Placements and the MSM

Earlier this afternoon, a member of the IIMB Media Cell found me jobless enough to to attend some placement press conference. Was attended by both print and TV media. After a short interaction with our director, and a report reading session by a placement committee member, four of us “successful candidates” (all 2nd years here are “successful” btw, we’ve had really rocking placements) were quizzed.

One thing I noticed was the media’s obsession for numbers. All they wanted was salary figures, number of students placed in different sectors, number of offers made, number of cups of tea served during placements, average length of an interview and what not (all these figures for 2 years). The obsession with salary, especially, was really pissing off.

I found large sections of the media, the print especially, rather dumb and unimaginative. Mostly senior looking journalists who were just waiting to gobble up the facts, and then probably they would take it to someone to somehow weave a story around it. No opinions were asked for, and none given.

Later, we had some one-to-one interactions with some TV journalists. Here too, the compensation question kept propping up, but some other questions were slightly more opinion-based and things where we could add value. The globe putting skills I’ve inculcated over 2 years at IIMB came to good use. And I happened to ask a couple of these journalists who they were intending to target with news items about IIM placements, and none of them seemed to have a clue.

I might get some footage in some papers or on news channels, but this session seemed to put major learnings in terms of how the media works. It seems like the job of most reporters is to just collect information. The idea for the pieces, and the stories themselves are crafted by someone senior sitting at the office. And most of the media here tries to write stories based on facts alone. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Another strong learning was about the importance of the compensation package. Though that was one of the last things I looked at while hunting down my ideal sector and job, it seems the rest of the world seems to have a very high regard for it.

The other day, my mom was telling me “if XXX (a once-upon-a-time-loser cousin of mine who flunked 12th twice and took 4 years to complete a 3 year BSc) can get 8 lakh per annum, I don’t know why you should go to IIM to get that much. You should get at least twice as much!”

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