As a part of our Placement Guru vertical, Chennai36 got in touch with Suparna(EP batch of 18 ) to talk to her about her placement experience.
Insti LIfe: How it all began
My life in insti mostly revolved around academics. I also played badminton during my first two years, I never made it into the insti team, but I enjoyed the game. I used to ask questions about acads to my seniors. I worked on the IITM-Sat project during my freshie year and I had a good rapport with the seniors I met then. I worked on this project during my first-year winter and summer vacation. I did research interns during most of my other vacations and also did a prof project during one. I came to realize that my area of interest was photonics and wanted it to be the field I work on in my future. I was also a coordinator for the classical events. This was something I did because I enjoyed classical arts and so when I was in the process of making a CV, I didn’t even consider adding it.
EP: Why I chose it and how to make the most of it
My preference for my branch at IITM was Electrical Engineering and Engineering Physics in that order. With my rank, I could get DD in Electrical Engineering with M.Tech in Applied Mechanics which was not a course I was interested in. So I chose EP, which I was happy with because I had heard that the course at IITM was very good. The course is handled by the Electrical Engineering and Physics Department. I discovered my interest in photonics quite early on and so I tried to take my electives according to it. Photonics is a branch of physics, but the courses offered by the department in this field was very basic, so most of the electives I took was from the elec department. For a person who is not sure about whether their interest lies in physics or elec, this is a good course because you get to take your electives accordingly and effectively have done a physics or elec degree.
Placement: The process
I chose to sit for placements as a backup in case I didn’t get into a college of my choice for M.S./Ph.D. Wrig was one of the few companies that offered a job with a research profile. It is a company that makes medical devices based in Delhi. The selection process was in four steps. First, we were asked to send in our CVs. Then there were 3 sets of interviews. The first and third stages were similar. The questions asked were mostly Fermi questions. So what they wanted to test was our way of thinking. The second interview had questions based on what we had written in our CV and our courses. There were students from Elec, BT, and EP applying for this job. I was the only person who got selected.
In the end, I chose not to take up the offer because I got into Purdue for further studies. If I was asked what I would’ve done better or what I would’ve changed, the first thing that comes to my mind is that I would have done projects with professors during the semester rather than do honors. This is something I would also recommend for anyone who wants to take up higher studies. Rather than working at CFI or IITM-Sat or similar projects, a better option would be to do a project or an internship.
For people who want to pursue higher studies and use the placements as a backup, if you are sure about your higher studies, I think it would be better if you keep the scholarships offered by the GoI for IITians as a backup so you wouldn’t have to spend your time prepping for placements.
But I think the most important advice I’d like to give to anyone would be to find your interest early on and work towards it.
Author: Arundathi(DD-NA ’22)