Sunday, November 11, 2007

The pain and gain that my Summer Placement has been...

It's nearing 9p.m now. And as I recline and relax, the entire episode of the way the past 3 to 4 days have gone reels before me.Early November, shortlist for BCG opened the summer placements dayZero shortlists account. Knowing well, that my resume could have been improved far better than the way i submitted it to companies to stand chance for shortlists I still wished to see if I'm shortlisted or not. Answer is NO. Next day, more shortlists. End of day result - no shortlist for my name. Next to next day, even more companies' shortlists appear sans my name. Next to next ... to next day - hard luck! Just about the time when I thought 'one shortlist during this time, I would offer great thanks to God'... Macquarie shortlist came WITH my name in it. Voila, now I too have a dayZ shortlist. Very soon some strong feelings got imprinted...'many companies didn't like me or more precisely didn't recognize my efforts, so why should I bother craving for someone who is not interested in me. Here is Macquarie who respected whatever I did in my previous years and hence would focus all my energies towards MY Macquarie'. Putting aside all the immediate works pending for the next day's class, what I did immediately that night was to open up and read through the business model and locational activities of Macquarie from its website. The love for Macquarie only multiplied as and like more companies released their shortlists without my name. Three days before the D-day, I began preparing only for summers and no acads (done with my mids, just the previous day, so no worries!) and that too squarely focussed on IBD of Macquarie. Learnt from seniors what could be the areas to focus on, took gyaan from whoever in eye-sight distance is dispersing it (special thanks to Geet Bhanawat! :D and also to Kiran) and built up a strong sense of optimism and confidence that I'm thoroughly prepared for the Macquarie IBD interview. Researched into real estate and telecom sector from an interview point of view and rehearsed a lot of my answers to personality based questions, revisting into my past life and accomplishments and drawbacks. Then just the evening before the D-day fixed an appointment with seniors Naresh and Mohit (thanks a ton guys!) and got a mock interview done (in proper formal setting). Recorded the answers and heard them back to see how fluent I was and how confident I was. The whole process wiped out any grave subconscious fears I might have had and set me ready to await my turn on the D-day.

*** The D-day ***
Woke up to wingmate's bang on door, 10 minutes past 6. Finished all my ablutions and head-bath (gelled hair look in the previous evening mock interview, didn't appeal to me), dressed up and went to the venue MDC just in time at 7a.m. But it took another one and half hour for the companies to arrive and begin the process. Starting 8.30a.m onwards people were getting calls from trackers and are finding their way to interview rooms. I was hoping that my tracker knew who I am and would call me. Even two hours into the process I didn't hear a call... that was strange and disappointing given that macquarie was quite high in my priority ordering. But everyone has his number... and quarter to 11a.m I heard that I can show myself near the interview lobby. After another twenty minutes wait my first round of interview began. Every question being posed to me appeared as if the exact question I prepared for, most of them personals (talk of personals I have so much to share about for that is my strong point, I always believe) and I began to realise that I'm involving the interviewers and steering the discussion the way I wanted it. I had researched thoroughly to make them convince why I'd fit in macquarie and why macquarie fits into my scheme of things. Even the technical issues posed to me were very much under the researched set of things. Bingo! without any further delay was asked to move into the second round. Yet again personals and this time around quizzing on my general understanding about business. Fortunate that all the major headlines and their implications on India flashed in my mind just in time. Bingo again! But the HR comes and says... 'while we very much want to give out an offer to you, we seem to have touched our recruitment limits for your preferred choice i.e. Hongkong. Can you take up either singapore or mumbai locations?'. I said that I want international exposure so to that extent I'd compromise to take up Singapore. This decision needed me to face yet another friendly round of interview with the singapore office people. More personals and one guesstimate. I did most of the talking too here and the panel was impressed. Feedback was given to HR and there I go with an offer to Singapore's IBD desk. The whole process took about 2 hours, but in the end it's so very rewarding and relaxing to know that I'm PLACED in dayZero and that too in the firm of MY CHOICE. All the more relieving it is, when I think of 'what if I couldn't make it to Macquarie?'... Oh God! I hate to go through the process even for an extra single day. And I hate to see people coming up and solacing me even when I don't want them to do so. Oh what a pain it would have been. Chuck it, now I'm IN and that's all what matters at the end of the day.

Though my own preparation was key, I know that without the good wishes of many of my well wishers I couldn't have done this feat. Each one by their name, I thank them all including God!