Here is a glimpse of how the placement process was and some related fundaes, from our recent alumnus, Mitul Shah, from the Department of Engineering Design, who is now placed at FinMechanics, a day 1 company during the placement season.

Placement Process Review – Non-Core

Firstly, being from ED gives you a little disadvantage here. We have a compulsory 6-month internship during our 8th semester, which is right before our placements. Because of this, I did not get sufficient time to spend with my seniors to get fundaes from them about the process as my mates from the other branches did. So, when I came back in June, I had readily met several people regarding the same. So, basically, my preparation started in June, unlike most other department students. I was sure that I was not going to choose a core company. So, I was preparing for non-core, mostly finance or analytics. I had prior experience as in intern, related to analytics. Both of my interns were sort of related to computational geometry. I had also done a few online courses related to analytics. This helped me prepare for my analytics part. For finance, I had just been reading around about it, and companies that come to the institute. There aren’t many companies coming to the institute for finance. Due to this, I was able to individually prepare for each of these companies.

One major thing that I learnt here was that finance companies don’t care much about your financial knowledge. They check your logic and general knowledge skills. They do check your basic knowledge in the field, like shares, bonds, etc. Also, try your best to develop your aptitude skills. It is very important to have this. This is one major criterion to get shortlisted in good companies. As walk-ins begin from day 3, getting shortlisted in companies from day 3 isn’t really a great deal. Develop your aptitude skills by giving mock CAT papers. Do not feel overconfident, thinking that since you are good at math, aptitude tests would be easy for you. You will be able to solve the questions, but not in the stipulated time. The time factor develops only with practice.

If you aim to get into non-core, I suggest you have some basic knowledge of coding. Any language is fine, but what matters is your initial coding ability. There will be some easy questions from this aspect in your papers. It is not a prerequisite in most companies, but definitely beneficial everywhere.

Fundaes from Seniors

Get in good contact with seniors and talk to them about their placements and gather good fundaes. This was one challenge to me, as a student from ED. It is best to personally meet your seniors, not ignoring the possibility of discussing over calls. The best time for this would be your 8th semester. This is because even your seniors shall be almost in peace this time, in their last semester, and hence shall help you around.

Resume Building

Begin working on your resume from the end of your 8th semester, around June. This will help you come out with several iterations of your resume, thus finalizing on the best one. Every senior will give you a different input, which will collectively help you. Keep a few seniors aside, those you trust a lot. Consult them in either the beginning of the process or the end of the process. They will clearly guide you. This might even result in your final resume being completely different from your initial draft, which is completely fine. The earlier you start, the better. I had seen a few friends of mine, who had started in late – July, which is very late. You will not get much time to optimize it as much possible. The best way to write a resume is to initially sit and write down all the points, even if they go down to 3 or 4 pages. Now, format it according to the domain that you are applying for.

Also, keep your resume realistic. Do not give them hopes like you will grow their company by some 20% or so, which is not so feasible. Numbers are important, but are impactful if kept realistic. Make sure you are able to justify whatever you have put up in your resume.

Choice of Companies

Also, it is advised to do some online courses. Not all courses are found in the institute curriculum. Choose these courses according to the domain you are applying in. It is fine if you don’t have your list of companies chosen, but at least have a specific set of domains chosen, instead of randomly applying for all companies in all domains. This will also help you plan accordingly for the entrance criteria and the tests.

PoRs

Most students think that PoRs aren’t important. Well, most companies do not look much at those, but there are a few who actually care about it. You could take this as a way to drive your interview through your PoRs. I did this as I had a lot of PoRs. You could also justify your time management skills with your PoRs. Also, note here that consulting does require a good set of PoRs. And not just for placements, PoRs are stuff that you shall remember for life. This primarily develops your skills, that actually shape your life, if pursued effectively.

The HR Round

Prepare yourself nicely for the HR Round. Most companies will have an HR Round. It might also happen that despite your extremely good skills and stuff, you may not get selected if your HR round goes bad. In the HR Round, they basically ask a set of questions. They ask you about yourself, and other such stuff. From my experience, I would say, refrain from telling points which are already put up in your resume. Try keeping your responses brief and crisp. This will keep them interested and also reduce the chances of giving them loopholes of some negative aspects. Most common questions include stuff like, where do you see yourself in 5 years, how will the company benefit from you, etc. The best time to prepare for HR is November.

Peer Group

Your friends are really important during the placements. They help you in several aspects and all of you can benefit from each other. For instance, in our wing, we used to have mock interviews. We used to practice with each other, not with the aim of competing amongst ourselves, but developing all of our abilities and skills simultaneously. Mock interviews actually help you as they bring out several new and unexpected questions. You could prepare for your Group Discussions too, with your group. Keep updating each other with current affairs. This is important too.

Work Profile

I am working in FinMechanics, based in Mumbai. As a financial technology company, we provide services to various financial institutions. We provide software and other platforms to trade and perform other actions of the company. We also have consulting projects, wherein we connect with banks, and we help them set up their offices in different localities.

Student to Alumnus? 😛

Being a student is always better than being an alumnus (having stressed on this fact much more than you could think XD). I even now miss the institute very badly. Having enjoyed our time there so much, stepping out as an alumnus reminds us that we no more have the institute for all those fun stuff. You can’t roam around freely and now you have more responsibilities to manage. There is a lot to be missed. In short, the institute is something that you shall cherish forever.

Final Piece of Advice

Don’t stress out. There are a lot of companies which come to recruit. Everyone will get placed. It’s just a matter of who puts more hard work towards this. Also, remember that you not getting recruited doesn’t necessarily mean that there is some fault in you. There are some companies which look out for specific student profiles. They could find it in some random candidate too. During the interviews, it is important to be stress-free and confident. If you aren’t aware of a topic, accept this fact in front of them, instead of wildly guessing and taking random shots. These are the two keys to ace an interview. Make sure to practice a lot for this process. There is no limit to this. The more you practice, the more you learn and hence, the better the process turns out for you.  

Author – Pranit Mehta (DD – ED ‘22)

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_iit.madras