Monday, September 13, 2010

Perhaps some clarification?

Ok, after reading my old(er) post, most of you must be under the impression that I'm now working, besotted and settled (career-wise) in EK. Oh really?!?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Absolutely not. Since I haven't been able to come online regularly, I haven't been able to update about my life here as much as I'd like to. I am NOT with EK. Loud and clear. I wasn't with them for even one full week. Why? Here's the story for you all:

1st point. Element K now has a 2 years service bond for every freshman entering the company. This clause has been introduced from my batch (2010 pass outs) onwards and experienced professionals joining the company don't have to sign it. This bond was not mentioned at the time they came for on-campus to my college in february! Not even on the first day, when the new employees are introduced formally to the company's structure and their existing employees - the orientation day. I still remember how our HR casually spoke about the bond (he quickly changed topic too) as "some minor paper works that are required to be signed" on my 2nd day at office. :x yikes! the cunning he'd had to push it on my face like that.

2nd point. The breaking of this service bond implied that I needed to pay 1.5 L to Element K to get out at any point during those 2 yrs (as stated in the agreement). Very high amount, ain't it? Ensures that nobody would even think of trying such a thing.

3rd point. The pay per month in Element K - phooey! it is your average KPO. Please put that modest 5 digit take-home salary that flashes across your mind when you think of a job in a BPO/KPO. So I would lose more (cos of the bond) if I signed their service agreement and worked there, all to quit when a better opportunity came up. I was surely planning to go to places. Not stick my ass to a KPO for long!

4th point. MAN! It is not even an IT job. Not a job that suited my graduate profile. After doing a BE (ECE) I had no business sticking my tail in a company like Element K. Instructional Designer? Not a sensible career to stay for long. Especially after completing a Bachelors in engineering, definitely.

So after hanging around in the company for a mere two days' tenure, I walked out with my head held high. No papers were signed and I was NOT imbibed as an official employee of the company by then. On what-would've-been-my-3rd-day (at office), I stayed home; I phoned the HR and told him the bond was an unstated clause in my employment and it hadn't been mentioned to the students when the company came to the college for campus selection. Why go so far down history? It's not even mentioned in the offer letter you guys gave me, I said. He brushed my point aside as "Well, it seems like some miscommunication between you guys (students) and the college. Anyway, you know it now. So sign the bond and hop aboard!" He made it clear that there's NO other way out regarding the bond for freshers except signing the damned thing. They were very strict about this bond for freshers entering their oh-so-great company. Right! So I was asked whether I'd be willing to sign their bond and continue or walk out. I chose the "walk-out" option. :P

And thus, the tale of Hello-Element-K became bye-bye Element K! I decided I wasn't going to stick there. I wasn't willing to compromise upon certain things and the place couldn't have been my choice under these conditions. Trust me, putting my foot down and getting out of EK (at that time) had been the toughest decision I had ever made pertaining my career. I didn't have a back up job or something else in hand. I blindly chose to end my tenure with Element K, after those two days there. There was no other decision that seemed sensible to me. Of course, I was terribly scared about what I'm going to do next, once I quit Element K. No job in hand, no chance of pursuing further studies (it was mid june already. Admissions were closing in many places. Besides, mom said and still says don't think about it!) and I had to start job-hunting afresh. Now looking back, I am happy that I chose to get away from EK when I could. God presented me with a better opportunity & career in less than 2 months from the day I walked out of EK office in Guindy.

TCS is where I am/will be going to! B) India's top-rated IT company. I belong there today. And BOY! I am super proud of this. I felt such unbounded happiness when I received my interim offer letter from the TCS HR at 2.30 PM on 15th aug 2010 at Veltech, Avadi. It was indeed a moment of bliss for me and my mom. I'm now a part of Tata Consultancy Services. :D Ok, that story's in the post which follows this one. I promise to pen that one SOON. :D

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Miss you அப்பா! :-(

If tears could build a stairway,
And memories a lane,
I'd walk right up to Heaven
And bring you home again.
- Author Unknown.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A New Beginning

I wonder where I should begin - when want to narrate the story of how I got placed in Element K. I know this is my first article for the blog. And here I am, acting like an uber-cool nerd, talking about placements & job offers for a final year ECE graduate in my college! =D Hehe. But still, this is the best thing that's happened to me in the past one week and I think it deserves a place here! B)

