For fresh graduates, it’s work from home on first day at office – Ahmedabad Mirror - Freelance Rack

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Saturday, July 18, 2020

For fresh graduates, it’s work from home on first day at office – Ahmedabad Mirror

By Anushree Vijaya Harshan

Coronavirus threw a spanner in the works for most of us, including newly-minted graduates hoping to put their skills to work in office. With their transition from college student to ‘responsible adult’ thwarted, these newbies create a cubicle of their own at home

Edgy, nervy and super enthusiastic, freshers give out the first-day-at-the-job vibes. Be it the excitement of meeting new people or working at a desk/ cubicle or showcasing your skillset, the feeling is unparalleled. It brings a sense of confidence and independence too. While they count their blessings for having landed a job in these rough times, the coronavirus pandemic has brought them back to where they started from: in the comfort of their homes.

Laptop set on the same table where they studied for school and college, these youngsters are trying to understand work culture from the confines of their house. From dadi walking into the room during an office meeting and battling multiple distractions to ‘not feeling at work’ and missing in-person experience, these five debutants reveal how working in is working out for them.

‘WFH has more cons than pros’

Mamta Makhija, KYC associate

GRADUATED FROM – Som-Lalit Institute of Management Studies (awaiting fi nal exams)
WFH since MAY

I had done an internship as part of my curriculum and it was a great experience. I was looking forward to something similar in my fi rst job, working in an offi ce environment, meeting new people and making friends as I am pretty extrovert. I also got an off er from a top-notch bank during placements.

I am pursuing MBA and as my exams were deferred due to the pandemic, I couldn’t join the bank. So, I looked for alternatives and landed a job in a US-based company. I am happy with work as of now and do not plan to leave. First day was nice, I had an induction, was made aware of new apps, trained on cyber security, and so on.

While everything has its pros and cons, for me, WFH has more cons than pros. I am not able to interact with colleagues and learn from them. So, this setup hinders growth in a way. I do get to talk to my colleagues over video conferences that take place every other day, but it is all about work, there is no personal interaction. Also, if you are in an office, you can approach anyone anytime, which is unlikely as everyone’s working from home.

At home, distractions are a given. My mom keeps on checking on me, asking me to have something. Once, I even erred because I was talking to my mom, and another time I had to rush to a friend’s place to work because of a (rare) power-cut in the area.

However, I feel blessed to have found a job right now. Around 30 per cent of my classmates didn’t get placed, including one of my close friends. So, I do have an idea how disturbing it is to be there. Another plus point is I don’t have to travel much. As I live in Kubernagar, everything is pretty far from my place and I get exhausted because of the travelling. As I am saving that time and energy, I have also been following my passion of cooking.

‘Work from home not ideal for freshers’
Dhruvin Mashruwala, Software engineer

GRADUATED FROM Nirma University

I got placed in a Hyderabad-based MNC during campus placements. Though I was nervous being away from family for the first time, I was looking forward to the experience — working in the 14-16 fl oor building boasting great amenities. I saw photographs of the office on the internet — the cubicles, canteen, everything looked quite appealing.

Besides, being on my own would have been a good learning experience. Two to three friends, who were with me during the internship, were also to join the same company. We had done a recce for a good fl at (to stay together), vegetarian restaurants near office (being Gujaratis) and a cricket ground (to pass time after office hours). Except for flight tickets, everything was in place.

I got my off er letter in June-end and was supposed to join in the first week of July. But there was confusion around lockdown in Hyderabad, and eventually, I had to work from home. The first day of work was all introductions — to the company, its projects, et al. Currently, my three-month training period is on, which involves watching videos and appearing for tests. Then, it will be decided which project I will be a part of. With few friends also joining along with me, the scenario isn’t completely unfamiliar.

But it is a bit difficult to concentrate on work at home. Though I have my own room — which many of my friends don’t have, my two-year-old nephew often likes to see his uncle. Work from home is not an ideal option for freshers as we have not understood the corporate world yet. It might work fine for someone who has been in the industry for at least two-three years. Having said that, I feel so lucky to have got a job in these trying times. It is our everyday dining table conversation.

