How do you decide to go into the core profile considering that coding and data are usually in work and are most talked about?
I had computer science in 11th and 12th class, hence I had already done some coding for two years, and after that PDS, so after all that I could code decently. I realized that I did not enjoy it as much as other people. Around that time, in the beginning of second year,we had our departmental courses start, and I realised that I was enjoying studying my departmental courses and that my first impressions of Chemical Engineering were overall positive. I took up a project in my department at the end of my 3rd semester, and by the end of my second year I realized that we have a lot of opportunities in the core field too. Come placement semester, I was more or less certain I could see myself working in this field on a long term basis. Since I was already devoted to core, I did not think that I should go into ML or data analytics.
What was the General interview process for the companies that you aim for the number of rounds, questions asked and what were the topics you prepared for?
For core, We can divide the basic concepts that we have in our curriculum. For core, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, mass transfer etc. are pretty elementary courses which we have here in second year as well as third year but these are courses that will continue to be important throughout and are especially important for core internships and placements. Even in the final year placement interviews or vivas, people continue to ask questions from fluid mechanics,heat transfer and Thermodynamics. In my internship interview which I did at ITC, my entire interview was based on questions of heat transfer because it is one of the most integral concepts if you want to work in an industry. In my placement interview my entire interview was based around my project which I did as an intern at ITC and on any one subject of my choice. People should ideally choose these core basic subjects because they are absolutely fundamental and be absolutely thorough with them. As a brownie point, try and research on industrial applications of the concepts you’ve learned, which really impresses the interviewers.
Many of us have heard that one should aim for going into the core sector only when their CG is high, what is going to be your comment on this.
It is not about CGPA in my opinion, but about whether you actually want to pursue a career in the core field, i.e. if you actually like the core field. If you do like your departmental field, you will have a CGPA good enough to sit in a core field. CGPA is an important factor, no doubt. Having a good CG is important. The better the CGPA, the higher are your chances of selection. A CG of above 8.3+ is a safe bet for core placements, but if you have a very high CGPA and a very research oriented profile, companies might think you’ll go on for higher studies and not want to take you on and you’ll have your work cut out to convince them otherwise. The ideal CGPA range would be 8.3–9.3. However it’s not like if a person has a low CG then there is nothing left. There is a chance in core even if you have a low CG. I know some of my batchmates who got shortlisted and also selected in core companies with a 7.X CGPA
Can you please tell in detail about the interview process for Dr. REDDY?
Dr. Reddy’s has a shortlisting test in November, which involves a test of core concepts and also some of chemistry (for CH students), a psychometric test and a logical reasoning test. The only preparation you can have is to have a good grasp of basic core concepts. It was also one of my favourite tests of the CDC placement processes. Come December, there is a GD which is very technical and will test you to the very maximum on your core subject competencies. Before the process, it is best to revise all of your subjects because you’ll be tested on each and every one of them. Following that, there was only one interview round which involves questions on your past internships, projects and some questions on a few core concepts. There were also a few basic HR questions.
So any resources you would like to mention which you used for preparing?
As far as the test is concerned, I can just say be attentive in classes, do a reading of what you’ve studied before the test and keep everything at the back of your head because you cannot really be prepared enough for any test. For the interview I’ll suggest, be very strong on your basic concepts and basic courses like fluid mechanics, heat transfer, thermodynamics, mass transfer. Most of the interviews will revolve around that and be extremely thorough with whatever internships or whatever projects you have done, because they will grill you a lot on that. The basic thumb rule in any interview process is, be very well versed with your CV, you should be able to justify every single point that you have on your CV. Another good interview strategy is to go through your CV, and try and predict what questions could be asked from each line of your CV. That way, you generally already have the answers to most of the questions that will be asked, and you don’t leave things to chance.
And what were your interns? Did you have an intern in your second year in the core field or other?
I did not have any internship in my second year, in my third year I had a CDC intern at ITC. Ideally it is better to have an internship at the end of second year, I had an intern but I could not go there because I had some medical problems and I had to give up the intern at that point of time.So I had no option but to brush up on my core concepts.
So what were your strategies for your preparations? Did you change it depending on which company you’re aiming for or in between the rounds?
No.I mean I did not apply for a lot of companies.I think one of the mistakes that people do is they apply for every company.I was surely selective in what companies I would apply for. I applied for a few Day 1 companies, and the mainly for core companies that were coming from Day 2 onwards. I had a few shortlists on day-2.1 but I decided to skip them because I wanted to give Dr.REDDY’s interview as if I had been selected for anyone of one of them then I would not have been able to sit for Dr.REDDY’s. I think it’s important that before the placements you must be clear on what companies you need to prioritize. If there are companies coming slightly later and if you think you have a really good chance of getting in and you don’t want to go to the company which comes earlier,I think you should wait for it, be confident in your preparation and you will get what you want.
What were the societies which you were a part of and how did that help you in grooming for the KGP Life?
The IIT KGP Quiz Club has been a very important part of my time here in IIT KGP, and I’ve been the governor of the society for the past academic year. I participated in a number of quizzes all across the country, was a part of the Inter IIT Cultural Contingent for KGP for the past three years, and was the quiz captain in the most recent one. Because of quizzing, I was able to think really well on the spur and keep my composure when forced to think on my feet, which helped a lot in interviews and especially in questions that I didn’t know. I was also a part of spAts and SWG in my early years here and a captain in numerous events at the hall level which helped me in my managerial skills, which is something that companies look for.
So what advice do you want to give for the juniors who will be sitting for the placements this year?
I would say that be absolutely clear in your own head of what you want to achieve. If you work hard and prepare well, you will definitely get placed. It is most important to not get scared, and not get anxious and depressed if you do not get a day 1 placement, because there are a lot of companies that come later, some with better salary packages too. Not getting a day 1 placement is not the end of the world, prepare well, be confident and give your best, good things will definitely follow. I would also say that ask seniors who have gone through placements for any help you might need, because one thing that I’ve learnt in KGP is that your seniors are always there to help you. They have gone through the incredibly stressful time that you would go through in a few months, and will be able to give you incredibly composed advice (I was able to talk with a senior of mine even at 5 AM for help during placements!). Put your best foot forward, and all the best for the upcoming placements semester!