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Campus placements: A linked(in) reality show

With more intrigue than ‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Bigg Boss’, it’s every man and woman for themselves out there, writes comedian Vikram Poddar

Vikram Poddar | Published 26.02.23, 06:25 PM
Recruiters are likely to attract more candidates if they are told it’s a reality show — because everyone prefers a reality show over reality, writes Vikram Poddar

Recruiters are likely to attract more candidates if they are told it’s a reality show — because everyone prefers a reality show over reality, writes Vikram Poddar


Any Marwari worth his salt (or papad) would feel right at home in the campus placement process. All the hectic parleying, all the jockeying back and forth, all the false compliments and status signalling are Tuesday for any Marwari boy or girl who has crossed puberty. And the blatant exaggeration of wealth and virtue by either side is literally like another IIM — Indian Institute of Marriage. Where many recruiters are promised chaste day-zero candidates — only to discover later that many companies have already visited on D minus 3.

I remember the placement process in my B-school, where I formatted my CV as per the placement committee’s compulsory format, whose sole purpose was to ensure I remain unemployed. I found it would take more skill to fit the details of my skill in that template than my skill itself. For those three days, we were like kids from the Pink Floyd song, marching like just another brick in the wall. Think of yourself as a puppy at the dog pound, hoping to be picked up by the coolest richest parents. With unlimited dog food cafeterias. And dog yoga sessions. And you realise that when it comes to the gap between CTC and take home, the bark is worse than the bite.


Watching someone less competent than you get a better placement is like watching content 10 times more cringe than yours getting many more views and followers. And here there is no collab. It’s every man and woman for themselves. And you see backstabbing and deception that ranges from Game of Thrones to Hunger Games. I honestly think companies should take the guy who does the Bigg Boss voiceover for recruitments. They are likely to attract more enthusiastic candidates if they are told it’s a reality show — because everyone prefers a reality show over reality.

In any case, when recruiting from the famed Gen Z batches, HR can put up Instagram reels of themselves dancing to Kacha Badam, so the candidates know what salary to expect. Many of them, of course, also want to pursue their passion and insist that the company also pursue all their passions. Especially in the package offered. So, they can write passionately about their offers on LinkedIn. And hope their exes notice it. Personally, I would rather be interviewed by an ex. She won’t ask me: “Tell me something about yourself”. She’ll say: “Let me tell you everything about yourself”.

But eventually campus placements are like the lyrics from the soundtrack of Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. As last year, IT companies were going crazy after candidates with lyrics like: Apne paas hai bangla bhi car bhi, aur upar se karega tumko hum pyaar bhi. To laid off techies this year singing to IT firms delaying offers: Rooth ke humse kabhi jab chale jaoge tum. But many unsuspecting new recruits are still in the headiness of their Pehla Nasha.

In the end you realise all the stress over placements, salaries, job titles, etc was pointless because AI eventually took over your role and now you spend your whole day cosplaying as your favourite anime character. You have been banned from many building societies because of this behaviour. But, at least, there is one life lesson you learnt from this whole process. That sometimes the best opportunities in life come off-campus. But it helps if your daddy’s name is on the campus.

The author is a Marwari investment banker turned corporate comedian. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.

Last updated on 26.02.23, 07:43 PM

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