So finally I am onto my blog now and eager to share with you all about my placement in DE Shaw & Co. 18th and 19th of August were the most memorable days of my life! When I was young, I had a desire to do something in the Computer Science stream and I can proudly say that I am going to do what I always wanted to and that too in an awesome organization like DE Shaw & Co. So here is a brief account of how things went by and the interview process.
Campus placements had started in our college on 11th August itself. The first company to visit was Google! They just conducted a written test and were going to conduct further process in September. Next to visit was Nvidia on 13th. Theirs was a one day schedule and I was not able to crack the aptitude test at the first place. One of my best buddies, Hitendra Shukla, made it to Nvidia and was the first from our group to get placed! 🙂 I was kind of disappointed as I was not even able to crack the aptitude test. Nevertheless, the positive attitude in me kept me strong and I said that gone is gone! Next to come was DE Shaw on 18th and I started thinking about it.
And guess what, suddenly there are these numerous friends chipping in. Everyone was telling me that “Tu toh ho hi jayega DE Shaw mein“. Even the seniors had so much faith and belief in me! I said to myself that if everyone thinks that I can make it, why not give the best shot! I motivated myself after the Nvidia aptitude test and started preparing for DE Shaw. For this, I was in constant touch with my seniors who work in DE Shaw. I understood what kind of aptitude tests they conduct, what sort of qualities do they look out for in a fresher, what are the subjects I need to revise, and so on. And that proved out to be quite useful. Yes, yes. I am gonna thank all you seniors at the end of the post! 😉
So coming to the point. DE Shaw & Co came to campus on 18th, Sunday. They had a half an hour presentation at 4.30 pm in our main auditorium. I loved the presentation and was greatly impressed by the culture and the work over there! That pumped me even more and I said to myself that I am going to give my best and damn, I am going to make it to DE Shaw, come what may! The aptitude test consisted of three sections – first a quant section which consisted of 20 questions to be solved in 20 minutes. I could solve only 6 of them. There was negative marking and I dint want to do guess work and leave a bad impression. The next section was of Computer Fundamentals. Again, same 20 minutes and 20 questions. I could solve 14 or 15 out of them. It was good enough. The next one was the coding section. We were given a problem statement and had to write the algo/code. I had made up my mind that this is the chance to leave others behind – write good, clean and neat code! And I did that! I was confident after writing the code that I have good chances of cracking the aptitude this time. The test got over by 7 pm and we all went back to hostel. Results were to be announced by 8.30 pm.
I was having dinner in the mess when I got a call from our TnP Coordinator, Nipun. He congratulated me and also told me the names of students who had got selected from our branch. I was damn happy at that time. I knew at that very moment that tomorrow is my day! I went back to my friends and told them about it. Everyone was congratulating me and I was feeling like place hi hogaya mein toh! 😛
Then I called up my senior Madhur, immediately. I told him about my selection in the top 17 and asked him in general how the interviews go by, what subjects to brush up, any additional things to keep in mind, etc. Then I also had a chat with Rahul and Sanket and they gave me some tips as well. 🙂 It was 9.30 pm by then and I had a clear plan in front of me regarding what I have to do in the next few hours.
I brushed up some concepts and points totally from the interview’s perspective. I revised some of the concepts from DBMS at night and woke up in the morning to revise concepts of CN and OS. I had my interview scheduled at 12 pm. I met friends and asked them in general how the interviews went by for them. All of them gave positive responses 🙂 But my interview got delayed and was scheduled after lunch break.
My first technical round started at 1.30 pm. I was confident enough that I’ll rock it! I was greeted by a couple of interviewers. The first round was purely technical. I was asked to speak about my projects and was asked questions on almost all the subjects ranging from DBMS, CN, OS, Data Structures. But, the prime focus was on DBMS. I’ll be posting all the questions in a separate post. My interview ended at exactly 2.52 pm 😀 I was kinda happy that it lasted that long! 😉
I was immediately called for an HR interview. It lasted for around 20 minutes or so and I was asked some general questions about myself and my likings. It was pretty much chilled out. There will still 4 to 5 people left with their interviews and quite some time until the results were to be declared.
The results were declared at 5.30 pm. I was feeling very sleepy at that time and had gone to wash my face! 😛 My friend, Sagar Patni came up running there and said, Lahoti, apan dono ho gaye! Happiness at its peak! Neend udd gayi! 5 were shortlisted from 17 for the second technical round.
The second round of technical interviews started and I had to wait for another one and a half hour for my interview to commence. It started at 7 pm sharp. As soon as I entered, the interviewer greeted me and guess what did he say to me — Your resume looks quite impressive! That sounded pretty cool to me! 😀 My confidence increased and all I wanted to do was keep my brains within those four walls and give my best shot! And it went pretty well. I was asked some puzzles, some more data structure questions. I could not answer them all but that does not matter either. All they care about is your approach to the problem and the attitude while solving it. My interview ended at around 8.15 pm. I came out and some of my friends said that I was pretty calm and confident during the entire interview. They happened to see it from the window! 😀 That made me feel good again.
Then, around 8.40 pm the HR came out along with the technical team. Our TnP Head, Prof Meshram and his team were present. And to add to it, our beloved director, Prof. A.D. Sahasrabuddhe was also there at the venue. I was chilled till the end but at the time of results, my heart was beating fast. I was feeling like one of those reality show participants. Thankfully, there was no commercial break involved here! 😀 The HR went on to announce the results and she said that we are hiring two out of the 17 who appeared. And guess what, the first name she took was Pratik Lahoti. I closed my eyes for a second and realized that I had actually done it, achieved my dream, made my parents proud, have friends waiting at hostel to give me bumps! Dint take long to imagine this 😀 And then, the second name was announced and that was of my friend, Vaibhav Chaudhari from Comp.
Post the results, they called us in a room and gave us some goodies (TShirt + Diary + JBL portable speakers 😀 ) and congratulated again!
I felt bad for my friend, Sagar who could not make it! But no issues. That dude rocked the next couple of days and got placed in Credit Suisse with an awesome package! 🙂
I came out and was full of joy. But my phone battery….! 😦 This had happened at the time of Eaton internship as well. I had no phone to call my parents and let them know! I got a phone from a friend. But again, I could not remember my Mom’s number. 😛 I then recalled dad’s number and called him! His reactions were priceless and I felt good too!
That was it! Then Vaibhav’s friends had got a cake and we celebrated at the boat club. I went back to hostel and my haraamkhor but acche friends gave me bumps in no time! Aaah! 😀
My mama came to pick me up at 10.30 pm and then we all went to Pimpri. Reached there at 11 pm.
Hugged Mom, Dad and bro! 🙂
I would like to thank my friends for constantly motivating me that I could do it. And not to forget my seniors – Rahul Bhalerao, Madhur Bajpai, Suyog Sarda, Sanket Mehta and many others! They always motivated me, inspired me, and guided me to my goal. I’ll be happy to do the same for my junior friends! 🙂 I’ll be posting the interview questions in the next post. Till then, goodbye! I sincerely wish that all friends get placed quickly now and there is happiness all around! 🙂