Understanding your Prospective Employer

While B-Schools are observing non-traditional recruiters knocking the doors, it is becoming increasingly difficult for B-School students to understand the profiles offered by these new set of companies. Also learning about these new companies is also becoming a tad difficult using the old model of knowing your recruiter. IIM – Ahmedabad has adopted a cohort system as against the traditional placement week, in which placements are spread across multiple weeks which offer both the students and the company ample time to pick the best that fits them. Earlier, students and company had an average of 30 minutes to learn whether the other fits them.

Though the time to learn about the profile and the company is increased by the new system, students also need to learn new ways to learn about the company and the profile as many non-traditional recruiters (Startups, NGO) may pitch for recruitment. The traditional approach to learn about the company and profile is attending the campus presentation of these companies and talking to alumni in the target company. However, this approach may not suffice for first time hirers and non-traditional hirers as every company’s campus presentation talks only good about the company and there would not be many alumni in the target company for students to seek information from.

This article talks about some of the alternate ways which students can employ to learn about these new recruiters. Fortunately internet is deluged with information and here professional networking sites like LinkedIn and social networking sites like Orkut, Facebook etc comes to the rescue of the potential hire.  Some of the ways to use these channels are mentioned below:

  1. Professional networking sites like “LinkedIn” has been used up extensively by many non-traditional hirers and their employees. LinkedIn offers you information on a company’s size and the current/past employees of a company. Use this tool to understand the background of the current and past employees of the organization. Remember, human resources of a company make or break a company. For Example: A company like BankBazaar.com employs human resources from ISB, SPJAIN, Google, Microsoft etc which speaks volume about the organization milieu.
  2. Use the tool to learn about the future prospects of the profile offered to you outside the organization. Analyze the profiles/companies, the past employees of the organization are presently working at or are working for. This would give you an insight into the future prospects. For Example: Analyzing the profile of past employees of a small product based company, Zycus Infotech, indicates that a student working with Zycus at Business Development can end up taking up roles of Business Development, Regional Sales not only for product based firms but also for service companies like MahindraSatyam, Oracle, Capegemini, HCL etc.
  3. If you do not find many profiles of employees of the company in discussion, analyze the profiles of the employees of the direct competitors to understand the future prospect about the profile offered.
  4. Orkut and many social media sites breed many communities of employees of the organization. These communities indirectly give out a lot of information to the outsiders like potential aspirants. For Example: A cursory search on Orkut Communities of Zycus Infotech gives out information that the attrition rate at Zycus is high (Search Results for reference: Fresh Resignation at Zycus & Check the Attrition in SMT). Note that the comments and opinions shared in the community may be biased hence be selective in absorbing information about the company.

While the students learn new ways to learn about the company’s, it is time that companies also learn about the novel ways of information dissemination and keep a check on the information in the existing channels or open up new channels for educating prospective employees.

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Book Review – The Goal by Goldratt

The Goal” by “Eliyahu M. Goldratt” is one of the books highly recommended by all Operations Management faculty of our college. The effectiveness of the book can be judged by the fact that it can be seen at the book shelves of every Operations Faculty in our campus. Moreover, one of the faculty conducts test on the concepts presented by the author in the book thereby reading of the book becomes compulsory for the students.

The author has very effectively elucidated the fact that majority of the times professionals do not go by common sense but are driven by measurements and parameters which are superficial in nature and do not reveal any fundamental principle. The book teaches various principles about operations management in the form of a story in which the Plant Manager is forced to take up newer methods to turn around his plant in the times of recession. The plant manager in his journey to turn-around his plant is aided and guided by his physics teacher “Jonnah”. The plant manager is astonished to find that the measurement parameters used by his company did not reveal the ground reality. The author brings out the fact that we do not follow common sense but common practise and hence tend to fall in the trap of stereotyped. Readers would also be amazed to find that the methods suggested by “Jonnah” to turnaround the plant are driven by common sense and fundamental thinking and are by no means rocket science.

The book forms a quick read and can be recommended to Operations professionals and MBA Students under the Operations discipline. The book requires reader to have basic understanding of Operation Management. The book is gripping in nature and deserves a 3.5 star of 5.

RANN – Movie Review

“RANN” starred by Amitabh Bachchan carries a strong social message of “Responsible Journalism”. Cornerstone of the movie’s plot is the commercialization of Media Industry and thereby sensualisation of the information to improve TRP of news channel. The movie begins with visuals of news channels displaying sensitized information in the form of episodes like Yamraj, Sach ka Dhamaka etc

The movie is built around the misuse of media and news channels by politicians for their advantage which strikes a chord in me about the last the lecture of Corporate Social Responsibility in which our professor “Shobhna Vohra” screened a video about the misuse of Mass Communication by Bush during the election time for changing public opinion about Gulf War.

