Thursday, December 07, 2006

Placements and Professionalism

Update 2:

@everyone .. about the bussiness analyst question

The reply he got was an arrogant "you are not suppose to ask me questions, I am suppose to". Would a little reverence to students hurt?

all i am against is arrogance of the interviewer. yes, the candidate must have done his homework.


"they should be well aware that none of engineering students have any clue of what business analyst is"
etc are suposrting statement meant to justify that the interveiwer should not have been so surprized that he had to resort to the arrogance.

Update:
To my friends who have been placed in companies mentioned here, please don't get offended. I just thought speaking out against it will change things for better next time around.

The first session of placements in IIT Madras comes to an end today. There is a break for about two weeks for the inter-IIT sports meet after which they resume once again. I was disappointed by the lack of professionalism by some of the highly regarded companies here during the last two weeks. In fact, the unprofessional display was unexpected by some of the companies that had come for pre-placement talks (ppt) over the semester. There those handful of companies which refused to reveal their compensation packages even when the questions about it was raised during the question answer session. A mere hand waving "competitive package" was announced by them. It annoying when that the one thing many look for in a ppt (yeah, it's the money.. who cares about job satisfaction and social life anyway ;) ). This disregard to professionalism was shown by relatively unknown firms.

It was during the placement week that many of the renowned companies also let us down. It all began with Deutche Bank. Citing reasons of being unavailable during the first week of December, they were allowed to come for placement well ahead of the scheduled placement week. As it was one of the high paying jobs, no one complained. The shortlist was announced and interviews were scheduled at Park Shereton hotel. One of my friends, Ashish, who was short listed was interviewed. Being from an engineering background, non of us knew what exactly a 'business analyst' was all about. During the interview, he asked them what a business analyst exactly does. The reply he got was an arrogant "you are not suppose to ask me questions, I am suppose to". Would a little reverence to students hurt? They should be well aware that none of engineering students have any clue of what business analyst is. Their unprofessonalism (if there is such a word) doesn't end here. They shortlist three candidates to the final interview and have given the offer to only one student among them. The other two students still are unclear whether Deutche Bank is hiring them or not. Its already been over three weeks since the interviews. The students have had a few telephonic interviews. They offered them summer internship before joining the bank as a full time employee based on their performance. Even that isn't clear yet. From what I hear, Assistant registrar in charge of placements is very much pained by Deutche Bank. Also, The interviews stated at about 4 in the afternoon and went on till 12 in the night. They did not have the courtesy to offer at least the three students some snacks.

Shell was another company I was unhappy with. They came it with the offer of placements to all branches here. They asked all the interested candidates to fill in their online application form which easily took all of us 1 hour to fill. This was in the middle of the semester. After all this, they shortlist only the students from chemical and mechanical engineering. It not about the one hour that every one wasted, but about the communication gap between HR and Technical group which let us down. An internationally known company shouldn't so crass in its approach.

As my friend informs me, Fair Isaac cheated IIT Madras' placement office. It was agreed upon that those who cleared the prelim examination and appeared for test for r and d division will also be considered for other divisions. But, those who had cleared the first round of test but not the r and d round weren't even short listed for other divisions. When one makes such a small promise, why is it hard to keep them?

Yet another company was transocean. Two were almost offered jobs and other two waitlisted. During one the placement days, all four of them were flown to Bombay for interviews. As it turned out, it was a mere formality. The two were given the appointment letter, the other two were rejected. If the decision was already made here, why were the other two flown to Bombay (one of them is my room neighbour btw) missing a whole day of placements here? All they did was simply take away the chance finding a job the next day.

I don’t know about other (if any) unprofessionalism displayed here. But from where I see it, most of them were easily avoidable. If employers expect respect from employees, there is nothing wrong in employees expecting the same from the employers.

I am off on a week of travel (no sight seeing unfortunately :( ) for couple of programming contest Friday: Chennai - Delhi, Friday / Saturday Delhi - Kanpur, Sunday / Monday Kanpur - Delhi, Monday Delhi - Chennai, Tuesday / Wednesday Chennai - Bangalore, Friday / Saturday Bangalore - Coimbatore, Sunday / Monday Comibatore - Bangalore .... thursday is the only day of the week i wont be travelling at some point of time. Wish me luck for programming contests at Kanpur and Coimbatore :) Will reply to comments when free. I find Chennai winter cold, it goes to 6 C in Kanpur these days.

Comments:
true...most of these companies lack the professional! while most of them are in your list, you forgot to add 'helman sister's' ;) did not want to offend you here coz you got placed here. anwyays as regards to job satisfaction, dont genna genarlize da.. afterall ten years down the line ,thats what you will be looking at and not the shittycock pay package. this is my opinion
 
Nice article da :)
Best of luck for the programming contests. Also, I will most prob be in Delhi on Monday. Any chance we can meet up?
 
nice post.
good luck with the contests.
 
nice post.
good luck with the contests.
 
