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How I became an MBA. . .aaa. .Consultant?

Just back from Khetan's room, and what were we discussing ?? How much will be the variable? How much is the current rent of a 2BHK in Bandra? and what all investments options are available . . . 3 days and our topics of discussion have changed from Zameen to Aasmaan . . really !! Yes - this is just one of the indications that Placements are over - PGDIM10 is finally placed !!!
I rewind back to 2nd January 2005, night 10.30 PM:
I sent a multicast "KPMG closing in 1/2 hr, all interested please apply by 11PM". Kartik walks into my room and the following conversation happens-
K: 'Apply kar diya?'
me: Main apply nahi kar raha . . .
K: kyon?
me: yaar IRM ke baare mein mujhe kya aata hai?? and with so many work-ex junta what chance do I stand?
K: Abe saale IRM is a very good field for a person like you. See, a consulting job is like a freelancer; an entreprenuer; you can very well handle it; you have the skills.

And then Kartik went on to describe the consulting industry and its advantages . . . By the time Kartik went, it was 10.55, and I sent the last reminder. Then I turned to Shubham asked his opinion - he opined there was no harm in applying - the brand was too big to reject and as it is with the fresher profile we might even not get shortlisted. So at 10.58 PM I applied and closed the company for applications the very next minute.
FFWD 5th January 2005:
Morning 6.00AM, I got up cursing placecom and placement office for scheduling the process so early in the morning. Reached the Audi, attended a PPT (don't remember which company) and then found myself 5th in the list for shortlisted candidates. Appeared for an interview for Panel 1. The interview went chill, but that's another story (so another post will have a full descript of the interviews), went back expecting nothing and went over to have my lunch. While I was just climbing upstairs after lunch, I heard someone searching for me because I had been qualified to attend the second. Surprise surprise !! The second one also went chill, was out of it by 2.00PM. Came back to my room and slept making up for the early rise.
Got up in the evening, found two shortlists waiting on IP - no name ! Went up again, dejected and frightened, to attend another PPT. Shubham was just out of his first interview. Was waiting to get into the second. The PPT was followed by a GD for HCL Tech. By the time I came back to my room it was 12:00. Did some floating around in the hostel, reached room at 1.30 to find the final shortlist for HCL - rejection again. Now I was damn frightened !!! The following words that I penned at 1.45 signify the state of my mind.
"Hell of a day !!! KPMG interview 1 and then 2 . . . both good enuf . . .but no results coming till tomorrow 12 . . .
Shortlists - IBM, Polaris, SAP - name not found!!!!!!!!
GD HCL . . .now c'mon !!! I have never had a bad GD in my life, nitther did this one go bad!!! Helllllll!!! What is happening?? Why am I not getting short listed!!
Hoping to clear TCS or Wipro interview tomorrow . . . else my 'focus' as they all call it will drown me!!!!!!!! And I just hope I find my name in the Patni Shortlist tomorrow . . . just hope!! And PRAY to GOD

How funny it is?? All the time you have pride on your courage and confidence in your abilities but at the end of the day - it is god whom you turn to. There is some power in this thing called God which runs this world and keeps on making you realize time and again that you are a mere puppet in his hands and all you can do is put in your effort!! The result is always in his hands . . . and you in no way can affect your result by your actions - it is he who giveth, taketh!! (can take it away as well). . . anytime . . . anyway . . .

Karmanye va adhikaaraste, ma faleshu kadaachana - the Gita"

January 6th, 2005, Day 0 - Placements 2005
I couldn't sleep well the whole night, was very unsure about my future - whether my 'focus' on IT would pay off or drown me. The day started with the Nestle PPT - a long one and equally frustrating (due respects to Nestle - but I was too anxious). Then started the FMCG processes, our IT slot was to follow only after 12. I was getting more and more tense - had almost assumed that I wouldn't get into KPMG. The frenzy started at 1:00 when people with multiple offers in 1st slot were called - still KPMG result was guarded, no news leaked.
1.30 PM, Auditorium
Our Prof incharge placements - Prof Ashok Pundir walks into the auditorium with the offers list in his hands. I had somehow forced my lunch into my throat, was very very uncomfortable and that probably shone on my face. Payal tried to cheer me up - but I replied rudely; tension!! I had stopped thinking . . . the mind was closed to intrusion of any kind. The results were being announced - one by one we had the expected and the unexpected results coming out. And now Prof Pundir said - "KPMG - Nikhil Kulkarni. . . . " and I don't remember the next few moments . . .
The whole bunch of batchmates around me roared with applause - someone patted me, someone shook my hands, while someone patted my head !!! It was all over . . . The bubble of tension shrunk into obsolescence within seconds - I was no more a candidate for CRP 2005, I was a consultant at KMPG.. whoooaa!!!
I must thank all my friends without whom this was impossible - nearest and farthest. Payal, Milind, Ashita, Medda, Sabya, Kartik, Khetan, Arijit, Anish, Gaurav, Meril . . . the list is long - these people who probably had much more confidence in me and my 'focus' than me myself - kept me going till this point. And last but most importantly - Shubham who followed the same 'focus' as me was a big support not only because there was a companion in the 'risk' we took, but also because he is a true optimist, a true believer. Shubham was placed with Infosys. . . but that's another story . . . . . .

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