PlaceKode with Aditi Singh placed at Google | by Uthaan IIITM | Uthaan | Mar, 2022 – Medium


Mar 5
Here we are with yet another episode of PlaceKode by Uthaan, the Journalism and Recreational Club of ABV-Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management Gwalior. We have with us Aditi Singh placed in Google, sharing her tips for improving our abilities and her interview experience with us.
First of all, congratulations on getting selected in Google, a dream company for many of us. How fascinating does it feel to get selected there? What was your immediate reaction after this?
It was quite relaxing for me, to get an internship in a great company like Google within a short period of time. It was really a big deal then.
Can you walk us through your interview process, and what was your state of mind after that?
In the interview for the internship, there were 2 rounds, each of 45 minutes. In the first round, they asked simple questions. In my case, they asked me to make an API call, and once my concepts got cleared, they started building upon it. Proceeding to that, they asked me about algorithms to improve the API call.
In the second round they asked the question on the Running Median. The question was not direct in that sense, but they wanted me to answer in that context only.
You received amazing offers from both Google and Amazon. How did you prepare for it?
Amazon interviews had started quite early, and our batch was the first one to experience the Amazon program. Generally, most of the students start their preparation in August, but I got to know about it in April and the interview was in June/July. So, I just solved questions from Geek-for-Geeks and then solved the questions asked in Amazon, from LeetCode.
I followed the same procedure for Google, practiced questions from LeetCode and gradually increased the level of questions from easy to hard, and then solved the questions that were asked in Google interviews itself.
You also have an expertise in the domain of Machine Learning. Can you please brief us about the roadmap you had followed in this field?
To start your journey in Machine Learning, it is good to go with Andrew NG’s Machine Learning course from Coursera. It took me about one and a half months to complete this course.
Then, I started to do contests on Kaggle.
I also started to participate in few hackathons, as the judges used to like solutions in Machine Learning. Then, I shifted my domain to problem solving. I have also done 2 internships in machine learning — one was a semester long, while the other one was for 2 months.
What was the main focus in the Machine Learning internship? Can you elaborate the projects you got to work on?
I worked in Caliche for my machine learning internship.
It is a company which uses petroleum industry data to optimize the performance of the fuel tank which they were generating. So, my main task was to clean the data and to identify anomalies of that data.
Can you tell us about the online resources you have used for the preparation of DSA and Machine Learning?
For practicing machine learning, I just took part in contests on Kaggle.
Apart from that, for DSA, initially I was not very accustomed to the coding platforms. So, I started with Geek for Geeks, and then gradually shifted to Leetcode.
The thing which helped me is the consistency. You have to do 2–3 problems daily to get better in these topics.
You have worked on a lot of projects. What role did they play in your interview?
Firstly, they looked good on resume and helped in the shortlisting rounds. They give you something to talk about in interviews. You can talk about the tech, the idea and the approach. They also gave me a huge confidence boost in terms of my learning abilities.
How did hackathons help you in improving your coding skills? Also, can you tell us about a few hackathons that you have participated in?
Hackathons are really helpful, as one gets a limited amount of time for solving the problem statement in hackathon. I used to participate in on-site hackathons and then moved towards online hackathons. Till date, I have participated in about 7 hackathons. I have visited MNNIT Allahabad for one of the hackathons. I have also participated in hackathons organized by SGSITS Indore and AASF.
From there, my journey started. In my first year, I have learnt a lot of things from them. You will be having a very short amount of time to learn and execute things. From the seven hackathons in which I participated, I have learnt that even if the program seems really amazing, it is not useful unless it serves the purpose of the problem. It greatly instilled confidence in me.
What role does the communication skills play in the interview and how can one improve upon them?
Mainly, it does not depend on the communication skills, but on the confidence that you have.
“Communication skills cannot be improved in a single day. If you want to ace it, take part in activities where communication plays a major role”
This will actually help you to ace your communication skills and instill confidence in yourself.
You have aced a lot of things in different fields in merely 4 years. Did being in a 4 year course ever felt different compared to your 5 year counterparts? Also, did you face any difficulty in the placements?
5-year integrated courses have more time to experiment with the technologies. But in our case, it was a bit rushed, at least for our batch, because we were under the hypothesis that first year of college is for enjoyment. This is not advisable for a student of 4-year course.
Coming to placements, the only difference was that the students from 5-year courses had higher packages than us, but not by a high margin. There are certain companies which came for the 5-year batch, but at the same time there are certain companies which came only for the 4-year batch.
Can you share with us how you had used the lockdown period to develop your skills?
If you are in your first or second year then keep experimenting, explore all the domains and find out your interests. Always keep doing something which helps to develop your skills. A lot of people say to enjoy the first year, but my personal opinion is that the best time to enjoy your college life is after you get placed, you have everything so you can just chill out.
Don’t be competitive with your friends, they are on the same journey. We have many competitors in the outside world, so considering your batchmates as your competitors will add to your burden. Helping your friends solve their problems will help take you forward rather than considering them as competitors.
How much important is our academic performance in the placements?
Generally, first and second year topics are very important. So, you should be equally focused on them. Do some fun, but at the same time remember that you are here to study and it is equally important. Some companies are putting a CGPA of 7.0+ as a barrier while others put it at 8.0+. Things are changing, and I believe that it’s importance will decrease in subsequent years.
Kindly walk us through the memories which you cherish in the 4 years of your college journey.
We were the second batch of 4-year course in the institute. Most of us had made a mistake that we used to contact the seniors of 5-year integrated courses. But I found a few good seniors from 4-year batch itself. I started participating in AASF contests. AASF had a web development contest in which we took part.
We had Infotsav in our first year ,we contributed a lot and enjoyed ourselves much. I got selected in Uthaan which gave me a lot more memories to cherish.
We had our Parichay in which I danced on the stage for the first time. In the second year, we were more inclined towards our studies. We had Aurora in which I didn’t take part but it was an amazing fest (shoutout to everyone who were part of that).Then, lockdown happened. In lockdown, it was all about internships and we started preparing for an internship. Lockdown part was blurry, I only remember preparing for internships, and doing internships.
Currently, the juniors are sitting idle at home. Is there something they should focus on in this free time that can help in the long run?
I would advise them to try as many fields as they can. Due to the online classes, students get more time to work on themselves. Also, due to the less academic pressure usually in the first year, a student can try various fields freely, with less pressure of academics and more time.
Sometimes, it happens that we get demotivated by seeing others working more efficiently than us. How to get out of this peer pressure?
In my opinion, it actually has a positive impact. If you are feeling pressurized you should work, it motivates you to study. It’s true that you get a bit anxious but it is better than realizing in the pre-final when companies come for interviews. You should take it in a positive way as it will help you in development without being anxious.
We are concluding our interview here. thankyou for sharing your precious time and experience with us .You are a source of motivation and inspiration for many and we wish you a bright future ahead.
Interviewed by Dhruv Sanghvi and Akshitha Mittapally
Co-ordinated by Kailash Kejriwal

Uthaan is the Journalism and Recreational Club of Atal Bihari Vajpayee Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (IIITM) Gwalior.

Uthaan is the Journalism and Recreational Club of Atal Bihari Vajpayee Indian Institute of Information Technology and Management (IIITM) Gwalior.