Insight

Ayush Gupta

Ayush Gupta graduating from IIT Kanpur, Branch - Mechanical Engineering department as a Graduate (B.Tech) in 2020 has been placed as - Quantitative Researcher in - JP Morgan Chase & Co.

a) Other companies that I was shortlisted for b) Analysis of available options (based on profile, growth, compensation, Brand Name, etc) I was shortlisted for most Quant-based roles (JPM/Goldman Sachs/Trexquant/iRage) which were open for my department (owing to my intern at JPM), and apart from that I had some interviews lined up for Business Analyst (Finmechanics/Alphonso/Fischer Jordan/PwC/Mastercard) and some roles from Product Management (Zomato), Mechanical Engineering (Jaguar), Data Science (Hilabs), and SDE (Linkwiz/Bidgely/Amazon). I had exposure to the field of finance, and had finalised that my main aim was to get into a quant-based profile, or something related to trading/financial analyst roles. Quant profiles are good on compensation, and the brand names are good enough to improve your resume. Being from a non-circuital branch, I did face some problems, because a lot of good Quant companies are only for CSE/EE/MTH. I was interested in profiles such as BlackRock and Morgan Stanley, but was not shortlisted for them (mostly due to lower and upper CPI cutoffs both).

For Quant Research interviews, I had followed some basic quant books uploaded here. These are more than sufficient, and if you are interested you read up more puzzles. I had experience of my internship interview, so I was prepared for what was coming up, but the pattern is fairly simple (repeated rounds with brainteasers/algorithms/puzzles/coding), so one can prepare accordingly. For Data science and machine learning roles, I followed the book, An Introduction to Statistical Learning. I looked at different sources from Internet too - Medium and AnalyticsVidhya. Most of my projects revolved around ML, and hence I was pretty confident of nailing this part. For SDE tests, I used to practice Leetcode whenever I did badly at a test. My aim was to practice regularly, but I could not manage that well. Often very straightforward questions on dynamic programming and graphs were asked, where I failed - but I improved a lot towards the final tests after practice. For consulting/analyst/PM roles, I had some experience of case interview preparation (although very minimal). Case Interviews Cracked, Victor Cheng’s resources would be the best way to understand the fundamentals. I had some close friends preparing for Consulting/PM interviews, and they helped me a lot in getting up to pace quite quickly. This was my least prepared profile. Apart from this, I was not interested in a core job in Mechanical Engineering, so did not devote any time for that. I created multiple Google Docs for different types of profiles, and noted down topics/definitions in them; that helped me to revise the topics quite quickly in the last few days. For HR preparation, I had thought of answers to standard HR questions, and had written them down in an articulate manner, to reduce my scope of messing up in the real interview.

I had five interviews in Day 1 Slot 1, and they were JPM, GS, PwC, Jaguar and Finmechanics. My preference order for that slot was JPM>Finmechanics>GS>PwC>Jaguar. I had an inte

1. Get your resume vetted asap. The sooner you get your first draft made, the closer you can get to the best representation of your CV. 2. If you are eying for SDE profiles, please start working through Leetcode, preferably in the summers only. The semester would go by faster than you realise, and you would be left unprepared. 3. If you are preparing for DS/Analyst profiles, I’ll recommend that you learn to code some basics at least. Unfortunately, a lot of companies ask basic DP questions just to check your coding ability (I recall AB InBev, Alphonso asked some simple questions for their BA profiles). 4. Try to manage your time well, and organise carefully too - keep reminders if you are not good at tracking deadlines. I missed out on applying to Microsoft DS and a few others (just because I forgot to fill out some Google form), and I was quite disappointed by that. 5. Maintain a sheet for the topics/questions you faced difficulty in for each test. Keep reading stuff, because a lot of times questions are repeated especially if the test provider remains the same. (Most tests occur on Hackerrank/Hackerearth, and these companies have pools of questions from which the recruiters select questions. Questions are definitely repeated if they are on the same platform). 6. Assess yourself unemotionally and from an objective viewpoint. You need to identify your targets considering your CPI/projects/interests. Do not apply to a lot of companies out of peer pressure. I did apply to more than 80+ profiles, and sometimes felt that all my time was being wasted in giving tests as opposed to studying for them. Talk to seniors about your realistic chances for each interesting profile, and still be ready for failures. 7. You need to account for branch-wise differentiation before selecting a target profile. It is always hard to target top SDE companies if you are not from CSE/EE/MTH, because (a) the competition would be immense at the time of placements, and (b) you will be at an inherent disadvantage due to your curriculum etc. That said, it can always be done, but just manage your backup profiles well.



Final Tips :
You will fail a lot before the first week of December. Make sure you have some people to vent out frustration to, or have developed a system for yourself to help regain your emotional balance. There would be some weekends where you’ll have more than 4-5 tests, and you can mess them all up, but more often than you’d realise at the time, the tests would be messed up by everyone, and you can still get shortlisted. Companies often release very long shortlists before the final week, and there would be faces which are common in all. Do not get demotivated by that, keep your head down and keep working. Often such people get placed in Slot 1, which clears a lot of shortlists, and extended shortlists do come up nearly for all companies from Day 2 - so you have a lot of opportunities left.


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