BENGALURU: Fresh engineering graduates joining GCCs (global capability centres of MNCs) are hugely aspirational. They are reluctant to do grunt work. And they are particularly eager to work on the most fashionable technologies – AI, in today’s context. A recent LinkedIn study found that GenZ is more AI-ready than others as they focus on doing AI-specific courses.
But this is becoming a pain point for GCCs, all of whom are trying to find ways to temper expectations and help freshers understand the end-to-end needs of the engineering and software assembly lines.

“My biggest struggle with this generation is that they talk only about AI and ML. Just out of college, they do not understand that in a sector like banking, AI cannot be deployed just like that, that banks are bound by lots of regulations,” Srikanth Gopalakrishnan, CIO for people and head of the India technology centre, Deutsche Bank Group, said.
To deal with this, the bank gets trainees to do at least two projects over one year, after which they can choose a permanent project. As a result of this exercise, Gopalakrishnan said that many of them look for projects based on the exposure they get and not just the technology. In this process, freshers are also made to understand that work such as resolving tickets will be a huge part of their daily job in the initial years. “When they come out of college, they have a mindset that work is always about writing code from scratch,” he added.
Vaidyanathan Seshan, SVP and India tech hub head for Canadian athletic apparel company Lululemon, said freshers come with the idea that their work will consist only of coding. Part of the initial training therefore involves giving fresh graduates a deep dive into the retail sector. During a three-month bootcamp, freshers are not put on any project, but are taught things like Java, cloud services, and how and what sort of data they should go after.
“We help them differentiate between a science experiment in college and real-life business,” Seshan says. They are also asked to shadow a senior employee so that processes are understood, and the trainee gets an idea of the sort of products used by the firm. Seshan says this helps them get over the obsession with buzz words.
A similar approach is used by professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal, where a senior supervises the work for a few months. “The most important thing for us is to make sure that freshers understand what GCCs do and how they can build a successful long-term career with us,” says Manish Goyal, MD & GCC lead for India. This, he says, is not really possible during the internship. “We have found that the best way is to put them on a project with a seasoned professional. The fresher works with senior managers in an apprenticeship model. This way, freshers get deep exposure and learning,” he says.
Subashini Sriram, HR head at healthcare technology GCC Carelon Global Solutions, calls this generation of graduates “aspirational”.