Monday, November 12, 2012

The journey of an Infoscion Part 2 - preparations for joining Infosys

click here to know about my interview for Infosys placement

Once we got a campus placement situations started to change.  I felt like I was getting some confidence about my future, after all I would be an Infoscion soon after my college life. But that confidence lasted only for three to four months. A word ,which I had never heard in my life before, hit the whole world at that time. No, it was not about Tsunami, which happened on 2004. This new phenomenon was called ‘Recession’. Situations started to change. Rumors were like Infosys would cancel appointments of everyone, No one would be able to join till 2011/12 etc. So I put my dreams about Infosys in a small chamber inside my heart and locked from outside. It came out only when I got the official mail regarding the joining date on Infosys. I would be joining there on 11th January 2010!!!

 It was followed by another mail, which explained  about the heaven which was waiting for me at Mysore. The Gymnasium, Multiplex, Swimming Pool, AC accomodation, GEC 1,2 etc etc... After reading the mail, I felt like " If there is a heaven in this world, It is at Mysore, it is at Mysore, it is at Mysore" . It is the only fact which I still agree about my Infy life.Mysore Campus is a heaven. But there is a hell inside that heaven!!!! (will be explained on following parts)

The mail also included the list of things which I needed to do before joining there. It included many things but now I remember only a few. It included 

1.       Passport
2.       Medical test – chest X Ray, Sugar and Pressure checking, Elisa test.hepatitis vaccination, chicken pox vaccination etc
Till now I don’t know what was the need for both things.

 When they told to take passport, I thought like it would be to send me to some places outside India, which I have seen only on world map and in some channels like National Geographic Channel. But they had never asked about my passport after my joining date. It is now taking rest inside my table for last 2 years. May its soul rest in peace!!!

Regarding the medical test, I really don’t know what to say. Infosys had given a list of hospitals and we were supposed to do test only in any of those hospitals. I did those tests on Cochin Hospital. After spending almost Rs .1500 for the tests,  they said that I was not fit for the job!!! They invented that my pressure is 130/ 90 and so they could not give a fitness certificate. I would have killed the doctor at that moment if I had a gun or knife in my hand. However, I realized that in case my health had problem, I needed to make it correct. I took ECG and all other things from other hospital , only  to realize that everything is normal for me. But the doctor in Cochin hospital was not convinced!! Finally I met another doctor in same hospital, who took my pressure and said everything is normal. By that time, I had spent almost Rs.3000. 

In between, my classes had got over and results came. I became an engineer!! (But, till now I never got a chance to use anything that I had learned from my college. I really don’t know why there is a branch called electronics and communication in colleges in India. Lot of Engineers, but no job!! ) Date of joining was becoming closer; I really started to feel the pressure- A pressure of excitement. 

Shopping: that was the most important thing that I had to do before joining. And to be honest that the only thing that I hate the most!! I bought seven sets of dress and two ties. Then 2 pairs of shoes and a trolley to carry all those things mentioned above to Mysore. I had bought 2 ties. But the most funny thing was I didn’t know how to wear it. I would explain ‘how to wear a tie’  or ‘ how I had wore it during my Infy days ‘ on next part.

We had a community in Orkut in which everyone who were joining Infosys on January 11,2010 were members. (I really don’t know whether that community is alive now. I haven’t checked orkut for last 1.5 years). Thus GauriKarthik BalaSundaram, Sandeep Devdas, Sivakumar Kailasam, Sridhar Kandasamy Ramasamy, Anuja Lakayil, Deepika Srivasthava ( she passed away in a bus accident at pune on 2011. We miss you Deepika(Gunjan) ) and Raksha Srivasthava.    (If I have missed any names and incase those people happen to read this,  please pardon me.)

Finally , on January 9,2010 Kanyakumari – Mumbai Island Express left Ernakulam Railway station with a set of people, who were so excited to be Infoscions. Arabind Ajayghosh, Arun Bose, Sandeep Devdas and I were a few in that. (I think at least thirty people in the train were actually going to Bangalore and then to Mysore to join Infosys, as I saw a few of them at Mysore campus on next day).

The next morning , we reached Bangalore and caught a bus to  Mysore. Around 11 am we reached Mysore Bus stand. Kiran,Sherin,Ajin,Anish joined us from Mysore bus stand, and by 1 p.m we reached Infront of GATE 1, where we had to report. We all would become Infoscions in another 5 minutes!!!

to be continued...

