Wednesday, December 18

From a Junior Consultant at Cognito Consultancy- Christ University Fest Review!

My semester exams had gotten over a week ago and I was lazing around in my room when a friend sent me a text asking if I wanted a job in Bangalore. It was an out of the blue text to be really honest. He gave me some minor details about the job; he talked about the pay which seemed pretty decent and about the future prospects. We were supposed to work as Junior Consultants in a team of three at this big firm named Cognito. I was in. This was my first job. So, I cheerfully said yes. Travel arrangements were made.

We reached Bangalore on 13th December and since we were new to this city, the company sent a car for us. We lodged in a decent hotel near the Company Headquarters and were briefed about the day’s programme. There was not much to do that day, except a meet up of some sort in the evening. So far, so good. At around five, we were escorted to the Company Headquarters where we met the company’s representatives and other Junior Consultants. The Company had also organised a welcome ceremony, where it briefed us about the past of the company, how it built its reputation and things like that. After the three hour event in which only like two minutes were filled with boring speeches while the rest was pure entertainment, we were given our employee batches and two mentors were assigned to guide us in case we went missing in the huge HUGE Company building.

christ university cognito fest review


The mentors dropped us back to the hotel. We were handed over the agenda for next day. It also contained a newspaper. The minute this was done, I assumed the fun was over and work would begin.

We woke up next morning, and before all three of us could get ready, our mentor was right outside to pick us up again. We were running late. Huge cultural misunderstanding? I tried telling him that when you say 8.30, it doesn’t really mean 8.30, but he just continued whispering to himself. We reached the headquarters in thirty minutes (yes, the hotel was pretty close to the Cognito). You know I have realised that you can blame almost everything on Bangalore’s traffic and no one would doubt you. If you’re running late, blame the traffic; if you’re having trouble understanding a math’s problem, blame the traffic. It just works.

We met the Directors of the company, two very young and very successful people, and were again warned about the company’s no-bullshit policy. This was going to be tough. We were told that if we did well, we’d be rewarded in ways we couldn’t even anticipate. This was our first time inside the company headquarters. We were given a tour by some manager, there was a cubicle room or ‘work station’, there was a conference room, a briefing room, and then there was this ‘ideating room’. We kept our bags on the desk of our personalized cabin whose walls adorned our pictures and status updates from facebook. This spooky thing was done probably to make us feel at home? The idea was nice nonetheless. We then looked around in the Ideating Room, it had a foosball table, unlimited food supply and FIFA 14. They told us we could come here whenever we had time. A certain smile was seen on their pretty faces and I imagined them saying quietly, ‘time, that we will make sure you never have!’

Before we could even settle down in our cabin, a manager rushed in with our very first assignment. People from a certain company had requested our Directors to help them de-market their competitor and the Directors thought it wise to let us teams of immature consultants handle it. We began our first assignments and time got over, didn’t even realise when twenty minutes passed. Our client’s representatives had come to see our suggestions. They were not very impressed though. And this had definite impact on our pay. We were not given salary, we got remuneration based on every project we handled, and how much the clients liked it. When we returned to our cabin, two projects were already sitting there. I don’t know how we managed in the limited time but we did complete them. I don’t remember how many, or what type of projects I did that evening, but I sure know I haven’t read that much in a single day. The super tiring day came to an end and we were given our pay checks, performance bonus etc. Money makes up for everything, doesn’t it?

The night was quiet and serene and I never had a better sleep.

The next day, again the same thing happened, our mentor reached on time. I mean, someone should tell him how time works in India. Idiot

We were taken to the company headquarters again, briefed again, and promised again that any unethicality will result in expulsion. So far, not better. We reached our desks and there they were lying lazily, our unfinished assignments. We went to one of the best restaurants in Bangalore on a corporate lunch to pursue a probable client. That went horribly bad. The lunch started well enough, but in between, we kind of lost track, the client got a tinge upset, so I concentrated on the food.

Finally as the day came to a close, we witnessed various things, some Consultants had been fired, some disqualified, some ran away, ‘we are going for a cigarette break’, the break that never ended. There were teams who were really impressive and they were awarded fairly their share.

I didn’t win anything. I just learnt.

It’s crazy when you realise that Cognito Consultancy is not a firm, but a fest organised by a bunch of college students, mimicking the real life situations with such ease and expertise. Their role playing fest model never really lost its track. For these two days, I felt like I was a junior consultant at this real consultancy firm.

They really showed how you organise fests. Kudos, Dept. of Professional Studies, Christ University. See you people around!

I remember my brother told me once that the education you receive in school is very much different from real life scenario, well, I now have one example to prove my disagreement. Though, I wish I had some more. Probably Cognito 2014!



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