A blog member recently asked me what are the roles and responsibilities of an individual who joins the Training & Placement Cell of a college at Delhi University. In this post, I have shared my experience of being a part of the Placement Cell of Kirori Mal College (Avenues) and what all it did.
What is a Placement Cell?
When I was in the team, we used to call our placement cell a liaison between students and companies. It is a body of students, often governed by a staff member or a staff council, to ensure the skill development and smooth placement of students.
Does that mean a placement cell only asks companies to visit the campus for placements? Certainly not. There are many responsibilities that a placement cell takes up and it works very closely with the administration of the college to perform its duties.
Duties of a Placement Cell
There are two broad kinds of duties - liaison based and administrative, which can further be divided as follows:
Liaison Based - everything it does for students or companies:
This includes but is not limited to:
Organizing Placement Drives - Everything that comes under the purview of conducting a drive on campus and inviting firms to offer placement opportunities. Have discussed it in detail ahead.
Organizing an Internship Fair - This is like an event where 30-40 companies come onboard to share information about themselves and invite students to apply for internships on-the-spot.
Hosting a Corporate Fest - Ours was called Levitate. Most placement cells have a fest of their own or they organize events in collaboration with other clubs to up-skill students.
Mock Interviews & GDs - There is a host of interview and GD preparation material which is shared by the placement cell for the students.
CV Verification - Some placement cells also verify the CV points of students by matching them against their certificates. This practice is more common at B-schools than UG colleges.
Internal Communication - Any information regarding placement opportunities, skill-building exercises, etc. is conveyed to the student body by the placement cell.
External Communication - Placement cells also need to remain in touch with the firms to inform them about the batch, the annual updates, the seasonal reminders and wishes, etc.
Administrative - Since a placement cell is responsible for the opportunities that a college's students receive, it has to be transparent and report its numbers regularly to the administration of the college. Thus, there are some database management, fund management, venue booking based administrative responsibilities that it has to take care of along with its day-to-day working.
What are Placement Drives?
And how are they conducted?
This is one of the most important responsibilities of a placement cell. Before a placement drive gets conducted, the members are supposed to do the following:
Update Database of Past Recruiters - Some firms from last year might have decided not to conduct placements this year. The list of past recruiters from several years gets updated.
Conduct Competitive Benchmarking - The placement cell members check the public records of all other colleges' placement cells to see if there is a firm which they can potentially invite.
Invite Personal Contacts from Students - Every year, a fresh form is floated to invite the students to share any personal contacts that they may have in the corporate sector.
Spread Word over LinkedIn - A circular is shared on LinkedIn stating the batch data in infographics to invite companies to write to the placement cell.
Cold Call the Fresh Database - The updated list of all these contacts mentioned in the above points is used to send an e-mail or reach out to the companies over a call. A brochure is shared with them.
This gets followed by a series of e-mail exchanges, wherein the companies are asked to share a JD (job description) including the job requirements, CTC, eligible courses, etc. After this, the firm is asked for a suitable date when they can visit the campus to organize a Pre-Placement Talk (PPT) and conduct the interview rounds (and any other test/round if they wish to).
Once confirmed, a form is circulated among the student body via e-mail and social media platforms and they are informed about the JD shared by the firm. After the deadline, the form is closed and the responses are shared with the firm (CVs are also enclosed if required).
On the day of the Placement Drive, 2-3 representatives from the firm visit the campus. In order to conduct a PPT followed by interviews, a lot of venue booking, food and beverages management is supposed to be taken care of by the placement cell. For each drive, at least 2-3 members of the cell are present, sometimes, this number can be 5-6 if the candidates are more in number.
Once the drive is conducted, the results are announced by the placement cell over e-mail and on social media congratulating the students placed. The database of placed students is then updated with information which is to be shared with the administration.
So, this is broadly what the placement cells do. If you want to join a placement cell, I have shared a link below in which a Placement Coordinator of Delhi University shares what skills are required. In my opinion, the job of a placement cell member equips one to be able to manage the endeavours of a corporate world. So, if you get the chance, you must take it.