Monday, November 5, 2012

The journey of an Infoscion - Part 1 : The Interview

2008 ,JAN 29

 I woke up from my bed, checking the clock. It showed 6 am. I think it was first time in last 2.5 years of college life that I woke up before 7 a.m. That too without alarm!!!  What might be the reason? No, it was not because Infosys was coming to college for recruitment, but was because I had a nightmare. (Please note that Infosys is not a synonym for nightmare and vice versa.)Fortunately or unfortunately I had that dream on the same day that Infosys Technologies Limited came to my college for campus recruitment.

 I woke up from the bed, got ready , read a few common questions that interviewer might ask in case it I clear aptitude test, and read answers also for the same. Of course, the interviewer knows that these would be the answers when they ask the questions. Thousands of candidates might have given the same answers for those questions.  They why shouldn’t I try some different answers? But then another question came to my mind. Why are they asking the same questions to all, even though they knew everyone had an answer with them for those questions. Interview is an act of asking some expected questions and expecting same answers which may suit to the situation. How you present the answer would make the difference. The better, you are (in acting), the higher the chance of clearing the interview.

           I went to college to attend the presentation made by Infosys recruiters. All my friends, who usually woke up at 7.30 or 8 when they were at hostel had already reported there by 8 am!! I guess they too had the same dream last night.  Presentation started. They played a video , which I had seen a hundred times after that day and before joining Infosys, as that video had always inspired thousands of Engineers who wanted to get into some job in IT. The video is – THIS IS MY INFYYYYYYYYYY…  (Those who has never seen the video can watch it in YouTube) . It was followed by a speech, which made us feel like we were really lucky to at least sit for Infosys recruitment. Presentation lasted for 30 minutes.

     At exact 10.30 a.m, first round for recruitment, commonly known as aptitude test, started. I forgot the number of questions in it, but I do remember one thing. There was no negative marking! So I just decided to do my ‘best’ in the test. I attempted all the questions well before time (except verbal section, which always looks like  vampire for me. So I attempted very few questions only.).   After the test, we were given break and were told to report at the hall by 1.30 p.m. We all went to our rooms, had lunch from our hostel mess and came back.

Some of us went to library to read a book called ‘Electronics For You’. I had never read it before.But I just wanted to read it , as I didn’t want to tell any lies. In case if I clear the test, and if the interviewer ask me whether I keep updating my electronics knowledge, I could reply as “I do update by reading Electronics for you.”  And I was not telling a lie!! (Please note that it was my first interview in life  I wanted to be honest at that time)  We all read a paragraph each and closed it as everyone started to feel sleepy after reading it. We reported at 1.30 but those recruiters came by 2 only. They had a list of names who were selected for interview.

They started to read the names. I was patiently waiting to hear my name, though I was not sure whether I would clear the test.  Suddenly they called a name, which made me laugh. It was not my name, but the name of one of my friends, who said he learned Electronics to work in Electronics field and not to work in IT. Last day we had a fight, in which I said like I don’t mind working in IT field if the company is a great one like TCS, Infosys or CTS. And he replied he would never compromise on job. He would go only to Electronics field. (Today , I got bored of hectic work schedules and quit Infosys, and sitting at home and he is working as Senior Systems Engineer at Infosys. What an Irony!! Or rather destiny!! )

They called almost 30 names. The list would get over soon. The pessimist in me started to laugh and he said to me like I would not get the job. It was then the recruiter announced a name ‘SHUMANTH’.. Everyone looked eachother , but no one stood up. There was no Shumanth in my batch. He looked to list and read it again. This time he read it correctly. ‘Sumodh’. Finally I heard my name!!! I kicked out the pessimist in me and walked to the other room from where people would be called for interview.

They shortlisted 52 candidates for the interview and the process started by 2.30. My slot was between 3 and 3.30.Around 3, they called my name and took me to the front door of the interview room and interview started in 5 minutes. They asked all the questions which I expected , including Electronics Update!! I told about some topics which I saw in the book two hours back and explained them in one or two sentences as if I am a master in Electronics. Fortunately the lady, who interviewed me had no idea about any of them and so I escaped. Readymade questions!! Readymade answers!! Interview Over!!! Infact it was the easiest interview that I had attempted in my life so far.

After interview, I went back to room where everyone was patiently waiting for the final list. We had to sit till 8 p.m to get the final list. To our surprise, all the 52 candidates were selected!!! We all were going to become INFOSCIONS!!! I really don’t know how to express that moment in my life. It was one of the happiest moments in my life. Everyone started to call their parents , normal friends and ‘special’ friends to tell the happy news that they would become Infoscions soon.  That night was a special one for us in hostel. We were treated like warriors who had won a battle against enemies. Juniors looked at us in envy!!! Yes , that was the beginning of Sumodh, the Infoscion….