The placement and internship season has just begun as students from their third and final years race to complete, revise, and sharpen their skills which can provide them with their dream job. Naturally, a lot of questions are prevalent in everyone’s minds as to how this whole procedure flows and what to expect given the rather unconventional circumstances we are in right now. Most of us are jittery, some are even worried about the whole situation and how it may affect their future. We decided to interview the Head Placement Coordinator of the year 2019-2020 – Kavali Rajesh to hear his insights into the performance of NITK the year before, experience at CDC, and of course – provide his views and advice for students regarding placements and internships.

What exactly is the structure of the CDC and how does it all flow? 

So CDC is headed by one CDC head under whom the Head Placement Coordinator functions. This was the role I undertook from the year 2019-2020. The various placement and internship coordinators work under me. Thus it is a rather simple management style, yet one which is extremely active and hard-working individuals with a little under a 100 people working in tandem.

What were some of the greatest achievements we were able to have in the preceding year?

It is with great pride and honour that I can tell you that we have the best placement statistics among all the NITs – Trichy included. This is simply an amazing improvement over the years and is all attributed to the various members of CDC who strive so hard and work relentlessly to ensure the same. We are also delighted to share that we were visited by over 280 companies and the average package of the entire BTech batch last year was roughly around 12 lakh per annum- that’s including both circuit branches and core. For some of the circuit branches, the average goes as high as around 16-17 lakh per annum. This progress has slightly been hindered by COVID-19 but I am sure that is not going to be a huge step back. I still actively mentor and work with the various PCs, ICs and even the current Head Placement Coordinator. I can assure you that they are actively working to ensure no problem whatsoever is faced by any student.

What are some of the other benefits of working as the Head Placement Coordinator?

Well, one rather obvious yet overlooked fact is that Placements really affect the ranking of our institution. Our superior performance in both inviting great firms to our college and securing jobs/internships from that must have been a keen metric in our improvement of the NIRF rank. Apart from this I also managed to meet and connect with many people from tons of companies which really provides great exposure. Last but not the least, I really find happiness in helping others. I vividly remember many people asking why I do it and put so much effort as it isn’t something where the effort and reward are on the same level – I, however, beg to differ because the inherent feeling knowing you have impacted the lives of many students in your batch feels incredible.

How hectic is the role?

To be very honest, I don’t think anyone can gauge just how hectic and simply tiring the role can be albeit a highly rewarding one. At the peak of the season, I have gone for days without proper sleep, food, and even attending classes. All it involved was getting as much work done as possible. However, I wasn’t alone in the journey – the other PCs and ICs worked in a cohort to ensure that we were able to divide and conquer our work. Nevertheless, as I stated before, in spite of the work being rather challenging it was worth it.

Who all were the important figures in your entire experience as both an IC and then later as Head Placement Coordinator?

There were many people who played a pivotal role in shaping and improving not just me but also the entire placement landscape. Firstly, I would like to thank Mr Vijay Desai – Chairman of CDC. He has been a mentor and I can even consider him family now. He has worked tirelessly for the entire placement procedure. A lot of what we have in college and the offers we have are attributed to him. There are also many temporary faculty members of CDC who work relentlessly during the period sometimes staying up till 4 AM and such working just for us to get great offers and placements. I would like to thank all those students of the 2020 batch who contributed for the felicitation of these temporary staff at CDC – the unsung heroes who deserve a lot of credit. I would finally also thank all the students of the 2020 batch who supported us both the CDC and the coordinators to help us ensure we never felt overwhelmed. Sure, it wasn’t a smooth sail and there were tons of disagreements and even hostility at some points but at the end their support and encouragement made a huge difference to us.

Finally, the most awaited question – what do you think is going to happen this year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic? 

Well, I would really like to tell you that the situation is not going to affect you but that wouldn’t be honest. For one the number of job and internship offers will most likely dip at least a little given the fact that most companies around the world have suffered tremendous losses and are yet not in a position to hire and pay for new employees. To make matters worse some companies like HSBC have frozen placement – this means they will not be hiring anyone this year. The impact is going to be greater on core branch students who are affected more as the very factories, establishments and machines which are the lifeblood of these companies have turned off. So what would my advice be? Well, for one I predict the situation will get much better by the end of the year so please do the following 2 things: a) Be patient and wait; you will definitely get placed especially owing to the fact that you are from a prestigious college like NITK and b) Help the placement and internship team as much as possible in whichever way you can. Till then upskill yourselves, build and learn new things while reminding yourself that this situation will definitely pass. The students whose offer has been revoked due to the ongoing pandemic have already been given new offers and others are still in the process

Any final thought?

I must thank every single person along the way who has actually changed me completely over this duration. The transformation from the first year to the final year is colossal. I have improved on so many aspects and I attribute a lot of it to CDC. It has been my privilege and honor to serve as the Head Placement Coordinator. I would like to conclude by saying there are 3 groups of people I would individually like to thank – all the members of CDC, you have proven to be one of the finest people to work with and learn from, all the ICs and PCs – great job guys, without you it would have been difficult; I also wish the current ICs and PCs the best of luck! And lastly, all the students without whose efforts and support none of this would have been realized – to you I wish you the best of luck; I hope and pray this pandemic doesn’t ruin your dreams and you will be placed exactly where you want to be.