Somesh Bajpai graduating from IIT Kanpur, Branch- Electrical Engineering department as a Graduate (B.Tech) in 2020 has been placed as Analyst in Goldman Sachs.
a) Companies that I was shortlisted for DAY1 SLOT 1: 1. Goldman Sachs 2. Quadeye 3. PWC DAY 1 SLOT2: 4. Accenture Japan 5. Zomato(APM,BDA) 6. American Express 7. Jaguar Land Rover 8. Plutus Research 9. Irage Capital b) Analysis of available options (based on profile, growth, compensation, Brand Name, etc) Brand name and profile were the major priorities for me, and it’s because down the line if I want to do an MBA, then it looks good in my applications. Based on that, Goldman Sachs was the best fit for me among the available options though I would have been happy with PWC too. Amex and Zomato were again great options in those regards, and I was prepared for their interviews too. The profile for Accenture Japan was not suitable for me, but the idea of starting your first job in Tokyo was definitely exciting. I was pretty neutral towards the HFTs, it does offer great compensation, but it doesn’t really align with where I see myself. Jaguar was a Core profile, and I hadn’t even prepared for it. It was highly unlikely that I would have given its interview because it’s almost impossible to give interviews for more than 4 companies in one slot.
I started my preparation at the beginning of August, which is fine, but I recommend that you start it right after your intern ends. I took 36 credits in my placement semester, which left me with an ample amount of time. Those 36 credits included CS771(Intro to Machine Learning) and IME672(Data Mining), making sure that my interview’s ML aspect is covered. I found it particularly helpful since you’re anyways be preparing these topics only this way, there’s someone to teach you in a structured manner. In addition to this, I had already done ESO 207(Data Structures) in my 5th semester and MSO 201(probs and stats) as a compulsory course. RESUME The first step is working on your resume. Make sure your interns and project seem impactful. I have seen instances where people haven’t been able to get substantial results in their interns and projects but have presented it so well that it turned out to be their strength. Get it reviewed by many seniors but decide for yourself if you want to incorporate those changes. I made 4 variants with very basic differences but ended up just using two. To create resume variants, think of all the permutations you can do with the order of headings. For example, choosing between putting up relevant coursework or an extra POR. You may end up using just 1 or 2 variants after uploading 4-5. Still, I think it’s essential to go through that process. RESOURCES CODING SKILLS 1. Interviewbit 2. Cormen book for data structures[Also helpful for your interviews] 3. Interview coding questions on GFG QUANT 4. Brainstellar puzzles 5. 50 challenging problems in Probability 6. MSO 201 slides 7. CS771 slides CONSULTING 8. Victor cheng videos 9. Case Interview Cracked 10. Day 1.0 by IIT Madras To cover all of this material, it took me around 4 months, and by the end of it, I felt saturated and satisfied. The key here is that you do need to order it the right way. Coding, Puzzle questions, and prob stats concept should be a priority in the beginning since these things will help you clear your tests. Through my experiences, I have found that there are a limited number of puzzle questions that you would be asked in your interviews and tests(barring the HFTs here), maybe around 150-200. And even having them in your repertoire will make you feel confident about any question you face for the first time. I did Coding + Puzzles throughout August and September. The placement tests started in October, and it’s full of ups and downs because there will be a point when you go on a streak of acing 3-4 exams and then bombing a major one that nullifies everything. Along with this, I was also preparing for CAT. So I used to appear for weekly mock Cats as well during Aug-Nov. So it covered the Aptitude component of my tests. For cases, I started with Victor cheng videos in September(of course, if you’re targeting MBBs, you’ll have to start way before that). I began doing cases with one of my friend who was as clueless as me when I got to know that I was shortlisted for PWC. We took the help of one of our friends who was already placed in Mckinsey to help us in our cases, which helped us a lot to step up. In the last leg of preparation, which is the last 10 days of November, I covered each point in my resume. Each point you wrote naively could cost you a day here when instead you could revise all the concepts you would be asked. Like in the end, I had to study SQL because I had mentioned it in my resume. I would also like to mention that I enrolled in two courses of prepleaf(cases guess estimates and finance). It would not prove to be a game changer for you but still it’s one more person to get inputs from.
DO’S 1. Invest a sufficient amount of time in making your resume. You could see it this way that making a good resume is equivalent to performing well in 5-10 tests as there are companies that are going to shortlist you solely on resume. 2. Share your rants with friends; it helps as it’s natural to get overwhelmed at times DONT’S 3. While previous year trends are helpful and will mostly apply in your year as well but be prepared for things to happen differently. For example, just the year before PWC hired two people, both students were dual. So when it publishes a shortlist of 30 people, you might be skeptical if it would be fitting to invest your time in its preparation. Comes my year, and they hire 7 people and no dual student. As for Goldman Sachs, they hired 14 students in placement in the previous year, while in my year, they just hired 4.
Final Tips :
1. Take as much fewer credits as you can in your placement semester 2. Placement prep resources might look overwhelming but trust me, it’s LIMITED. If you plan it properly, there will be a point when you feel saturated. 3. Do not think that a company’s out of your reach. Trust me on this, I have seen people getting through when they felt they had no chance in there. 4. Talk to your friends when you feel overwhelmed also do reach out to your seniors they do have an idea of a bigger picture 5. No one knows more about your projects than you so discussing about your resume should always be your key strength.