Student Leader Interview - Ranjith Kumar from Thiagarajar School of Management


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1. Tell us more about your role and responsibilities at your college

The most vibrant and busy committee of any management institutes will be the Placement Committee or the Placement Cell. I was selected, after 3 rounds of interview, to represent the Corporate and Industry Relations of our institute. Over the period of 2 years, the roles and responsibility I had can be divided majorly into four:

The first one was to coordinate with the senior team to ensure the placement drives are being conducted smoothly. We had more than 30 companies, on an average, visiting our campus each trimester and I helped in organizing them seamlessly

It is also the responsibility of the CIR team to get our peers summer internships. We sit together as team to plan and strategics the process for all 240 students (MBA+PGDM). Meanwhile, we collect the domain interest of each and every student and modify the strategy if needed. I took care of sourcing companies, liaising with the HRs and placed 142 students for internship

The third responsibility was to hunt organizations for final recruitment. I handled complete prospecting cycle and talked with senior HRs, C-suite people of few organizations. I will direct the lead to Placement Chairperson after that. I helped in bringing 12% new companies compared to the previous year

The last responsibility was to recruit our junior team like our seniors did and give them holistic training. We give suggestions and inputs whenever they have hurdles and guide them with all placement processes


2. What's it like to juggle between a leadership role and normal college life?

It was quite tough for me to juggle between the two. One major reason was that it was a fully residential institute and whenever, wherever people see you, they initiate conversation regarding live projects/ internships/ placements. I still enjoyed conversing with them till late nights in hostels and cafeterias.

I was the go-to person for my peers when someone wanted any help. Still I managed to have a normal life like any other person in the college. It was then I realized when you take up a responsibility and lead people, you should do it no matter what situation it is.


3. What have been some of your biggest challenges and learning from what you do?

One of the biggest challenges we faced was to manage some issues professionally and diplomatically. Though we were part of Place-Com team, the people whom we were working for were our friends and peers and at times there will be disputes and verbal quarrels.

The key takeaway being in this role was that I learnt how to manage and convince peers. People management is always a tough skill to develop because you need to analyze and understand mindsets of different people.


4. Do you enjoy the kind of influence you hold at such a young age?

It gives you immense happiness and joy whenever your peers approach you for suggestions and advises. Being the face of Place-Com and having prior work experience, I always enjoyed influencing and impacting my peers in a positive way which has now helped them to land in their dream jobs.


5. What are your career goals and how is what you are doing is going to help you with that?

Having couple of years work experience in business development, I wanted to grow my career in Marketing. I have learnt about theories in the classroom and practical work exposure in Placement Cell.

Being a part of this team for 2 years has helped to hone my skills in liaising, people management and team work. Constant interactions with Senior HRs, VPs has also opened up networking opportunities for me. I keep in touch with them through LinkedIn and I can get mentored by them while I move up in my career ladder.


6. What did you do in your current role that makes you feel really proud of yourself?

I led the Internship for my peers along with my team and I brought 30% more paid internship offers compared to the previous year and the maximum stipend was 225% higher than the previous year. When I came into team, there were little processes that were being followed.

I framed ISO 18001:2007 Standard Operating Procedures for the almost 9 key processes that were followed and will be implemented from the current year. These are the two areas where I have worked hard and really proud of.


7. What's your message to encourage students to do internships and attend conferences?

Internships are great learning platform. There will always be a little gap between the academic knowledge you have gained and industry expectations. Internships help you identify those and you can apply your knowledge to try solving the real industrial problem a company is facing.

You get to study each day and gain practical exposure in an organization about various aspects of business through internships. Conferences are great networking platform.

Imagine you are in an executive position of a well-established organization with more than 10k employees. How long will it take for you converse with and draw attention of C-suite people? Not any sooner than we think. Conferences are some of the places where you get to know lot of mid-level, senior-level and C-suite people and interact with them.

Listening to conferences lets you widen your knowledge on industry as well. In my opinion, students irrespective of the level of higher education should be encouraged to attend lot of conferences, seminars and internships to gain a competitive advantage in the modern dynamic world.


Interviewed By - Srinidhi Guruprasad



Student Leader Interview - Ranjith Kumar from Thiagarajar School of Management Student Leader Interview - Ranjith Kumar from Thiagarajar School of Management Reviewed by Shathika_Neevisha on June 17, 2020 Rating: 5

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