Okk so we come to the most awaited part of the whole summers process...the slot 0 firms with promises of a foreign placement and a stipend in dollars amounting to more than 500,000 in local currency! The preparations for these companies are the most focussed and its almost like the other slots do not exist at all. Slot 0 is the be all and end all of placements...in the lead up to placements week, that's the general impression that you get. The shortlists start coming and those are the first heartbreak points for many. People suddenly realize that they are still not good enuf even though they've cleared the CAT...that they can still be rejected!
Anyway I'll limit the discourse to personal experiences. So I, fortunately or unfortunately, had only 2 shortlists out of the 12 firms visiting campus and those were Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, two of the biggest biggies. I was all keyed up on the eve of the day...tried out my new suit...was quite impressed by the sight, the corporate image and all!
Day 0: 9 am
Everyone ready and raring to go. Quite a nice gathering of people in suits. People discussing current stock prices and P/E ratios. A few copies of the Economic Times circulating. Suddenly I remember I don't have the last closing figure of the Sensex. Rush Rush. Join my fellow Kgpians for some small talk and breakfast.
The first interview calls start. People start trickling out. A few among them will not return throughout the day. A few return, to be hounded by thousands of queries. I wait.
I am still waiting for my first call. People with 3-4 shortlists are already done with the whole process. AJ is done but seems tensed. I smoke and chew mint with RS. Have packet lunch. The picnic feeling starts.
Still waiting. Only people with 2 or fewer calls still waiting for the process to start. People desperately cracking PJs to keep from losing patience. A few more puffs and a few more mints. AJ even more tense.
Merrill Lynch calling. First bike ride to Tata Hall. Ushered into first interview. Tell the guy about myself. What's 92/85? 1 point er...er...08? Okk...whats the square root of 1000? Ahh...33 squared is 1089 so it shud be 32 point 4? Oh no I forgot that 32 squared is 1024. I, the guy whose been doing this stuff mentally since class 10. Oh shit. Guess the no. of flights Jet Airways operates in a day. Oh no...what's this...do some complex calculations and come up with a figure of 30. Try scrutinising the interviewer's face for any signs. Nothing. Some more crappy stuff. Then its done. Im wished best of luck. I'll be wished that for a few more days!
Lehman calling. First interview goes really well. The lady is impressed. Am able to communicate my CG. Cudnt do that at Merrill. Solve probability problems and fin fundae with ease. Lady ushers me for another interview. But her seniors are too busy in convincing people why they shud join Lehman. Have the sinking feeling that they have realised capacity constraints. Offers are being made all around. A few like me stand around, oblivious to the rest of the world. Some guy eventually decides to do an interview for me. Asks some stupid stuff about my internships during graduation. Give even more boring answers. Neither of us are impressed. My day ends.
Come back to the front desk (that's the arena). People discussing offers. Me ruing my luck. I was timed out of the process, I feel. Maybe, may not be. I had my chance, I did not capitalise. People were given more chances. They did. Leave the arena. On my way out, meet AJ. She's done it. Good for her. Relief on that front. Feeling a tad bit low myself, tho.
Rest of the evening
Cheer myself up. Do nothing much else. People come to room. Some console, some wish luck, some treat me to chocolates. Waiting for tomorrow. Still chance of a foreign offer. Let us hope for the best. Try some combined study with Arnie. Not much good. End the day with bakar session with RK and Stud. That wud be the pattern for days to come.