Sunday, September 21, 2014

Where does our fresher MBA graduate fail to get good placements

Yesterday, A leading institute under University of Mumbai invited me as a panelist for group discussion moderation and mock interview for their final year i.e. 2nd year MMS (MBA) graduates. I feel always to be part of such event as this provides an opportunity to us as an HR to brand our organisation and also help in finding talent indirectly. I strongly believe that only interview is not enough. Recruitment should be strategic and it should continious process. One should informally meet, without letting know before hiring. This should be done multiple times. It also provide us to interact with raw human resources, linkage and networking. 

The overall experience was good but there were certain areas where I had discontent. 

Here is the few points must be noted by every B school graduates particularly in India and developing countries where education quality is not so high. This particularly applies to tier 2 B schools, tier 3 B schools and onwards. 

1, MBA grads must go beyond their curriculum: We were four members in the panel from the area of marketing, HR, delivery etc. We had batch of 9 students and out of them only 5 participated in discussion actively. Out of that, hardly 2 had idea about the subject matter. We gave them the topic "Social media and its impact on branding". One of the member joined almost after 10 minutes (very bad impression- a fresher graduate, not punctual of time) and was showing lot of aggressiveness. He was not even letting other to speak. Instead of discussing how social media has redefined the branding and how it has brought pressure on organisations, he was discussing more about Xiaomi's plan (and he sometime pronounced it as Shaomi and sometime Zaomi). Only classroom learning is not enough particularly for tier 2 b school onwards where teachers are mostly academic with not corporate exposure. The worst is, in India even a fresher can do MBA. That should be never the case. If they want to be picked by multinationals, they want to get a dream job, they have to be job ready and future ready. This is possible only by reading enough content, spending at least 4 hours beyond curriculum and classroom on whatever is happening around the world. Here, no need to say, almost 50% participants could not demonstrate communication and did not participate either. 

2. Placement is not noly responsibilities of college and placement officer: I know the placement officer of this B school for a quite long time and truly appreciate the efforts she is putting. She is in constant touch with the corporates, HR and verticals heads, its alumnus and it is a good strategy. I am sure if all the students take these activities seriously, she would have helped in achieving 100% placements. You cannot blame your B school completely when they are truly putting efforts to help you. But, what after that? Every time a corporate delegates visit a campus, they want to see the quality in the students. Even after her so much efforts, if students do not show the commitment, it gives poor impressions and all the hard work wasted. None of the organisation want to hire a non competent, non committed, a poor communicator and a students who has lack of commitment. First of all, out of the 20 students, 10 did not turn up and we were looking with a surprise. Perhaps the students thought it only as a college activities, they failed to understand that it is an opportunity for them to showcase their talent to their future employer. Similar case was there during a mock interview. A student came for the interview and when I asked him reason for not being present in group discussion, he casually informed "traffic". Coincidentally, I came from the same area and I was well within the time despite of heavy rain and I was on my bike. Further, he had don mistake in his school's name and year of passing too. The entire panel was not happy with his approach and we shared our feedback to him. If you are casual towards your smaller commitment, you cannot fulfil your dream,

3. Have clarity on whatever you say and you write: so we had a candidate, an IT graduate and "passionate" about digital marketing. We asked him couple of questions like how adsense and adwords works, how website shows you advertisement related to your recent search, how to sell a product worth 20 crores through digital media and so on. He could not answer any and he was very poor in the topic digital marketing itself. Another candidate had almost 2 years prior experience in sales but, could not provide us clarity on his passion and what he wants to do in career. Definitely it has not gone well with the entire panel. Be clear, write only, if you are very clear on the subject matter. Speak only if you really know about it. There were two other candidates too, we liked their confidence, the summer internship project they did. They just needed refinement but were more matured and clear in thought process. 

4. Analyse your weakness and work on them: This is wrong to assume that you will get your dream job based on your MBA degree. Believe me, it does not happen. I have written about it on my earlier article myth and facts about MBA Please read following articles. 

One of the student could not speak English properly and when I asked whether he is aware about it, he affirmed and when we asked what has he done so far to overcome this, he said "I will" so you are aware about your weaknesses but have done nothing. When we asked him (all the panelist) whether he reads economic times or such other business paper, he replied in No. Just MBA does not help, it is just a medium. 

5. Be brand ambassador of your B school:  Last time, when I was a panelist alongwith Keyur Jani, my fellow member from MTHR Global and an HR in a good organisation, we clearly suggested same B school students that they are the torch bearer of their B school. They have to demonstrate that the B school has made them capable, employable and business leader and I completely agree to this. If you want maximum recruiter should visit your campus, please demonstrate your quality, your traits and your competency. The world is beyond the classroom and beyond the books. Business environment is dynamic, it changes every moment. 

I hope the students have taken our feedback in positive spirit so the readers of this article will also. Please ask your queries, I am happy to answer.

September 21, 2014

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