Dusk falls upon Gotham and the city seems to feign sleep. The few denizens left behind are chirpy, enjoying the last few minutes of daylight. The glittering light of the drowning sun bathes these alleys in gold for one last time, a contrast to how dark they once seemed and a reminder of how different things could have turned out otherwise. A million possibilities but just one perfect outcome; just one fairytale scenario could have led to this. Night approaches and it’s time for the Dark Knight to rise again.
I stand by in silence, a minion enjoying his solitude, and glance askance at my watch. Seems like I’m done for now and have just enough time to recall the good times and smile before I jump headfirst into life’s next big adventure. The sand in my hourglass has run out. This pendulum has now stopped…..
It all began in December 2015. Since then, college life has had two parallels. The one in the classroom (or rather out of it) and the other in a place so sacrosanct, its mere mention brought sobriety to unenlightened souls, a word so sonorous, it demanded a pregnant pause to precede it and a hollow echo to follow. Yes, this place would be called “Placements”. It would be an understatement to say that when I look back on these 4 long years, some of the fondest memories I cherish, have occurred after coming under the aegis of two departments. Most mortals who pass through these hallowed gates, consider themselves lucky to belong to one department. I, however was incredibly lucky to belong to two – the Royal Mech and Placements.
In hindsight, I can’t really remember what drove me to take up all this responsibility. Long hours in placements, balancing attendance, acads and being the link between 180 students and the placements cell sure didn’t seem like appealing incentives then. I guess it was this unquenchable thirst I’ve always maintained for new experiences that drove me to take that cliched leap of faith. Little did I know then, that I’d look back considering this to be one of the best decisions I’ve made in my four years in college.
What followed can only be described as a fairytale. 18 months and around 120 companies later, I find myself looking at the rear view mirror feeling grateful. From all the fun with fellow coordinators and the placements team to getting an opportunity to interact with the diverse student populace in college, life in the last one year revolved completely around placements. I’ve got to admit, it involved a fair amount of work. Being a minion was no piece of cake. From making and sending Google forms at odd hours of the day to being answerable to not just 180 odd students but the entire 2017 batch, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my stint as a SPC, it’s how to stay on top of things.
Being a part of placements obviated my need for an alarm clock. There have been no less than fifty occasions when I’ve been jolted from my slumber thanks to a placements related call either from the cell or my fellow students. While this might seem irritating, it did teach me a great deal of patience and taught me how to handle situations (a select few while still confined to the safety of my bed, with my eyes closed)
One of my biggest takeaways from being in placements would be the situational leadership lessons I learned through my experiences, coordinating for companies, be it at 8 AM or 9 PM, getting signatures for attendance, tracking attempts, updating databases. This minion grew with every passing day, each day bringing something new. I easily spent more time in placements (not to forget the air conditioned cognitive block and the food-court) than at home over the past year and treasured every moment.
I can’t think of anything that will ever come close to that gold plated feeling of elation you experience when you see one of your own get placed after spending the whole day coordinating for that company. It was these priceless moments when we saw our efforts make a difference and being acknowledged outside the department for the work we do in placements that kept our spirits up.
Handling acads, planning for the future, projects, a social life, sleep, fitness routines and placements; I don’t think this minion has ever been through a bigger challenge and I’ve emerged through it all a wiser, more evolved and better version of myself.
The seeds for many great careers and lives have been sown within those four walls of the Placements cell and I feel honoured to have been a tiny cog of that process, a witness to some of the best talent in the country taking that first step to greatness. My time as a minion has slowly drawn to a close. And just as night follows day, a select few will be lucky enough to occupy the ring side seat, I chose for the past year.
The clock will reset and will start ticking again. Yet another cycle of placements will be upon us, and like clockwork, this sacrosanctum will resume its duties. Unheard of, lost in all the details, and camouflaged as something that’s woven into the fabric of our college life, this four walled crusader will carry on. No, not as your everyday hero, but as a silent guardian…. a watchful protector….a Dark Knight.