High noon for summer placements

Last Updated: Mon, Nov 18, 2013 05:12 hrs

Before their summer internship begins next year, students at the Indian Institutes of Management at Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Kolkata have made mentors at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).The consulting major, which has recruited 48 summer interns for 2014 from these campuses and some others, has assigned buddies' to these students to make their internship a smooth affair.

"After we screen and shortlist candidates, we assign a buddy to them. Buddies coach them and prepare them for the interviews, internship and a long-term career at BCG. At the organisation, the students are assigned the same buddy, a project to work on and a senior mentor,"  says Suresh Subudhi, partner, BCG, India.

The buddies usually are from the same campus. BCG apart, from the response B-schools have got this year, summer placements are as serious a business as final ones.

Most B-schools have reported 100 per cent summer placements for their students, and in less than a week.

At XLRI-Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur, for instance, the number of companies visiting the campus increased by 44 per cent, with 105 companies participating against 73 in 2012.

At IIM-Bangalore, 130 companies made offers to 403 students for the summer internships.While the B-schools say companies are coming with serious profiles and an impressive stipend to attract students, the companies say students have become more willing to intern.

"Companies have increased the emphasis on summer internships for recruitments," says Srivatsan Rajan, managing director, Bain & Company India Pvt Ltd. He saidding his company laid equal emphasis on both summer internships and final placements.

Subudhi agrees, "Earlier students would not come to intern but now more and more students opt for summer internships."

In fact, to build its brand further, BCG says over the years, it has increased its engagement on campuses by increasing the number of campus events from one to three or more.

BCG was the largest recruiter on IIM-A and IIM-B making 14 and 15 offers, respectively.

Stipends for summer internships have also gone up, in some cases, jumped 50%. XLRI Xavier School of Management for instance, recorded the highest stipend at Rs 3 lakh for two months internship against Rs 2 lakh recorded last year.

"There has been a significant rise in stipends during summer placements this year. However, one of the reasons for this is that many of the recruiters are hoping to attract and retain sufficient talent during the summer internships by offering pre-placement offers (PPOs) next year," said a placement committee member at Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS).

As against an average stipend of Rs 91,000 last year, JBIMS saw a rise in average stipend to Rs 97000 this year during summer placements.

The average domestic stipend this year is Rs 97,000 as compared to last year's Rs 91,000 and Rs 89,000 for the class of 2013.

While JBIMS saw a 7% rise in average stipend, the placement committee member said the rise was also because of more number of firms offering stipend on the higher band.

The highest stipend offered for the current batch of 2013-15 at JBIMS remained at Rs 2 lakh this year as compared to last year's batch of 2012-14.

Similarly, the average stipend at the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (IIM-K) also rose by 36% over previous year.
Refusing to divulge the exact stipend details, the placement cell at IIM-K stated that the highest domestic stipend amount at IIM-K for summer placements stood at Rs 2 lakh.

"Salaries and profiles are an important way to differentiate," adds Subudhi. Though he did not divulge the stipends BCG has offered its summer recruits adding, "recruitment in India, reflects its growth." Two years ago, BGC recruited 32 students against 48 for 2014.

HR heads says more and more companies will look at summer placements seriously as it provides ample time to the company and the candidate to assess each other.

"I would prefer to recruit candidates through summer internship as it allows me to assess them better than a 60-90 minute on-campus interview," said a senior HR official from an FMCG firm.

Internationally, B-schools candidates go through at least five-six round of interviews before a final job offer is made to them.

"Globally, MBA recruitments happen through internships. But in India it is getting adjusted now," says Subudhi.

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