Life forces most of us to make certain decisions at different stages, decisions that we have to stick by. Right from choice of school, college and stream to who you should spend time with and what you want to make your career in. As we gain maturity and we start understanding the impact of these decisions, we want to be more careful in making them. For example, it is not considered wise to marry someone on the first date, unless you’re in Vegas ;).
And companies are realising that too because employment nowadays is more than just a way to earn your bread, it is a commitment, a shared sense of responsibility and ownership.. They don’t ideally want to hire someone one the basis of one or two interactions! They want to be able to have “dated” each candidate for a short while, before they decide to make a commitment. They want to know beforehand how the candidate “performs” in different situations, and that is why they hire interns and offer PPOs to the select few who “satisfied” all their requirements!
For companies, giving permanent job offers to interns is a way of finding employees who have demonstrated first-hand the right job-fit. After all, on-campus recruitments are a tedious process consuming several working hours of the company’s senior management and HRs. In addition to this cost, the outcome is uncertain with the possibility of candidates resigning after only a short stint with the company, or not being actually able to deliver the output quality and motivation that was required. PPO’s on the other hands are given only to candidates who demonstrate ability, persistence and right attitude for the position during their 8-week internship. Summer Internships are also a way for the companies to identify exceptional talent and groom them for the long run. Pavitra Singh, Head Talent Acquisition, PepsiCo India tells Hindustan Times – “Summer Internship programme is the main source for the Future Leaders Programme, where we hire management graduates from top B-schools, with the intent of building a general management pipeline”.
For the students getting a PPO, it means a ready familiarity with the company’s work culture and ethos leading to a higher job satisfaction. Also, in these uncertain times having a job offer at hand eases the anxiety to a large extent during the placement season.
The past few years have seen a rising salience of PPO’s in campus recruitments across the country. NMIMS Mumbai placed 245 of its students through PPO’s last year and the number has kept rising for every batch. At other prominent non-IIM B-schools like FMS, MDI and IIFT the number of PPO’s has been growing at a rate of more than 25% YoY. The trend is equally impressive across IIM’s. 83 students at IIM Indore bagged PPO’s last year, while at IIM A the number was 79.
In fact, brands seem to be making a move towards recruiting students exclusively through PPOs. Godrej industries extended job offers to 91% of its summer interns as Management trainees in 2016. While, more than half of the summer interns ended up with a job offer at Citi and Philips. TK Srirang, Head-HR, ICICI Bank tells Hindustan Times – “A summer internship programme is a key input for evaluating students for final placement. Every intern is critically evaluated by a panel of leaders for pre-placement offers and in the last few years, over 50% of the summer interns were given PPOs”. PPO’s are like the proverbial last slice of Pizza everyone is eager to grab. Even the B-Schools are eager to see this trend continue, for it eases the pressure on them during placements.
The sceptics among you must be wondering by now – Are PPOs really all that great? Well, you may be right. Despite the job security and the peace of mind one gets after securing a PPO, there are certain pitfalls you must be aware of. Firstly, you’ll only get a PPO in a company you interned at. Meaning if your SIP wasn’t what you desired, you might get stuck. Here’s the double whammy – if despite trying, you couldn’t get a summer internship in a sector you wanted, you face the dilemma of either making the best of the opportunity and risk getting offered a permanent job or you hold back and risk not learning as much you could have. Many B-schools implementing a strict “one job per person” rule compounds this issue. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.
However, even if the job market is not doing well, companies might cut down on their on-campus recruitments but continue offering PPOs to their best interns.
Having discussed the good and the bad of landing a PPO, the obvious question is – How to get hold of one? Well there is no one right answer, but we can tell you what will definitely NOT get you a PPO with guarantee. As per what you can do, one has to impress upon the superiors that he or she would be a valuable addition to the organisation. This could be done, either by working hard and delivering the perfect project and/or by coming up with out of the box ideas and unconventional initiatives that may add to the company’s bottom line. In order to do that, one has to be prepared before the internship so that they can deliver value in the 2 months they are there, and our IndustryCreds programs in Brand Building & Sales Leadership will give you that advantage. If you’re not going in for an S&M internship, these are some guidelines on other things you can do to prepare for your summer internship. If the company you intern for has had a history of making the bulk of its recruitments through PPOs, you certainly stand a better chance of getting one.
As the great general Eisenhower once said – Plans are useless but Planning is indispensable. So, plan and structure your internship from day one. Research exhaustively, work relentlessly and you just might end up with the PPO you always wanted!
This article was written by Ajay Jadhav from IIM Raipur, with edits by Anubhav Aggarwal and design by Dhruv Siwach
The data for the above article has been sourced from the following articles:
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