It all unfolds on the fateful day (10th feb 2010) when I composed four huge essays - all within an hour in the written test for the post of an ID(
Instructional Designer) at Element K. I must admit that the number of final year students whom I saw earlier in the morning freaked me out! There were lots of them from Hindustan also applying for this post and it was a really large gathering - anything between 600-800 is my guess. The irony of the situation was that the number of available jobs in the company was a humble single digit entity - 6 to 10! The essay writing was a hard task for most of us because we'd completely forgotten how to write proper English essays. =D Lol. I managed to write some decent paragraphs of matter nevertheless and I was having my fingers crossed from the moment I handed my answer script to the staff. =) Though something inside kept telling me I was sure-as-hell going to get the job, I just couldn't bring myself to voice out the intuition aloud. I was trusting that if it were destined happen, it will happen!

The wait hadn't been for long though. Just as I was getting ready to go to the project centre on tuesday
(16th feb 2010) morning, I received a call from Georgina ma'am - that's my dept placement coord - saying that I'd been short-listed for the post at Element K and that my interview was scheduled at 2pm that day. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard it. Even after hanging up on the call with her, I began pacing back and forth restlessly in our house. There wasn't enough time to prepare for the interview. Holy shit! All I could do was browse through all possible questions they could ask in a non-technical interview in about half an hour online. I made up the answers virtually my head and it was time to scoot from home! The interview was at their office in Guindy Industrial Estate and boy, was I nervous! After hitting the wrong RR Towers building twice, I finally came to the right block after roaming around the place for about half an hour. :-p

The interview was a blast of questions that I'd expected to be asked, but the same set of things for which I wasn't aptly prepared. =) Sure, it was entirely non-technical and that's what saved my skin! =D They were the usual kind of questions: your strengths and weaknesses, your career objective, your dream job, where do you see yourself five years from here etc etc etc. Bleh. All that stuff! The best part of the interview as well as my essays was that I bitched about engineering in both places. Yes, the cheek of it! =D Hehe. There was an essay that went like this: Tell us about the one big mistake of your life and how you'd corrected it. I don't think anyone who knows me well needs to be told what was MY answer to it. Engineering indeed. :-p During my interview, I described my engineering experience as "horrifying and pathetic". If not for anything else, my interviewer was definitely surprised and he was showing all kinds of reactions in his face. It was amusing, saying such a thing as this and then defending my answer skilfully. I'm sure there aren't many who'd have the nerve to say they hate their field of study even before they're employed. =D I did defend myself nicely in support of my view to the interviewer, explaining why I hated everything in ECE so fiercely! He was definitely finding it interesting and his eyes said it all. Another tricky area in the interview was when he asked me why I thought I was suited for the post of an ID though I'll be graduating in the technical side. I said that I would enjoy the job since I possess the writing/ communication skills that it requires. There were a couple of moments during the interview when I was losing faith that I will make it to the job. The interviewer did the best that he could to make me say the wrong things!

The interview was about one and a half hours long(phew!) and at the end of it, all was well. I had made it through and the HR said that he was looking forward to seeing me in their office after graduation. Words fail me to describe that moment now. I felt plenty of unbounded happiness and relief as it struck me that I have a job in hand, as I was coming down from their 4th floor office. I must admit - I so totally LOVED their office from the very moment my eyes fell upon the place. It seemed like a cool workplace to me from the start! I felt that I belonged there - even before it was formally declared that I'd been selected. =)

It gives me such a warm feeling within, to know that I'll be finally shifting base from technical line to a new field altogether! It's not like I am an expert at what I'm intending to do for Element K. I don't know how I'm going to fit there as an ID. But I know it for sure that I'll love what I'm going to do because this has been my choice and decision completely. I have figured out the things I cannot do for a career and that did help me in choosing this job profile. I still believe that it wasn't me who chose Element K. It's the other way around! =) Amma is very proud and happy about it! She feels that this is one thing I will enjoy doing. I must mention here that I'm truly blessed to have parents such as those I have. They've never insisted that I have to earn high and well for them to brag about during get-togethers. They've never asked me to take up responsibilities for the family financially. They've never expected a tiny thing from me! All they've hoped and prayed for is my happiness. And this is what makes me yearn to do all the good and best things on Earth to see them happy! =) I want to do well in life and make them very proud of the fact that the girl who's doing all this, is the same little daughter who walked holding their hands a while ago. =)

For now, it's a humble start - Element K. =) Yaaaaaayyy me!!! =D