Moin Khan indicated in his syndicated column that this was the beginning of the end for the only man who could probably make the verifiable claim that John Lennon made decades ago about how the Beatles were more popular than ‘you-know-who’. The Pakistani wicketkeeper, who, going by his article, having had questionable levels of education, and was also allegedly part of the noble clan of match-fixers went on to suggest that Sachin was in fact not out, but walked because of his fear of the fast bowler. To be fair, you can’t blame the guy, he’s only trying to make a buck, albeit by using sensationalism as opposed to by underperforming to lose matches for his country. But, I digress.
That dismissal was followed by two when he was needed to get big scores in the Karachi test. One was a casual shot, the other, a bit of bad luck, but maybe he should’ve been playing forward. The daggers came out, the point of discussion on every channel that can afford to rent bandwidth on a satellite, was if Sachin was nearing his ‘best-sold-by’ date as a cricketer. Experts (read as former players), most of whom, had distinguished themselves by warming benches on tours and having batting averages in the single digits started reasoning why he is no more the player that he was and that its time to retire.
And then Sachin went and ruined it for them. In the first one-dayer, he scored an even 100, his 39th in one-dayers. Before the volte-face articles by those same journalists extolling how he was comparable only to Bradman come out, I’ll state that I didn’t get a lot of pleasure from watching him bat in the early overs (the rest of the time was spent in class). He was unsure about his feet, playing and missing, in–cutters thudding into pad and then he was also bowled on 20 (off a no-ball). not something that should happen with such alarming regularity to a top batsman, leave alone, someone on the all-time greats list. My point is, it was an innings far below his standards, and I state this in spite of the 8 fours and 1 six. So, have I sold my soul and joined the lot who think he’s done.
Hell no! the very point I’m making is that the man does not owe his stature as a cricketer to trifling innings on featherbed pitches. He’s far bigger than inane series averages and attention-seeking pseudo-journalists. Those who’ve been paying attention, would know, that he stills scampers around boundary ropes diving to save runs, that his face still contorts in agony when he misses a potential direct-hit run-out, that he still jumps with the glee of a 19 year old when one of his teammates takes an important wicket. That he has been wearing that Indian crest in the same manner for over 15 years…with pride. That’s what makes him the cricketer, nay…the person that he is. And hence, he could play for 5 more years and not make a run, for me, he’d still be the best that ever will be. Yup…Sachin not score runs…like that’s gonna happen 😉 guess that’s why we have clichés “Form is temporary…class…is permanent”
p.s: if you’re a Sachin fan, feel free to comment…if you’re not…I dare u to… 😉
May you live in interesting times –ancient Chinese curse
Oft-quoted, but never has it been as true as it is in the times at the ISB these days. Placement fever gripped campus at the start of term 7, but it touched new heights in the last few days with a zillion job postings downloading themselves into every mailbox from the optimistically named ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ email id. If the urgency with which people open those emails followed by visiting the websites of the respective companies is anything to go by, the webmasters of these companies must surely be paid overtime come placement season in b-schools because of the spike in http requests to their servers. Ok, I gotta admit, I just used up all the tech jargon I have. Today was even more special though, the results came out…yeah, those of the tiering process. Seems like only yesterday that the campus was abuzz when the results of the bidding in the first elective term came out…hell! It was yesterday! The list of companies, from days, 1 to 8 was announced. While most of them were the usual suspects (read consulting), there were some that raised eyebrows with their favorable position in the pecking order (Infy on day 2?!!). The reason it’s a big deal is simple, if companies A, B and C are my preference in descending order and if the order that they’re coming to campus is in fact C, B and A, then I’m the unenviable position of having to choose between (1) be brave…refuse C or B counting on A making me an offer. Downside, I end up with none of the three or (2) play it safe…accept one of C and B at which point I’m out of the process and resigned to my fate (well not quite that dramatic maybe). Of course, considering that most people have more than just the three companies on their list, the permutations are endless.
To use one quote is weak writing, but to use two is plain sacrilege, but one would agree, as would the queen (or was it the duchess) and the tin man…with the way most ppl on campus feel right now…
Hold on Dorothy…coz..Kansas…is going bye bye! –in The Matrix