Nitin Nageen, (74/EC/06), placed in Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), shares his experience with Vibhor Relhan.
The placement session of 2010 will be known for the sweet and sour experiences of unexpected recession and for the hardwork of our placement team and Bhatia sir, whose efforts made companies visit NSIT. Overall I could say that it was not easy to fetch a job among the best students amid recession. But as,the age old story of hard work reaps success does prove to be true so don’t be disheartened if results don’t favour you in the beginning. Have faith in God, and most importantly have faith in yourself.
It is a preconceived notion that the preparation for placements is not easy but all those who have gone through the placement procedure will agree that it is not that difficult. It simply involves dedication,seriousness and clarity of mind as to where you want to see yourself once the college is over.
The first step I believe is not gathering the books everyone is supposed to read instead it is the decision which everyone has to take as to which field do they want to go to.This decision shouldn't be taken lightly since your life ahead depends on it.The earlier you take this decision the more time you have to study and prepare for the chosen field.
An informed decision is the best decision.Thus take pains to talk to seniors and find out about the options you have.Broadly,the companies are divided into technical and non-technical companies.
Technical – Includes the core companies recruitment, GATE and GRE
Non-technical – Non-tech Companies visiting NSIT in a large number and MBA.
Due to my interest in Technical arena I would like to outline its preparation methodology.You must be briefly aware of your main subjects from third semester itself.
For Electronics, important Subjects are Electronics -1, DCS-1, Electromagnetism(EM), Transmission line, Microprocessors, Circuits and systems, Digital communication, Digital Signal Processing, Satellite Communication.
Let us C (By Yaswant kanitkar (YK)), followed by The C programming Language (Dennis Ritchie)
Especially for ECE students, study Data structures(DS) from YK (If you have interest in DS)
With recession in the industry there was a high probability of not procuring a job,many of us were faced with the same uncertainty yet we managed to scrape the placements so I believe you can do it too with certain amount of hard work.
I read Digital Logic(By Morris Mano),Sedra Smith(Ch.3,4,5) to begin with.I followed this with a quick revision of my core subjects which does not take much time if you had studied them well at the time of exams. Keeping in my mind the difficulty in getting placed in core companies, I also prepared for software/IT companies.This basically comprised of complete revision of C from YK followed by Dennis Ritchie.I suggest to read Data Structure from YK which clears your basics.
Knowledge of Aptitude concepts is as important as having a strong technical know-how. People preparing for MBA have a prior knowledge of these but for those not preparing for MBA,I would suggest you to go through "Quantitative Aptitude by R.S.Aggarwal (unfortunately I came to know about it after the placements!)
For DRDO specifically read about RADAR,types of RADAR's,working of missiles and gather some general knowledge about the recent missiles tested.
Aricent visited the campus after two months of placement session.The turnout for the same was huge with about 70% of the batch sitting for the company.The recruitment procedure for the company included a written test,Group Discussion and personal interview.
Individual tests of Aptitude and C&DS were conducted as part of the written test.The tests were of appropriate level and can be solved with no difficulty.
Group Discussion was more of a test of communication skills,confidence and the ability to work in a team. Group of 10 people were divided into 2 teams,for and against.Each team was given a sheet containing information about Republic Day Celebrations in which the points for both the teams were explained.We were required to defend the team we were a part of.From my personal experience i suggest to use your presence of mind and speak your point with confidence.
Prior to the interview we were asked to answer some HR questions. I advise you to pay extreme attention to the answers you write in the sheet as some question might be put up to you in the interview(I was asked two.)In such cases try and answer the same way you did in the sheets.Thereafter in the interview a couple of software related questions were asked from Dennis Ritchie like atoi, code reduction in string copy etc.
After facing a lot of rejections finally i got a breakthrough in DRDO. Candidates were directly shortlisted for the interview on the basis of percentage.Although the cut off was less yet students with higher percentage were shortlisted.The panel for the interview comprised of four persons.
My interview began with a highly unexpected question on my interest in reality shows.This shocked me for a moment and i began wondering whether I had entered the right room or not.The idea to grasp from this is "Expect the Unexpected".This was followed by a question on application of electronics in DRDO (It was like asking someone where he wants to party amid a bunch of restaurants!).I could think of indefinite things and I said RADAR(no specific reasons for choosing it).There was a Radar expert in the panel who asked questions about it.Fortunately I knew quite a bit about RADAR's even though they are not a part of the curriculum.
The turning point of the interview in my favour was when they asked me how would I correct the position of a wrong turned missile so that it comes up in the right position. I gave the answer based on satellite communication (I took missile and satellite as analogous objects).I described the workflow of correcting the position as getting the control words from missile,production of new controls, turning ON the motors of Pivot wheels attached to the missile and hence changing the angular momentum which would correct the position of the missile. Since the answer surprised them all I would advise ECE students to study the subject satellite communication with utmost attention. With this followed a series of questions on the recent missile launch, it's name, length etc.
Other topics from which they asked the questions were cascading amplifiers (loading effect),noise calculation, difference between analog and digital communication(Very important question! It was asked in three PSU's), SNR etc.
After the taste of failures and rejections the news of selection was like the first rain of the season welcome and refreshing. I would advise you to work hard for your placements so that you can enjoy your fruit of labour after you have a job in hand.
Projects and extra curricular activities
Everyone likes to add a project to their existing resume but you should only pursue them if you are really interested in that field.You might think that having a project adds to your CV well, it undoubtedly does but only if you have a genuine interest and knowledge to back it up.(dont try and fake it..it can backfire on you) I did projects under Gadre Sir since I was really interested in projects related to electronics. Like you I too had heard that a lot of questions are asked on your projects but a little surprise during my interview was that they never paid attention to the projects I had mentioned that I was the deputy head of the documentation team in MOKSHA-2009 and was asked questions about the difficulties faced during this task and how it helped develop leadership skills in me.
There were some other competitions where i participated.Regardless of where I won or lost, the small challenges that we faced in the process and then overcoming them with limited time and resource was a nice learning experience.I had designed a car for participating in Carnage.We had done all the work including designing, testing ourselves and was a really enjoyable experience.I also designed a Line following robot but couldn't participate as its working was not successful.I participated in the Micromouse car challenge which included controlling a wireless toy car through PC parallel port and making it run on a predefined track.
A few more general things
One thing which made me stand out from the rest of my willingness to put in my 100% in future and my ability to learn new things quickly as and when required to do so. I have always believed that put in your best and god will take care of the rest.
Also, a very important suggestion to all the students who are willing to apply for following papers:
For NTPC, IAS (Electrical engineering) and other PSU’s- Read machines, control engineering, Electromagnetism with a lot of understanding, with core subject knowledge.
For GATE, ISRO -You must have an understanding of important topics in Core subjects like PEE, Electronics-1,Microprocessors, Digital Signal processing-1,Digital Communication, DCS, transmission lines, EM, Control, etc.
ISRO selection procedure consists of written test followed by interview.Reading these books helped me clear the written test with relative ease.
An advice to my juniors in first and second year is that maintain your percentage above 70% and you wont face the problem of crossing the cut-off for companies.
For the others,Best of Luck for the upcoming placement session and enjoy life.
In case of any help/suggestions, you can always contact me.
Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO)