Puhoop Agarwal, from the class of ECE ‘11 is currently working at at Ernst and Young.She also had job offers from Mckinsey, EValueserve and teach for India. She shares some wonderful gyaan with us all on her current job profile, placement preparation and college life.
I sat for almost all the non-technical companies - Bain Capability Centre, Evalueserve, Mc Kinsey Knowledge Centre, JP Morgan, Nomura, Dunnhumby and got rejected by quite a few! Since my interest lied mainly in Consulting, I was not very inclined towards finance.
Ernst and Young
Currently I am working in Ernst & Young as an associate consultant. I applied for the job off campus. The profile is slightly mixed .It is neither business consulting nor does it involve coding. I am in a vertical called IT Risk Assurance. The work entails me to do IT audits for the company and also designing Business Continuity plans for them. It is a client interfacing job. The process is not complicated. Their is a resume based shortlisting. After that there are 4-5 rounds of interviews which require you to be thorough with your resume and internships. Please note that this is not Business Consulting. In fact it is as far away from it as possible!
McKinsey and Company
McKc‘s selection procedure was quite rigorous and a lot of importance was given to the internships I had done previously. Each round was with a different panel but focused on the same topics. There was a guess estimate in each round and the usual HR questions. The guess estimates were impulsively asked. For example I had interned in Indian Railways; so I was asked the length of railroad track in India. I had applied for the FIG profile so I was also asked some basic finance related questions which were mostly general. There was also a GD round in the beginning. My winter internship in McKC was a very good learning experience and I got to know to do projects similar to the ones I would have done had I joined as an analyst there. I was offered the internship so that I could learn more about the job and the profile and understand finance better.
Teach for India
I had applied for “Teach for India” program which had the most interesting interview process so far. The selection process started with filling of application process. The interview process consisted of a mock teaching exercise, role play and an interview. The interview lasted 20-30 minutes and covered my entire resume.
The preparation for most non technical companies is the same. A list of things you must do to clear any of these companies includes reading some basic cases and guess estimate (Wet Feet and Vaults’ guide), getting a grasp over CAT level questions and common puzzles and being aware of the current topics in news. Apart from this some important points which are specific to a company include thorough knowledge of the work you would be required to do, the company values, its founders and likes. What I learnt from my placement experience was that beyond your knowledge and skills your enthusiasm and general level of preparedness and confidence has a huge effect on your selection. The company only wants candidates that will fit into their organisation. As a result you may be very good but yet may be rejected. The only solution for that is to try and analyze your strengths and weaknesses and identify where your interest really lies and specifically target those companies. Try and talk to seniors placed in those companies to get a fair idea about the work and culture in that organisation.
Also some basic HR questions are always asked to gauge your confidence and clarity of thought. These include:
1. Tell me about yourself/ Take me through your CV.
2. Why this particular company?
3. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
A point worth noting would be that academics are not the sole deciding pointer though a good percentage never hurts! If you can justify your marks and stress on your extracurricular there should be no problem. But you have to be prepared for lot of questions as to why your marks are so low especially if you have been a good performer in school.
I interned at PT education, Areva T&D, Indian Railways and Mc Kinsey Knowledge Centre. PT education came to campus for internship so I was simply lucky. Areva T&D and Indian railways were through people I knew and I got an internship at McKC because I was placed there. So they offered an internship as training since they were offering a non technical profile for the first time.
Senior Junior Interaction
The interaction since my 3rd year has been very poor. We were probably the last batch ever to be ragged and it was a very valuable learning experience and a huge eye opener. It is up to the batches now to improve the interaction. Learning to be grounded is a huge part of any education and talking to your seniors and being ragged helps you do just that. So even if the rules today don't leave much scope for interaction it is up to the juniors to try and extract the maximum knowledge and experiences from their seniors by participating in Fests and societies.
All said and done I would advise people not to be too obsessed with placements. College is about much more. Make friends, gain experiences and learn and absorb as much as possible. You will really miss college!
Consultant, Ernst and Young
ECE, Class of 2011, NSIT