Gang of 6...

This blog belongs to 6 ex COE students of NSIT... Though, now, we are all in separate places, studying or working, we hope to remain in touch with each other lest we forget the great time we had back in college. This blog is an attempt to achieve the same. Here's to us...!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Interview experience

Gave my first IIM interview on the 18th. First had a case study in which 10 of us were given a situation. A panel is unable to decide who to choose for a job from among 4 candidates. We had to write our case study followed by a group discussion. That's where things got interesting - All through the discussion we chipped in with some points in favour or against some of the candidates. A gem of a one liner by me - "Passion is the only thing required to succeed" .. hehe:).. Anyways the group started voting on the candidates names at the end and we decided on 1 candidate. Suffice to say that I was quite involved along with 2 other people.Then a long wait for our interviews - we were (10 of our group) called in seemingly random order. 2 hours I waited before becoming the 9th one to be grilled. One of the profs was sitting there - the other one was outside the room. It started off with a simple - tell me about yourself -- well I told him some things telling him how I would like to learn a lot about management at IIM-Indore - well he indicated that they don't teach anything at IIMs ?? (I was a bit confused with that statement).. He went on to ask me about Netaji Subhas. I mentioned that he died in a plane crash - the prof asked me if it was a crash or a hijack - it was a crash so I said so. Then he started asking me about the IC814 hijack situation in 1999 - that's when an Indian plane was hijacked taken to Kandahar and three terrorists were released to save the passengers. He tried to confuse me on the dates and other details but I think I got them right.Then started a difficult phase - this was a stress interview - where the panel tries to pressurise you and see how you react. the other guy walks in and starts looking at some certificates. Now I mentioned I wanted to go into management to eventually become an entrepreneur and serve my country by providing employment and would like to go into the defence if I can't make it through management so I can serve my country from enemies. Now the guy had read this and asked me why don't you join defence - you can serve the country better. I told him that if our country is economically strong then it will be easier to defend - we need jobs, employment etc. to make our country strong but he cut me off and started asking me to join politics. You see Rahul Gandhi - the PM in waiting is from our school - so a 30 sec 1 way discussion on politics - no scope for me to respond. He(1st prof) then picked up a certi and started discussing what I had done to get it - it was a National award. Then suddenly he started asking me about LSA and whether it is a Single Pass or multi pass algorithms - well I did not know about them and said so - but he persisted. The other prof finally said something - ohh engineer - - well I smiled and said - yes sir - I'm sure you met many of them today (90% of the people there were engineers).. well he smiled back and asked me - well what is engineering? -- I started to explain the difference between engineering and a mechanic - how an engineer knows the design and other aspects - he wasn't satisifed- well after racking my brains I came up with - engineering is problem solving using technology - well that kinda convinced them.The first prof was still looking for me to tell him about single pass and multi pass algos - I again indicated that I did not know what they are :( - we hadn't studied linear programming you see. anyways what is an algorithm and program were discussed followed with a question on 5 major national disaster in India in the last 5 years- try as I might I could only think of 2 major ones worth mentioning.. (I can still think of only 4-- that too after scouring the net ).. after a pause they asked me to leave - at this point I asked them a question regarding IIM Indore case study method way of teaching and how that helps which they answered..Overall an interesting experience ..phew .. im tired of typing..

Monday, February 09, 2009

Random thoughts

Hey people - technically been a member of this blog but haven't contributed at all. Can't sit in front of the computer screen and write - being a software engineer I become sick when I see my home PC despite it's obvious speed, ease of use and efficiency (It's a first class P3 450 Mhz 16 GB Hard disk, 256 MB RAM :P oh and did i mention Win 98! )
I prefer to converse preferably one way conversation where I give my "considerable gyaan and wisdom" to any soul unlucky to come within my range. Off course this means that while Abhinav buys a car, Danny travels, Deepak gets a bike and Anish an SLR I pay hefty phone bills!
All this leads me to the perfect profession for a guy like me - a manager.. Somehow managed the mini miracle of clearing the unpredictable CAT this year -three calls the best of which is from IIM B. What's interesting is the one month after I got the news. I have seen the reaction of people around me - mostly happy with my mini-success. I have another obstacle to surmount - The interview and group discussion (GD) session.
A GD - more like a place where your true self reveals yourself. I have had people trying to shout me down, impose themselves even make wisecrack statements in the middle of a serious discussion. Nothing is more entertaining than a GD where the topic is abstract - I have inwardly laughed at some interpretations people provide.
The interview - well this is where the candidates whole life is laid bare - you have no idea which part will be picked on next. Some technical, some HR, some philosophy and a great deal of tension and stress.
An interesting concept was the Bootcamp session I attended. 2 days at a hotel with 99 other IIM aspirants from diverse backgrounds. A mix between a batch get together (there were 7 NSITians from our batch!) and a serious preparation session. Yours truly took everything seriously - there were others doing the same - still others indulging in fun and games - some guys chatting up girls (yours truly was on probation clamped by you know who).. I met some interesting young people - budding managers of this country. Some aggressive and pushy. A doctor - the most popular guy in the session and having a heart of gold. A naval officer who tragically has lost the use of his right arm in an accident while on duty - off course I chatted him up on all topics Naval in nature. Found him to be a rather bright and courageous man. A girl - soft spoken and quite shy but with a smile that lit up the room.

Also present was the redoutable Banga - with his baby face and sweet voice - ever helpful, always jovial. And Bansal - we two must have listened to a particular Ghajni song (guess which one!) 25 times (Banga might disagree here - it seemed like 150 to him!).

All in all a fun lil trip