Friday, August 25, 2006

My Cisco Experiences - II

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Continued....

I then went the next day dressed up for the test and interview. I also had to meet a friend of mine. So, I thought "Atleast the dress won't go waste either way". We had a ppt in Assembly hall ( I should tell something here about the people from Cisco! In most of the ppts I've seen, the ppt would start atleast half an hour later than the scheduled time! And, it would be so unprofessional! But Cisco started it exactly at 9 and that was a good impression formed!) . The ppt was good and I was having fun with DS( from IT) and Pi( from EEE) (these girls are hardworking and brilliant. They came the whole journey with me to the interview but couldn't make it! Guess a better company awaits them!) right in the second row under the glaring eyes of the placement officer and all the prs(placement representatives of each class!). Then the ppt ended and we had a test for about an hour where we had questions from aptitude, OS, microprocessors, data structures(my weak point!!) and so much more. The test was ok but I felt that I couldv'e done better.I was even in the idea of going and meeting my friend as planned because I was very unsure of the written test.

Pi came and discussed some network topics with me. By then, my own classmates had gone to class and I was done with lunch too! So, I thought that I might not get it and why waste my attendance and why not atleast have my physical presence in class? So, I went to class and was sitting there thumbing through my brand new copy of Tanenbaum( a networking book every final year student worth his/her salt should know... And I hadn't known even a quarter of it. That is the case now too!) Then, I got the golden message from Andrew, my pr( A very accomodative and hardworking guy who can stand the whims and fancies of everyone, right from the placement officer to the last person in our class! We are lucky we got you and Ramanan, Andrew! Hats off to you!). He just said that my slot was at 9 in the night. Soon I was asking all details about others who got through and their respective slots. He said that Aravind, Balaji, Sharanyaa and Srikant were in along with me! My joy knew no bounds because all these people are really good at what they are(though some of them dont know or accept it!) and I was sure that our dual count was going to increase by 5.( I'm very particular that our dual count increases quickly! Would like to beat our seniors record and make them proud of us! That is how PSG Tech is! That is our strength!)

Andrew then came to class and rescued us from the normal life and then there was no looking back! Balaji's slot was at 5.30, Aravind and Srikant had it at 8.15 and Sharu had it at 9.30 the next day! And I was slated at 9 pm. Pi was to go in at 3.30 and DS at 4.30. The guys went to their room, Sharu to her home and me to the waiting hall. Pi came there, all ready for the interview and we discussed a bit more about networks. Then, finally,I went home with DV and she went in for the interview. I came home and had a good sleep! (Don't ask me how I managed that in the tension that I had! I have one saving grace. I can sleep in any situation if I make up my mind to! (But that is the difficult part! says my heart knowingly!))

I got up at 5.30 and called up Venkatesan and my friends who were out of the interview about the general questions and their experiences. I then thumbed through the electron devices book( it takes about a month, minimum, to learn it! And I was done in half an hour! You can imagine how fast I would've gone through the details. It was a waste of half an hour. But I did it anyway because ED was a larger chunk of my large pile and I would atleast have the false satisfaction of finishing it. Why deny this small happiness to my own self when I would have to bank on my innate skills to pull me through the next few hours? Then, I got ready and my dad dropped me in college. I went to the placement cell and saw a few of my classmates there. Not a girl was in sight! I sighed and sat down with my stuff. However, I didn't have lots of time to brood! Srikant and Aravind went in and then myself and Karthik from IT were called in for the HR interview which consisted of an essay(wow!!) and a few questions!( I could manage HR). The HR was good and I wrote a good essay( that was the fun part of the interview! One in which I was apt and could do a good work.) HR was at 8.30 and the lady (Aparna ) was sweet! She was very talented and diplomatic too!

I finally came out at 9.00 PM and was sent immediately to technical interview where I had Ekanth and Ram interviewing me. It was ok. They concentrated onto projects I had done, C, networking basics and data structures( my Waterloo!! I made scary mistakes here! Hadn't I done others in a fair manner, they wouldv'e thrown me out! Because data structures is one field where you prove your analytical ability and it requires a certain type of mind( to think in terms of data structures) and loads of practice/exposure. About the first, I don't know if I have it and about the second, I never really had the time to do it. So, I was in a fix about this! People reading this post and planning for their interviews, please please spend loads of time getting your data structures right, right from the algorithms to the actual way of writing the code in any language of your choice! ( C is good, C++ is very good, Java is cool!!!)) Then, technical interview was over in about 50 minutes and I was out of the room by 9.50. Thankfully, Srikant and AK2 were there and they escorted me safely to the gate and waited along with me until my dad came along.

I reached home at about 10.10, gave a report of what happened to my family, R, Sharu and others and fell into bed thanking my lucky stars that I hadn't atleast messed up the interview( as I have a habit of doing!!) It was a dreamless sleep ( I usually have loads of interesting dreams!) and I woke up the next day and felt that I had given it my best shot and the rest rested with the Supreme Power! I then got ready for the routine life. Suddenly, I had a call from Andrew asking me to come for ANOTHER interview at 9.45. He didn't know what the interview was for. But he said that only I was called back. I started having my own doubts if the interview scene I had felt was only my dream and if I was going to face the actual interview only now. So, I checked the golden message Andrew had sent me and got it confirmed from my family that it was not a dream( because, had it been a dream, they wouldn't have known the details, right?). Then, I got confused as to why I was being called back. Then, I got scared thinking it might be another technical session( I was lucky the first time, but would I be the same way every time???). I then got heartened thinking that may be the HR personnel wanted to hear my golden voice (this is too much! even I know it) and that was why she called. Finally, I was puzzled and it was an enigma I had to break.

I went back to the placement office, saw Sharu finish her rounds and was chatting with her! By now, it was so enigmatic that I would've just walked in and asked them why they had wanted me in again. There were so many possibilities and my brain was working overtime producing ever so many! I also confused DS by telling all about it and scared the poor girl out of her wits. Then, finally, they called me. It was another technical round and I floundered because of my brain being tired from the overwork it had done earlier( remember finding the possibilities??) and answered incoherently. Had it been my first, then I would have kissed the entire show a good bye! Thankfully, it was my second and the panel understood that I wasn't in my element and gave me a glove hand approach. I came out and lost hope! I also was consoling Sharu because she was also not satisfied with her performance. Once out of the room, my brain started working! ( I wonder if it was the room or if my brain needed some startup time!) I made so many statistics and probability calculations and tried to convince Sharu that she would get through. So, I didn't have loads of time to think about myself.

to be continued....

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