Karan Verma,a 2009 pass out from IT-NSIT,placed in CISCO,answers some useful questions to the NSITonline:-
1.How did you prepared for the placements?
I prepared for my placements by being attentive in the class, doing the coding assignments my self, and getting my concepts straight. That is the most simple and productive way to prepare if you are aiming for a Tech. profile.
Aiming for a specific company always helps and increases your chances considerably. So if you are aiming for Cisco doing projects in networking would give you a boost. I did three projects in networking. I also published two papers in IEEE international conference on communications, concerning routing in mobile ad hoc networks.
2.What was the recruitment procedure for CSICO?
The recruitment procedure for Cisco involved three stages. I would explain stage by stage.
Written: All branches were allowed to sit.
The written round consisted of 50 questions, 20 being quantitative analysis and logical reasoning and 30 being Engineering. The first 20 questions were of medium level of difficulty. The next 30 questions had varied level of difficulty and had questions from all engineering subjects. To name the ones with heavy weightage: OS, DS, Algorithms, Analog Electronics, Digital Electronics, Networking. There was no negative marking.
I scored 30 out of 50.
Essay: 21 people were selected.
We were asked to write an essay on any topic of our choice. I wrote on, "My interest in Networks".
Interviews: All 21 sat in the interviews. They involved two rounds, a Tech. interview and a HR interview.
Tech interview: We were divided into two groups, Group A: 11 people, Group B: 10 people. My group was, A.
At first I was asked to introduce myself, I told a little about my self and a lot about my projects. I was asked, "Did you choose this essay topic because its Cisco", I referred to my projects again and satisfied his query. I was then asked some technical questions, some new, some old. I answered all of them correctly. I was then asked to explain my projects.
I remember one instance that I would like to share, I was asked to write strcmp. I wrote it, the interviewer then asked me to write a palindrome check using the function I wrote. I wrote it but with a minor glitch. I explained how we would take the string and compare them forward to backward and backward to forward using the strcmp I had written. The glitch was that I had forgot to write strrev, but I explained assuming that I had done it. The interviewer replied by saying that " I like your confidence but there is only ++ (increment) that I see in your code" (He meant there should also be --(decrement) if I mean backward to forward). I realized my mistake and told him about the assumption that I had made. He seemed amused.
Lesson: Be confident, show that you know a lot and that you are right.
At the end I talked a lot about my projects, and asked about the kind of work I would do if I joined Cisco.
HR: Only some of the people got to give the HR interview, I don't remember how many.
The interview was pretty cool, the HR told me that I had described my essay in a nice way. She talked about my family, hobbies and college. She was pretty keen on my plans for future studies, and told me that I made a good candidate for MS in a foreign university. I told her that I was not interested in future studies.
At the end, 4 people were selected from Group B and I was the only one from Group A. My interviewer shook hands with me at the end saying that I got through the tough group. He was a software development manager and I am still seeking him at Cisco.
3.What do you think made you stand out from your fellow classmates?
The fact that I scored well in the written to clear the screening in which other very competent people sat. ( who went onto to clear, Microsoft, Amazon and other good companies. Lesson: don't loose heart even if you fail once).
I had good projects under my belt, and also that I was confident and answered well in my interview.
4.How was your experience of cracking your goal?
It was a wonderful experience. The best feeling was to hear the voice of my parents, after I told them I succeeded this time. "This time" because, I was rejected in other finals viz. 2:30 am in the morning, Yahoo final coding round and Adobe final round.
Reminder: Don't loose heart, even if you fail twice.
5.How have your four years in NSIT affected you overall?
The years have affected my in a very positive way and shaped my personality to what it is. The best part of NSIT was meeting my peers. They are friends that I will keep forever, and even better is that they are the really intelligent ones.
As extracurriculars I had organized the Linux challenge in 2007 and 2008. I had won a couple of time in coding contests in DCE and NSIT. Also I always danced at Moksha :)
6.What advice would you like to give to your juniors?
My advice to my juniors would be to do whatever they really want. Initially I got interested in networks after we were given challenging lab assignments by Khushil Saini Sir. Then I took more networking projects from Dhurandher Sir. Thus I am glad I landed up in Cisco, it all seems logical.
Also don't think of your company as an end, but as a means to an end. The end being the work that you'll do. We should take pride in being called engineers. Engineering and Technology is something that has shaped the world and we are a part of it.
So as I had said when I started this conversation with you guys, get your basics right. Take time to understand your field and choose what you want to do. If it is non-tech, do non-tech. I know some really smart guys who want to be in non-tech but are stuck in tech. companies.
Remember nothing is a time waste, unless you are forced to do it.
7.Anything special you would like to mention?
I'd only like to say that, I feel gratitude towards some teachers and that they have my respect. They are Saini Sir, BKS sir and Dhurandher Sir, and would recommend the juniors to work with them. Also STC sir, if you want to do some good research work.