I agree with most of your comments. Regarding Shell, possibly the placement office may have pushed for all branches when they were interested in only Mech and Chem. But ill join your outbreak against Shell on another count. They didnt short-list me, when it was obvious that the short-listing was done based on CG. People above and below me got short-listed. SC*** THEM!!
One more thing which I will point out, and probably write a post on it is Psychometry tests. WHAT A COLOSSAL WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY!!!
Last point, as far as I know, Fair Isaac missed only one guy who was short-listed for R&D and thats Harsha. I dont know the details, but I will give them the benefit of doubt, after all, they took me! :P
Best of Luck in Programming contests!
 
Your article throws light on many aspects the hiring process in today's IT world. And lemme tell you, this doesn't just happen with freshies... even when interviewing experienced candidates, certain companies are too casual sometimes leaving candidates in the dark (I've had lot of such experiences, especially with big MNCs). And these are the companies that have made it thru PCMM certifications... :-? /:)
 
What you engineers are doing attending Deutsche Bank for a Business Analyst position? That too coming out of IIT!! Jeez...Put the government subsidies you got to better use for the society.
 
We have similar situation here in IIT KGP. Of course, the companies are the same, so very likely to be common anyways. Just want to add a few points.

Regarding Shell, when they came for PPT, they were not considering Mechanical Engineering! One guy asked the Shell representative why they are hiring mech from IITM, but not KGP. He was left speechless. Later, they allowed mech engg. students to sit. Not only that, they took people from chem, mining, geology, electrical, maths, etc. Note: I am a mech guy, and I got placed in Shell. Regarding the phychometic test, I am sure they gave a lot of weightage to it, as many good students were not shortlisted who were well above me.

My friends tell me that Schlums was the most unprofessional company on campus and gave unfair advantage to many people depending on which group they were placed. Fair Issac was another company that I was told was unfair in the sense that it decided who all to select even before the interviews were over, so the people who were interviewed last did not get a fair chance.
 
@randi
i was joking when i talked about money :)
@bofi
short time in Delhi, doubtful about meeting up
@naresh
thanks :)
@mahesh
thanks :)
@vinay
didn't know it happens at a higher level too
@jinguc
please don't start with the cliched rhetoric..... fyi, each and every one of us do owe the country a lot of money ....and b tech do not use much resouirces in the college...its the m techs and phds who really use the resources given ... and they actually need it. what we use is a lil higher then what an average college, but its not astronomical as people outside make it out to be. I am sure all respectable college in the country provide as many resources as iit provides for its b techs.

@ambuj

shell has serious problems with communication gap between hr and tech division. no one has complained to me about schulms yet. fair isaac should have been more professional.
 
very nice post man.
how cud u forget abt HLL dude?! that is one company that shud b blacklisted .
and the lucent-bell labs, they did not even take a single person!!!
 
@shankar

Agree with your views except for two of them.

Two comments:
1) I don't think your assessment that just because companies don't announce their pay packages in public, they're being unprofessional is correct. In fact, at most colleges in the U.S., it's considered professional. Most companies want to weed out people who are there for the money, because let's face it, investment banking is all about long hours, so they want people who are in it for something more than the money. I have seen many people quit before their contract ran out, just because their hearts were no longer into it.
2) Taking people waitlisted to be interviewed is not uncommon. Sometimes, the two people who were "almost offered jobs" were probably on the fence. In that case, the two waitlist would have to weigh the cost of turning up and the reward of creating a better impression.
 
you forgot to write about the shortlists of lehman tokyo. so far we have seen three shorlists ans another comapny is technisearch (sinapore). it has ditched the students in past still they are allowed to come for campus placement.
 
I guess this is happens at most colleges though you'd expect companies to be a bit more candidate-friendly when they come for placements to top institutes. I have had the experience of seeing companies conducting interviews and then going to hibernation for a long time, conveniently forgetting the tension that students go through during that time. No wonder many of them lose out on the best candidates because of their slow approach.

Compensation packages on many occasions are embedded in mystery with cliches like "best in the industry" or "package is not an issue". The final pay is always so different from the package that you wonder at the creativity that goes into designing such packages.
 
slisha... everything here is not true...

and yes... dont tell me you dont know the job of business analyst after their were two workshops or some two files forwarded regarding it... it takes two mins to understand it...
 
@abhishek

The reson given by companies seems good enough, but the companies themselves are losing out as students prefer companies with definite salery structure

th problem with taking students out of station is that they are losing a day of placememnts back home. it may be legal to do so, but some compassion is expected from the companies too.

