Effective Utilization of 2 Months Holidays before The Placement Season

The end of 6th Semester Holidays are probably most crucial holidays of your life. If utilised properly, You may land into your dream Job. June-July 2016 was my time of holidays which was full of confusions about my preparation strategies. I remember calling my seniors and asking them their advice. There was so much to prepare for – interview, Electronics subjects, Coding, Data structures, puzzles, logical reasoning, quant, HR questions, guess estimates etc. I have experienced this amazing Campus Placement period and I will try my best to guide you on how to excel in this amazing time of thrill, excitement, confusions and tensions.
I got placed in EXL Services on 19th September,2016. I experienced failure in more than 6 written papers before qualifying an exam of EXL services. I will try my best to explain you  that how you should start your preparation and what mindset you need to keep during this crucial time. I was not sure where to focus and where not to. Today Me, as your senior will help remove your confusions as much as possible so that you utilise your 100% time effectively.

PS: Since i have been a student of ECE – Thapar University will majorly be able to help ECE students of Thapar University. But you may get general idea of how to proceed with your preparation strategies.
Before proceeding, I would like you to know the importance of your CGPA. Few points to remember about CGPA are:
  • If your CGPA is greater than 8 then you will be able to sit in 99% companies visiting the campus.
  • 90% ECE Core companies demand CGPA greater than 8. The core ECE companies visiting the campus are – NXP, Shortel, Intel, Sandisk, ST Microelectronics, Bombardier, Whirlpool, Juniper Networks and Texas Instrumentation.
  • Most of the coding companies demand CGPA greater than 7. But there are many which demand 6.5 and very less demand 6.
The most important part is selecting your Target Company Type as per your interest from among Software, Consultancy or Core. I hope that last 3 years of your journey at University would have given you some idea about what you love doing. In my case it was coding ! So, this post won’t be much helpful for people targeting the Core companies. Probably, I am not the best person to guide you for that.
I was confused between Coding and Consultancy firms because though I used to enjoy coding but I wasn’t a geek coder. I enjoyed Public speaking, interacting with people and managing tasks equally as much as coding.
First, Let’s talk about Consultancy Firms like Deloitte, ZS Associates etc. The Main thing these companies focus on is your Public speaking skills. If you have a good Position of Responsibility then that would add up to a great advantage. Keep in mind the following things during preparation of Consultancy firms.
  • Aptitude Exam – This is the most important part. This round is the rejection round. Keep in mind one of the most important thing for these 2 months – Solve Quant, LR and English questions EVERYDAY. More problems you solve, more tricks you will learn and more speed you will gain. Believe me guys, you will really get highly unexpected results after the exams where even most expected student’s name is sometimes not in the selection list. The mistake I committed during my preparation was that I didn’t focus on English. Most of the students are able to solve Quant and LR, what brings the difference is English. I noticed in my batch that those students who were preparing for GRE and CAT had an edge, mostly because they were practising vocab as well. So, I will suggest you to focus equally on English. This might act as deciding factor for you as well.
  • Case Study and Group Discussion – For this, I will suggest you to participate in Case studies and GDs organised by Placement Cell of Thapar University. If you have missed those or due to some reasons could not attend those, I will suggest you to read online about basics of GDs and Case Study. Keep yourself updated with current Issues and News.
  • Puzzles and Guess Estimates – In some interviews of Consultancy firms, you are asked Puzzles and Guess estimates. For puzzles, I will suggest you to try and solve from this LINK. Solve at-least 2-5 puzzles daily. Guess Estimates are generally easy and their strategy to solve can be learned in a matter of few hours. You may go through these links –> LINK
  • Resume Building – Your resume should be focused on your Team working skills and Leadership qualities. Having a good Position of responsibility in any society where you have worked in various events is a huge advantage. You should prepare in presenting your extra curricular work during interview and explain how and what you learned by organising those events. Keep in mind that you must not put more than 2 Technical projects in your resume. Such Firms don’t want technical people. I know one of my friend whose interview revolved around technical projects. He gave perfect answers to all the questions related to his all mentioned 3-4 technical projects. At the end, he was rejected by stating that He was more suited for Technical companies. Don’t commit such mistake.
Next, Lets talk about Software Companies :
  • Aptitude Test and Coding Round – For aptitude test, guidelines are same as stated above. But, that’s not enough. You have to prepare for coding test round as well. There are generally two different kinds of coding rounds depending upon the company. Some companies like Zomato will have coding round in which you will have to write codes for the problems given to you. For these, you need constant coding practice in any one language of your choice. Write codes everyday. You can select one website from among Hacker Earth, Hacker Rank or Interview Bit and *solve coding problems daily*. This is the only way to pass such tests. Few companies simply keep multiple choice or written tests. These tests are comparatively easy. For these you need to brush up your basic concepts of programming like Data Structures, Loops, Syntax Etc. For DS, You can refer to the book Data Structures and Algorithms Made Easy : Second Edition: Data Structure and Algorithmic Puzzles.
  • Projects – Coding projects are important aspect for cracking the interviews. Having coding projects in your resume allows you to take control of your interview and talk about something you have made yourself. Projects are the proof that you love coding and are passionate about it. If you have project its an added advantage. If not, then try building something but only if you are confident about the above point.
  • Interview – Depending upon the company, some interviews revolve around Data structure and oops programming questions and some interviews mostly revolve around your projects. Reaching till interview level is a proof that you have required skills and company is interested in hiring you. So, interview round is about being confident and being clear with your work and basic concepts.

So now you have basic idea about your preparation. Feel free to add/remove your own work and creativity to your preparation. I won’t suggest you to follow this blog blindly but I want you to take points which you think are really helpful and implement those.
At the end, one biggest tip I would like to give you is that you need to *KEEP PATIENCE*.You will be placed when your time will come. Don’t get affected in case you see people around you getting placed. Rather, take your every failure as an opportunity to learn and work on your weaknesses. Keep working hard and Smart !
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Raghav Chopra
“The only thing standing between you and your goals is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you cant’t achieve it.”

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