Friday, May 29, 2009

On Creativity

Looking back, I think my placements season at IIMK was one of the most depressing periods of my life. Being a fresher, I'd be shortlisted for almost every process only to be eliminated in the GD round. You see, I was never the one to share opinions forcibly. Also, a very dear friend of mine once remarked that the aim of a placement process should be to act as a lubricant between the companies and the students so as to ease the interaction between the two parties. And I've always been of the opinion that GD is not the best way of doing the same. I digress.

So as I was telling, I'd usually be eliminated in the GD round. But there were times when I was lucky enough to make it to the interview round. And it was during one of those interviews that we had an interesting conversation on creativity - the interviewer and I. The company in question had come to recruit for a marketing role. And I was one of the first few to be called in. My interview was going fine. I had written a paper on the "Effectiveness of use of sexuality in advertisements" and we were discussing the same. We spoke about Indian brands which have used varying shades of sexuality in their campaigns.

Suddenly, out of the blue, the interviewer asks me, "You claim that you're creative. Why dont you tell me how you'd use sexuality in promoting our products?" And that was that. I spaced out. I could not come up with anything. You see, I've always thought of creativity as one of my forte and here, sitting right across me, was a gentleman who was asking me to prove it. I just could not come up with anything!

Which is when I gathered my guts and spoke, "Sir, there are two types of creative people that I know of - the naturally gifted ones and otherwise. The naturally gifted ones are like the instant, maggi-noodles type who can give you a bucketload of ideas in two minutes. Unfortunately, I belong to the other category. Hence I will need some prodding in the right direction before I can actually come up with something." (I took 30 seconds to think of these lines before I started delivering them)

Frankly, I expected him to be happy that I was not one of those stereotypical, IIM egomaniacs. Unfortunately, I could not read much into his poker-faced expression. However, he offered some pointers on how we could go about integrating sexuality in the products without actually offending our target audience. And I took the cues rather gladly thus making it more of a discussion than an interview as we exchanged the pros and cons.

The interview finished on a rather smooth note. I shall not tell if I made it through or not but it did make me introspect on how creative I actually am. For a day.

PS: A totally random post. Blame I.V!

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