Thursday, May 05, 2011

Students make money while the sun shines

The summer placements scene at B-schools is hotting up. A vibrant job market — the job speak index of Naukri.com says companies’ activities related to the recruitment stood at 1,085 in March 2011 against 900 in March 2010 — and war for talent acquisition has made India Inc dangle the fat pay cheque carrot even for the two month summer internship programmes at B-schools.

This has resulted in an over 20-50 per cent hike in the stipends offered to the summer trainees at B-schools across the country. B-school students, as part of their curriculum, intern with companies of their choice during the last semester of first year. The internship programme could be from six to eight weeks for which they draw stipends too.

"As the economy is coming out of recession, companies are confident of getting more business. This is one of the reasons why we have seen an uptake in the number of offers and hike in stipend. Companies are looking at summer training as a vehicle for final placement," says Munish Bhargava, Corporate and Placement Advisor, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT).

Delhi-based IIFT and Birla Institute of Management and Technology (Bimtech), have seen their average stipends increase to 25 and 51 per cent, respectively. IIFT has recorded the highest stipend at Rs. 150,000 this year.

"Companies are willing to pay higher stipend to get the best candidate. During the six-eight weeks summer training they watch the candidate for their aptitude and other skills," said Professor Kanwal Nayan Kapil, Chairperson, Placement Affairs, Management Development Institute, Gurgaon. MDI has seen an average hike of 34 per cent in stipend this year. While the highest domestic stipend at the institute was Rs. 150,000, the highest international stipend touched Rs. 400,000. Last year, MDI students didn’t get any international offer. The average stipend was Rs. 63,000.

B-school candidates who successfully complete the internship programme are also made pre-placement offers or PPOs from companies. At the premier Indian Institute of Management Lucknow (IIM-L), the institute has seen a 75 per cent increase in the number of offers made by companies against previous year. During final placements companies which get an earlier placement slot, get to pick up most of the students. Thus many companies are left with no students to recruit. Summer training is a good vehicle for final placement for such companies.

Deepa Mohamed, Group head, HR and Training at investment solutions company SMC says, the company prefers to go for summer internships as it gives it access to a bigger talent pool. "We can access the students during the internship and judge whether they are best fit for the company," says Mohamed. This year, SMC made summer training offers to three students.

However, Mohamed thinks Indian companies are still conservative when it comes to offering good stipend to B-schools other than to students from IIMs. For IT services solutions firm, Cognizant, summer internship program is so important that it has created an event called B’hive to test interns’ competitive spirit. B’hive, provides a platform to interns to meet Cognizant senior management and network with their alumni currently with Cognizant.

Source: Business Standard, May 5, 2011

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