Amitabh is presented as a clean and influential journalist driven by ethics who believes in social responsibility attached with the news industry and hence does not adopt the common tactics used by other news channels to improve TRP of the channels. In contrast his son is the drive by the passion to improve the TRP of the channel. In pursuit of improving the TRP his son stoops to help the opposition party in overthrowing the incumbent Prime Minister by misuse of the channel.

The movie becomes a bit boring as visuals of the sensualised news episodes by news channels are presented multiple times in the movie. The story line becomes very much predictable post the interval. The movie also lacked the presence of songs and romance which could engross the audience. Also the last news presentation by Amitabh Bachchan in the movie is nearly a ten minute monologue and hence adds to the boredom. Overall, I offer a 2 rating of 5 star rating.

Special Edition “B-School Compendium” is really Special

Magazines like Business Today often come up with Special Editions featuring a specific topic. A recent special edition of Business Today named “B-School Compendium” raised questions on credibility of the source of information of these special editions and also pose question on the research work behind the articles presented in the edition. So can one call these editions really “special editions”? Some of the faulty work of the magazine are presented in the blog.

Article “Programs at NMIMS” in Page 63 by Bobonkanta Yumnan lists out programs at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS) viz MBA Core, MBA Actuarial Science and MBA Pharmaceuticals. However, the author misses out other prominent regular MBA courses to which admissions are offered this year viz MBA Capital Markets and MBA Banking. The research work behind the article is questionable as the details of the courses which are missing in the article are a few clicks away if one is on Internet or is at the home page of NMIMS.

Similarly, the article on Jamnalal Bajaj Institue of Management Sciences (JBIMS) cites JBIMS accepting MAT scores which is contrary to what the official website for MAT (AIMA) says. The factual error presented in the article can be easily sighted by a B-School aspirant and readers associated with B-Schools who form the target audience of the special edition.  Comment on factual error on JBIMS admission on Business Today’s webpage by Nikhil Daniel can be read hereComment By Nikhil.

“Sir, In the B School Compendium released by Business Today in this month, Jamnalal Bajaj Institue of Management Sciences is cited as one of the colleges accepting MAT scores which is contrary to what the official website for MAT (AIMA) says. Need a clarification for the same as such details could lead people to wrong conclusions. Regards, Nikhil Daniel”

It seems that target audience of these special editions need to cross check the facts and articles presented in the special edition and needs to be extra attentive while reading. Interestingly, these special editions are not special because they feature specific topics but because they require special attention of the readers.

Watch Out! We are MBA

As a reader, I do not have much flair for reading “Indian Authors” and consequentially my reading of “Indian Authors” has been very limited and hence the reason for me to pick the book “Watch Out! We are MBA” from the stands was that the author “Nishant Kaushik” of the book is an alumnus of my B-School NMIMS, Mumbai.

The novel can be easily categorized into stereotyped class of novels which present a plot constructed in college with friends being the protagonist of the plot. The novel in the discussion presents the protagonist of the novel Nakul’s MBA journey in the B-School campus. Nakul fails to cope with the hardships of the tiring MBA at NMIMS and turns to be directionless in the majority of his journey in the school lest the last few pages of the novel. Nakul’s stay in the B-School is presented to be heavily influenced by his peer group and social circle. The story revolves around this peer group of Nakul and its impact on his personal life and professional dynamics.

The author is definitely quick witted and possesses sense of humour. The presentation of the scene local trains of Mumbai coupled with a few other smaller anecdotes in the novel indicates the deftness in writing capabilities of the author. Usage of management lingos like division of labour, strategize etc in the novel is common among many B-School authors as is the case with Nishant.

Being more acquainted with writings of foreign authors, I had expected a greater description of scenes and characters in the novel. The novel is a fast read and does not offer the luxury to the reader to bask in the elaborate and lengthy descriptions of characters and scenes as presented by many renowned foreign authors.

The book will make a good connect with B-School alumni and present B-Schoolers. Summer Internship, CGPA’s role in placement season and tiring assignments/presentations should easily make connect with the readers associated with B-Schools. Book is also a recommend for B-School aspirants, which can offer insights into B-School life awaiting them in the future. Overall, I offer a 3 of 5 Stars Rating.

Happy Reading!!!