Apoorva Singh

Apoorva Singh graduating from IIT Kanpur, Branch- Mathematics And Scientific Computing department as a Graduate (B.Tech) in 2020 has been placed as Management Trainee in American Express.

a) Other companies that I was shortlisted for Day 1.1 – JP Morgan (MRGR and Quant profile), Google (Software Engineer), Goldman Sachs Day 1.2 – American Express (Management Trainee), JP Morgan (CCB Profile), KLA Tencor (Software Engineering), Juniper Networks (Software Engineering), Flipkart (SDE) b) Analysis of available options (based on profile, growth, compensation, Brand Name, etc) I applied to companies hiring for a data science/analysis or a software engineering role, with a preference for data analytics. Based on the feedback received from various seniors, JP Morgan Quant, Goldman Sachs, and American Express were the day 1 companies I was focussing on (job profile, growth factor, and work life balance were the main factors for me).

My priority was data science and analytics role but given the number of software engineering roles in the campus, I decided to prepare for them as well. Coding is required to clear the online tests of both these profiles. So, I started practising competitive coding. I found Leetcode to be pretty comprehensive in terms of the variety of questions (make sure you do more medium and hard level questions). Before the online test of any company, I also looked up company specific coding questions. Make sure you do this, since a lot of companies tend to have a question bank from which they select their questions, so there is a high chance of questions being repeated. Geeksforgeeks has an archive section, which has questions for a lot of major companies that come to the campus, and it is updated regularly. For data science/ML profile, I revised the lecture slides of the machine learning and NLP course that I had done. Questions related to probability and statistics are also asked in a lot of online tests, so make sure you are up to date with the concepts. For probability related puzzles (and puzzles in general), is a pretty good website. For additional practice, you can check out Few companies that I applied to had an aptitude test section. I practised for it through the online aptitude test series conducted by SPO for all students of IIT Kanpur.

American Express – An online test (open for all departments) followed by two interview rounds. The test was a mix of puzzles and coding. First interview round was based on my resume, where they asked my about the data science internships and projects that I had done. I was also questioned on data science basics. Second round was more like a business round, where they did a case study with me and then had a general discussion. JP Morgan – All the profiles have separate online tests, followed by multiple rounds of interviews. MRGR profile had two rounds of interviews, where they mainly asked resume based questions and questions related to statistics. They had an inclination towards students from the Economics department. Quant profile had three or four interview rounds, depending on the candidate. They asked coding questions and puzzles. Goldman Sachs – The interview procedure was similar to that of JP Morgan

- Make sure you are familiar with each and every point in your resume, and get your resume reviewed by two or three seniors and incorporate their feedback. - Don’t put projects/topics you are not familiar with on your resume. It becomes a negative point in the interview if you can’t answer questions related to topic X, when your resume says you are familiar with it. - Start practising for aptitude tests in the summer break. It only takes an hour per week and prevents last minute practice, which does not really help. - Like aptitude tests, last minute coding preparation is also not of much use. However, this needs to be given more time. Make it a habit to solve at least two questions daily from any website. Solve questions topic wise initially and go through company specific questions before the test.

Final Tips :
The placement season can be pretty random at times. Don’t be disheartened if you feel that you nailed an interview and still didn’t get an offer. Start preparing in advance, it can be really helpful when the tests begin. If it is an online placement drive, you might feel disconnected from the entire procedure. So make sure you are checking the updates for interview rounds and stay calm between two rounds.