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Any expression of sarcasm is just some frustration leaking out amidst what otherwise is ramblings that are rationalized sporadically. There is only one driving reason for most students to join PSG College of Technology. Job offerings! Fair enough if you ask me. Fear of failure (learn the word atychiphobia) that is so often the reason for mediocrity in the Indian middle class drives 18 year old kids to point where they are forced to base educational decisions on ‘phamily responsibilities’. Fair enough. I wish to remain objective.

I had a chance to be a course coordinator, a role that was made up to act as the assistant to a placement coordinator. So the experience and the emotions that I express here are validated beyond the common Joe’s point of view. Kuberan, a very good friend of mine and I played this role not just once but twice. He did most of the donkey’s work. I was witness.

As a grad there were just 2 things that I heard so often from folks around when asked what kind of a job they wanted. These classifications are not just misnomers, but barely represent what graduate students use as the classifiers.

1) Management Job

2) Technical Job. (Further classified as Core Job for the non Tech Grads. Coding Job for computer-science grads)

What is interesting is that these are the classifiers that grads were expressing. What they really used to classify was.

1) Pay Package

2) Travel Opportunities

3) Exclusivity of the Job (in terms of the number of grads recruited from the campus. Lesser the better)

It really is possible to rationalize each of these criteria with reasons like ‘phamily pressure’. Pretty short sighted if you ask me. After all, we are a generation that is yet to see what it is for an IT engineer to lead a retired life. It is mathematically unknown.

Amidst these things, it was/is at times flustering to see FaceBook status messages “Life Sucks.. Lost something that I was aiming for a very long time!” from grads who were not selected into firms that they wanted to be a part of. Seriously? how much about the job did you really know for it to have been a life long dream?

No more ranting. Now for some advice

1) Dont mix education and jobs. Dont mix jobs and money. These are actually beautifully isolatable concepts. And if your thinking I am wrong by saying this, well it is MY blog post after all. Education, Work and Money are needs.(Work is a need too. Read Dan Ariely’s Upsides of Irrationality).

2) All these are needs at all points of time in life. They are not exclusive to specific stages. Try and find jobs that can offer you clearly isolatable benefits. Benefits like learning, money, travel, chance to meet hackers, chance to attend conferences, chance to pursue your technical interests outside work hours, incentives for learners, incubation facilities if you have a cool idea, freedom to express opinions, freedom to drive the business. I agree that these are things that are driven by the individual and not by the workplace. Well then, why look for a job? Do something on your own.

3)Stop wasting your time trying to compete with other classes and courses and trying to show to the rest of the world that your better. Believe me! Β Noone gives a shit about your contest.

4)Stop ranting on FaceBook about how you missed your Dream Job. Disappointments are understandable. But let me tell you this. There is no history (exhaustively) of a deserving grad not landing up in a good job. You think you deserve a good job right?

5)Stop using fuzzy terms like job satisfaction. You have not worked before. You dont know what it means. I did not.

6)Instead of wasting time finding ways to better your competitor courses, spend some time speaking to people who work at the companies that you are looking at. Think about whether you can do what they do to make a living.

7) Prioritize your learning very highly. After a year, any job typically gets boring. Learners will find it easy to switch jobs at this point.

8) If seniors/alumni (which I am clearly now a part of) are disappointed with your class’s performance on the job charts, they can F*** off.

Dont take campus recruitments too seriously. They truly mean nothing. Remember you are in college to get educated. Traditionally, these institutions were never meant to be job fairs. Learn your way through college. I am not going to say “It will pay in the long run”. I am just saying that there is tremendous joy in learning something new everyday. Dont let recruitment drives ruin that joy.

P.S: If at any point, you were thinking “Sure Ashwin, speak on. You have a job now. I know you were no different when you were at PSG”, your argument/comment is exactly my point.

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15 Comments

  1. Ashwin, Its really an awesome post πŸ™‚ I exactly have the same opinion.

    • Sujay Krishna Suresh
    • Posted March 9, 2011 at 9:44 am
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    • Reply

    Good one.. jus cmin a lil late.. πŸ™‚

  2. ash.. good work da… πŸ™‚ it makes sense to me, hav to take tot out of it.