@ashish
ditching is different. placement office first calls comapnoies with higher salery package and who are willing to take a lot of people. that why first 2-3 days all the comapnies (not core comapanies) took more than fifteen students (lehman, schulm, shell etc)

@pradeep
i agree

@anon

everything is true. sources are from branch councellors incharge of placements and students themselves.

dont tell me a job that takes two minute to undertand gets paid $110,000/- per annum
 
rightly said dost...these companies are like this only...they tell you something else and you get something else...and the guy who said that "it is not your time to ask questions" should be thrown out of the compnay and also the other one who sent him for conducting the interviews...he does not deserve this chair where he is sitting...

Thanks
Sidhu
 
First time I visited u r blog and liked it.

All the best to u r contests

Mallik
 
Unprofessionalism - you are a joke. Do you even know what it means? I believe you have no idea. If you are applying for the post of a president, I believe it is absolutely essential on your part to know what it takes to be a president. The last thing you want to do is stick your head under a hacksaw and ask if it cuts. Your comments on the process show nothing but your immaturity towards the job you are applying. Of course, you should know what a business analyst means and it is your homework to figure out what it is! It is absolutely lame that you guys are running around without having any clue for what you want. As far as the IIT tag goes, it is where it is. Expecting them to idolize you and spoonfeed you with information is ridiculous and pay- Man! you have to grow up, which I hope you eventually will. It is an absolute waste of my time to tell you all this, but I could not read your ludicrous comments.
 
@malik
thanks :)

@sidhu
he has a lil attitude problem, that has to be corrected.

@rohit
Your comment pretty much sums up the corporate attitute towards fresh under graduates against which i spoke out in my entire post.

Of course we must know what we are getting into when we apply for job, but there is no way to know "exactly" what it is. In this case, deutche bank came with intention of hiring people for their nemerical skill, not for their knowledge on economics. if a company has a probelm with a healthy curiosity, i really wouldn't want to work there.

i presume you are in corporate world, and i am quite aware that they see iitians as an arrogent bunch. Did my post, in any place, even imply indirectly that companies must idolize us? all the post talked about was to treat us with reverence. i dont think too much to ask for.

"It is an absolute waste of my time to tell you all this, but I could not read your ludicrous comments."

can i know on what basis you made an assumption that i am too adament to change my opinion? gimme a rational argrument on why do you think that what the companies did was right (not in legal sense, but in social sense), and i am prepared to change my opinion.

you personal attack doesn't take you anywhere near convincing me that i am wrong.

"Man! you have to grow up, which I hope you eventually will."

i dont think being taken for granted is a part of growing up. if things can change for the better, they ought too.

we may not see eye to eye on a few issues (who does anyway), but i would really appreciate if you look at some of the comments above and how pople have presented themselves when they have disagreed.
 
Perhaps this article will be a good start to the blog :)
 
Nice post man, I hope that Placement offices of all IITs read this and at least do tough negotiating with all these "big" companies.
This has been seen even in my college, where SET came for summer internships. They decided to offer internships in Marketing at the last moment. 150 people applied, they made all of those to wait for 4 hrs, as interviews for internships in other verticals(Finance, Postproduction etc) was going on. Finally, they conducted interviews for around 25 candidates only. Sheer unprofessionalism.
 
"Of course we must know what we are getting into when we apply for job, but there is no way to know "exactly" what it is...Blah, blah, blah." LOL.Spoonfeed. Take 2 mins and think how you will dig that information out.If you(generic you, you will go pages about being personal otherwise!) ask dumb questions to the interviewer, you will not be treated well. About giving you water or food during the process, Hell no! don't even expect anything, I-banking is a stressful environment, if you expect sweet-talkers you are obviously in a wrong field. I-banking is in the business of money, so the last thing you want to ask is your pay-package. You don't want to come off as a greedy hog(although all of them are- welcome to the real world.)Lastly, if DB has even made one offer, I would be suprised!
 
Now, before I begin to make my point, lemme state at the outset that:
 I personally do not think IIT-ians are arrogant, as many speculate. I have seen quite a few from those glorious institutions to form such an uninformed opinion.
 I really think that they deserve the wonderful salaries that the media reports that they get, since they did clear the IIT-JEE (among the toughest exams in the world, without doubt), and did survive 4 years in an extremely competitive environment when they were barely out of their teens.
 I do not think the IIT-ians owe anything to the nation or the general public, just because the Government grants some funds to IITs. They are perfectly within their rights to seek a good job in or out of India.

But, this post was a bit too much for me. You go to an interview, applying for a job that apparently is going to pay you $ 110000 a year. The company has short-listed you because they think that you are among the most elite batch that they are going to get their hands on. You are 21 years old, and have not seen the inside of a corporate office (in other words, in industry parlance, you are still ‘wet-behind-your-ears’, though you are a master when it comes to numerical abilities). You are applying for a job of ‘business analyst’, one they did not prepare you for at an IIT, a position that many others reach after slogging for some years.

