At this moment, I’m very happy, though its almost 1 week since I’ve received this happy news. Its my final year of Engineering and so the first thing that comes to anybody’s mind is ‘campus placements’. I was hired by SAP last Friday – 16/09/11.
It was only on 13th morning that I returned to college after the mass recruitment drive by Infosys and CTS at the Ettimadai campus of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham. I was almost certain that I wouldn’t be attending any more placement tests that week. But, it happened all of a sudden – I would like to call it fate, and good luck! 🙂 If it wasn’t for my friend Rahul, I’d never have enrolled for this company’s placement test.
This was my 5th attempt at placements. I had reached till the interview rounds of companies like Microsoft, Thoughtworks, Sourcebits. But, I couldn’t clear them. I attributed it to my weak basics. I was determined to brush up and strengthen my basics, deriving inspiration from my classmate, Greeshma, who made it into Microsoft. Even I was surprised how determined I could be. It all paid off. Thank God!
Ok, so the placement drive of SAP India Pvt Ltd (http://www.sap.com/india/index.epx) was scheduled for the 15th and 16th of September 2011 at the Ettimadai Amrita School of Engineering. Along with 13 other friends from my campus, I reached the Ettimadai campus on 15th midnight, around 12.30 a.m. The pre placement talk was scheduled for 12.00 p.m the very same day. I don’t know if you would believe me, now that I’m already hired, that I had the intuition that ‘this company is for me’ when the pre-placement talk was being delivered. I was very much impressed by the speaker, and the company. The hiring procedure began with an online test of 90 minutes at around 4.30p.m. There were 90 questions subdivided into 3 sections – logical analysis (30 questions), verbal skills (30 questions), and technical CS (30 questions). These were further subdivided, and each question was timed. The crucial factor was time management. The test didn’t go very well for most of us, including me, but this inner voice made me feel ‘I might get through’. And yes, I did.
Now, my nightmare would haunt me- interview AGAIN! I really didn’t want to fail in yet another interview. I already had had enough. Being one of the top scorers of the class, and losing out on simple, basic questions! I couldn’t take more of them! The very same day two of my classmates, Rahul and Chandni cleared the technical interview round. Mine was scheduled for 16th. That night I used the internet to look for some commonly asked questions and to clear my doubts.
My technical interview round began at around 10.30 a.m the next morning. I wasn’t very tensed. I wanted to clear this one! The interviewer seemed to be a very friendly guy. He briefed me on how he would be splitting time for various sections. After the first basic introduction, he began to ask the technical questions. First was on Linked lists. I was asked to write the code and explain how to swap the max and min elements of a singly linked list. Linked lists are my favorites, and I could easily solve them. Then he asked me if I was comfortable with binary trees, and then asked me to build a binary tree using the input he gave, and then write the code. I took my own time – around 5 minutes, and solved the problem. He didn’t really go thorough the code thoroughly, he only skimmed through it as I explained! I was confident about the solution, though! 🙂 After this, he asked me to explain the object oriented features using the real world example – humans. Though I fumbled in this part, the interviewer really helped me and ultimately he could understand that I knew the concepts. He didn’t ask more, and in around 45 minutes, my technical interview was done.
After this round, I wasn’t satisfied. I felt I hadn’t done my best and a few tears trickled down my cheeks. One of the coordinators from the Ettimadai campus soon came with the news that I’d been selected for the next round, the HR round. I was overwhelmed at this news. Later I found that the interviewer was really impressed with my answers, and that I was one of the two students whom he had given a ‘yes’ within the first 15 minutes into the interview.
HR round was next. I had no experience with this, and so I was totally blank. Rahul and Chandni had already finished their HR rounds, and their only advice to me was ‘be yourself’. They asked me to think for a few seconds before beginning to answer the questions, which I followed exactly. The interviewers weren’t looking for brilliant answers. My interviewer, like the others, was very friendly and helpful, and I had to face the common questions like ‘why Computer Science and Engineering’ etc. They only wanted to know if we could literally THINK! 🙂 As per my evaluation, my answers weren’t brilliant, but they weren’t very bad either. The voice inside me echoed that ‘i might get through’. After waiting for around an hour, the coordinators came to us with the happy news! I was overwhelmed. I am really grateful to God.
The SAP employees then invited us for dinner. They said was their tradition to take the newly hired students for dinner. No other company had done so at Ettimadai, at least till what I’ve known. The dinner was SUPERB! We got to know the employees better. They were very jolly people who loved to enjoy, and we enjoyed the food, and their company to the maximum!!
Can’t wait to join SAP!