Summer Internship Process - Coming Full Circle

Slot 0. Slot 1. Slot 2. Slot 3. Rolling. Internship. PPO. Back to XL. Interviews. Slot 0. Slot 1. Slot 2...

This summer, yet another bunch of students will strap their bags on, leave XL and board trains or flights to reach the HQs/branches of the companies where they will intern for approximately two months. A motley bunch- doctors, engineers, accountants, psychologists - most of them will be long past the initial seven days packed with confusion, uncertainty, swearing and the 'Man, it's so frikkin arbit!' feeling of when they sat for their SIP 2010 interviews. I won't have forgotten, nor will have most seniors- after all, this is our second SIP interview process. Once before, we were in the hot seat, overwhelming Small Auditorium with our suits, questions and hopes, cracking smiles when the last thing we wanted to do was to smile, staring straight ahead when we wanted to avoid an over-friendly sympathizer, politely holding back sheer disbelief when someone whom we felt didn't deserve it got a prize placement offer, peering at the brown board covered with SIP 2009 announcements- some new, some old- and asking our friends in one moment of open anxiety, "Yaar, mera ho jaayega na?", trying to hide a pang of jealousy when a close friend gained a better offer than we did, and celebrating with crazed relief, tired out but so, so happy that we were 'signed out of the process'.

This time, we're the seniors - we served, we controlled, we coordinated, we handled the logistics, we formatted CVs and one bunch of us spent sleepless nights to help place the entire batch. Also, the same people who sat in that auditorium, mostly feeling lost, anxious or confused, stepped in to provide Valuable Advice for the juniors; we offered our Excellent Tips on Company Pecking ("No, no, A is always better than B, yaar, kyunki maine suna hai ki last year X who interned there told Y ki..."); we provided our Critical and Comprehensive CV Reviewing Services ("Dude, why don't you put all your Positions of Responsibility in this format? Max shortlists this way, trust me. And remember, tere saare internship details ko aise aam aadmi language mein HI likhna, otherwise recruiters won't understand, machi!"); we bestowed upon them our Sure Shot Interview Academia Primer ("Boss", with a heavy sigh guaranteed to create mass nervousness in juniors, "sabse pehle, jaake dekh ki Theory X aur Theory Y dono mein se which is what... Yeh sab pakka poochenge, PAKKA. DEFinitely coming in UGJIK company's interview, man."); and to top off the line up of services, we added the finishing touch: Our V V Special Tips To Handle Horror GDs and Ace Intimidating Interviews ("Start and finish evvvvery GD. Make your presence felt. Smile confidently and tell the interviewer if you don't know something - he will be hazaar impressed with your straightforwardness.)

Let's face it - SIP is a bit like life. Heck, it IS life, played over on a considerably smaller stage. The defining theme is randomness, of the highest order. And yet we will continue, batch after batch, to believe in such concepts as perfectly made offer-getting CVs (snort!), the correct answer to a company's subjective questions in its form, advice from 93 people to get the better of the Great Pecking Tamasha and a common set of tips to acing GDs and PIs (don't even get me started on this one). It is ironic if nothing else that we invest some much of time and energy in what process is essentially a function of uncertainty. However, things are remarkably different on the other side of the spectrum, and I know how I will feel, come CRP - so less of the sarcasm from me and more from Ground Zero.

I helped a tiny little bit in coordinating some parts of SIP 2010, and my role being much easier than others, I got the chance to observe the play of events inside the audi. I observed, partly curious, sometimes helpless, and sometimes just proud at how my- our- juniors were, for the most part, handling SIP 2010; after all, they were battling the sharpest force of nature - uncertainty. There were those who stood up to the pressure calmly and shrugged off rejects, though they undoubtedly had their quiet moments of worry; those who broke down only to rise again; those who sat friendless, slightly removed from the clutter of people all around, and celebrated solitary and silently when they were placed; those who sailed through the process on the first day but stayed on to cheer, encourage and support their friends and batch-mates. Moments of heartwarming bonding, and moments that made me shake my head. The public nature of this post prevents me from taking names, but some of you absolutely rock, you guys, your friends won't forget how you stood by them. Hats off.

