Campus interview is now switching to an alternate mode, limited talk-time and a new location. With talent scouts favouring short ’n’ swift informal discussions over lengthy formal presentation sessions and students wanting much the same, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC) has drawn up a “unique” method of student-recruiter communication for summer placements 2003.
The new format, billed as the first such initiative in an Indian B-school, is a deviation from the tried and tested pre-placement talks (PPT in campus parlance). Instead of presentations at Joka lecture halls, the companies will set up stalls at a city hotel this weekend for students to walk into and check out what’s on offer.
“This is an experiment, as the recruiting companies are increasingly showing an interest in small group discussions. Since 20 to 30 companies visit the campus for summers, against 70 to 80 during the final placements, we have decided to try it out on a smaller scale,” explained Mritiunjoy Mohanty, chairperson, placement and alumni affairs committee.
October 18 and 19 will find around 20 companies — including Joka regulars like HLL and Citibank — descending on a city hotel to interact with around 250 students from 10 am to 6 pm, before picking the best B-brains in town. Besides organising the one-to-one informal sessions with company officials manning the stalls, the IIMC placement cell has also made arrangements for conference facilities for structured discussions.
“The entire exercise is driven by our effort to put in place a process of communication that’s win-win for both students and recruiters. If the feedback from the corporates is favourable, we will use this mechanism for the final placements as well,” said Mohanty, adding that the institute was ready to finetune the system with inputs from companies. In PPTs, companies make presentations — ranging from one to two hours — to a set of students, which leaves little scope for “personalised interaction”. Besides, time constraint — with 70 to 80 companies during the finals making presentations over a two-month period — prevents students from attending all PPTs and often, choices are made on the basis of “insufficient” information. “Students have always wanted sessions that are more interactive. Increased flexibility of sessions will help us make the right choice,” said a student of the external relation cell at IIMC.