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Publication: Economic Times Delhi; Date:2006 Nov 21; Section:Career & Business; Page
Number 7

Exciting buildup to summer at IIMs


Thanuja BM & Sushmita Mohapatra BANGALORE

AGROUP of men and women, dressed in smart formals, head deep in discussion, strategising,
planning and plotting, reminds you of corporate battlerooms? Look a little closely and you will
see sweaty palms, loosened neckties and wavering confidence. These kids are going to take
their first step into the big, bad world of corporates.
This was the scene across conference halls at six IIMs during the five days of summer
placements. Call it opportunity, or a gruelling session — summer placements took the best to
test!
The first year’s internship placements, held for about five days, are fast catching up to the
final placements in importance.
Everyone aims for the highest – the best Ibanks, top consulting firms or the best banks and
FMCG companies.
Cheers and tears go hand in hand, as some get selected in their dream company, while
others are left behind. Till all placements are done, no one celebrates, even if they have
managed to grab a dream job with their favourite company. Portraying the very best
incessantly for five days can make the best crumble at times. Support comes in from the
faculty, batchmates and seniors.
IIMB placement committee chairperson Sourav Mukherjee says: “Students get an exposure to
corporate life through summer placements. Companies too stand to gain as they get a platform
to evaluate students.” The process has evolved in the last couple of years, with a lot more
preparations and effort going into it by the students, institute and the placement committee.
“The first-year students spent last few months in mock interviews and shopping,” says IIMA
student placement coordinator Jatin Mamtani.
The process of mentoring and guiding starts very early. For example, senior IIMC batches and
faculty helped identify key strengths and skill sets of each individual, taking him through the
process of understanding different functions in a management job.
From the intricacies of understanding the role of a management trainee to basics like
preparing an impressive resume, students are given lessons on just about everything! IIMK
second-year students did a formal mock session of interviews for the first-year students to help
them prepare for summer placements and relieve
some anxiety, according to Senthil Nathan of the placement committee.
“We took feedback from students who had gone through interviews in previous years and
made a legacy document. After each summer placement season we update this document. Also
a group of students from both first and second year are assigned to each sector like marketing
interest group, finance interest group, operations interest group, IT interest group and
consulting interest group. They research the companies and prepare information on each
company and the sector. These are shared with students,” he adds.
The other part of the buildup involves constant interactions and relationship building with
companies. The placement committee comprising eight-nine students from the second-year
batch are primarily responsible for contacting and interacting with companies. “We try to add
new names to our database. For example, I went for my summer placement to London and it is
there that I contacted Macquarie Bank,” says IIMB placement representative Shobhit Gupta. A
month before the placement season kicks in, companies come on campus to make
presentations.
“I attended these presentations and realised that it was the investment banking profile that
attracted me the most. I thought that it would be interesting to work with an investment bank

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Exciting buildup to summer at IIMs Page 2 of 3

during the summers,” says IIMB student Vikram Balan. There are some personal touches to the
preparation too.
“I contacted my relatives and friends, even the not so close ones, to get information about
the companies I am interested in,” says an IIM first-year student. Another at IIMC says, I filled
so many forms that I can tell my CV by rote. Some students judiciously go to the temple every
week before placements, while others go shopping to get new formal wear to impress
recruiters. And finally, a closely guarded secret within the hallowed walls is the party organised
at the end of summer placements. Call it a long drinking binge or a stress busting effort, the
repercussions are no classes for the batches the next day!

PRAVEEN KUMAR, IIMC

This summer, Praveen Kumar will be headed either to London, or New York for a two-month stint with
Lehman Brothers. Praveen was placed on the first day of Slot Zero. “Since I-banking was one of my
preferred options, Lehman Brothers always ranked way up on my list,” he says. He is delighted at the
prospect of working with one of the biggest names in I-banking on the Wall Street and one of the oldest
ones too. According to him, he will have strong IIM connection at Lehman Brothers. “The firm has a
strong IIM alumni base, mostly in senior-level positions,” he says.
Praveen is looking forward to the stint with a lot of excitement and anticipation. Having interacted with
seniors who have been placed with Lehman Brothers earlier, he says that the I-bank has a reputation of
making interns feel comfortable.

KAUSHIK MUKHERJEE, IIMA

Kaushik will join Goldman Sachs for summer training in March 2007. Before joining IIMA, Kaushik
worked with Oracle, Hyderabad, from July 2004-May 2006 in the customer relationship management
division. This will be his first international experience. He will be working in the investment and banking
division, which deals with M&As.

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VIKRAM BALAN, IIMB

Vikram Balan, an IIT Mumbai alumnus, is going to do his summers at Deutsche Bank, New York. On the
basis of his CV, he was shortlisted by 15 companies. He was shortlisted by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan,
Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey & Co, among others. “I chose Deutsche Bank because the bank was
giving me an associate position and I liked the role,” he says. He has been offered to choose the role he
wants to take up in the organisation. He intends to work with the capital markets division under the Bank.

SIMEEN MIRZA, IIMK

Simeen is going to work for Deloitte in Hyderabad in April-May 2007. The interview with Deloitte was the
second she had after Ocwen. “I had read a lot on the company on the net and in newspapers,” she says.
What made her choose Deloitte was “the fact that they offered me a position in valuation of intangible
assets, which basically means valuing a company’s brand, goodwill, patents etc”.
(Inputs: Sreeradha D Basu, Kolkata, & Mansi Bhatt, Ahmedabad)

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