Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The quandaries of a newbie in the corporate world….

It was 14th December 2009, and the day we join Barclays had finally dawned. Extremely excited and eager to learn, we attended the induction attentively and arrived at the Pune-2 office in Hinjewadi, which would now be our workplace. Initially, the atmosphere was intimidating. The challenge to ramp up our skills to the level of the people around us was exhilarating and unnerving at the same time. However, the former emotion was far more overpowering, and together with a will to perform in a way that would corroborate our selection to be a part of this mighty organisation, we resolved to garner the skills, essential to make our team proud.

Our learning process here wasn’t just technology oriented. Certain practices were obsolete in the world of corporate. As we had just stepped out of college, we were accustomed to addressing our seniors as ‘Sir’ or ‘Ma’am’. However, now, that was so passé! In our attempt to learn this practice, we bungled up several times. XYZ became Sir, XYZ aand we appeared to have conferred Knighthood on most of our colleagues. It is after a lot of practice and conscious effort that we now address everyone by their names.

We all know that every profession and every company has an associated jargon. Since our first day, we were at the receiving end of a fusillade of abbreviations which made no sense to us whatsoever. This parlance can confuse those, unaware of its existence. An abbreviation that was particularly irksome was K.T. Now, the reason for that was, when were in college (a few months ago) K.T. was short for A.T.K.T, which stood for ‘Allowed To Keep Term’. This was something all us budding engineers feared over the past four years of the course. One is A.T.K.T when one has failed between 1 and 3 subjects in the course. (More than that and you lose a year!!). However, here at Barclays, K.T. stands for Knowledge Transition or Knowledge Transfer. When everyone around us kept talking about giving us a K.T. we were baffled and terrified! It was when our line-manager came to the rescue and explained to us what it really meant, that we heaved a sigh of relief!

As we spend more time here, we realise, the professional world and the academic world are rather diverse. When we stepped here the first day, we remember being petrified at the sight of so many ‘black screens’ (that was a term in college for the output screen- C, CPP et al.) and people all around engrossed in work. It was strongly reminiscent of the horrors of our practical exams, vivas and all that jazz. However, now that we’ve settled here and have started using the ‘black screens’ ourselves, we realise that it is not something to be afraid of. As college students, we used to be in awe of this world, but now, it feels great to be a part of it. I hope, 40 years from now, when I look back at these days, I too can say, in true Bryan Adams’ style, “Those were the best days of my life…”