From SIP, last year and this one, I have some observations. Some you may know, others you may recognize, and even disagree with some. One, SIP is and will always be unpredictable, so the hype can be reduced. The Hype is the worst part- nothing creates pressure like the talk. Two, there will always be people who will take it in their stride and people who will break, and the unexpected often occurs. Some build respect for the calm with which they handle the entire process. It's called maturity. No amount of mock anythings will help the breakers and none are needed for the steady rocks, but the majority lies somewhere in between and wholehearted support from a senior batch helps. (Incidentally, I had a wonderful senior student coordinator last year called Meetesh Jha - he kept me from pressing my ever-ready panic button. Trust me, It Helps.) Three, there is life beyond SIP, which it is very easy to forget those seven days. Those who remember and put things in perspective make life easier for themselves.

A good number of people in this junior batch did keep things in perspective. Today, they're all placed for summers. And so next summer, they'll strap their bags on, and leave XL and board trains or flights to reach the HQs/branches of the companies where they will intern for approximately two months. A motley bunch- who started out not knowing where they'd end up, but all of whom made the cut, in the tradition of every batch before them.

Congratulations, Class of '11. Nice work. Rock your summers! :-)

Marketing Communication in Digital Age: presentation for BBDO Moscow Digital Wordshop

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:

Gagan Adlakha of the PM&IR '90 batch gets quoted in Eco Times

Gagan Adlakha, partner at Vyaktitva, of the XL '90 batch gets quoted in the Eco Times on how the next generation of women entrepreneurs are taking over from their fathers

Check out the quote in the article here:

One Year Into XL...

It's been a year.
One year and a term, actually.
And nostalgia slowly unfurls, fashioning a path made of scattered memories and overheard comments, shared laughter, real fear, disappointment and growing maturity- like a series of photographs unfolding in glorious technicolor before my mind's eye.
The call from XL, the jubilation, the call to Raghunath sir - 'I got a call to XLRI!'
The fraxing even before the interview.

The interview itself, 43 minutes, a marathon session, Fr. James Santhanam smiling and booming, "So, Ramaa... what would you do as an HR manager?" Me: "I'd hire people, pay them and if they don't work, fire them." Prabhal Sen being nice as ever. "Name just one public sector bank, one private sector bank and one foreign bank." Me- "Er." Pray fixing me with The Eye, and arguing for over fifteen minutes about the merits of Carnatic vs Hindustani music. The most enjoyable part of the interview, actually.

And then, the admit. Mad joy, rushing around, congratulations, shopping, nearly bursting with pride, like a lifetime of prayer had been answered in one letter.

Spontaneous bonding with other prospective XL-ers on Orkut. Gtalking. Nicknaming each other (Drama Ramaa- and were they right!). Laughing, trying to get over our little fears and insecurities and wondering about each other, Promising to 'teach' each other our graduation-related subjects once we were in XL, little knowing how useless graduation was going to be once we entered the B school world. about this new place called XLRI and how it was going to be.
Opening my mouth in a big O at the openly flirty Neha Sood and her antics on orkut. A littl awed at her instant popularity and the messages coming in from the men of my to-be batch.

Packing. A card from my then 10-year old sister, "We'll keep in touch and be there for each other!" A big, warm smile, hiding a wobbly lower lip and some tears.
Leaving on the first of many 36-hour train journeys to XLRI, Jamshedpur- Tatanagar Junction.
A long, butterflies-in-my-tummy journey.

Reaching. The auto ride to XL. 90 rupees.
XL. The Bodhi Tree. Random junta gathered under it.
Nervousness. Greeting some people. Keeping slightly aloof, not sure how I'd be accepted.
Reading the white notice stuck in front of hostel- My room- 104, Nilima Acharji. Room-mate- Rashmi Kamath.
Deep breath-exhale. What would she be like?
Cleaning out room, wrinkling nose at cobwebs.
Entry Rashmi. Conservative smiles, handshakes (!)
A long walk with Rashmi ("Committed? Me, too! Since when?" Giggles.)

The first week- Prep Course.

