Securing one’s first job in India, and at that, around the world represents one’s transition into a financially independent person with assets. Securing a great first job after graduating from a premiere educational institution in a country where premiere represents a lottery ticket which one happened to win, means in addition to the above, a sense of pride for both oneself and one’s family back home. The problem though is when the concoction of pride is flavoured with a pinch of jealousy, heavy competition and is attached an unduly high importance.
What makes a Great Career :
I speak here without the experience of years, but I wish to analyze the importance of one’s first job in one’s career. A distinguished career is certainly marked by one’s final stop rather than by the stops made along the way. As a graduate, one tends to be a generalist, who can mold oneself to the requirements of many jobs and the first job is indeed a formative experience. However, if there is one thing which is common between CEO’s of large companies, it is that the remarkable variance in their first job. Therefore, what makes a great career is the progression one makes through the course of several positions, several failed experiments and several people one works with.
Undue Competition, Stress and Fragmentation
The placement of students at IIT – B is never 100%. A variety of reasons exists to why some students fail to land a job before they graduate through campus placements. However, the vast majority of students who have put in effort towards getting a job, do manage to land one. A perceived lack in quality of some jobs, and a perceived regard for others leads to people craving for jobs in sectors of finance, consulting and other high paying sectors. The pressure placed by the placement team and company officials results in a shared belief among students that the culmination of an IIT education should mean that one is eligible for a ‘good’ job. Severe competition for few jobs leads to undue stress and the polarization of students into ‘groups’, and a pre-conceived notion of the quality of the work one would do, even before entering the workplace. This stress is unnecessary since all one can do in such a scenario is put effort into introspecting and understanding one’s character and inclination, apart from preparing for tests. Beyond this, it is someone else who is judging and selecting you, and such a judgement cannot change who you are. Who you are is defined by the circumstances and principles you happened to live your life by until that point!
The hierarchy of days
Placements at IIT ensures that graduating students have imbibed in their veins, the existence of a hierarchy within them. Even if the years spent at college managed to educate a student that every person in this world is good at some things and bad at others, likes some things and dislikes others, the placement system is sure to systematically erase this learning, by judging some companies better than others, and the students who have secured jobs in those companies better than others.
Its a towering skyscrapers and not a pyramid
There are over a billion people in our country, and our minds are programmed into wanting to be the better than everyone else at everything conceivable. Every process of selection is a sieve, and we compete to be the grains which get filtered through the sieve, worrying little about what the sieve is separating for. IIT – B’s placement process is another one of these sieves. And as Indians, we fight to get separated through the pores of the sieve, only later to look up and realize what the sieve was separating in the first place.
At the end of the day however, there are multiple ways of having a great career. And all such possibilities are open for a graduating student, to achieve his/her dream. Realizing that fighting to get through every possible sieve is just one of these many possibilities, is something which placements at IIT – B makes us forget.