In Conversation – Placement Diaries

“Data Structures and Design patterns are equally important” says Srinivas, final year student from The Department Of Computer Technology. Let’s see what the CISCO placed MITIAN has to share with us.


Can you tell us about the selection criteria and process behind your placement?


There is a program called the ‘CISCO International Internship Program’ for which applications were accepted from the month of October. I came to know about the same through a Facebook post by one of our Alumni. And I did apply for it by the month of November by uploading all the necessary documents. After the screening process got over, I was called up for the interview in the month of March. It was done through a video conference and the duration was around one and half hours. I had to face two levels of selection, but the number of rounds to be conducted, in general, solely depends on the satisfaction of the hiring manager and the job post. Thousands of Applications pour in for this program and at the end around 35-40 candidates get their offer to intern at Silicon Valley. According to the statistics, till the last year, 2-3 Indians that too from IIT got selected for this internship.


Was it a dream job for you to get into CISCO? Tell us about a few initiatives from your side for joining your dream company.


Yes, it was. I aspired to join either Amazon or Cisco on listening to the words from my senior who was an Amazon employee. During my second year, I joined the Cisco Networking Academy which conducted courses hosted by the ECE department. At that time though, I dreamt of getting into Cisco(India), after enrolling myself in multiple courses, I cleared the Cisco’s CCENT certification exam which was of International standard in networking field. On the other side, I applied for Amazon too which came for campus placements and went through a summer internship. Special thanks to Venkatesh, Nitin and Deepan who gave their full support in helping me identify my skills and for making the internship a memorable one.


Were you engaged in any specific preparation to tackle your interviews?


To be frank, I never prepared anything. It was more of my experience which was asked in the interview. The questions asked were dealing with the technologies that I am good at, the data-structures I preferred to use in multiple scenarios, my project works and the experience during internship. And also, few parts of my resume satisfied their selection criteria.


Can you share those parts of your resume with us?


My internships at Amazon, courses done over NPTEL and CCENT certification from Cisco Networks could have been centre of attraction. My ranking in the Cisco Netriders,2017 might have had a value.I was ranked 69 in the world and 5 in India. My projects on machine learning concepts and java-based applications might have also had an impact.


You have recieved placement offers from Visa and also have pursued your 6 month internship at Amazon. In what way do you expect Cisco to be different from these?


One beneficiary aspect is the location.Working at Silicon Valley can bring about interactions with people from all over the world and we are also given an offer to visit the headquarters of other companies during the programme which would give a new experience.


Your batch has set high standards by giving really good placements. Where would you rank yourself among your batchmates?


Actually, I never do any comparison of myself with anybody else nor consider anyone as my competitor.I just strive to do my best.


What are the factors that you would consider for picking a company to work with?


It depends on the job post for which the company is hiring. If a reputed company hires me for a role which doesn’t involve any design or development projects I’ll not choose it, whereas if the same offers me the job of a software developer, I would surely consider. Giving preference for product- based companies will be a wiser choice, as it may help us join any other product based or service-oriented companies in long run.


In what way did MIT influence your career?


In comparison with other affliated colleges, there is more scope of placements when it comes to Anna University. In that way, one could gain a lot of exposure and learn from mistakes by attending multiple interviews. But, I got placed in the Fifth company on-campus and didn’t have the chance of attending others.


What is the piece of advice that you’d like to give your juniors?


It is important to be a competitive programmer. But, believe me I’m not the one of that kind, I am more interested in designing scalable applications and developing projects. I do agree that competitive programming is essential for clearing various rounds of your placements. But, being a developer helps you in the long run. Try to familiarize with the concepts of OOPS and OOAD. That would determine your conversion ratios. So, I prefer you to give equal importance to both data structures and design patterns.


Special Thanks to The MIT Quill for this opportunity to share my experience among the students who are looking for internships.


Interviewed by: M Naveena, Second year, CT

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