Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Woh 120 Ghante...

Disclaimer: (1)This post is a completion of unfinished remains of yore. In other words, it was a draft :D
(2) This is a totally personal experience. I, for one, am not representing the people who attended around 15+ interviews. I was down and out by the 6th one itself and was actually enjoying not getting shortlists.
(3) The gender angle has been carefully avoided for obvious reasons.

Some of my observations about one of the most entertaining(in retrospect) and yet screwed up(while I was undergoing it) time of my life which really opened my eyes in every sense...Yep, the much glorified Summer Internship Process. As an observer, i.e. before I got through XL, I often came across many articles about the Internship process in many of the B-schools, the IIM's especially. The exorbitant salaries, the wonderfully veiled comments of the students expressing their happiness about getting into jobs of their liking and such like. 55% of the offers came from consulting firms, 25% from FMCG blah blah...
I now have first hand experience of the fact that the media is at best a means of baseless communication. Not that they could do much better though.

Anyway, here goes.

Once upon a time, we were all happy and jolly. But then IT began.
One could argue that IT all started long time back when our beloved seniors put pressure on us for an activity called 'CV Preparation'. I'm skipping the details for the benefit of the readers(if and when, any :-D). It would suffice to say that it involved a lot of running around, digging up your own achievements, making up new achievements at times(most times actually), glorifying yourself to the hilt so much so that you were a completely transformed person after the 159th version of your CV and began to wonder if you'd really done any of this. You get the drift.

Then came the process. Shortlist pe shortlist, shortlist pe shortlist. And when your name figures once in every 10 shortlists, you begin to doubt yourself, your CV, your achievements. Some of the thoughts which go through your head at that time are
"Why didn't I listen to my folks and get 90% in 10th and 12th?"
"If only I had a few international papers to my name."
"Why, why oh why didn't I do anything in my Engineering???"
"************"(Read with Section Disclaimer Sub-section 3)
Soon the above thoughts die down and you begin to get into the GD mode. This is the mode where you start to "give a structure to the discussion" or forcefully, yet politely, remind others to "allow me to complete my point" and generally look in utmost earnest at all the people around you such that your head resembles a spectator of a Federer v. Nadal Wimbledon Final.

And by a complete twist of fate, guess what! You have been called for an interview! OMG! Now, it's time to see which company's interview is this? Oh..I never knew such a company existed.. Nevertheless, gobble a few facts, ponder on the dreaded question, Why HR?, sit with the Labour Law textbook in your hand in the Holding Area without bothering to read it. And basically wait till you get called. The interview goes swoosh, you don't know what happened, why, when and how. Why? Because it's all GAS. It's difficult to contain something in the pressurized gaseous form you see. Now just speed up the above 2 paragraphs by around 10 times. That's the process for you.

At the end, you get into a company, you feel elated as though that's what you wanted all along. You feel joyous, give promises of treats and generally look upon everyone like a benevolent King.

The process is such that even the most nonchalant of characters, even the ones who did not want a TAS or a HUL, even those who are perfectly content with being mediocre, begin to care and begin to fret as to what will happen to their future.
Funny how you lose your own sense of identity when you see others doing something else. And the even funnier part of this whole thing is how you begin to laugh at what you underwent a week back when you begin to put things in perspective.

And that's when I realised what a beautiful place XL is. Coz however much the competition, however much the feeling of desperation, was in those 5 days, it was heartening to see that people were still the same after IT, and eventually the most important event of the day was if Bishu Da failed to come.