End of July 2008 , and our campus placement season had just commenced.Everyone was in high hopes and was excited to get our first job offers. So what happens is companies first shortlist your resume/CV based on your academic , co curricular performance or according to their own yardsticks . After that they hold an aptitude test or call for the interview directly. And After interview ,if you get selected you have a job offer and that night you have to give a small booze treat to your friends in the hostel.
We all had similar plans, and when you are among the department toppers then your hopes get much higher. But 2008 was a cursed year, recession hit the industry right at the time when companies visit the campus for job offers. Everything plummeted. Jobs were hard to get, Computer Science guys had got few offers but other departments were putting on an abysmal show. Two months passed and I didn’t get even a single offer. It was depressing indeed. During this time I was doing my internship at National physical Lab , working on some Cesium atomic clocks . I went back to college in late August, last year of engineering degree is usually relaxed one.Students don’t turn up and when they get job offers in hand, they just give guest appearances in classes. Profs. are lenient as well during the final two sem.
I went back to college in late August, very few students were there. Me and one of the guy who was a topper of the department once went to a local joint to have some food. There we met some more classmates of ours. So the conversation begins :
Me : Whats up ? What did you do during the summers?
R : Nothing much, just prep for CAT , what else, only 2 months left now.
Me : Yes
R : Coming to college tomorrow?
Me : I don’t know, don’t feel like coming. Will see.
A: Tomorrow another firm is visiting the campus.
Me: Is it, whats the name?
A: I don’t know, but they manufacture some glass products.
Me : Why will they need F** electronics engineers for this work.
A: F ** I know.
A: So, sitting in the aptitude test for it ?
Me: Let’s see, not sure at all.
Next Morning 7:30 am
RK : What? You are sleeping ? Why aren’t you ready ? Don’t you want to sit for the placement test for this firm.
Me: I don’t know, I don’t even know the name.
RK: Let’s go an find out
Me: Ok, Let me shower.
After taking a bath.
Me: I don’t have shirt to wear, this shirt I had worn around 2 months ago and is hanging like this for all this period and it has got brown stains as well.
RK: No one is going to marry you there, just wear whatever you have.
Me : Look at my trouser, its itching me . I am sure some micro organisms are inside. And look at the shoes, green moss has started developing over the leather. I don’t think its a good idea for me to go.
After a lot of persuasion from RK, I gave up and wore the same shirt, trouser and dirty shoes.
We reached college and gave the aptitude test. Quite unconventional aptitude test ,a lot of calculations, and critical reasoning.
After an hour or so, they announced the results and both RK and I had cleared it. They were calling to submit the CV.
Both RK and I looked at each other. None of us had our CV with us. Meanwhile they announced that interviews will be conducted in the Computer center. I told them , that give us 10-15 min and we will submit the CVs. The HR said ok.
I and RK rushed to comp lab and copied a format and wrote whatever we could in 10 minute time frame. Everything was same in our CVs except the names and addresses.
A second year guy was volunteering to help the training and placement guys and was collecting the CVs. I put our data at the bottom of the stack and said to RK, see there are 20 odd people selected for the interview round, so even if one interview stretches for 10 minute, we will be called approximately after 2 hours or so. In the meanwhile we can revise some common concepts that they can ask .
RK was confident , so was I. The moment we were trying to leave the comp center to go to an upper floor to some empty class room to study, my name was called. I was startled.
The stupid junior guy had turned the stack around and instead of the bottom, our CVs were at the top now.
At such times, you cannot do much except hold your nerves. I said to myself, whatever will happen will happen and entered the room.
They asked me simple questions, why do you want to join us. I thought to myself, till yesterday I didnt even know the name of your firm, why would I want to join you? But gave some sensible reply.Few more questions and the interviewers said, we are done with you.
At around 5 or 6 pm results were announced , out of the 5 who were selected I and RK were among them.
The feeling was ecstatic