The Wackiest Thing I Did was for IIT Campus Placements!
By the time campus placements started, I was totally consumed by my startup at the IIT-KGP incubation centre. I would not bore you with details of my big schemes and even bigger dreams but I was planning to make it big with my business idea and never thought of taking up a job.
Me and my team used to start working at about 4 pm and worked till 5 am in the morning. We ended the day with a typical tea-and-samosa party (which is a staple late-night diet of so many IITians) only to wake up again at lunch time.
Not surprisingly then, half of the dayâ€™s placements were over by the time we were actually awake. And we were hardly bothered about keeping up with the latest happenings and â€˜bigâ€™ news of campus placements at IIT Kharagpur. We thought we were on something bigger.
On the third day of IIT placement season, I met one of my seniors just when I was about to start my day at 5 pm. Senior – â€œAre you sitting for the Placements?â€, he enquired. I laughed off his question with, â€œNo! I am going to continue focusing on my startup right now.â€
Senior said, â€œBut itâ€™s always a good idea to have a backup plan, isnâ€™t it? With all these predictions of markets collapsing in the coming months, it will be cool to have a job in hand in case of an emergency.â€
â€œBut I havenâ€™t attended Pre-Placement Talks. I am not eligible for Placementsâ€, I said.
â€œFigure something out thenâ€, he said walking away.
That set me thinking. I saw no harm in scoring a hob and keep working on my startup until I graduate. So, I spent rest of the evening figuring out how to hack the files of the IIT KGP Placement Office. Well, I figured it out and marked myself â€˜Presentâ€™ in all the talks that needed to be attended.
By 9 pm, I was eligible for attending the placements!
Now, it was time to find out which company can I sit for. I asked one of my mates at the hostel wing, â€œSatish, I am appearing for placements. How are you preparing for it?â€ The nice helpful guy readily passed me a bulky book â€“ â€œYou can start with the aptitude test first.â€ I think the book was about CAT preparation. I was glad to accept the book and slept comfortably on it for the rest of the night.
Next day (on the fourth day of the placements), I got up early â€“ at around 8 am â€“ and walked to the mess. â€œWhich company is coming today?â€, I enquired from another wing smate.
â€œDeloitte. The test is at 8:30â€, he promptly answered.
As I hurriedly rushed to the Lecture Hall 7 where the interview was being conducted, I saw that more than 500 candidates had applied for the position. We had to fill up a form where we had to choose from Option 1 and Option 2. Who in the world knew what it was all about?
â€œShhh! Do you know what these options mean?â€, I elbowed my neighbor. â€œOption 1 is something technical and I donâ€™t know what Option 2 is aboutâ€, he whispered back.
Okay! I was not the only clueless one there.
Well, I opted for Option 1 and got selected for the interview.
On the same day, Cisco was holding test at 1 pm and another automobile company selected me for an interview. While chatting with some CSE guys at the Cisco test, I asked them, â€œDo you know what is Option 1 at Deloitte?â€. â€œOh! Itâ€™s about Information Security stuffâ€, one of them said.
My mind started working. I had done some encryption-related stuff in B.Tech project, which was first of its kinds at my college. I skipped the Cisco test, took out my BTP report and brushed all the concepts. By 5 pm, I was totally tired and the last guy to be interviewed too. Here are the most interesting excerpts from my IIT placement interview:
Interviewer 1: Your B.Tech project seems interesting. Tell us more about it.
I was waiting for the question. I explained the details of the project and they did look happy.
Then came some general questions about my startup and my low CPI etc, which I managed to fend off quite well. The last question was a bowler.
Interviewer 2: What is the wackiest thing you have ever done?
I answered truthfully, â€œI hacked the placement office site today, Sir, to become eligible to sit your written exam.â€
Both the interviews were taken by surprise. They looked at each other and laughed. Then they asked me how I did it. I explained it all and told them how got access to the database of the site through XSS attack.
After the interview ended, I came out and was sitting with my friends when a Student Placement Office (SPO) person came out and asked me poker-faced, â€œWhat in the world did you tell the guys?â€
My heart skipped a beat. â€œWhy?â€, I asked.
â€œThey said â€“ â€˜What a guy!â€™.â€ That made me confident that I will certainly be selected for the job. I kept checking my mails but did not receive anything till 8 pm.
Sadly, I took out my phone to call my parents. Thatâ€™s when I saw a missed call at 6 pm. I called back. It was my interviewers! They informed me that they need my photograph. I managed to reach SPO just when they were about to leave.
I got the offer, kept working on my startup which was doomed by the looming economy crash, and am now working at Deloitte.
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Resource : Askiitians