How did you decide to go in the core profile considering that coding and data are usually in vogue and are most talked about?
I am very much interested in Aerospace engineering. I actually got my depC to Aerospace engineering from Metallurgy and Material Science engineering in 2nd year. I worked on two core projects in my 2nd and 3rd year. I did my internship at the department of Aerospace engineering, IIT Kanpur. Also, I took BTP and MTP in my department and worked sincerely. Working on these core projects, eventually, I grew my interest in fluid dynamics and the turbomachinery domain. So naturally, during placement, I had the desire to get placed in a core company related to my field of interest.
What was the general interview process (number of rounds, questions asked, topics they questioned about in each round, etc.) for the companies that you aimed for?
For Rolls Royce, there were 2 rounds of selection. Initially, a written exam was conducted. In the exam, there were 2 parts. The first part contained analytical questions, mostly on graphical interpretations, and was of 10 minutes duration. The 2nd part, which lasted for an hour, consisted of technical questions. The questions were mostly from the field of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. On the same day, the company released a shortlist (containing relatively less number of people than was expected) for interview based on the performance in the written exam. There was only one round of interview. My interview went for more than an hour. The interviewers asked me technical questions mostly from what I had done in my projects. They were more focused on my BTP and MTP project work as those projects were in the turbomachinery domain (one of the profiles they were looking for). They told me to describe the projects in detail and asked related questions. After the technical round, they asked a few HR questions. The questions in HR round were of typical nature, for example, the interviewers gave me a hypothetical office-crisis scenario and asked me how I would respond to that.
Many of us have heard that one should aim for going into the core sector only when your CG is high. Would you like to comment on that statement?
I think, if you are really interested in the core subjects, there is a high possibility that you will have a decent CG. However, to get a core job, it is not essential to have a high CG. Because, for many companies, there was no CG bar. For example, in Rolls Royce, everyone was allowed to take the written test. The students, qualifying the written test, were called for the interview. So, I feel, if you have excellent knowledge of core subjects and have done a few projects in a related domain, you can get placed in core companies. Nevertheless, it is always safe to maintain your CG. There are core companies that put a CG bar of 8 or 8.5.
Any resources you’d like to mention which you used while preparing? Eg- any additionals you took, online courses, etc.
Not as such. But, Core companies, in general, look for some particular profiles. So, it is important to have the relevant knowledge in the particular domain that the company is hiring for while applying for a core company. For instance, Rolls Royce was looking for three profiles 1) Turbomachinery 2) CFD and 3) Structure. So, having good knowledge in any of these fields is required to be a prospective candidate in Rolls Royce’s core sector. In addition, one needs to have the relevant software experience, which will definitely be an added advantage.
What is your advice on the strategy for preparation?
I would suggest to emphasis more on the analytical questions. In the analytical round, the time limit was only 15 minutes, and there were around 20 questions on different graphical interpretations. I found, the analytical round the toughest in the written test. The technical questions were relatively easy. However, those who are already preparing for GRE, I feel, would not face any difficulty to crack the analytical round. But, others might need to prepare separately for it. On the other hand, in the technical interview, the interviewers mostly asked about the projects. Hence, I don’t think one needs to prepare for that as such.
Did you change it depending on which company you were aiming for and in between rounds?
No. I had only focused on core and only applied to the core companies. Automatically, when Rolls Royce came, I was quite certain that I would apply for this company.
What advice would you like to give your juniors who will be sitting for placements this year?
It’s true that non-core companies pay higher (sometimes a lot) than core companies (at least initially). So, if the salary is your major concern, you might get a little disappointed looking to the offered CTC of a core company. Nevertheless, if you are really interested in the core and enjoy exploring and learning in your subject area, you can very well go for a core job. If you stay in a core company, in the long term, relatively larger growth and better prospects (with experience) are assured.
Is it advisable to prepare for core and non-core profiles simultaneously?
If somebody can do it, then it is the best option. But, because of the courses, the loads that our Kgp-life has, I feel, it is a bit difficult. But again, if one can manage it, this is always advisable.
What would you like to say to the general KGP public out there? Any advice for them?
I have completed five years in KGP, and have enjoyed a lot throughout my stay. I sincerely believe that KGP is a gift to all of us and we should utilize all its resources to the fullest.