You go into the interview and ask them, “What does a business analyst mean?” Now, THAT to me is unprofessional. You are perfectly right to think that you are just being genuinely curious, but any interviewer worth his salt would think that you are being cocky. You are going into an interview, you should atleast have done your homework on what position you are interviewing for.

I mean, it is not like they picked you out of some remote village and out you there. You have access to the Internet, some of the best scientific and business magazines from all over the world, and enough alumni in top positions in virtually every business to help you out if you have a doubt. Now, given all that, you go out and ask your interviewer what a ‘business analyst’ means. And, expect them to explain it to you, and get offended when they don’t. Worse still, you accuse them of being unprofessional.

Sometimes, I wonder whether the salary that they are paying you is worth it, because for all the intellectual capability that you bring to the table, you obviously lack some basic business sense and inter-personal skills.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
went through a few of your previous posts..

i like your spirit dude... try keeping it as it is... even after coming out of college...

trust me its a wee bit tough..

cheers!!

adi
 
@rohit
@srk

i never said interviewer should have answered that question nor did i say it was right question to ask. it was asked by a student from engineering background. exceptions to rules have to be made. i am sure 90% professionals today wouldn't know their real work before they had the first hand experience.
the point is: there is a difference between saying, "you should known about it before you came here" and "i am here to ask questions, not you". thats what i am highlighting. there's arrogance in the second one. i wouldn't have even written about it if the guy hadd seid, "because you did not prepare well enough, you are not getting the job." not just here, at any place "i am the king and you are not" is arrogant. dont tell me that they were testing if you can handle that pressure, it was the first round.

again ... it was right that company did not offer him the job. they should have been more courteous.

my other friend was grilled for a while cuz his resume said lehmann instead of lehman .... which is fine if you ask me.

and db did make an offer and when asked why he wanted to work for db, he replied, "money". even i said "money" in my interview and i got the job.

reg snacks ... i was offered tea when i interviewed (i refused though) .. its a nice gesture .. i agree that it is not necessary. given candidates whom you aren't hiring you certainly have an obligation to offer them some something. its all about being a good host.

abt salaries ... there are all kinds of people in iit madras, ones who are exccellent in inter peronnel skill, ones who are excellent in acads, ones excellent in oublic speaking etc. given people slog to get in, average student lacks inter personnel skills. only those who are good in communication skills end with such a job. not every one gets placed in a financial job. those with good technical skills end up in core jobs or in universities. at the end of the day, i guess, we all go to place where we belong (for better or for worse)
 
@ anonymous (the friend who replied to my comment):

well, if you were not interested in that job, and had to go because the Placement office insisted, then it is ok... but, still, the question was a bit immature... if you don't care for ur Insti's relation with the corporates, then it is ok with me.

As regards the 'million other reasons' for which u brand them unprofessional, well, I was not privy to them, and could comment only on those that he put forth

and finally, thanks for setting the record straight, and I did not mean any offence

and, all the best for your career, wherever you go
 
though i would refrain from commenting on the content..

but keep the spirit going...

cheers!!

adi
 
to quote some IIT student who got some $100k job without even knowing the job description: "IITians who go to IIMs are second rate IITians" .... who are you kidding mate ?! .. and reading this post i wonder what an IITian can provide that an average lower rung B-schooler cannot..

If the student who asked what does a business analyst mean got selected then DB should close shop... professionalism means you do your homework, and in the cut throat world of business and $100k salaries, there is no place for "honest/genuine curiosity"

having said that, companies do make mistakes... if this is out of arrogance then they should be put in place... period.

yet, in all your 21/22 old naivete don't forget that these salaries are only as permanent as the state of the economy - just 4 years back lots of IITians didn't even get jobs....

PS: I am also an IITian, so not for one moment think that I don't understand the system, or the "cut throat competition" that IITians face for 4 years.. the JEE is tough, but the only tough job in campus is making a choice as to what movie to watch today

PPS: I had a good CGPA, good communication skills, and worked in a consult firm when consult/fin firms in campus were more of exceptions than a rule
 
"One of my friends, Ashish, who was short listed was interviewed. Being from an engineering background, non of us knew what exactly a 'business analyst' was all about"

Applying, Writing the test and attending the interview without any idea about the post being offered is unprofessional enough and you have the balls to call the interviewer unprofessional?
 
@myndfcukd
READ my post ... the "update 2" answers your question.
 
@myndfcukd, if you have the balls to write your name here, do it, and I'll tell you exactly why I still call the interviewer unprofessional.
 
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