Godina Ganga Hrishikesh

Godina Ganga Hrishikesh

‘Didn’t feel like I joined work’

Godina Ganga Hrishikesh, Junior android development intern

GRADUATED FROM IIT, Gandhinagar (giving final exams currently)

EXPECTATION I was recruited at this automotive tech start-up during campus placements in December. I didn’t have any specific expectations from my first job and was ready to work from anywhere, provided I gained experience. So, working from home wasn’t an issue as well, I am enjoying work. However, this setup won’t work in the long term.

REALITY I had joined as an intern due to the uncertainty around our fi nal exams. Once I provide them with the degree certificate, I will be made an employee. I joined the company in mid-April, when lockdown was still enforced. So, I had no other option than to work from home starting from Day 1 itself. It didn’t actually feel like I joined work

The first day was induction. We have these video conferences but I haven’t seen my colleagues properly. Technically, there is no problem, but personally, it seems bizarre. Face-toface interactions are a necessity in a work environment.

Neel Mehta

Neel Mehta

‘Getting time to focus on myself’

Neel Mehta, Site reliability engineer intern

GRADUATED FROM LJ College of Engineering (awaiting fi nal exams)
Getting a job off er through campus placements was a big deal for me. The technology I was assigned was new, the payroll was good and the workplace was near home. I had no plans to move out of the city either. So, it was an ideal job. I joined the fi rm in January, while pursuing my undergraduate studies as we had to be trained before joining full-time.
The lockdown was imposed in March, the last month of my training, and as the company wasn’t left with many projects, they decided not to recruit us. I was heartbroken. After three to four weeks, I started looking for jobs. Meanwhile, a friend told me about a company looking for freshers. I went for the interview and got selected the same day. I have joined as an intern, once I get the degree certifi cate, I will be made permanent. I feel lucky to have a job when people are losing theirs or enduring heavy pay cuts or aren’t getting salaries at all. Location isn’t a problem, neither is my current salary. The only diff erence is that in the earlier company, I was appointed as a developer, while here I take care of websites. This means I have to work in shifts. So, while usually people might wake up late and start work later, I have to rise early for the morning shift.

I am free by 3.30pm, so is my dad, who is a stock broker. So, I get to spend time with him, learn about the stock market, banking sector and the current situation.
I am getting time to focus on myself too. I have started working out and am learning new languages.

Of course, there are cons to the situation as well. It is difficult to know company policies and culture sitting at home. Reaching out to colleagues is difficult too. Though we call each other every day, face-to-face interaction is a diff erent experience. I have my own room, and there is hardly any disturbance from family. But there have been incidents like during an online interview, my grandma walked in to inquire why I hadn’t left for the interview. So, I guess, all of us have to be prepared for the new normal.

Varsha Narayanan

Varsha Narayanan

‘Missing on-field reporting’

Varsha Narayanan, Writer for an online platform

GRADUATED FROM Christ University,Bengalur

While I was still pursuing my masters in Media and Communication Studies, my current boss had come to our college for a lecture. A few of my classmates and I were given the opportunity to work for his online platform that tends to the rural and tribal population. I was looking forward to on-fi eld reporting, going to places, talking to people and gaining experience. Also, as I completed my masters from Bengaluru itself, I have friends there with whom I go out and explore various food joints.

All my plans were thwarted when the lockdown was announced. While leaving the PG, no one expected the pandemic to hit the country so badly, so we didn’t know we won’t be meeting for so long. So, we left all our things at the PG. Now, I only have a few clothes with me; I have also been paying rent unnecessarily. When it comes to work, I am not able to go out in the fi eld, we are working with whatever content available. First few days were just basic induction of what they do, what they write, looking at similar platforms, testing our writing skills, et al. Initially, it was difficult to grasp everything because it was all online; it is easier understanding in-person. Meeting colleagues in video calls is not exactly meeting, is it? So, it was a bit awkward the first few weeks. But three months later, I have gained clarity.

On the flip side, it is comfortable to work in my space and there is no deadline pressure. But I’d still opt to go to office and work. Being a single child is boring and all you can do is binge-watch shows and movies. I have been writing, cooking, reading, and watching movies with my parents.

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