Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ever Etched in Memory

the million $ question ???

How Did I Ever Get Into MindTree Consulting Pvt Ltd?

It was the campus Interview ‘Season’ in my college during my 4th yr of engineering i.e. around June 2004. Companies were coming with full ‘enthu’ and competing against every other company to clean shave the CREAM of each college, recruiting fresh pass outs oozing with unknown courage, high grades and uncertainty that was to greet each one of us. I had scraped through to the final rounds of few companies by sheer luck but stumbled at the pinnacle. At this point one fine evening we get this announcement that a company called MindTree from Bangalore -the IT hub is coming to Tamil Nadu for campus placement with one of the most decent pay scales in the industry. Immediately we the money starved ‘college dudes’ started dreaming of the pay scales and nothing about the work we would be doing and what it takes to get into these super performing companies. But the real dampener was that the interview; of all the 7 days available to one , it was scheduled on a Sunday but the happy part was that that the venue was in Vellore a journey of three hours from Chennai by bus with college friends (comparable to a picnic)and that breakfast and lunch would be sponsored by our college J .

We were supposed to board the bus at 4:45 AM in Thiruvanmiyur (a place in Chennai).

I kept the alarm for 4:15 but subconsciously very smartly without disturbing my sleep I switched it off only to be rudely awakened by a friend at 4:30 with whom I was supposed to go to the boarding point. I quickly got ready and packed my bag for the trip.

Contents of my bag

1. A bottle of water (what if they ask me way too many questions in the interview?)

2. Walkman (What if the journey gets boring?)

3. A electronics magazine ( is it even vaguely related to software? – Nooo .. I was an EEE Student)

Missing Contents of my bag

1. Curriculum Vitae ( High confidence that I would not have a need for it )

2. Certificates ( normal stuff which they expect in interviews )

Boarded the bus at 5: 15 and happy times with friends, at around 6 we asked the driver to stop for a cup of ‘chai’ this is when the turning point of this entire story happened I tried jumping from the steps of the bus holding the safety bar when the ring on my ring finger got caught in a ridge of the bus and I landed down on the road with my ring ripping part of my finger away. I was totally put off with blood trickling down my ring finger and we ran to the bus driver to gain access to the first aid box in the bus only to find his lunch box cozily placed there. So our kerchiefs became medicated gauze and water became antiseptic medicine. Finally we reached Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) and we had a hearty free breakfast courtesy our college.

The test started around 8:30 and I guess it was a 20- 30 minute test and the non computer science students were supposed to write logic/algorithms in normal English (life saver - 1) for the programming questions. After the written test we were supposed to attend the presentations by MindTree in the auditorium. Me and another set of friends told each other - hey presentations would help only those who are going to get into the company and not for us. So there we bunked (in college terms) and went and sat in VIT’s library for about an hour and then we decided to attend whichever part of the presentation was left. We had expected a boring session but as we neared the auditorium we were greeted by high pitches of laughter and claps that’s when we were intrigued by this company and we went and sat in the last rows of the auditorium and were thoroughly impressed with the casual yet intellectual approach of the company’s flag bearers at that venue. We then had a break for lunch and after that the results were out; the sky turned deep red in color, the earth stopped spinning for a minute because I was selected, all I saw in the hall were open gaping mouths at me.

One thing which I really felt bad at that point of time was that I would miss the day and night ODI between India and Sri Lanka.

We then entered the GD (Group Discussion) hall and tackled the subject given with maximum possible ferocity. All those who could get their hands out of their mouths and utter a few words of sense (maybe it’s also a check for verifying proper functioning of ones faculties) were selected by around 6 pm, And were made to wait for the final frontier ‘the Interview’.

After the GD I had to go to VIT’s in house clinic and get a tetanus shot & get my finger patched up.

But me the loner has several other responsibilities most important of all getting a CV done in quick time. So I approached the office of VIT and sat with few friends of VIT and they helped me get my CV done (life saver -2) in a matter of few minutes.

My final performance of the day came rather late in the evening around 9:45 PM. I entered the hall to see three senior people of MindTree waiting to check all my so claimed abilities; this is exactly the moment when my nervousness accelerated with negligible backtracking. But by gods grace initially they asked me all kinds of general questions by which I slowly started gaining my composure and finally they asked me some programming question for which I was about to write down what ever little I knew about that with my rehabilitating hand when the interviewer told me not to strain myself and just explain it orally(life saver -3) , so I spoke a ‘String Array’ of incoherent words and got away with it.

Finally at around 10:50 PM the recruiting team of MindTree came up with the lucky list of candidates which had a small place for my name too. I still don’t know whether the feeling that accompanied me during the reading of the list, was happiness or sheer shock.

And I boarded the bus for my return journey to Chennai having a great feeling of accomplishment, dreaming of my future stint with MindTree and still sitting in my desk in MindTree Bangalore I cherish and dream about that day Sunday July 18th 2004 VIT Vellore.



Sayantan said...

A reminiscent of my story, just a week before you! :-)

Anonymous said...

Dear Mental In MindTree,

It is obvious that you were more than an excited kid when you got thru the selection process. It is a great company, built by great leaders. What we can learn here, we may never be able to even to know elsewhere.

So be a good kid, and try sticking around for some time, and not get tempted by fatter pay packages and perks. After all, money is not everything.
Okay, enough gyan for this time :)


Anonymous said...

very good write. Drove my sleep away..

Nagaraj Inamati