Surviving placements


You studied hard for the entrances and cracked them. You got through to the GDPI process and aced it. Finally, you are in your B-School of your choice. Now comes the part that you were waiting for eagerly. The placements.

Now the placements are something that is a driving point for most of the MBA aspirants/students. It is the ROI that you are looking for after all. That is one of the top factors students look at while selecting an MBA college. The general perception is that once you enter an MBA college, you are guaranteed a package of “x” amount. However, that is not always the case.

One thing you do need to realize is that once you are in an MBA college, you have moved from one competition to another, perhaps tougher, competition. You are competing with people who have a profile that is as good as yours or even better in some cases. All of them are competing for that coveted company/role/package and will stop at nothing to get through to it. It does get messy at times.

Now as an MBA student, there are a few things that you can do to get yourself prepared for the placement processes. Let us go through them one by one:

  1. Preparation

Now this is the most essential thing that you need to keep in mind for your placement processes. You need to be prepared for it. Now this includes:

  • Prepare your CV to have a maximum impact (Google power verbs that help enhance your sentences)
  • Prepare your hygiene questions (tell me something about yourself, where do you see yourself in 5 years/10 years, why marketing/finance etc.)
  • Get acquainted with all the latest news, both India and global (this helps a lot, trust me)
  • Go through your CV and for each line written in it, make sure you are thorough with it (e.g. Tell us something about your time at xyz company, tell us something about your hobbies etc.)
  • Think about 2 and 3 level questions the interviewers can ask (e.g. say you wrote about playing an instrument. So, it can be like what music do you like (level 1), why do you like it (level 2), how does it help you (level 3). Usually they do not go beyond this)

These are a few things you can start with. As the process goes on, you will identify where your gaps are and can work on that.

  1. Be aware of the latest news

During your MBA preparation, you must have read up on a lot of news, do not let go of this practice in your MBA. This will help you be aware of what is going around you across various subjects. Make sure you spend 30 mins a day going through the news from good sources.

  1. Be aware of sector-specific information

This applies to all specializations. You need to know what is happening in the particular sector the company operates in. This will help you both in the GDs ad well as the PIs as they help you have talking points as well as give smart answers to questions the interviewers might ask. E.g. For say something like the tyres industry, see the trends in FMCD and how the tyre market looks in India. These points help a lot.

  1. Follow the company’s social media activities

In this digital age, companies are using social media platforms for a lot of things, be it advertising or even giving business information. Across social media platforms, you will be able to find a lot of company insights. On Instagram you will get its latest promotions, on YouTube you may get the latest campaigns, on Facebook and LinkedIn you will get more industry-specific news and reports by the company. Reading up on these will help you be aware of the latest company news.

  1. Companies have their own hiring requirements

This is something that may not instantly sink in for many people but does happen a lot. Your dream company may be coming on campus, but they come with a hiring requirement, which you never know. So even though you think you are a perfect fit for them, they might not be looking out for you, even though you get through till the interview round. So, do not get discouraged in case you do not make it across to a particular company, you may be a perfect fit for someone else.

  1. Reach out to seniors or alums

Through networking, you will get a lot of information about the particular company and the roles it offers. It also gives you first-hand accounts of how they cleared the processes for these companies.

  1. Competitions

Finally, it would be incomplete if I do not mention business competitions that a number of companies roll out for live business problems. If you are able to ace these, you get a direct PPI (preplacement interview) opportunity that will help you get into prestigious companies and roles. This also helps to get into companies that my not be coming to your campus, so definitely look out for these.

These are a few things that can get you started on the track for placement preparation. You need to know where the gaps in your knowledge are and work on that. Also, another thing that is worth mentioning is that not all companies have a GDPI process for their recruitment. They might ask for a business simulation or a roleplay to understand how you work in a particular situation. Also, the final thing you need to remember is that do not compare yourself to someone else. Like I said each company has their own requirements and people come from a diverse background. You will find the company you are a perfect fit for. All the best for your placement processes!

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Mihir Ethan Awale is currently pursuing his MBA from SBM, NMIMS Mumbai and has previously done his engineering in electronics and telecommunication. Other than his name, the two M’s that are a part of him are Marketing and Music. His current focus is marketing with an interest in subjects that range from consumer behaviour to brand management. Music is also an important part of his life (Ethan means musician). He plays the guitar and is a part of the music club at SBM NMIMS.