Pearls of wisdom from leaders for students

Campus Placement Tips: Pearls of Wisdom Shared By Leaders

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Posted by FirstNaukri Oct 02, 2019

As you step into the pre-final or final year of graduation and you are almost on the verge of completing your degree, the stress of campus placement starts taking over. Managing this pre-interview stress can become easy when the right environmental, physical and mental ways of dealing with it are applied. What you need at this juncture is a dose of wisdom on campus placements and first jobs, from global corporate leaders and entrepreneurs to pep you up!

One of the most outstanding features of people like Narayana Murthy, Azim Premji, Ratan Tata, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and the like is their talent for inspiring people, especially job seekers. Some of these names have built something huge from nothing like Narayan Murthy, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Kiran Majumdar Shaw and Mark Zuckerberg, some others have reused the wealth they made from a previous endeavor to build a thriving new startup like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, and the remaining are seasoned business owners cum influencers, like Jack Ma or Indira Nooyi, who reformed a decades-old franchise and transformed it into something new. There is something for us to learn from each one of these stalwarts.

In this article, we have collated exclusive tips (relevant for fresher job seekers) shared by these industry leaders. These are quotes spoken or written by these champions, as they counseled job seekers and college students about building a fruitful career.

Pearls of wisdom from leaders for students

Pearls of wisdom from leaders for students

📝NOTE: Tips shared by these top corporate leaders highlight the importance of smart learning, presentation skills, moral correctness, humbleness and moral ethics which can help you make a huge impact on your collective performance during job interviews and in your overall career journey.

NARAYAN MURTHY – Co-Founder, Chairman Emeritus & Chief Mentor – Infosys Ltd.

Narayan Murthy is known for encouraging the spirit of expression and free thoughts among youngsters. Over the years, his company has created certain values to underscore  a commitment to fairness. As a result, Infosys as a company is well known for a highly employee-friendly work culture today. Below are some words of wisdom spoken by Mr. Murthy.

“From the perspective of higher education, the first thing I learnt was that education is all about learning to learn. While in the classroom you learn subjects but in the process you are also learning critical thinking, curiosity, you learn to question etc. As you go into the real world, the most important lesson that higher education teaches you is learning to learn. Higher education teaches you to be pluralistic and to be tolerant of other views. Higher education is all about opinions – your opinion vs my opinion. I would as much respect your opinion as my own, but I may not follow yours.”

– As told at a recent Leadership Summit at St Xavier’s College in Mumbai. (Source: ET)

According to Mr. Murthy, “There are five elements of success. They are:

  • “First, openness to learn: Subordinate your ego to take ideas from others.
  • Second, meritocracy: The best ideas are adopted and implemented using data to arrive at the best decision.
  • Third, speed: Assuring you do things faster compared to yesterday and last quarter.
  • Fourth, imagination: You continually bring better ideas and better innovation to the table.
  • And finally, excellence in execution: That is implementation of these great ideas with a higher level of excellence today than yesterday.

I tell my colleagues that there is no guarantee we will be in business five or 10 years from now. The only guarantee is the opportunity for us to use these five attributes. If we embrace them, we’ll be in play five and 10 years from now. But the day we forget these, we’ll disappear like dew on a sunny morning.”

– As told during an interview conducted by Business Week Senior Writer Steve Hamm at Infosys’ office in Rockefeller Center, NY. (Source: Rediff)

RATAN TATA – Chairman, TATA Group

Ratan Tata, the chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, always urges students to think differently, generate ideas and keep working on those to achieve success in life. Below are some words shared by him during a recent interview.

“Many successful companies in today’s world are product of some individuals, who thought in a different way and generated ideas. Companies like Google, Apple, Facebook were started by individuals who felt something could be done and they made the difference. And you can see that. If you think you cannot make a difference, I would say you could make difference if you desire to do.

As you move on, don’t consider that you are coming out with a degree, which is a privilege. You will be moving from a protected environment to an environment where you will have to learn and listen. Your success is going to be humility. Remember what others say… that so and so person is a Nobel Prize winner and he never tells people about his achievements. You have to learn from this and humility will be your defense.

You should focus on the growth of the country, along with your own development. You, in the years ahead are going to be the leaders and shaping the destiny of this country.”

– As told during an address at the first convocation ceremony of Rajarambapu Institute of Technology, Rajaramnagar. (Source: TOI)

Azim Premji – Chairman, Wipro

In December 2010, Azim Premji pledged to donate US$2 billion for improving school education in India. This donation is the largest of its kind in India. He became the first Indian to sign up for The Giving Pledge, a campaign led by Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Below are some words he shared with students recently.

“I left college because I had to take over the responsibilities from my father, who died very young, at the age of 51. But eventually, many, many years later, I did get a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University

…The moment you have success, your expectations from the profession goes up. But more importantly, your expectations from yourself go up. And, I think, the only way to have sustained success is to keep competing with yourself. That’s the only enduring thing according to me.

My experience says that the girls are always turning out to be smarter consistently. You just look at the quality of questions that you get from the ladies in the audience. They are, in my opinion, far more intelligent than the questions you get from the boys. Girls take their careers more seriously. And girls, particularly in villages, take their careers even more seriously, once their parents give them the latitude to do that.”

– As told during the Earthian Awards in Bengaluru, to a room filled with school and college students. (Source: ET)

Indira Nooyi – former Chairman & CEO of PepsiCo

Indira Nooyi has consistently ranked among the world’s 100 most powerful women. Nooyi has a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics from Madras Christian College of the University of Madras and a PGDBA From IIM-C. Below are some words of wisdom shared by Nooyi on her last day as the Chairman & CEO of PepsiCo.


