[Part 1] “The Optimism you need”: The Placement Season of 2020

The placement season of 2020 is going to be a tough one, there absolutely seems to be no doubt about that. While we cannot really change what is coming to us, we can certainly learn from the past. CaseReads has pro-actively approached a few folks from the Batch 2008 to share their experiences and shed light upon the things you need today to ensure you stay relevant.

Our very first experience is that of Mr. Ruchik Doshi, co-founder of Fortune Capital Services (Investment bank).

The experience

It was December 2007 and things were pretty good. I was placed on day 1 at a very good company; at an excellent salary. We all were optimistic looking at the future, thinking about our careers. The Indian economy had been on a roll, the average GDP growth for the last 4 years was close to 8%. The stock markets were at an all time high. IPO’s of companies like Reliance Power with no operating assets, were being oversubscribed at eye popping valuations.

We were in the Goldilocks age. And then, the ball dropped.

The markets tanked, investors started exiting India, offers made to students were being rescinded. The economic environment suddenly became very unstable.

The company that on day 1 made the offer to me, about which I was so proud suddenly sent an email delaying the joining date. I was being asked to relocate, take a salary cut and change my profile. I did not know what to do. Another leading company that had made offers to the best finance guys in the batch was delaying the joining date. The joining date was delayed from June to July to September, and finally the joining offer was cancelled.

Can you connect? The batch of 2020 is experiencing something similar today. Delayed joining, salary cuts, rescinded offers… God the turbulence!

To a Nostalgic 2008 and an optimistic 2020

Looking back after 12 years it was a period of tremendous learning for all of us. It is easy to blame the company, the HR department, the government etc. etc. when such things happen. But it is not really any one’s fault, we are all cogs in the wheel that is capitalism. We all coped the best way we could. And now twelve years hence everyone is doing relatively well.

So, as the current batch enters the placement season please remember though times are tough, the tide will turn. 

You cannot fight the market.

The Optimism and Drill you need..

The placement committee can hustle as much as it can, talk to companies, reach out as much as possible, it is difficult to fight the macro environment, that does not mean you give up but hustle more.

It also means we have to dramatically reevaluate our options, what role do I want, what salary do I expect? Which company should I join? A big investment bank is not hiring, may be consider the risky startup? Sometime when we don’t get what we like, we have to start liking what we get.

The job market is a market like any other market. If the economy is in a bad shape and there are fewer companies hiring means that the students have to work harder in upgrading their skill set. Additional certification like CFA, FRM etc would really help in such a situation.

It is a cliché but networking is really important, talk to people in the industry, talk to the alumni. For students it helps a lot if you have built a rapport with your mentor during summer internship. Please do a good job during summers, be regular in your work, ask questions, be helpful and submit a good report, it really helps.

In my case I had built a good rapport with my mentor during summer internship, and ended up joining their organization.

Stay hopeful and strong

Please remember we are living in an age where “we have a job for life” is over, we are not going to have stay with the same company for 30 years and retire at 60.

That era is long gone.

We all are going to have to deal with several professional disappointments over the course of our life. Our start up may not work out, we may be laid off, we may not get the starting salary we expected, it happens.

Not getting the dream first job may be disappointing but it will work out over the long run. So please stay cheerful. Keep working hard, grit and determination really pays of well. The waters are choppy but we have to keep plugging away.

Thank you

We hope you were able to pull fair amount of learning and motivation from this post. CaseReads appreciates Mr. Ruchik Doshi for penning down the piece for us. If the piece touched your heart as much as it did ours, share it with your bestie on WhatsApp and LinkedIn.

We’re to add a few more experiences, to stay posted, follow us here. If you’d like to understand what the 2008 Financial crash was all about, click here.

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