Pre Placement Talks

January 27, 2006

Placements are upon us, and this is the month with all the PPTs (Pre-Placement Talks, if you were wondering). Recruiters come down to campus, and tell us about themselves and the roles they’re offering in one hour slots (longer, if the role is high-paying and Placecom thinks they deserve pandering pampering.

The worst PPTs are the ones where the recruiters promise you that working with them will lead to your personal growth and development.

It’s so arrogant. It has the subtext that you can’t grow and develop as a person unless you join that particular recruiter, and that you have grown at all upto that point.

I don’t want a job that leads to my personal growth. I want a job that gives me a lot of money and free weekends. Then, I’ll take care of my personal growth myself, the way I’ve been doing for the past eleven years.

The very worst PPTs are the ones with presentations that spend more time on company size and values than they do on what the company actually does (by which I mean makes and/ or sells), and on what you’ll do with them.

Not all PPTs are like this. The best PPTs are of three types:

  1. The only person giving the talk is an alumnus, who knows that we’re much more interested in the nuts and bolts of the role than on company values.
  2. The person giving the talk is a clued-in senior manager, who talks with great passion on the work the company does, and actually fits ‘company values’ into context, instead of making them a fuzzy pink cloud that is repeated with minor variations at every PPT. We had one like this last week by a boutique I-bank. I fell in love with it. There was no Powerpoint presentation, the CEO questioned the utility of PPTs themselves, and suggested alternatives, and proudly prcoclaimed that they had no HR department.
  3. The talk is an interaction session with the company, but instead of talking about the roles they’re hiring for, they talk solely about the industry they’re in (or some other industry if they’re consultants). Some excellent ones of this sort have been a talk on mortgage backed securities, and two talks by consultancies on private equity and the airline industry.