Image source: ET

“I encourage you: be mindful of your choices on the road ahead. Think hard about time.”

– As written in a ‘goodbye’ LinkedIn post for fellow employees. (Source: CNBC)

Have A Clear, Compelling Vision
Irrespective of one’s area of function – whether operations, sales, R&D, or any other – Nooyi says that it always pays to have “a clear, compelling vision for what you want to accomplish.” She goes back to the Bible – the Book of Proverbs – and quotes, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” to establish her case.

– As curated in an Economic Times article. (Source: ET)

Late Steve Jobs – Chairman, CEO, and Co-founder of Apple Inc.

Steve Jobs, along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, is widely recognized as a pioneer of the microcomputer revolution. This American inventor, designer and entrepreneur was also a highly passionate and creative person. Below are some powerful quotes spoken by Jobs.

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right. It made an impression on me and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

– A quotation by Jobs as read on Goodreads. (Source: GR)

“I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backward ten years later. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something-your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

– As delivered during Jobs’ famous Stanford Commencement address. (Source: Stanford.eduInc.)

Bill Gates – Principal founder of Microsoft, Co-chairman of BMGF

Bill Gates is an American computer programmer and entrepreneur who co-founded Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest personal-computer software company. He is also one of the most influential and richest people on our planet. Here are some pearls of wisdom on campus placement and crucial tips for college students, as told by him.

“College graduates are more likely to find a rewarding job, earn higher income, and even, evidence shows, live healthier lives than if they didn’t have degrees. They also bring training and skills into America’s workforce, helping our economy grow and stay competitive. That benefits everyone.”

“I’ve written before about how online courses are helping reduce tuition costs for college students and give them the flexibility to learn on their own schedule.”

– As written by Bill Gates himself. (Source: Gatesnotes)

“Surround yourself with people who challenge you, teach you, and push you to be your best self. Learn to recognize and appreciate people’s different talents.”

-As curated in a post by CNBC. (Source: CNBC)

Mark Zuckerberg – CEO, Facebook

Below are a few excerpts from Mark’s 2017 Harvard Commencement Address. Read these actionable campus placement tips and apply them in your life and career.

“What about your first lecture at Harvard? Mine was Computer Science 121 with the incredible Harry Lewis. I was late so I threw on a t-shirt and didn’t realize until afterwards it was inside out and backwards with my tag sticking out the front. I couldn’t figure out why no one would talk to me — except one guy, KX Jin, he just went with it. We ended up doing our problem sets together, and now he runs a big part of Facebook. And that, Class of 2017, is why you should be nice to people.”

“I’m here to tell you finding your purpose isn’t enough. The challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose… Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness.”

– As spoken by Mark Zuckerberg at a Harvard Commencement address. (Source: Harvard News)

Jeff Bezos – Founder & CEO, Amazon

Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world and the founder and CEO of Amazon. He has 4 children and he gives the same advice to his kids as any young person. He always urges his children and everyone starting out in their careers to pursue their passions because that will make it easier to succeed:

“Be proud of your choices, not your talents. You can be happy about being handsome or being good at math, but the innate traits you’ve been born with shouldn’t boost your sense of self-worth. Your work, however, is something you can be proud of. That’s a choice. When you do that well, it will lead to your success. By applying yourself, you can make the most of your talents and really set yourself apart. When you have a gift and then you work hard, you’re really going to leverage that gift.”

– As he said at a New York gala for FIRST, a global nonprofitpublished, and as curated by Zameena Mejia. (Source: CNBC)

Jack Ma – Founder & CEO,

Alibaba founder and CEO Jack Ma applied to over 30 jobs and got rejected by all of them after college. According to Google, today he is worth a whopping 38 billion USD! Also, as of October 2019, he is one of China’s richest men. He says,

“In life, it’s not how much we achieved, it’s how much we’ve gone through the tough days and mistakes. If you want to be successful, learn from the other people’s mistakes, don’t learn from the successful stories.

When you are 20 to 30 years old, you should follow a good boss and join a good company to learn how to do things properly. When you are 30 to 40 years old, if you want to do something yourself, just do it. You still can afford to lose, to fail. When you’re 40 to 50 years old, my suggestion is you should do things you are good at. When you are 50 to 60 years old, spend time training and developing young people, the next generation. When you are over 60 years old, you better stay with your grandchildren.”

-As cited by Ma at a group of young leaders invited to the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. (Source: CNBC)

Kiran Majumdar Shaw – Chairman & MD, Biocon

Kiran M. Shaw always encourages young students to look for a career and not just a ‘job’.

“I learned on the job, my sleeves rolled up. You pick up things on the way. Everybody knows what profit and loss is! It’s common sense, really. I learned the nuances of it on the way… I founded Bengaluru’s first startup and today, this is the startup capital of the world. You can choose to be an entrepreneur, but it all depends on your ability to face failure.”

-As cited by Shaw at her alma mater, Mount Carmel college in Bengaluru. (Source: ET)

Thus, the first step towards your career depends on how you prepare yourself mentally to face the interview and then face the realities of the job sector. Hope these expert tips curated above will give you confidence, help you prepare in advance and eventually crack the placement interview with flair. All the best!

Image credits: Infosys, Exchange4media LivemintVergeCNBCNYT, People, People, Peoplematters


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