The only way to do great work is to love what you do.Steve Jobs
This is what Mahima Kejriwal from Y16 believed in and went on to perform exceptionally well bagging one of the dream MNCs, Goldman Sachs.
Goldman Sachs is a leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of financial benefits. If you want to know it all, just google it and you will realise with what annual turn over it tops the market!
So, without wasting time let’s just dive into her journey of making this happen in her life.
Most of the students have no clue when they enter the college about what they will be doing after the next four years. Were you one of them or you already had your future plans mapped? If yes, were they the same that you’re doing today?
Like coding? Naah! .In the first year, I was into graphic designing. I was pretty sure I would continue with this. In fact, I did two internships in graphic designing. But then, I started exploring other fields.
In this run, coding struck me and gradually I started out in this field. And then, “Karte Gaye-Karte Gaye”.
A decent CGPA is a huge matter of confusion for students in our college. What are your opinions on it? Is it a hurdle in getting such esteemed internships?
I don’t think so! Like 6 + is good. Some companies like Amazon and Microsoft even had accepted at 5+. For GS there is no issue. They were even accepting students who had backlogs. However, if someone wants to go for higher studies, CGPA becomes a huge matter of importance.
There are students who cut themselves from the outside world while preparing for such internships or placements and don’t take part in any of the college activities. What would you like to say to such students?
In the first year, I tried to get into as many clubs as possible. I was in the MUN Soc and in my second year, I even became the sub-coordinator. Then, I was in Media Cell and I did most of the club’s graphic designing part. I was the main graphic designer for all the three fests and not forgetting the ASME fest. I volunteered at TEDx Jaipur.
All in all, I enjoyed my first year to the fullest and with all this, I even changed my branch. But remember to abstain yourself from getting involved each and every time or else, it won’t do any good to you.
What is the best schedule/time-table you would suggest for any student who is getting started with competitive coding?
I started by solving on weekends say two to three questions. By my second year, I was doing it on alternate days. With contests on code forces on weekends, I used to test my knowledge that reaped me great results at the end. At the same time, I was also exploring the ML field.
Would you brief us about the selection process of Goldman Sachs?
It was the end of my second year when there was a link circulated by TPC and I received further details from TPC. It was an off-campus opportunity. At that time it was a full-time chance for y-15 and for us, as an internship. It was the end of June when an online contest was held. It had 2 -3 coding questions and some MCQs on topics like DSA and DAA. After a month I was shortlisted for the interview.
What did you find interesting at the interview?
There were many logical questions that were interesting. Also, it was interesting to see how they wanted to know about all the clubs I was a part of in my college. Generally, they look for such kind of responsibilities in your resume.
When you first came to know about your selection, what was your reaction?
I was pretty shocked, and also, at that time in my batch the internship season wasn’t much in the air. Like, the third year had just started and I was through my internship selection process, probably one of the first in my batch. So, everyone was like congratulating me and giving me best wishes. However, it was hard for me to realize that it happened and you can say, it took me around 2-3 weeks to actually gulp the truth.
Goldman Sachs claims that their interns don’t learn by watching but by getting involved in real projects. What was your real project? Would you brief a bit us about it?
Yes they do! So they have a lot of live projects and I was working on the Goldman Sachs App store, one of their internal applications. So, I had to update the code from an older version to a new version. They wanted me to find some bottlenecks and slow codes in that version to increase the performance and loop time. It was a wonderful experience to be working on something that is live in the company.
How was the working schedule?
Well, it was an 8-week internship. Initially, when I started going, it came as a shock to me because I used to go at 9 in the morning and returned around 8 or 9 at night. They said that it’s an 8-hour work but actually it was 12 and sometimes 12+ hours as well. Eventually, I got used to it and I genuinely started enjoying my work. So, yeah, it finally was a happy schedule for me!
How has been the transition from lifestyle in college to lifestyle while working?
(giggles) In college you become a night owl! You work at night and sleep during the day time. While at work, you have to work the entire day and that was tough for me. Also at that time, I was addicted to a series and unfortunately, wasn’t getting time to watch it during the whole week. So, I used to binge-watch it on weekends.
This lifestyle that I adopted wasn’t very healthy for my internship period because I was losing on many things as in an internships you have deadlines, tasks and a lot more. Plus, it takes time to grab things as you are working for the first time. However, when you work full-time then you get time for yourself and chilling out then, isn’t a thing to bother.
Any cherish-able moment at work that still is in your head?
Yeah, I do have one! So, I had this mentor who was very sweet and helpful but whenever I used to show him my work he was extremely critical about it and never had complimented me. He always wanted me to write a little better code and encouraged me for that. Moreover, I was sharing the workspace with IITians so, somewhere I was under constant pressure to prove to myself. Now, this one time I gave input from my side by creating a dashboard and some other stuff. To my fortune, my mentor finally got impressed and his those two words, “Well Done”, made me climb the ninth cloud.
How was the work culture? Also, how were your colleagues?
Everything was great. My colleagues were always ready to have fun. We used to have weekly lunches. We used to go out for badminton, gymming, etc, that ultimately made our bond stronger. We also had this thing of ‘Community Teamwork’ in where we were supposed to go to NGOs for gardening and plantation purposes. All this led to a great friendship.
What differences do you feel between studying something theoretically and applying it practically in real-time?
Personally, I feel, the subjects that came in use are not being taught here. Even though OS’s concepts, DSA and all-round clearance of these subjects are useful, majorly practical knowledge is what keeps you going.
After having worked with Goldman Sachs, what all you learned about the finance industry?
Nothing! It was completely out of the zone. I learnt just 2-3 new terms that were frequent in my project.
So, they have this personal loan system called ‘Marcus’. It isn’t operational in India as yet but we used to communicate with the team that’s out of India. In fact, I communicated with a lot of Americans as we had to report them twice a week telling them about the progress of the project.
What is the golden mantra to survive and grow in this exponentially growing IT industry, according to you?
If you are working in this field and enjoying your work then you will enjoy every bit of it: the pressure, deadlines, just everything. I was under a lot of pressure during the internship especially because of the PPO thing. Basically, I was scared of the rumored fact that IITians will get more priority. So, I used to submit the tasks before the deadline to be on the safer side. But nonetheless, I was enjoying every bit of it.
Also, the mantra is: take it the lighter way because this is not where life ends. Life is much beyond this. I have seen people who cut themselves from everything for placements. But what I remember is: when I had my GS’s interview I had just four days left and still went out for a movie. So, live your life to the fullest is what I have always believed in.
Any word of advice for your juniors and the Goldman Sachs’ aspirants?
Don’t take coding as a work, take it as fun! Like if you are getting bored, just sit down and start to code just like you would go for a series. That is how you will enjoy and will be able to grow in this field!