Tanuj ‘Tdot’ Jhunjhunwala is a 2014 Dual Degree Batch Mechanical Engineer (Product design). Known for his passion for Technology, he was an integral part of CFI throughout his Insti life. He was the Events Core of Shaastra 2013 and further led Shaastra to its biggest ever edition in 2014 in his capacity as the Institute Co-Curricular Affairs Secretary. Currently working as a Manager at Tata Motors ERC, he describes his nature of work and placement experiences.
How was your placement experience?
Overall my placement experience was comparatively relaxed as I was only applying for FMCG and Core Mechanical companies. I had made up my mind that I wasn’t interested to App or apply for an MBA or for a non-core company at that moment in life. So my target was set for only core mechanical companies and thus I prepared accordingly for placements. Unfortunately, that year only a few good mechanical core companies showed up for placements.
Tell us more about your Personal interviews?
ITC :- Interview questions were very basic like “Tell about yourself”, “What have you done in insti that you are proud of?” and so on. They asked me a few technical questions on my internship and a project. Resume preparation is really useful here. Later on some HR questions like “If I ask someone outside about you, what will they say?”. The interview went pretty well. My second interview happened with some senior employees of ITC. It was a stress interview about my life goals and the career path I would like to take up and if ITC would be the right place for me. I stuck to my values and what I want to do. Finally I wasn’t selected because they felt I might not stay in the company for long. Overall to crack this company you need a strong resume that has projects, PoRs and everything else that shows you have worked hard.
Rolls Royce :- They had a test the previous day which had basic mechanical core questions. I was shortlisted for the final interviews. They had shortlisted only 5 people for PIs. Their technical round went on for about 1.5 hrs. They had some technical case studies in the interview, some sectional engineering drawings in which they ask you to find out some parameters. I had prepared basic aircraft engines, turbo engines, heat cycles etc. for this. I couldn’t answer many questions as it was pretty difficult to figure out those drawings. There were a few basic HR questions asked too. The second round was a presentation we had to give to them highlighting our skills, projects, work done, why we want to join RR and so on. It was a behavioral PPT. I had put all the PoRs, projects, competitions with pictures in this ppt. I put my skills, what I am good at and so on. After all these rounds they ended up taking only 1 person for the Aero profile. I strongly advise all mechanical students to prepare really well for the technical interview.
GE :- They asked mechanical core questions especially from Strength of Materials. It went deeper into Failure theories and Stress-Strain curves. There were no questions asked from the resume. They look for people with proper core fundaes. I think I shouldn’t have put my PoRs for this company. They thought I had an FMCG profile.
Tata Motors :- My interview started with core questions. Basic Stress-Strain, Material questions were asked. Since it is an automobile company, some projects/information on core automobiles fundaes will surely help. Questions like “Brake disc and brake pad, which will heat up more” or “Which is more ductile casting or forging” were asked. The HR asked a few questions too “One incident when ……..” They didn’t really look at my resume.
Why did you choose this area of work?
I chose core mechanical because I have been passionate about this from a while. My internships have been in automotive assembly lines, production lines, Automotive R&D and an international exposure on the production line. These experiences made me realize that I would like to pursue something similar at the moment. Also the tech projects done in insti (as part of Shaastra, CFI, coursework, DDP) helped me realize the same.
This decision was all based on my experiences in life at that moment which I knew would change overtime. Moving from core to non-core is possible but vice versa is harder. So even if I didn’t like core I could move to non-core (after an MBA maybe) or opt for higher education in life later. That is how my thinking went about before placements.
What are the job profiles offered by Tata Motors ?
Tata Motors ERC (Engineering research centre) has 4 verticals namely Commercial vehicles (Bus/trucks/mini trucks), Passenger vehicles (Compact, hatchbacks, sedans, UVs and SUVs), Vehicle attributes (Crash testing, NVH, climate control and so on) and Engines. You will be allotted the vertical based on your preferences and available vacancies.
They recruit IITians for the post of Manager. The first 6 months is a training period where you undergo 3 months rotation in 2 different departments. This is like an internship where you get to work on 2 small R&D projects. This helps in getting used to the company/departments, the work style and then deciding on the final department you would like to work in after the rotations. After which you assist on a major project the company is working on and coordinate all the activates related to your department.
Simply put, what does your work involve doing?
I am currently undergoing my first rotation in the Passenger vehicle segment in the “Cockpit and Console” team that takes care of design and development of the dashboard of a car. My job is to coordinate the prototyping (with vendors outside Tata Motors) and testing (climate/vibration/crash) of the dashboard. The dashboard parts are then re-engineered based on the feedback received after the testing and they undergo the same process until the finalized cockpit is as per company targets and requirements related to cost/safety/aesthetics and so on.
What has your experience at Tata Motors been like?
My experience till now has been decent. Have been here for only 2 and half months (which involved 1 month of induction) so haven’t really done a lot. Tata motors ERC is one of the best rated Indian Automotive R&Ds. There are a lot of people working across different departments on one single vehicle, thus getting work done/processed/approved is challenging and requires perseverance and patience.
What does Tata motors look for in its potential employees? Interview tips?
Tata Motors has been investing a lot on R&D over the past years as they have a strategy to launch a lot of vehicles in the next few years. They are looking for people who would stay long in the company, with a blend of core engineering knowledge and people management skills. So I would recommend students to revise up on their courses well before the interviews. In some IITs they only asked resume based questions while in others in was pure technical interview. So prepare for both well.
What advice would you give to students sitting for placements?
Everyone knows about the Do’s and Don’ts for interviews/GDs etc.
I would just like to tell that do not worry about your first job. No one knows (at that point) where they want to work at. It’s all a gut feeling based on some information you have from ppts/interests/seniors/past experiences etc. You are just applying to companies you “feel” you might like to work at. Sit through it, enjoy the experience, and get placed. After joining and working for a while you will realize what you would like to do in life. You will see people with different experiences and qualifications around you which will make you realize your life goals. Many people stay in their first job for long, many switch through companies within months. It’s all an experiment. And without this experiment you honestly cannot realize what you want. You do not have any major responsibilities (financially) with your first job which gives you the freedom to take risks. If you hate your first job, you now know what you didn’t like for sure and that’s not a gut feeling anymore, it’s an experience.
How has Insti helped you with your work?
Insti has prepared me well for the corporate world. Having worked with Shaastra and CFI a lot, I am happy to say that our team structures and working is pretty much similar to corporate life. Right from making ppts, budgeting, presenting to higher ups, doing course projects, taking initiatives and so on, insti slowly and steadily prepares you (occasionally allowing you to make mistakes) for life. The co-curricular activities help you realize your interests. The PoRs give you enough authority and platform to learn and take responsibilities and risks at a small scale but with that experience you can boom steadily in corporate life. CGPA is important for the shortlist. No matter how long your resume is the first screening is by CGPA alone.
Any last words of advice to juniors?
Campus placements “may” decide your first job. Its just an assured chance to get a job. There are huge opportunities apart from campus placements. On Placement day it’s also about luck. Not only your luck but your co-applicant’s luck and the recruitment team’s luck (who shouldn’t miss their flight to reach in time for your interview J). Your dream company can ditch campus placements one night before your so-waited interview or an MNC can show up on Day 20 with a 20+ lakh package. The tension/pressure you take before placements is just not worth it.
All the best to all…