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Here we have Aditya Mittal, a 2019 IITB graduate from the Electrical Engineering Department. He had a PPO from Nvidia and went on to be an ASIC Engineer at Nvidia. He describes his experience and word of advice in the following blog!

What was your main motivation for sticking to a core job?
I stuck to my job in the core sector because it is exactly what I wanted, from a job. The work is challenging enough to keep me interested, the work-life balance is great and I am learning and growing every day.

What prompted you to go for a job after graduation as opposed to higher education, an MBA, a startup, etc.?
After many years of studying, I didn’t want to continue that anymore. I wanted a financially stable job.

Were there any turning points during your insti life where you identified your interest in a particular area? E.g. any particular course, research project or competition you participated in?
During my second year, I was sure that I don’t want to pursue a job in core. I didn’t like the courses in my third semester and that developed a bad image for core in my mind. At the end of my second year, I talked to seniors and batchmates and realised that a huge percentage of IITB Elec UGs opt for core jobs after graduation. This made me question my perception of electrical engineering. Electrical engineering is a vast department and there are several fields you can choose from. I decided to go for a core internship during my second year summers which was an extension of one of the courses in my fourth semester. That paved my path into a core job.

What hard/soft skills are essential in your job? How did you build up your skill-set in the field? E.g. internships or courses inside and/or outside the institute.
My job requires an understanding of the concepts of the ‘Digital Systems’ course. You should know coding in Verilog/VHDL. Knowledge of FSMs is a must. Apart from the technical knowledge, you should be able to properly communicate your ideas to other people. Work culture in corporations requires teamwork capabilities. You should be able to interact with people and take their help to get things done quickly.

What made you finalise your job profile at the company you are working for? What aspects of the company/career path should one consider while making this decision?
Work culture is something that is important and is the strongest point of Nvidia. The company takes care of its employees and that is the reason people stick to the firm for long periods. Other than this, you should consider company growth, personal growth in the company, CTC and the work profile.

Did you consider applying externally instead of going through placements? If no, why not?
I had a PPO and was satisfied with what I had. I didn’t feel like putting in the effort to find some other opportunity externally.

What exactly constitutes your job at the company you are working for? In other words, can you explain what your day looks like in layman terms?
Nvidia creates chips that are integrated into gaming consoles, self-driving cars, smartphones etc. Since these chips have millions of logic gates(AND/OR/mux etc), the design of these chips need to be done by coding the functionality using a ‘hardware description language’. This is what I do. I design the chips using Verilog language. This design is then verified by other teams using simulations of signals. After the chip has been designed and verified, it is sent for manufacturing.

Could you mention the things you like and dislike about your current job?
I like the salary that gets deposited into my bank account every month and I dislike the tax they deduct. 😛

What are your long term plans? Since most cutting-edge research and implementation is done abroad, do you plan to move out of India?
The work done in Nvidia’s Indian offices is at the same level as the work done in their US offices from a hardware perspective. I am not planning to move abroad for better opportunities. I might plan to go abroad for other personal reasons in future. I have not decided everything yet. My current plan is to keep working at Nvidia until I get bored.

What impact will/did the COVID-19 pandemic have on your job profile, your current employer and the sector as a whole? (depending on fresh graduate/experienced)
A fresh graduate will definitely have a barrier in ramping up to the work in the firm. They will have to work more proactively with the people in their teams to be able to produce satisfactory results.

What advice would you give to a confused student who is unsure about his strengths and interests? How should one go about exploring various domains in his/her department?
You should try out different research projects or internships in your areas of interest to get a better understanding of the fields. You can also explore more by looking online for self projects you can take up.

A word of advice to the people sitting for placements this year?
I did not of for placements as I had a PPO. So, I am not the right person to give advice on this. But best of luck!