Saptarshi Prakash in his own words is “a tireless seeker of knowledge, techno-maniac, ardent appreciator of minimalism, occasional purveyor of wisdom and an Electrical Engineer”. He was the Design Core of Shaastra 2012 and Mitr Core Member from 2013-14. Saptarshi ‘Fingers’ Prakash is a 2014 Batch Electrical Engineer currently working as Project Manager at Cerner Corporation.
1. How was your placement experience?
Placement experience was great! I was lucky to have gotten placed in the first interview which I appeared for. I got placed in two companies, Cerner Corporation and Times Internet (A few days later after an additional telephonic interview). I chose to join Cerner as a Project Manager.
2. What are the job profiles offered by Cerner?
During our time, Cerner offered 4 profiles
- Software Engineer
- Project Manager
- Business Analyst
- Solution Designer
3. How important are Positions of Responsibility, CGPA, and extra-curricular activities?
They had a very basic coding aptitude test followed by a resume shortlist. I don’t think CG was one of the major selection criteria. They were looking for people who had the capability of getting things done in real life (For the post of Project Manager at least). In this regard, the positions of responsibilities which I held in insti, helped a lot. I never ran out of things to talk about during the interviews; thanks to my PoRs again.
4. Why did you choose this area of work?
In my first year itself I discovered that the managerial and corporate roles excited me more than Electrical Engineering. Hence, a core job was out of the question. I didn’t apply to a single core company. I wanted to get in to the field of Consulting, General Management or Product Management. So, I was happy to be selected as a Project Manager, which is a combination of Product and People Management.
5. Simply put, what does your work involve doing?
Keeping it as simple as possible, my daily work as a Project Manager is nothing but an advanced level of Shaastra/Saarang Coreship. My main work is to get work done. Just like a Shaastra core is in charge of a few team(s), in Cerner, I am in-charge of two teams/solutions (around 15 members each) comprising of Software Engineers, Solution Designers and Test Designers. My daily work includes, resource planning, deciding delivery dates, allocating work to the Software Engineers, removing roadblocks, communicating with other teams, following up with Senior Management, directors etc. We follow Agile Methodologies which can be considered as a derivative of Lean Manufacturing system (may sound like jargons, but these can be easily mastered). Agile is a Software Development Life Cycle technique used by most of the well knows software companies.
6. What advice would you give to students sitting for placements?
For people applying for similar profile, prepare answers for some interview questions like, “Tell me about Yourself”, “Tell me about a situation when you….” etc. Spend a good 7 to 10 days preparing these answers. Write them down, and retrospect them daily. Read them out to yourself or to your friends. Speak out just like the way you would do to the interviewer. Try and make your replies as interesting as possible. Be fluent and clear with your thoughts and communication. Do some research about the company. Cerner recently acquired Siemens Healthcare. Read about the acquisition if you happen to get shortlisted.
7. How has Insti helped you with your work?
The kind of experience that we get in insti, specially outside the classroom, is very similar to the real world outside. This definitely gives us an edge over other people.
P.S.: Final years who may have queries regarding job profiles and placement fundaes with respect to Cerner Corporation may comment on this post or contact directly the Blog team (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reach the alumni mentioned above. The team wishes to create an IIT Madras Network to enhance the placement process and experience for our final years. They are also requested to keep in mind that the above are merely guidelines that pass-outs wish to pass on and are not rigid or sure-shot ways to make it through interviews.
The Blog Team wishes all the final years sitting for placements all the very best of luck in their endeavours!
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