This time last year we had butterflies fluttering in our tummies.
This time last year we were in a trance.
This time last year we were walking around like mummies.
This time last year we had big plans.
When you have dozens of forms to fill and PPTs to attend it really irritates you. Running around in the heat with those dreaded “Closed Neck Formals” and mugging up all the newspapers articles and magazines takes a toll on you. I think the traffic on the company websites see a new high during these last few months. I am sure most of us felt at this time that Wikipedia was humankind’s best creation. And then there are those gossips where a senior goofed up in his internship which you simply cannot ignore. Most of the seniors have the same GYAN to give and I am sure we must have felt at some point of time that we are better of doing things without any advice. Let’s be original, I am sure there must be SOME company that will honor my creativity/individuality/standoutability.
And then after having slogged for days the dreaded week comes. It really gives you an experience which I doubt can ever be replicated again ever. You are sure to floor the good looking HRs with your killer looks and enchanting answers. Your GD skills sometimes make you blush and you watch yourself in the mirror thinking why God has showered you with such enigmatic skills. You have watched all the motivational “STUFF” on DC++ and have made sure that you are up-to-date with all the feel good quotes.
I remember having witnessed all different kind of sights in the “MESS” waiting for the company shortlists and running around for GDs. Some people have a tendency to visit the restroom every other hour. Some others are on the phone all the time talking to their loved ones. Some are chanting away every known hymn that they are aware of. Some break down with the pressure while there are others who just stare blankly at the ensuing madness. But then there are some stupid folks who are smiling all throughout the process and cracking jokes at their inability to get placed. No matter how tensed these few are they have an uneasy sense of fresh air around them.
Witnessing from the Mess Desk is an experience in itself. People who get placed hardly come to sit in the mess and are normally found celebrating outside. We take solace from the numbers being told to us that have been placed. During the process what really bother are the faces all around us. There are a few who come asking for details of the shortlists while there are others who are on the verge of breaking up frustrated by the crazy criteria and the catfight GDs. No matter how much you want to help the guy you have to remain glued at your seat and get on with the process.
This made me think how much pressure someone can take. This made me think if this much hype around getting placed really deserves attention. After having talked to quite a few people I am still in two minds. It is necessary to go through this grind and get an experience which you will think about for a long time and the kind of madness the pressure brings lets you face the worst demons you could have thought of. But having gone through the process when you sit back with a cup of coffee it is sure to bring a smile to your face thinking about the way you reacted and acted.
Disappointments and Celebrations are short lived in a B-School. What really matters is the learning experience and the kind of situations every other day throws on you. Learning is immense if we are able to let the veil drop and try and look at the bigger picture. I know it is very easy to write and read such stuff but even writing about this gives a feeling of liberation.
Try and approach these tensed instances with an inquisitive attitude in order to gain maximum out of it. The results might not always be as expected. Fear, anger, languish might try and seep in through every possible vein. But it is at these hard times when you really get a kick. Try smiling sheepishly when you see that you are not shortlisted. Try and have a smirk on your face when you exit from the GD room having spoken zilch.
But most of all – When you enter that Interview room ready to take on the ‘DEVIL’ himself, try smiling at yourself. Everyone likes it when you smile. As it is there are too many around us who have a tendency to sulk.
Ending this post with something which a friend of mine from IIM-C told me when I was about to attempt CAT for the third time –
“This is not the end of your life mate. If you do not get through this time maybe next time. If not next time then maybe the next to that. If nothing works out then something else. This is just one out of the many things you are going to face. Just go in and enjoy the experience.”