Name: Arnav Saxena
Company Name: Bain Capability Network
How have the placements for your branch been this year? Please share the highlights of the placements season so far.
It just has been two weeks into the placement season and hence commenting on how any branch is performing would be unfair. Still, as of this day, 9 MCE students have either got a placement offer or a PPO.
The highlight of this season has to be the huge number of reputed companies (Uber, Microsoft, Adobe etc.) offering Software Development Profile that have visited the campus within the first two weeks and the amazing packages they are offering.
What did you give more weightage to – The Profile Offered or the Company Reputation?
The profile for sure.
No doubt Bain is a huge brand, but I’ve always been fascinated with the world of Data Science and Analytics, particularly Data Visualization. Moreover, I developed a knack for consulting during my internship at Deloitte USI.
During my interviews I was told that since consulting now days is more data driven, Bain is looking for people with considerable analytics and tech background (R, Python, ML). Thus this profile seemed to be the closest for what I wanted in the first place.
Why did you select the particular profile and what parameters did you consider before making your choice?
I’ve always known that I’m not a coding person. Further, my mind is more inclined towards the artistic side of the spectrum and data science combined with consulting, I feel, is the profile with the right balance of both logic and art. The sense of adventure you get while excavating stories hidden underneath raw data and numbers clubbed with the creative freedom that comes with how you want to tell this story is what I love about this profile.
As for the parameters I majorly looked for the kind of projects Bain undertakes, the work culture in terms of the freedom I will have in driving these projects and how would I grow once I join the firm. I asked these questions during the interviews as well and was pretty convinced that Bain is the right option for me.
What were the type of Selection Tests (Rounds)?
1. CV shortlisting:
Out of some odd 800-900 students, only 38 qualified for the final interview rounds.
2. Non eliminatory aptitude test (45 minutes):
To gauge the business acumen of the candidates.
3. PI Round 1 (15-20 minutes):
Some of the candidates were asked guesstimates while some were given a case study to solve. Only 15 were shortlisted for the next round.
4. PI Round 2 (30-40 minutes):
This round consisted of a detailed discussion about my CV. I was then given two case studies, one guesstimate and one mental math question. 6 candidates got finally selected.
How did you prepare for the selection tests?
I started preparing only after my CV was shortlisted i.e, just two days before the selection tests. Now my internship actually ended a day prior to my interview. Thus in totality, I just got some 10 -12 hours to prepare.
Perhaps being an engineer came handy to me in this situation.
Victor Cheng’s Case Interview Secrets served as a crash course for case studies for me. I further looked for some guesstimates examples online to get an idea about the how to approach such problems. But what actually worked for me were the mock practice sessions I had with my friends in the last two days.
Could you offer some tips to ace the interview round?
1. Victor Cheng’s Case Study tutorials:
Apart from the usual case study solving techniques, Victor talks about what exactly are the recruiters looking for during the interviews. Highly recommended.
2. Be confident:
Don’t panic no matter what the situation is. Keep on thinking out loud.
I remember being stuck at a single problem for some 10 minutes during the first interview round. Each and every bone of my body was shouting that I’ve screwed up already. I somehow calmed myself down and focused on discussing whatever approach struck my mind. This helped as the interviewer recognized my thought process and when I finally arrived at the right conclusion he was more willing to accept my persistence and critical thinking skills.
Any advice you would like to give to the junior students?
1. Don’t leave coding:
Untill and unless you are really really sure about it (I was).
I don’t think you really require much preparation for any non tech company as such. A week should be more than enough. Thus you can aim for non tech companies while preparing for a tech profile but the opposite isn’t true. Just to reinforce, the first two weeks have all been about ample opportunities in software development profile.
2. Work on your CV:
Bain gave importance to almost each and every sphere you can touch upon in your college life let it be academics, PORs, projects, internships and extra- curriculars. Though, don’t clutter your CV with unnecessary information as well. Try to strike the right balance.
3. Try solving guesstimates and case studies with more than one approach.
The interviewers will stop you in the middle and ask you to come up with another approach.
4. Work on your communication skills:
One of my friends was eliminated in the last round after being told that he wasn’t able to get his points across.