As I promised earlier in my post that from now on my posts will me more related to the management, this will be the first post satisfying the promise. Few weeks back I attended my first ever management fest at SASTRA University. The title of the fest was PROGYAN ’14. I along with seven other participants representing my college went to the fest. Let me break you the suspense that I along with my partner didn’t win the competition. The sole medalist from our college is my friend Manoj in Photography competition. Let us not dig into the details and come directly to the story I wish to convey through this post without much subplots (Obviously if you can’t find much subplots then you aren’t reading my post for sure). First of all I learnt a lot of managing time by their organization. The thing which attracted a lot is their hospitality towards all of the participants. They managed the time excellently, when there was a clash between two events they waited till the participants finished the other event. If I say they took care of us, then it’s not an exaggeration. We all are overwhelmed by their hospitality and their time management. When they told that the event would start at certain time and end at a particular time it went exactly, achieving this feat was quite amazing to me as I was part of my Undergraduate Symposium Organizing committee. Now let us go back to the story.
I along with my friend was participating in the Best HR Manager competition. We were amateurs, first years and infants who have no clue about the core area of HR. First round was usual Quiz round to eliminate the worst teams and somehow we managed to sneak into the second round. The first round had questions from the area of Recruitment and few Organizational Behavior concepts which we are yet to learn and lots and lots of Current Affairs which we had a little clue. The organizing committee later told that the scores are cumulative and the last men/women standing tall will be the winner and the last men/women hanging will be the runner.
The second round was called Connexion. The concept for the round was based on the Vijay TV show of the same name but the theme here is the HR terms and we are damn sure that we will get eliminated at this round. But our hunch proved to be false and we sneaked once again into the third round. Our competitors were from mostly Engineering colleges offering MBA and all were in their Final year(It’s just Second year, but the word Final Year makes it more matured right ?). We got confidence after that selection that we can do something but still had a dilemma of what else we are going to do further.
The third round was the round where the real challenge started. The third round was recruitment round and our task is we have to recruit a candidate from a pool of Resumes available and justify our selection. The process except justification to the jury has to be done within ten minutes and the justification part can be more than five minutes and it all depends on the process of our recruitment. And before flaunting how we did the recruitment process as a team, I confess that I have no idea of recruitment and all of a sudden I called my Professor to know about the process. Her timely help saved me in framing the process. So then our turn came and we entered the hall, they treated us as a real recruiter and the resumes given to us was also the real resumes of the final year students of the university. That was the first blow to us, the theatricality of their round bit me and the actor in me took the job without any orders on an instant. Basically all I was doing was talking and my partner in crime is the director, she directed me when to talk and when to stop. To be frank she knew how to handle the process pretty well, way better than me. I gave very little chance for her to talk in the not so ample time of ten minutes. I fired the questions to the first candidates and asked the question to the second candidate. Please don’t see me as a control freak, I was just playing the character(Deep Level Acting you see). Then it was the justification process we really succeeded or believed so. They asked the same question in a polished manner, Are you a dominator or a control freak in the most diplomatic manner. I said that I had to take the dominance in the recruitment of the particular person because I am good at his domain if the candidate’s domain is my partner’s domain then she will take the dominance. We said that we gave highest priority to the domain knowledge and then to the Personality Traits. So in a way we more or less justified our selection and other students also did their best. We came to know that we got second place in that particular round because of our theatricality. A person who talks and writes about deep level acting or method acting for about 4 years and can’t even dive into a character then there is no point in writing so(Yes obviously I am referring to myself). This really gave us some ray of hope. As Andy Dufresne rightly said, “Hope is a good thing; probably the best of things and no good thing fails”.
This led us to the final round and no one in the crowd believed that we were first years who haven’t even seen their first trimester results. It took a lot of convincing to prove the fact to the competitors, a lot tougher than convincing the jury of our selection. Then the second day started with “The Great Debate”. There is no point is explaining a debate, our topic was to speak against the Clean India initiative. Frankly I was disappointed by the opposition we had in the debate. A hero is as good as the power of the villain. The team which talked far for the initiative were talking more about the necessity of the plan rather than the topic which was will it succeed or fail. This put us in a situation to talk on our own. This was the most awkward situation for me; it was like talking bad about Rajnikanth in front of his fans. You know the result even before you utter a word. We strategized a little bit and my partner told all the important points and I took the advice of theatricality and deception very seriously. The irony is I was accusing the person who started this initiative of theatricality and deception. Then I dragged the ALS Ice Bucket challenge and totally buried the initiative as a gimmick. Which I am pretty sure would have offended many(These days fans are too much sensitive). But that doesn’t affect our score and we were told that we were the highest scorers in the debate. This round I just played the role of an actor and my partner played role of director cum actor as she knew when to cut me and peek in to show the matter expertise, but the real hero as usual is the script which is provided by all my facebook friends. Their anger towards someone is the script which gave me a beautiful script to talk, When I said I don't even need to prepare as the script is right in my mind my partner was like, are you sure?
Then came the final round which was MOOT COURT. We had no idea even after they announced that the final round is moot court. That was our expertise in the field of HR. we were given as a position of state government in the NOKIA plant shutdown case. We understood that don’t ever use a law term then you will be finished. I was talking anything and everything else related to emotions and logic but strictly no law terms. To be frank in my mind one sentence was repeatedly running, “They failed to pay the tax so the case is void”. If I have uttered these words then I will be damned. Still we managed to complete the fifteen minutes as a suspect. Then the results were announced and our hopes were broken (not exactly, hey but still one has to feel bad for not winning). The organizing committee told that due to cumulative scores we lost as our score in the second round was very low on par with the competing teams.
The teams were all from lesser known colleges, none of them were B Schools. We saw the competition just like Frank Underwood says, “Never under estimate the power your enemy”. We never underestimated but at the same time we should have prepared for a battle, rather than going for a practice fight. We might have reached the final but ultimately it’s the winners who the people remember not the person who fought really hard and missed it. It was an eye opener for all of us to not to take the competitors lightly and if the competitor whom you take lightly beat you then you surely have a problem in your attitude, strategy and above all your preparation. Some may feel that I am too harsh in criticizing myself but the fact is I am a critic and my review will be same for all be it me or Man of Steel or Sherlock Holmes. In my case viewing the competition from a third person’s point of view gives me a fresh perspective and helps me improve myself as a person and also to understand where I am lagging. If I can’t win this then this shows the standard of work I am doing and the level of work I need to put in order to meet my expectations.
P.S: If you really think the last part is bit harsh then you must hear my close friend’s criticism, you would be damned.
P.P.S: if you think the post is more about me than that of the competition and ideas then you are a new reader of my blog. Welcome to Satirestall.
P.P.P.S: This post is dedicated to all my readers who were complaining that my posts are getting shorter and shorter.
P.P.P.P.S: I would like to add more P.Ss but it would make the post look small.