Career choicesSJMSOM's placement are going to start very soon - the PPTs have more or less ended, slotting is over, and we are all set to go. But, for a few minor details ... like knowing what I want :(
Contrasted to the way I approached my placements post engineering, there has been a remarkable difference in the objectives. Some of the critical things that people look for (in no particular order) are: profile, location, salary, post-induction training, career growth path and of course, exit options.
To me the first three options (profile, location, salary) are the key - I think profile subsumes career growth and exit options. And it has become clear that I need to compromise on location for profile.
I'm still not sure what I want, and what I want to do. To me, this is the first job - the job that is going to define my career for the next 15-20 years. So, if I'm going to do something, then it better be what I'm going to enjoy. And that means I may have to compromise on location as well as the starting salary.
Of course, there are companies that offer a profile that I instinctively recognize as "this is tailor-made just for me". It may not be the best job in the campus salary-wise or location-wise, but it is the best for me. The only difficulty is that either they are so niche that only I'm interested or so common that more than half the class is interested.
What if I make the wrong choice ? Can I live with it ? Sometimes I wish we didn't have choices ... I still remember the words from the 1st Harry Potter novel - Given a choice we choose what is the worst thing for us. I similarly wish I won't have to choose a job - I just get compelled into one.
One final word about b-school rankings: b-schools usually preen themselves on senseless and utterly brain-dead factors such as salary, brands of companies visiting campus, number of offers per person and how many hours it took to close the placement process. None of them speak the truth because that a lot of people change their jobs within the first year - they were not satisfied with their choice. A better statistic to rate a placement process is to find the difference between the job that a candidate aspires for and the job he gets. Everything else is an approximation.