Beating all conventional logic, which would expect the number of placements to go down steadily with each passing day, the figures at IIT Kharagpur show a consistently upward trend. From 170 placements offered on Day 1, the figure went up to 250 on Day 2. A total of 162 were placed on Day 3, with the top recruiters of the day being Honeywell, Axis Bank, ANI Technologies (OLA) with 34, 12 and 10 offers respectively.
Perhaps the faces said it all. Although still clad in their crisp white shirt and dark trousers and coat, many of those assembling in Nalanda bore little or no mark of the tension that had surfaced on faces on Day 1. Some of them who had been placed were still gambolling around Nalanda, if only to pep up their friends.
Amul Patwa from the Mathematics Department had got his placement in AppDynamics – an application performance management and IT operations analytics company based in San Francisco – on Day 1 itself but was still hanging around in Nalanda to cheer up his friends. So was Soumoshree Saha from the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department, who had got placed in Flipkart on Day 2.
“All things seemed to be going wrong on the first day for me, but things went smoothly on Day 2 and I got my placement by forenoon itself,” said Soumoshree.
Software was still dominating the offers, said an official from the Career Development Centre of IIT Kharagpur, but offers were robust from the core, analytics and financial and consulting sectors as well. In fact, there have been a substantial number of placements in the banking industry. The number of offers from public sector units had also gone up by three-fourths.
The biggest surprise of this year’s placements has been the number of offers from international firms, with the Japanese companies dominating the show with as many as 24 offers so far.
“What is undoubted is the preference for coding skills. In today’s world, the mantra is coding, so if students are well-equipped in coding, they have an obvious advantage,” said Prof. G.P. Raja Sekhar, Chairman, Career Development Centre, IIT Kharagpur and Chairman, All India Placement Committee.
The fact that stood out as the most obvious conclusion during the placement rounds at Nalanda was that irrespective of the department one belonged to, anyone with a good CGPA had a good chance of securing a placement. This is a fact that IIT Kharagpur has always tried to impress upon JEE qualified students during counselling, when the choice of department becomes an enormous dilemma for both students and their families.
The other fact was the skills that students need to pick up before they face placement. Take the case of Ashutosh Bhaskar from the Geology and Geophysics Department. Ashutosh has got his placement at Tiger Analytics, an advanced analytics and AI consulting company. “I not only cleared several certification courses in analytics, but also sought out internships in places where I could use and improve my analytics skills,” said Ashutosh. “Yes, the booming thing today is data analytics,” concurred Soumoshree. So did Manpreet Gulia from Chemical Engineering, who had secured her placement with Barclays.
Sometimes the curriculum itself at IIT Kharagpur prepares the student for the required skills. Soumoshree said, “My curriculum at the Industrial and System Engineering was diverse and I picked up the necessary skills in data and optimization analytics as also in supply chain management.” The student can also opt to pick up these skills through the curriculum. Take Krutarth Satoskar, who while doing his graduation in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering also did his minor in Financial Engineering. Not surprisingly, Krutarth has secured his placement in JP Morgan.
Together with the technical skills, the soft skills are as important. Parimal Pratyush of the Industrial and Systems Engineering reminded his interviewer of their significance while hurrying for his session on Day 2 of the placement. He recalled that both the Students’ Welfare Group, a student body operating under the Dean, Student Affairs, and Communiqué, the ‘Official Soft Skills Society’ of IIT Kharagpur have run exclusive sessions to groom students for the placement season. Communiqué, which started in 2006, with the aim to provide students a strong platform to improve their soft skills and personality, conducted a bootcamp and language improvement workshops this year. The society also launched ‘Finshots’ or newsletters they sent out to students in association with ‘Finception’, an IIM-A alumni Startup, to cover important financial and business news.
(After three days of placement, a total of 877 students have been placed including PPOs)
Photography: Suman Sutradhar