Rahul Sahani, from the Department of Civil Engineering, was placed at Citi Bank. In this interview with Chennai36, he talks about his journey in the institute and recounts his placement experience.

What does your work at Citibank involve doing?

The work here is mostly web development and coding. Quite a few are not from a CS background so we have to undergo some training. Currently, what I’m working on is a web application wherein we have to shift a web app that was built  5 years ago to another platform. This will be my project for the next 2-3 months. 

What profiles were you aiming for? Any particular courses that helped?

I was slightly into core but mostly it was analytics. Coding was also there since many companies have tests related to coding. So, I was preparing for stuff related to coding, probability, statistics etc.

The math course on Probability and statistics was one helpful course. More similar courses would indeed be of great help. It is something that is tested by most companies. I also had a course in my 6th semester on transport network analysis which involved lots of algorithms, this definitely helped me in my interview if not the test.

Tell us about the selection procedure for Citi and how you went about preparing for the various stages.

Citi was offering 3 profiles. They might have had kept a CGPA criterion for the test. Regarding the content of the test, there was a section on coding, another on aptitude and also on comprehension and English. There were some basic coding problems that one had to solve.

Since my branch was civil, I only had one course on coding back in my first year. So, I started working on coding in my final year by myself through platforms like HackerRank, pariksha.co to hone my coding skills. I would recommend starting earlier as some companies require more than basic coding. Also, ample practice is required to attempt all the questions in the coding test.

Coming to the interviews, the first round was technical. There were questions pertinent to coding such as sorting algorithms, basic OOPs concepts, data structures. Those who weren’t familiar with coding went for the math section and were asked math-related questions like puzzles of sorts. This was followed by a round of HR questions. 

How has your perception of the company changed from before placement to within the company?

Before placements, I had gathered from my friends (who had interned over here) that it’s going to be a lot of coding. After coming here, I saw that it’s a grad programme of 2 years. In the first year, they put you on rotation, assigning you to a particular department. In the second year, you are allowed to pick a department of your choice, out of 7-8 departments like equities, foreign exchange etc. Also, there isn’t much finance involved, the profile is mostly tech-oriented. After the first 2 years, you could apply to other openings within Citi. 

What would be your advice to the students who are planning to take a similar path as you did?

My advice to students is to practise coding well, it does help in getting shortlists. And it doesn’t hurt to get at least 4-5 shortlists. People get through the aptitude section quite easily but it is the coding section where some might get stuck. Placement phase is a highly unpredictable time of your life. People often tend to give in to the pressure of not being selected on Day 1 or 2. I would suggest applying to multiple companies of a given profile so as to increase the chances of getting a shortlist. Try to start preparing for placements as early as the sixth semester. Also, don’t neglect HR questions and Group Discussions. All the best!

Author: Ishan Buxy (BT-CE ’21)

This article is part of the series – The Placement Guru. To get regular updates on all our articles, follow us on Facebook at /chennai36 and Instagram at chennai36_iitm