And then- seniors arrival on campus.
Start Project Bhasad.
Fear. Who WAS this unknown in my batch who'd squealed?
Reverence and awe at Akshay Sinha and Aditya Kankaria. Such gentlemen! Cheap unknown batchmate. Curse him.
The showdown.
Watching Hema burst into tears.
Trigger--> Me crying, everything in sudden slo-mo, Aditya laughing, saying, "Chill!", Priyanka Tandon hugging me, "It's going to be okay, sweetie- relax", the REALIZATION, fury at the 'gentlemen', feeling foolish, OHhhh!-ness.

WELCOME TO XL! The first 'party' ;) , XL ishtyle.

Maxi Fair.
Committee Interviews.
Bodhi Tree, EL, Dracula, SPIC MACAY- maximum committees enrolment. Cheers!

Term I. First D+, home-sickness, some wonderful seniors by my side, as well as batchies- Krishanu, Priyanka, Prasanna, Chaitanya - too many to name, feeling grateful, and lost, wondering at the same time.
Starting to take long walks around campus.
Subjects, assignments, SUMIT SARKAR!, Xl life, amazement @ Bishu-da, hanging out at Dadu's, listening to seniors' stories open-mouthed. Inability to speak a word of Hindi- constant ragging from several quarters.
JLT forbidden, rule broken, promises of bed-dunking.

First term break. Relief, escape, and yet- somewhere deep down- missing XL. Don't want to admit it.

Term II. Less acad rigor. MG Jomon. EM Rao! Coming out of my shell, making friends, made some wonderful friends. Taking deeper breaths. More committee work. Smiling more. Spending more time at Bishu da. Long term relationship issues. Depression. Friends, acad work keeping me busy.
SIP. Discovering seniors and their value. Truly getting attached to them. Slot 1 placement- ABG. Excitement.

Second term break.

Third term. Kakani-ed.
The phenomenon called facebook. Looking around cautiously. By now, slowly settling in. Exploring the campus. Running my hands across the posters on Floor 1 of the Learning Center as I walk past- Dennis the Menace, Exploitation of Women Workers, witty sayings. Getting to know people better for who they really are- warm, friendly souls- Sumit, Priyanka. Much love. :-)
Photographs to take home. Taking a video of the hostel randomly one day and all floor mates- people cursing as I video their non-made up faces, dirty rooms, eavesdropping shamelessly on random conversations and recording it all. Namrata's room. The teddy bear discussions. Femina back issues doing the rounds. Giggles.

Summer Internship.
Too much. Shall put into words later.

Term 4. SENIORS.
Bhasad- our style. Endless Bishuda visits. Sleeping at 7 am. MCCD. Exec Comp. Aaarrrgh-ness. Giving Gyaan. Taking Sumit's case. The Break-Up. Learning more about myself. Spending me-time. Slipping to a unique XL-style, "Mein senior hoon" lethargy. Better Hindi-speaking abilities --> compliments from all quarters. Better clothes.
Committee interviews- conducting this time. "Which was the last book you read? What was the last line on the last page of that book?"
Arbitness! :D
Committee treats. Random dinners, as and when the mood strikes. Regent. Gossip. Novelty-NO! Boredom by now. Good old Chhapan Bhog, and the idly outside for Rs. 10 per plate.

4th Term break.
And the emotions take over, and my fingers type, my eyes smile, my mind races past memories woven together intricately, coming to rest on those unique, unforgettable ones. I break into a grin, thinking of all the people, and excitement, and thoughts, and days, and events, and promises, and comments in the past one year... every single moment... they all coalesce into one shimmering, warm image... one institution, four hostels, millions of memories.

My eyes break their faraway look suddenly. An XL-er pings on GTalk. I will be back on campus on Sunday again for Term 5.

I sigh. And smile.

Two more terms.


XLRI news on Twitter

If you're on the hot new social network Twitter, then you can follow XLRI news at the @xlrionline account

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You know you're at XL when...

You know you're at XL when...

1. There's a 6pm class going on, and at 6-53pm, 97% of junta are busy pinging each other on Facebook to find out whether ANYONE has gone to attend the class.
Often called: MASS BUNK

2. A smiles at B, C reports this to D, who claims to E, F and G that A took B out. E, F and G tell I through P that A and B have been going steady for 6 months. They in turn tell all their friends, who tell their friends, who tell...
Next morning, A finds his Facebook flooded with "Congratulations! When's the Wedding?" questions from 1,479,456 users, most of whom have no idea who A is, but who just want the gossip.
In other words, GRAX.

