If all your answers in your society interviews were related to if you would be able to get sponsorships, whether it be the dramatics society or the placement cell, then this piece is for you.
On a bright sunny day, just before fest season begins, one can witness sleep- deprived college students burdened with lack of funds, and begging for sponsorships at many conference rooms. The hustle for getting sponsorships is quite exhausting for all, and even worse for freshers.
Being a fresher is daunting enough, as right outside the comfortable womb of school, you are settling-in, and yet exploring. In all this chaos, being sent on a sponsorship trip can give you something resembling an existential crisis.
Here are a few reasons why most freshers do not sign up for the sponsorship team in their societies:
The third-years of your society are like gods to you. Whatever they say becomes the gospel truth, and perhaps, that is why you sign up for calling random cafés, IAS institutes, and local start-ups. It is very convenient how most seniors forget that you have literally no contacts, and to approach A-list companies without contacts is like getting full marks in a mathematics paper: highly improbable. What you are left with then, is visiting these institutions and cafés with your five-minute-long prepared speech on how your society event will provide them with the best marketing platform. If you are an introvert, you are allowed to cry in a corner, due to the added pressure of awkward interactions.
Dimple, a first-year member of the debating society of her college, said, “All we did few weeks before our inter- college parliamentary debate competition was call clients, asking to meet them. It was so awkward. We genuinely felt like Vodafone call centre asking people to shift from Airtel. Much before we were actually taught how to do parliamentary debates, we were taught how to get sponsorships.”
The Dreaded Rejection
Even if you bring your price down, from INR 1,00,000 to INR 10,000, there is a good chance that you still might not seal the deal. If you felt that the biggest battle was for you to make them agree to see your proposal, bazinga, you have been lied to. Most companies will just peruse through your seniors’ Power Point presentation-cum-proposal, and never actually give you any money. After a million follow-ups and a thousand requests of “please revert soon”, you realise that this was all just a move towards a dead- end. Then comes the sudden realisation that in the next society meeting, you have nothing to show for your work. Rhea Ahuja, Marketing Cell, Sri Venkateswara College, said, “With so much anticipation we send our proposals to the clients, later to just be dejected. I genuinely don’t like asking for sponsorships as most of them have already spent their budget on colleges like Shri Ram College of Commerce and Hindu College. They just stall us, only to reject us later.”
It so happens that despite the reckless marketing, you are far from your desired budget. Then comes the most resource management any college student has ever done, from the tents to the water cooler, and somehow you manage to get everything downsized. Refreshments go from delicious Domino’s pizzas that you wanted to offer, the same way Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies did, to the samosa, Frooti, and Lay’s chips available in the canteen. There remains the joy of figuring out the weirdest of solutions while freaking out completely.
Whatever you must say, I would highly advice all of you to be a part of this madness, at least once. You will learn to find calm in chaos, you will meet tons of people, and you will be loaded with self- confidence. Now that is a deal that cannot be compromised upon!
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat Archives