DTU Times interviewed Milind Sahay, Electronics and Communication Engineering, who secured a placement at Flipkart.
Flipkart is one of the dream companies for many. When was it, when you became confident of securing an offer at a company like Flipkart? What was your roadmap for this journey?
To be honest, I was never really certain that I could bag an offer with a company like Flipkart. This uncertainty is amazing as you strive to get better and better with the resources in hand.
I had Engineering drawing in my 12th std. and therefore, never really had any exposure to programming. I even scored a 20 (out of 50) in C programming, a subject we were taught during our first year. I was completely clueless till my 4th semester. Then, I reached out to some seniors, looking for some help regarding the future prospects. Gradually, things became clearer and I started practicing programming and tried to explore other branches related to it.
Internship season arrived and I did not get into what one can term as a ‘tier 1’ company. Still, I tried to focus part of my day into programming. Also, the company at which I interned really helped me, because along with relevant projects, I was offered flexible work hours. This does prove that every cloud does have a silver lining. Eventually, things worked out for me wonderfully. It’s quite essential that you have a supportive and understanding peer group and a bunch of amazing seniors to reach out to, an aspect, I was very fortunate with.
Quite a few students do not get involve with development, competitive programming or any other track even till the start of 4th semester (and start slipping into anxiety due to the same reason). What would you suggest to them? What remedial measures can they take against the racing clock?
It is very easy to get intimidated by looking at people around you and what they are up to. We need to realise that everybody has a different clock; some start late, while some start early, some grasp things easily, while some take more time for things to digest. Therefore, it is very essential to not let anxiety get to your nerves. Try to have a goal initially and then, take steps to realise that goal steadily. I believe that it’s perfectly fine if you start late while having a specific goal in mind than blindly hitting at random opportunities.
Which technical skill helped you the most? What was the magnitude of the difference it made on your CV?
I started exploring the field of Machine Learning soon after I started programming and hence, I believe it had a major contribution in my internship as well as placement season. Only a handful of companies visited our campus for the profile of ‘Data Science Intern’ and of all those which did, each of them rigorously checked candidates on their machine learning and data science knowledge. I was fortunate enough to get into one of those firms as I really enjoyed my time there and eventually, this whole exercise helped me during my placement season.
Would you rather choose a CV detailed with one of the following: AI, competitive programming, or, development; or, a CV comprising of a combination of these skills?
As for me, I had AI with a hint of competitive programming in my CV. It’s very essential not to lie on your CV as interviewers can detect the same in a jiffy, which maligns your chances. You can also try to align your CV with the profiles the visiting company has to offer. The most important thing is that you should be able to explain each and every part of your CV. Generally, we ourselves are responsible for driving our interviews.
What effect does it make on placements if one doesn’t find himself an internship at an A+ company?
Getting an internship is tougher than getting a placement as companies which visit for full time opportunities are far more in number. Therefore, people easily lose confidence. The key is not to lose hope. Not getting an internship at an A+ company does not mean that you do not possess what it takes. Rather, you can devote all of your time and energy into placement preparations. Devoting your time and working hard towards the goal you have in mind, is solely the most critical thing you can do to achieve it. If you’ve worked hard, you’ll be rewarded eventually.
If there was one advice you could give to your freshman self, what would it be?
My advice would be to start exploring things from the very start. If you do not explore, you’ll never know where your interests lie. Try to devote some part of the day, however little, to the goal on which you have set your eyes on. I truly believe that consistency is the key and that failures are a part of life. It’s fairly essential to believe in yourself and never lose hope. Always remember, you may face failures a thousand times, but you only need to succeed that one time.