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AHMEDABAD: D-Day is still four months away. Yet, on Monday, the B-school fraternity found the sentiment back after a gap of one year, withappointments with IIM-A, the first among the IIMs to hold summer placements.

Day Zero for the first year students of the 2009-11 batch saw blue-chip recruiters like i-banks, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Barclays (five acceptances each), JP Morgan, Nomura, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, and consultants like McKinsey, The Boston Consulting Group and Bain returning to the IIM-A campus with gusto, picking up more number ofstudentsthan they did on the first day last year, for the two-month internship. While IIM-A did not give out the total number of offers made on the first day,unconfirmed reports put the figure at around 100, much higher than the 55 offers made on Day Zero last year.

While the B-school fraternity was expecting a good summers season, the return of the i-banks, the battered lot during the year-long slowdown that began in the aftermath of Lehman Brothers collapse, changed the sentiment.

The sentiment turned upbeat in the first hour of the day when the word got out that Goldman Sachs, now in an aggressive hiring mode, picked up students. The positive mood prevailed throughout the day with students pressing for a chance to intern with companiesrepresenting banking and finance sectors a trend that had seen a beating in the 2008 summers when only 32% students opted for finance, a sharp decline from 57% students opting to intern with the sector the year before. Finance has always been the most sought-after sector at the IIM-A.

Apart from i-banks, major global consulting firms, too, madeinternshipoffers to the first-year students of the flagship PGP course. Global banks and consulting firms like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, among others, made five offers each on the first day of the internship process. While Royal Bank of Scotland hired more than 10 students in investment banking profiles in Hong Kong, Singapore, New Delhi and London, global banks like JP Morgan, Nomura, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Citigroup, too, picked up students for internship.

Day Zero of the summer placement process saw enthusiastic response from our regular partners from the fields of investment banking and consulting. Most students today were placed in investment banking and consulting roles, said Himanshu Nema, secretary, placement cell, IIM-A. Top consulting firms like McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group and Bain will each have 3-5 students joining them for summer internships in April next year. Among other topconsultingcompaniesthat recruited were AT Kearney, Booz and Arthur D Little.

A day that began with great apprehension for the first-year students gradually brought relief and cheer to the students as they found that placements on expected lines, with regular partners back to recruit and some new firms to choose from, said Rohan Desai, secretary, Media Cell at IIM-A.

As many as 315 students of the flagship post-graduate programme (PGP) and agri-businessmanagement(ABM) students of 2009-11 batches are participating in the summer internship process. Summer internships are a mandatory requirement of the course and students will spend 8-10 weeks in these companies in the months of April-May next year.