I am Nikhil Baba, a fourth-year undergraduate in Computer Science at IIT Madras. Seeing the fierce competition, I’ve attended coaching classes for my JEE preparation right from 8th standard. This helped me achieve good ranks in National level olympiads as well. I secured AIR 141 in JEE Advanced 2015 and AIR 284 in JEE Main 2015. The journey till here was tough but exhilarating and completely worth it. This made me stand up on a platform so high which I stood up never before. I joined the Department of Computer Sciences and Engineering at IIT Madras in July 2015.
The life in college in the huge campus and among one of the brilliant minds of the country was the best I could wish for. The professors are too good at what they do and are among the brightest academic researchers in the world. Apart from the academics, being in one of the premier institutes of the country, I’ve had the privilege to interact and attend lectures/speeches of the most eminent personalities in the country like Dalai Lama, Dr. Manik Sarkar, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Dr. S.Christopher, SS Rajamouli etc.
There are opportunities literally in every field for a student to develop a hobby and sharpen your skills in any of the club activities of all kinds including those around various art forms like music, dance, comedy and clubs for Astronomy, Amateur Radio, CFI, Robotics etc. I explored some of them and was keen into my academics by the end of the second year.
My preparations to secure a good internship started during my 2nd year holidays. Here again, the college coordinated with some of the top companies in the world to invite them to our campus and conduct interviews. I received an offer from one of the top global investment banking firm, Goldman Sachs which I gladly accepted. I thereby took up courses like Machine Learning, Reinforcement Learning, etc. and successfully completed my internship that summer. The journey to placements was not so tough as I was already standing on a very high platform being in this institute. Top companies around the world came for recruitment to the campus and I am glad to mention that I was hired by IBM India on December 1st, 2018, which was one of the happiest moments in my college life. I plan to pursue a job as for the near future and explore the industry.
As per the placement preparation is concerned, I started it roughly 4 months before the interviews. My main focus was on topics like Data Structures and Algorithms (on which most of the tests are based on), Machine Learning, Probability and Statistics, Operating Systems and Databases. I used to practice programming question in online judging platforms like LeetCode, InterviewBit and GeeksforGeeks and improve my skills from time to time. Though tension began to build as interviews approached, confidence in my preparation and my friends calmed me down.
During the interviews, I was mainly asked questions based on projects on my resume, Machine Learning, Data Structures and Algorithms. The interviewers were very friendly and guided me every time I lost track anywhere during solving a question. There was no specific HR round as such and I was informed timely that I got hired. It was thrilling and challenging experience overall and I thoroughly advise students to read previous interview experiences available in GeeksforGeeks and prepare accordingly.
I sincerely advice all the youth to pursue their passion of being an engineer with utmost dedication and respect seeing that this is the best time to grab that one big chance to enter into premier institutes and explore never before seen opportunities of a lifetime.
Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras