Ikshu Bhalla

Ikshu Bhalla 

1. Please tell us something about your placement procedure at Google.

I applied off campus for the position of software engineering intern at Google India in the third year of my college. I had a couple of telephonic interviews after which received the internship offer. I interned at their Bangalore office for the months of June-July and at the end of internship, I had pre placement interviews. The feedback from the interviews and the feedback given by the mentor and a team member about the internship performance is taken into account, following which I landed with the offer.

2. What is the Procedure that is followed for short listing the students?

For internship: I’m not quite sure if any shortlisting took place before the interviews were done. Following interviews, result is based on the interview feedbacks alone as far as I know.

For full time: The process I went through wasn’t the same as the on-campus process. All the interns were given a chance to give pre placement interviews. Though, for on-campus process, this year there was an online coding round.

3. Do you have any incident in mind that you'd like to share with us that happened during one of the Interviews/GDs?

I was once pretty anxious before one of my interviews and the interviewer could gauge that pretty easily. He was then very friendly with me all through, quite helping. I could do a questions I couldn’t have thought of doing probably outside the interview time. So in general, I learnt that thinking of interviewer as just another person discussing questions with you can make your interview go great.

4. How did you prepare for the Placement Season? What advice would you like to give to your juniors regarding the placement season?

Since I was interning (which was quite important as internship feedback mattered in getting the full time offer), I didn’t really have a lot of time to prepare for the placements. I only had the time to brush up the essentials required for any placement interviews/written rounds. I mostly relied on whatever I had done till before my internship began and honestly, I felt that I was underprepared for the placement season not knowing much about concepts of OS, DBMS etc.

So, one piece of advice that I can give to my juniors is to be geared up for placements beforehand if they’re interning as those not interning will have those 2 months of extra time to prepare. They should do as much as they can before their internship.

5. What is the role of Academics in getting a good placement?

Given the kind of subjects we study at NSIT(talking about COE specifically), only the concepts learned in few subjects like Data structures, OS, DMBS may eventually be of any help for placements. Rest of it has to be done on our own (MOOCs/competitive programming etc.). As far as the marks go, anything above 70-75% should do.

6. What all internships and projects you did in your 4 years at NSIT? How did you get them?

I did just one intern at Google. I didn’t do any projects apart from minor class projects (which don’t count I think).

7. Would you like to give any advice on how to approach Teachers/Professors for performing projects under them?

Shooting vague, generic mails to several professors at a time is a big NO. One should have some idea(s) in mind and approach suitable professor with a personalized mail. Sending mails like “Please take me for a project under you” doesn’t help. Sending out mail asking for a meeting with them to discuss your ideas, meeting them and then asking for their guidance (working under them) might just be a better idea.

8. Are you planning to do higher studies in near future? Did you take CAT/GMAT exam last year?

Yes, I am planning to do so after a couple of years of work experience.

No I haven’t taken any exams yet.

9. Would you like to give any piece of advice to your juniors to tackle a tricky situation? Would you like to share any such Personal Experience where the Interviewer caught you Off Guard? 

Be vocal. Being vocal in interviews can greatly affect your chances. It expresses your confidence. Thinking out loud, rather than being quiet and keeping all your thoughts in your mind helps. If you are thinking off track, interviewer can quickly correct you saving the precious interview time you’d spend thinking wrong all by yourself. She/He will encourage your thoughts if you are doing it right. It’s a win-win. Specifically in tricky situations, being calm, penning down your thoughts to draw conclusions, interacting with the interviewer may help.

In one my internship interviews, I was asked a design question (keeping in mind OS concepts like race, deadlock etc.), for which I had zero preparation and expectation at that time. I told my interviewer about my limitations with those subjects, discussed my ideas with him and in the end came out fairly well out of the deadlock (pun intended :P ).

10. What areas would you suggest a beginner to start with for getting acquainted with programming?

For a beginner, developing a good hand at coding is the first step. From personal experience, I would suggest starting with competitive programming on one or several online judges. One can also do courses like Design and Analysis of Algorithms by Tim Roughgarden on coursera.

11. What initiated the passion for coding in you? Were You into Programming during your School Life as well?

Several of my seniors getting places at great companies was a good driving force to make me test my hands at competitive programming. Once I tried it, I found it very addictive and absorbing. From there on I continued it for quite some time.

No, I wasn’t into programming remotely in school.

12. Have You ever been considered a Nerd by your Friends because of your interest in Programming? What kept you going for all these years?

Haha, my friends would be able to answer that better, but I don’t think they do.

Competitive programming is fascinating enough to keep one going on with it for a long time. I was passionate about it, and wanted to rank good. Also, trying to match up to the competition from all over India was a great driving force.

13. How did the class environment helped in shaping what you are today? Were you distracted by the fact that many Juniors idolized you?

That’s definitely an overstatement and I disagree with it strongly. I think my juniors are much smarter :P

One good thing about NSIT is peers. Everyone in class is brilliant. The environment is very competitive and keeps one on the toes to do better.

14. What helped you sail through the hurdles and crack one of the finest Tech firm recruiting at NSIT?

It’s never one thing that helps one do good. Constantly working passionately, trying to achieve something different and worthy helped me all through. I always kept in mind that it is not just about working hard, it’s about working smart. Effort must be put in at the right place otherwise it’s futile.

15. Did you join any College Society or Club? Do you feel that they make any impact over one's Overall Personality and Skill set?

I was associated with Debating Society for a short period of time. Joining societies helps only if one works full time and with dedication. It might help make one more vocal and confident.

16. How would you rate the interaction between seniors and juniors in NSIT?

Pretty bad. The only interaction seems to be through facebook messages and stuff. The fault lies on part of both seniors and juniors. No one takes much effort so nothing happens. That is surely something that needs big improvement as guidance given by seniors will help in places we'd expect the least(helped me for sure).

17. Is there anything that you would like to change about NSIT?

A lot can change here. I don’t think it’ll be even possible/ worth it to write it here.

18. Would you like to share any Memorable experience that You had in your College Life?

The time spent with friends, in and out of college, is the best time. I think it’ll be injustice to pen down only one as memorable.


Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology

Azad Hind Fauz Marg, Sector-3, Dwarka, New Delhi - 110078
(An Autonomous Institution of Govt.of NCT of Delhi)

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