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This blog includes my personal story and the lessons that I learned from my placement semester which would be helpful for students who dread their upcoming placements.

For me, the placement season began when I started making my resume. As always I procrastinated this task to the point that I ended up submitting my resume 5 minutes before the deadline (P.S.- Not a good idea). Reason being, after going through my seniors’ resumes I realized that there was so much more that I could have done in my insti life. I regretted the missed opportunities. I regretted not applying for that extra internship that could’ve made the difference. This consumed me completely. One piece of advice- while one cannot undo or redo their initial years in college, you can definitely prepare yourself for what is about to come.

For a person not interested in core engineering or coding profiles (although I seriously reconsidered my life choices in times of desperation) there are comparatively fewer options left. Having a CPI below 8 meant an even greater struggle. In addition to this, I didn’t have any ‘peaks’ in my resume that might sail me through the process. 

As a result, I didn’t get shortlisted for any of the consulting firms (not even extended!) which was a boon in disguise because anyway I hadn’t rigorously prepared consulting cases (At least this is what I like to tell myself). But it was tough watching several of my friends getting shortlisted while I didn’t make it to even one.  

These are the times when you need to have strong control over your thoughts and not be swayed by peer pressure. It is important to realize that everyone has different ambitions and values in life and their path would be completely unique.

So, for the remainder of the semester, I focussed on my one strength— aptitude. I had known that many firms only conduct aptitude tests for a variety of profiles. 

Fast forward to the first day of placements. I didn’t have a single interview on Day 1 so I was at my room, preparing for the storm that was about to come. Most of my wingies cracked their first interview itself and got placed on Day 1 which put me under a lot of pressure. 

My first interview with Mastercard went really well and I felt that I had given my 100%. But as it turned out, I didn’t get selected and was placed second on the waitlist. I was devastated by missing this chance so narrowly, but more so by the fact that they had rejected me when I had given what I thought was my 100%. That day I reached the final round of many companies and was still not placed. 

That night my senior told me to look at things differently. “Rather than looking at this day as a rejection, understand that whatever you have been doing is correct because at least you have been making it to the final rounds of the interview!”

Day 3 was different. It was special. It was my birthday! After having given many interviews, I realised that in the end, an interview is just a 15-minute conversation where they are just trying to get to know you better. If you have confidence in your abilities, then success is guaranteed. I gave interviews for two companies- Sprinklr and GulfTalent and was selected in both of them!

Having gone through this process, if I had to summarize what the secret to my placement was (and life in general!), I would say- SELF CONFIDENCE. Think about it, an interview is essentially a pitch where you are the salesman selling your most prized possession- YOU! And a good salesman is the one who believes in his own product. 😉

So believe in yourself. The fact is that you’ve beaten lakhs of candidates before to crack IIT Bombay! This is something that no one can take away from you. In fact, I believe that IITians are largely successful because of the confidence they’ve accumulated in their college.

Earlier in the semester, I had given up on my semester exchange dreams after applying to 3-4 funded programs because I didn’t have the courage to face any more rejections. I had given up and I felt so bad for myself which is why I promised that I would never give up on anything. I couldn’t possibly give up on my placements. The card that Sprinklr gave perfectly summarizes the lesson life taught me.

Keep fighting! Your company is waiting for you.  

A ‘better’ placement is a very subjective term and depends a lot on personal interests, the job profile, the company, etc. Hence comparing jobs with CTC becomes much more simple. But don’t fall into that trap! Every job is unique. And while people believe that an earlier placement is better, there are many bright opportunities during the later days too. Just do your thing and remember that rewards come to those who are patient. 

The whole semester is undeniably going to be tough and a lot of us have gone through high stress and anxiety during this period but I would say all of us have come out every bit stronger. Rather than dreading the placements, look at it as a learning opportunity. An opportunity to enlighten your mind and to find your passion. Many people (including myself) feel that this was the best semester of IIT! 

In the end, sabki placement lag hi jati hai. So don’t worry too much. It’s only your first job!

From not having a single interview shortlist two days before placements to having two job offers on my birthday, my placement journey was a rollercoaster. In fact, every senior you talk to would have a unique story to share and diverse advice to give. So, to all those students who look upon the upcoming placements with anxiety, reach out to your seniors who have gone through the same thing and work towards making your own story legendary! 

All the Best!