CQ_Core_Combat |Vimlendu Singh | Airbus | ME

Vimlendu Singh
Placed at Airbus

Interviewed By:

How did you decide to go in the core profile, considering that coding and data are usually in vogue and are most talked about?

Right from my first year I was into mechatronics and had a knack for engineering. At the same time, as I went through academics, I got exposure to other areas in this particular field and finally decided to go for controls. I was also interested in the automotive sector, and it got amplified when I got some hands-on experience with research projects. Initially, I was planning to go for higher studies, but I focused on getting an industrial experience first due to uncertainties associated with the pandemic situation. Due to my profile, I got an internship at KPIT Technologies Ltd., Pune, in the automotive domain, where I learned more about hybrid electric vehicles and vehicle dynamics & control. But at the same time, I would also like to say that you can’t ignore stuff like coding and data analytics as everything is getting mixed up right now and converging at the same point. You should know a little bit of coding too, and then look for its application in your field. I also did the coding, but it was not like hard stuff coding, but it sure helped me. You should be aware of different mathematical tools and try to learn as many skills as possible. Interdisciplinary research is a new trend.

What was the general interview process (number of rounds, questions asked, topics they questioned about in each round, etc.) for the companies you aimed for?

The process starts with submitting a CV, followed by a test, sometimes GD, and lastly, the PI. CV is the essential part of your whole application. I can’t stress much on this. CV can outweigh all the other aspects of your application sometimes and might make the difference. Airbus is very much concerned about your CV, your prior experiences and the kind of roles you have taken, and the quality of work that you did in the past. It must align with what they are looking for in their potential candidates. Then comes the much-dreaded test, which was a little difficult for my profile which was Flight Physics. There are multiple profiles in Airbus, from which you can choose. There were many challenging questions. They are not on the level of standard aerodynamics that we learn in college. Those types of questions you can’t just study so. Those questions test the basic understanding of things. If you can score up to 50% of the total marks, then there are good chances of you getting shortlisted for interviews. The test is just a criterion if you can answer a few questions on core concepts. Companies look for prior experience. During interviews, there were two rounds: one was technical, and the other was HR. Since everything was conducted online, the experience was somewhat different. More relaxing because you were not facing them live. The technical round for me started early in the morning. The technical team won’t dive much into the details of the work you have done or details. They might, but it wasn’t in the case mine. I think due to time constraints, they get an overall idea of what you have done. I want to point out that you have to emphasise the outcome of your project or work. It would help if you finally had something as the result of all the work that you did. Ina brief statement, you can write what the objective of your whole project is. Then I had a conference paper they started asking about it and my contribution to it. So that was also simple. Avoid triggering the interviewers. It won’t be good to dig deeper, ask tough stuff, and put you out of your comfort zone. Don’t call any unnecessary problems. After this, they started to ask some technical questions. I was also a part of a research project, Airavat-(Unmanned Aerial Vehicles). They start with what you have done and asked me what I had worked on. Just get your basics right and practise them rather than doing stuff that is not relevant. Make a good understanding of basic concepts, and you have to present everything properly. Aerospace has multiple domains, and if they ask questions from different fields which you don’t know, say that you don’t know rather than saying wrong answers as it has a terrible impact on interviewers. You can also ask to shift to a domain you are familiar with. It also happened as I am from mechanical and not much familiar with the aerospace part. They would help you out and try to speak out loudly.

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?

Higher CGPA won’t affect it is always going to help at the end of the day, but yes, this has been an observation that lower CGPA students have also been placed at good companies. I have seen guys with CG around 7–8, which by the standard of KGP is not that good; they also got placed in Airbus, Jaguar and many other good companies. So having CGPA is not as good a factor. If your CV is perfect and you have great projects, it can compensate for your low CGPA as you can say at the cost of This you have good projects. Don’t be worried if you have low CGPA. I have seen that in the last few years, companies are not much into this CGPA. I Have seen Airbus have taken mostly eight pointers in the 7.5–8.5 domain. I would also like to say that sometimes very high GPA will work against your profile. If you have a higher CGPA than regular companies, you tend to go for higher studies, and companies will want their employees to stay. I won’t generalise it, but yes, this is a factor also. CGPA might not be a big concern, but having less than 7 CGPA will affect you as you can’t clear companies cutoff. Airbus didn’t have any cutoff still; I can say around 7.5.

Any resources you’d like to mention which you used while preparing? E.g.- any additionals you took, online courses, etc.

A good way for resources is Coursera and different online learning platforms. We can also get references from the professor. It would help if you had a good grip on Solidworks and Matlab for the core. You can have an idea of Machine Learning. I did a minor in Mathematics and Computing. In the interview, they asked why I did a minor in Mathematics and Computing. That was something I was not expecting. I said Mathematics is used overall domains; by help, we can solve different kinds of equations.

What was your strategy for preparation? Did you change it depending on which company you were aiming for and in between rounds?

If you are studying correctly for the four years you have, develop some skills. If you have an overall idea of approaching a particular field, that’s enough. You should have a general idea of general questions that companies ask, say automotive; then you should have a basic automation concept and its theory. If possible, try to get some previous year question from a different company. You can refer to your seniors for screenshots or something like that of last year questions. Be mentally prepared to approach the interview; for every company, there is no hard and first rule for getting into it. We can’t rely on one source. We can go on forums, and we can get questions from students of other IIT’s if their placement season is earlier than yours. People post questions in it. Make some short notes beforehand as you cant go through the whole textbook before interviews. Preparing too much for an interview kills your time better go through questions that have been asked previously sometimes; questions also repeat. Try to practise from previous years.

What are the opportunities in the core sector?

The core sector has a lot of great opportunities to offer, but at the same time, it is a lot more competitive. For placements, a relatively lesser number of companies might, and you might have to make some compromises on the job profile. As there are a limited number of vacancies, the core becomes something more challenging to get, given that all those competing are already the best minds. At the core, we can’t just sit and expect them to give you a job based on your knowledge. You also need to have prior experience. You also need to have great projects beforehand, which is most aligned with the type of profile you are applying for, and at the same time, if you have a good CGPA and you should be above average in the field, you should be competent. For Core, Sector perseverance is the key. Sometimes rewards are not instantaneous, and it takes time, compared to coding and data science profile. If you are not enjoying the thing after few years, you will be burdened with your job in the core sector. You have to be confident that you can do this particular thing.

What advice would you like to give your juniors who will be sitting for placements this year?

First, be clear and see what you are looking for in a job, and you have to take into account everything and which thing you want to take as a career. Once you are ready with it, it will help you achieve the goal most efficiently. Consult seniors who are at the top in their respective field. It would help if you tried to explore different domains. Try to make a good CV. Try to have a CG of above 8.

What would you like to say to the general KGP public out there? Any advice for them?

Have a good command of one particular language so that you can sit and qualify tests. Have a bit of coding background. Work on soft skills as it will matter in the interview as you have completed the technical round. When it comes to selecting between 2 or 3 candidates or in GD session, it will just be the soft skill the way you interact and communicate. Not having good soft skills affects selection a lot in GD and HR rounds. Your CV shouldn’t shout you want to do a PhD. Your statements shouldn’t be contradictory. It would help if you were very firm on what you say. That’s all from my side.

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