3. There's no time to eat and even less time to sleep, because work fills all available time (apparently), but there's always time to catch three back to back episodes of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, attend a Drac quiz and bungle it up, and loudly cheer a grainy version of Harry Potter and the HBP in LH-1 until 2-30am. And then go back to the room and crib about there bring no time to do anything.
Otherwise known as FRAX.

4. It's 3-45 am in the morning, the world is dead to all noise and movement, and inside a whitewashed room, sixteen people are asking at the same time for bread burji, aloo cheese sandwich, gobi aloo cheese paranthas, omelettes, fried maggi, cigarettes and nimbu pani. And they ALL get exactly what they asked for in record time.
The eighth wonder of the world: Bishu-da.

5. The class is in full swing, the prof is asking B for a two-line definition of Motivation; and Q jumps up and explains it in 3765 words, with two diagrams and a chart thrown in, as well multiple pointed references to the textbook authored by the same prof (and still doesn't manage to explain what it is to the class, which has by now fallen asleep with mouths wide open.)
In brief: DCP.

6. Prof asks for the meaning of Transfer Climate- and R begins: "Well, sir, to look at it from a general perspective, I am convinced about the veracity of the definitions given by Roiller and Goldstein, however, to put my own views in a nutshell regarding the subject matter under discussion and throw a clearer light on things as they stand"-
Pure, unadulterated-by-facts, GAS.

7. On July 1st, a deadline of July 15th is declared for a project submission. Till 14th, there is no reponse, only lethargy, inertia- and on 14th night:
At 11:00pm, with a sudden burst of spontaneous energy, people are darting into each other's rooms, asking if anyone else has done it.
By 1:00 am in the morning, mass prayers are being organised and Google worship is under way.
By 3:00 am, 50% of people are in Bishuda's looking like escaped convicts and groaning in acknowlegement of each other.
By 5:00am, 66% give up, put in arbit shit and 4-5 random graphs and hit the sack.
By 7:00am, the last few survivors vow never to postpone work ever again and collapse over laptop.

Next week, another deadline- same story.

XL meri jaan! :-)

XLRI's Fan page on Facebook

Have you become a fan of XLRI on facebook yet?

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Help to spread the word!

XL Get-Together @ London (March 28th, '09)

Thanks to Reena Dayal (93PMIR), Garima Garg (01PMIR), Saurabh Rao (05BMD), Sharky (01 BMD)... and so many others (not to forget, Arun Nangla ( - Reena's "more organised saathi"... we - about 35 of us - had a wonderful day/evening at Plough Way, London - meeting and reminiscences about "those times"

Here are some pics (about 100+), taken by the "trigger-happy" me :0):

thinking hard about life - tuesday thoughts!

here i am, pondering over the weekend,

thinking hard about life

how it changed from a maverick collage life to conformist professional life

how tiny pocket money transformed to monthly paycheck

but then why it gives less happiness

how a few local denim jeans changed to new branded wardrobe?

but then why there are less people to use then

how a single plate of samosa changed to a full pepperoni pizza

but then why there is less hunger

here i am pondering over the weekend...

thinking hard about life, how it has changed

how a motorcycle always in reserve fuel changed to car always-on-the-go

but then why there are fewer places to go

how a small theca (mobile tea stall) changed to starbucks

but then why its feels like shop is far away

how a limited-use prepaid card changed to post paid ultimate package

but then why there are fewer calls and more voice messages

here i am, pondering over weekend

….thinking hard, for the answers

(author - anonymous ; modified to context - rs)

Music Video by Prashanth Vadhyar (BM 99)

Prash as he is popularly known and his band have created a poignant song and music video in response to the terror attacks in Mumbai.

It has already been aired on Channel [v], MTV, CNN-IBN, Aaj-Tak, News 24, Zee-music, IBN-7, E-24

If you didn't catch it on TV, you can watch it here:

If you really like the video and the message that it conveys, you can join the fan group on Facebook