  3. The very reason some social organizations are saying to stop campus recruitment is that the last year goes wasted without any learning. It was very evident when I had a chance to interact with placed students. The educational institutes are concentrated solely teaching on how to buy a house but not own a home to live.

  4. Good post, Ashwin. And very valid points.
    I’d add a little more to it….have the courage and confidence to learn and unlearn constantly all through.

    • Lakshmi Chockalingam
    • Posted March 9, 2011 at 10:05 pm
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    • Reply

    The mirage of campus recruitment drives students to battle for a futuristic survival. My peers are just so long sighted that they cannot sense what is at their premises: a life in the present, a potentially proud past to leave behind, a latent individualistic trail to blaze, the ecstasy of a subjective approach to living, the joy of learning…

  5. Good post.. its late for our fellow mates.. but shud help our juniors.

  6. The post was awesome na :)) I could see many things that bugged my mind for past few months n this post πŸ™‚

  7. nice post na… agree with most of your advices… but still i always learnt only by experience and rarely by listening… guess this would also turn out that way…

  8. wonderfully stated na!
    jus loved those 7 points…
    this post will surely help us a lot!

  9. If seniors/alumni are disappointed with your class’s performance on the job charts, they can F*** off.

    Well the attitude was a lot different when you had to find good internships or had to get a specific company to open up for Msc.

    Now you spoke your heart out on your contempt for “seniors”, keep that consistent and dont forward your resume to a “senior” for a job move cos we are f***ing off.

    • I d be happy if this was less anonymous. Anyway I would like to trust that you have been anonymous for a reason.
      Apologies if that came of offensively. I wish to state that “seniors” here includes me (now) πŸ™‚
      If you wish me well and think I am misguiding someone, ping me on ashwinraghav at gmail.com. I’d be happy to learn πŸ™‚ I have approved the comment for this very reason.

      • Aw snap!!

        Looks like you hit a really sensitive nerve of one of our seniors.

        I do have one question to ‘YourSenior’, just so that it helps our understanding of your comment better – why did you put the word senior, inside double quotes ? It usually denotes sarcasm. Does it imply that you are our softies alumini but dont want to consider so anymore after this post? If thats the case..damn you ashwin, we lost out on one of our trust softy alumini πŸ˜›

  10. Ashwin,

    Needless to say, the ideas conveyed in the post, cannot be done better than what you have done. G O O D work.

    I like the way you have stated the idea of, a student’s need to look beyond the job ( which he has no clue of ) when at college. But the realities of a higher cost of investment ( Read Fees ) forces any loving son/daughter of a middle class parent to aspire for the list of things (Pay Package , Travel Opportunities and Exclusivity of the Job) you have mentioned. It stand justified as these give you the much needed short term relief.

    So, my advice would be USE CAMPUS AS A MEANS TO ENTER THE INDUSTRY, be happy and feel on top of the world if it is one among your dream companies. On the contrary, if you get in to any other company you would have had enough traction to seek out the companies you would eventually feel right at home. The holy grail in this case would be “not to loose focus on your CAREER while doing you JOB” I have lived this advice and I have no regrets, on top I have had a run I can be proud of and the same time fulfilling my “Phamily commitments”

    In short, look for a JOB in campus recruitments and not your CAREERs. If you do find it, you are among the .000000000000001% of lucky graduates

  11. Good post. But “Don’t take campus placements too seriously” might deceive people. I understand education is the priority/ cause and job or campus placements should only be an effect. But yeah… like you mentioned job is becoming the “cause”. But for you to understand the worse side of things and talk about it, you need to go through that suffering cycle. Realization of these things needs to hit people instead of being fed.

    The cycle is… Be blind – Follow the crowd – struggle – realization – go back – learn – get back on track. The realization is what takes time and trying to feed it to others might turn out to be detrimental. But seems like realization has hit you 1 year out of college (which is good and bad) … Does that mean you will quit your job and do what you want to do in life? No you will not and you cannot. If you do that, in 2013 realization will hit you again and will compel you to take a new route again.

    My realization in the past few days (after 3 years of work): Work is work. Work is a very small part of life. Work is nothing. But, guess what… I spend 17-18 hours in a typical day working. Why? – I want to learn and grow. And what next? – That realization has not hit me yet. I am sure the third level of realization had hit couple of my seniors and they can give more fundaes. πŸ™‚


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