DTU Times interviewed Param Chhura, Mechanical Engineering with specialisation in Automotive Engineering (MAM), Class of 2020 who secured a placement at Bain Capability Network.
The dilemma of choosing what to pursue plagues quite a few students, as they get confused between a tech profile or a non-tech profile. What advice do you have for them?
I cannot emphasise enough on how crucial it is to research on both profiles. You should make sure that you completely understand the specific roles in the profiles, and that they are in line with your interests. If you are still confused, I would recommend speaking to your seniors or someone whom you trust. It is completely normal to be confused during the initial stage, therefore, you should not be afraid to ask people for help and to experiment with various fields when determining where your interests lie. How well you excel in the field is completely dependent upon your passion towards the field, your interests, and most importantly, you. If you are going to work hard towards a goal, make sure it is the goal that you yourself have set your eyes on, not the one the crowd is going for.
How did you get interested in the field of consulting in particular? How did you manage to pursue it while simultaneously focusing on your branch-related academics?
Though I have been interested in the field of consulting for a while now, my interest definitely peaked during my second and third year at the university. Fortunately, two of my friends too, developed similar interests during the same time and before we knew it, we were participating in case study competitions, business quizzes and the likes. This was a great help, since there are certain things that you can learn only when you participate in such events, as opposed to reading about them from a book or through tutorial videos.
Initially, we participated in every case study competition that we could find and eventually went onto establish a university chapter of an international consulting organisation (180 Degrees Consulting), which gave me a chance to work on solutions to real-world problems. Most case study competitions were held over the weekend, which made it easier to juggle participation, and everything else.
Which resources, that you referred to, helped you the most? What advice would you like to share in regards to preparation?
One thing that helped me the most was, participating in the various case study competitions across the past year. I would suggest you to sign up for at least one event, if you think that you aren’t ‘qualified’ enough to participate in a case-study competition. You must use it as a means to figure out weak points and then fix them. I strongly believe that you will learn something new in such competitions. In addition to this, I prepared for case-interviews from numerous books, including ‘Case Interviews Cracked’, and ‘Case in Point’.
I practised guesstimates from any resource that I could find, at times even making them up for day-to-day items (such as, ‘What is the daily milk consumption for the apartment building?’ and so on.). For tips regarding interviews, I would suggest watching Victor Cheng’s videos on YouTube. Another tip to maximise the use of the resources would be, to read the problem statement and then attempting to solve it yourself first. You should refer to the solution only after you have tried solving it. This will help you figure out any points that you may have missed, and will come handy in the future.
How was the selection process for Bain? Any key takeaways that you would want to share?
First off, there was a CV shortlisting round, following which there was a workshop organised by Bain. They covered multiple tips and strategies on how to approach case-interviews. This was then followed by a written test consisting of MCQs and subsequently, the first round of interview. After the first round of interviews, students were shortlisted and called for a second round of interview, after which the final selection list was announced.
During the interview, it is very important that you keep your cool and stay confident. Take your time to understand the question, and if at any point of time, you feel that you are going in the wrong direction or you missed out on any point, do not panic. Just hold yourself together, remain composed and retrace your steps. Make sure to explain your steps and ideas to the interviewer clearly. Always remember, communication is the key.
How do you feel engaging in extracurricular activities has helped you in building your profile and consequently, for the interview?
In today’s world, a balanced profile is something that most companies look for. I think the best way to nurture these skills through extracurricular activities and several competitions. I joined few teams that were diverse in nature, such as 180 Degrees Consulting, Enactus, TEDx, and various case-study teams, all of which helped me build upon several different skills as well as gave me information about the important avenues in terms of industry insights, social welfare, operations management and most importantly, problem solving abilities. This came in handy while preparing for the interviews, as most of the teams I was working with, worked on providing real life solutions, helping me develop my own set of frameworks and approaches to problems.