Harshith Srinivas, a 4th year undergraduate of Electrical Engineering spent his summer working the leading company in processing financial transactions – VISA. Here he shares with us his experience through the selection process and elucidates details about his experience through the summer. Following the excerpt from our interview with Harshith.

Tell us about the company.

Visa is a multi-national financial services corporation which issues credit and debit cards. It has its headquarters at Foster City, California. Visa opened an office in Bangalore two years ago which solely takes care of the tech operations.

Tell us about the selection process. What did you think were the factors behind your selection?

Selection Process

The selection process we had for Visa was simple. It consisted of a technical test (coding) followed by an interview. The company was open for both EE and CS students.

The coding test had three questions and a time limit of 90 minutes. The test gave us the freedom to code in any language we were comfortable with. Coming from an electrical background, I would say the questions were not so difficult for people who have a fair bit of experience in programming. The factor that mattered most in the test was speed. The faster one could code, the better his result would be.

A set of students were shortlisted from the programming round and were called for an interview. Every student had only one round of interviews. A few CS students had only an HR interview while the other CS students had only Tech interviews. Most of the EE students had only one round of HR. Taking the test and interview in consideration, 7 (5 EE and 2 CS) people were selected for the Internship.

Factors behind Selection

I would like to start by briefing my resume. At that point of time, my resume did not consist of many technical projects or previous internships but it did reflect my presence in college activities through POR’s and extra-curricular and according to me these did play a major role to my selection. Everyone’s question in the interview was centered at ‘what we did in college for the past two years’. I would say the recruiters were not looking at how much we knew but how quick we learnt things and to what scale we’ve been dedicated to our work. Leadership and Team work were the most important qualities they were looking for. You would definitely have an advantage if you’ve already been in situations which reflect the qualities mentioned above.

The work culture here is fun.

Did you have to do any preparation/work prior to the selection (as in interview)?

I would say not much preparation is required for the interview. They want you to reflect your exact self in the interview. They take you for what you are and what you can be.

For the test, if you do not feel confident enough in programming skills, it’d be better to brush them prior to the test. Any language would do, they do not expect you to be an expert in every programming language.

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What is your work there? How does a typical day at the internship go? How is the work culture there?

My project is an automation process which helps in the self-maintenance of servers at Visa. It involves a lot of coding. In technical terms, I use Java and AngularJS for my project.

The timings here are flexible but most interns start their day at 8:30 AM and end it at 5:00 PM. The typical day at Visa would consist of work, 2-3 meetings to discuss about the project, a few hours of FIFA and other games, relaxing on the massage chair and a lot of snacks.

The work culture here is fun. There are many events that happen here at Visa some of which are organized by the interns. The employees are friendly and caring. Several office parties throughout your stay. Weekend outings with the office team.

How do you think this internship has helped you?

The company not only aims at teaching the intern a certain set of technical skills but also gives you a peek into the corporate world and teaches the several aspects linked to it.

Visa also gives you chance to meet the leaders of the company and interact with them. Events were conducted where we could talk to the SVP’s and other important people of the company and get to know their stories which really motivated us.

The event which helps an intern the most is the Intern Summit. (More has been stated about it in the 6th question)

Any fun/memorable moments at the internship?

There have been several such moments at the internship but the best would be the Intern Summit. I feel I can take the freedom of speaking for every intern at Visa and say that the best experience throughout our Internship was the Intern Summit.

The Intern Summit is an annual event conducted by Visa in which the interns all over the world would gather at one place, San Francisco. The summit is 3-day event which is a good learning experience as you get to learn from the best such as the CEO and is also packaged with a lot of fun activities. There are several break-out sessions where you learn about the corporate world and their market and also social activities which make you understand the impact of a corporate in the society.

For me, the summit was the best experience I could ever get. It was like living a dream.

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Lessons you have learnt at the internship that you would like to share.

Visa wasn’t something I expected that would happen to me but this is the best experience I could ever wish for. The lesson I would like to share with everyone is that not everything in life goes according to plan. Sometimes, things that are not planned turn out to be the best for you. Whatever company you’re in, whatever internship you’re doing; you would definitely get the chance to learn a lot. There is a lot in the world in the world we do not know of.

“If a door is shut, three others would open” – I feel this is exactly what happened with me.

Authors: Tanvi Shrivastav (BT-CE ’20) & Sanjana Paraz (BT-CE ’19)

This article is part of the series – The Intern Guru. To get regular updates on our articles follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/chennai36.