Prep strategies that helped UPES students land placement with e-commerce giant
UPES students Vasu Vashishtha and Udayveer Mittal from the School of Engineering reveal what it took to land the coveted offer from Flipkart
What is it that achievers do differently that takes them places in life? A common explanation would attribute their success to higher IQ, implying that they are smarter than their peers. Education management firm Elevate Education, in its research, benchmarked the habits, techniques, and behaviour of thousands of highest performing students across continents. They identified what exactly drives student performance.
Surprisingly, IQ was not the number one predictor of how well a student would perform; it was practice exams.
At UPES, when the preparation for the placement drive scheduled for October 2020 began in the first quarter of the year, Udayveer Mittal was amazed. He jokingly remarks, “Back then, I thought why do we have to start preparing so early?”
A student of B.Tech. Mechatronics, Udayveer remembers that all the preparations proved beneficial during the recruitment process. “UPES undertook several virtual seminars, workshops, and aptitude exams that instilled in me the confidence to sit for the actual tests. Mock interviews were conducted by our professor and one of the alumni from the same branch. We did a lot of rigorous practice before the D-day,” he says.
Vasu Vashishta, who studied B.Tech. Mechanical (core), reiterates the importance of preparation. “Various mock tests and lectures were given by the college, which helped me a lot. Apart from this, mock interviews with the faculty and the alumni groomed me for the final interview. I also held additional responsibilities in my classroom as well as different societies like the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), which helped me develop leadership qualities, time management and communication skills,” he says.
Both the students landed impressive offers of INR 13.5 lakh per annum with e-commerce giant Flipkart.
Giving a step-by-step guide about the placement process, Udayveer says, “Flipkart started by giving a presentation. This was followed by English and Aptitude tests, as well as a Situational test where they asked questions about a range of situations surrounding supply chain management.”
How did a Mechatronics Engineer, then, tackle questions about an unrelated field? “Fortunately, a special seminar was held by UPES where we were taught about supply chain management as well. Even though it was novel for me, I got selected thanks to the training given by the university,” Udayveer explains.
This was succeeded by a technical interview and an HR interview. The students nailed the rounds and got selected for full-time positions with one of India’s biggest online stores.
The ride, though, had its share of difficulties. Udayveer says, “I remember the HR round was tough. The interviewer was aggressively questioning every answer to test my will and perseverance. I remember he had asked ‘You are from a technical field, why do you want to join Flipkart?’ He even said that they would put me in a store-room full of boxes and dust. ‘Is this what you want?’ he had asked me (laughs). Of course, he meant that in a light-hearted manner. But I did not waver and emphasized that I was eager to learn and grow with the company.”
“Flipkart was the first company that visited our campus for Mechanical Engineering,” Vasu recounts. “When I appeared for the placement process, they also asked me questions regarding my roles and responsibilities in the society. I was the first one to get selected as UPES had thoroughly prepared me for the final round,” he adds.
For students who are preparing and will sit for placements this year, Udayveer suggests that they should retain their authenticity. He says, “It was a first for Flipkart to hire engineers for a management position. I would say be true to who you are. There, you will be given problem statements that may seem tricky, but you must stand by your solutions even if they seem foolish at first. Do not be shy. Let your ingenuity shine.”