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Hiring Fair Experience

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@init_27Sanyam Bhutani

👨‍💻 H2Oai 🎙 CTDS.Show & CTDS.News 👨‍🎓 fast.ai 🎲 Kaggle 3x Expert

Last Week I had attended my First Hiring Fair: Udacity Propel.

This a little Post on my Experience and My First Interview for a Professional position in the Real World.

Udacity Propel

Udacity hosts Hiring Fair in India. 
The process is simple, they on board hiring partners after mutual agreements, background checks. Later once they have enough hiring partners with enough vacancies, they host a fair.

Nanodegree Students or Graduates get to attend these Fairs.

My Expectations:

I’m in my Final year of Undergrad studies. The companies were mostly hiring for a Full Time role, candidates with Experience.

I was sitting in a Room filled by 180 candidates from all over India.

Fresh College graduates to People seeking a Transition to Seasoned Experts.

I was seeking entry level Data/ML/DL/SDC positons.

Profile

This was the Resume that I finally put together before the Fair.

Highlights of my Profile so far have been:

  • Fast AI fellowship
  • Udacity DL Nanodegree graduate
  • IIT-R Internship
  • ONGC Internship
  • IIT-M Project Work.

I had made a point to strictly work and put a Profile together that’s strong in just the domain that I aspire to work in.

The issue is, I had 0 experience and most companies were hiring experienced candidates.

Results

There were 2 companies that were hiring for ML.

  • Gramophone was strictly hiring experienced people.
  • Marax.ai was interested in Freshers, I got picked up by them!!! 
    I was floated the position of an intern since they were looking for hiring someone but I’m still a student and they were interested in giving me a shot-They shortlisted me for further rounds.

I think the fact that I made through the Interview round is a good indicator that I’m on the right path.

I will not provide a feedback for the Propel Event. I’m a fan of Udacity, you don’t review your heroes. 
I really appreciate their courses and Events. A big thumbs up and Note of Thanks for whatever they do for us.

I will definitely attend the next Propel as well!

Udacity treats us with Pizza during the Lunch. So, I can’t say No.

A few tips for attending a hiring fair:

  • Carry plenty of copy of Resume’. I had carried in 20, if I was an experienced person those would’ve definitely been less.
  • This might sound ridiculous — be shameless. 
    I had the courage to walk into companies’ rooms that were looking at people with 4–5 years of experience. I requested them to consider my application and then when I got turned down, asked for their feedback. I think their feedback was really helpful.
  • Be Patient! The event was from 9AM-6PM. I had almost given up hope until My name got called out at 4:50PM!!
  • ASK! 
    I was sure enough to talk with the people that were commonly being called for interviews. I discussed their paths, asked for feedback.
  • Know your Resume in and out. 
    My Resume has a huge education section, even though I believe I’ve done more projects than my college friends. I still have “Student” shouting from my Resume’s first look.
  • If discussing a technical question, think loudly! 
    It is impossible for someone to understand you in under 1–2 hours. So talk aloud about your thought process. That’s what the few hours of interview are meant for.

A little Personal Note: (And a few silly ideas)

To me, the fact that I didn’t know how to git pull until last fall and now I was able to walk into a completely professional scenario, give an interview with complete confidence is still unbelievable.

If you’re like me from a Month ago, here are a few silly things that gave me confidence:

  • I called up my biggest bragster friend- compared my efforts with them, I felt that I certainly am not the worst candidate. (The guy is an artist but he cares to jump into DL in and out and I think I know a few things better than him)
  • I told myself “Every single day I’ve spent during the past few months, were for getting an oppurtunity, so Be Confident. I’ve done my homework well”
  • This one was ridiculous: I called up an Audi seller and asked them about R8’s colour options the day before the interview — I wasn’t even considering that I might get rejected. I walked in with a mind that I’d land so much money that I’d drive home in Audi, even though I was pretty sure that I was going to Uber Pool the next day.
  • I was planning on where to celebrate once I get an “offer”, scrolling thorugh Zomato the night before the interview.
  • Know that the person Interviewing you is on YOUR SIDE!

TL:DR; Be confident-I was really nervous but these few silly things really helped me in staying confident.

I’m still very less knowledgable and I still haven’t gotten a “Job-job” but I really believe that I have some movement in the right direction.

The Next Few Posts will be Technical/Conceptual because that’s what I really want to write about; but if you’re starting out like me, I Hope My Silly ideas give you confidence as well. 
If you’re an expert and think I’m on the right/wrong path, Please let me know.

If you found this interesting and would like to stay in touch, you can find me on Twitter here.

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