Saturday, April 04, 2009

My first job (Accenture)


Inspired by this post of Abhishek Chaturvedi, I thought of writing about my very own first job (which co-incidentally happens to be the same as his - Accenture)

It was the first day of the 7th semester and TCS was supposed to come to our campus the next day. We were asked to submit our resumes by the very same night I arrived in the campus. Needless to say, I was tired and exhausted and decided to give TCS a skip. Anyways, their package was quite less (there is not much difference between the different companies anyways, but still TCS was perhaps one of the lowest). So I looked forward to the next company, Accenture, which was supposed to come three days later. 

I ran room-to-room with my pen-drive, asking for some sample resumes whose format I could rip-off for making my own resume. After finding the one that looked alright, I set about making my resume (which was fully loaded with only quiz-related extracurricular activities). It came out quite OK and I was satisfied with my lazy, unoriginal work. 

After submitting my resume, I was told that Accenture would have a written exam for selection. I remember that I was seated behind Ujjal and in front of Jango. Ujjal (we call him Anda for short) was very much tensed, as he hated writing and acing exams like these. Anyways, I am glad that he did not get through, as a much better and interesting job at Alstom Power was waiting for him. I managed to complete the test before time and in the 60 questions given to us, I was pretty sure of getting atleast 55 correct. 

The results were announced 1 hour after the exam and I was through. The GD was about to start in just 20 minutes, so I rushed back to my hostel and wore my formal clothes (blue shirt and black pants, blue socks and black shoes, black belt and blue tie) - by the looks of it I was totally Black and Blue :D . I then proceeded to the GD room (more like a hall), where a hot young girl was taking the GD for our group. Since the group lists were announced before, me and my group members (I remember Saurabh and Chetan being a part of my group) met in advance to discuss the strategy for making sure all of us (especially idiots like me) have a chance to speak. I don't remember the topic well (something about politics and reservations I think), but the GD went fine. The GD results were announced and I was through. Those who didn't made it were hounding the poor girl asking her "Why not me? What were my faults? Where can I improve?" People told me about IIM stress levels during placements. This was just the 2nd company in our college in a booming economy, and seeing the crowd behaviour would make an outsider think that Accenture was the last company on the NITKKR campus :D

Anyways, I was waiting for the interview outside some room which was pretty far from the hostel. We had two lines - One line was attended to by some pretty rough technical guys and the other by the lovely HR girls. When we entered the room (my interview took place at around 11.30 pm after a wait of more than 4 hours), we were being pushed into one of the two lines. Sushant Gaurav, our one-man-army-placement-coordinator, told me that the techies were being too harsh on the students and put me in the HR line. The first round was a elimination round (I am not sure, but I was told that), so it was easier facing the HR beauty rather than the techie-monster. 

The HR girl was pretty cool. There were the usual questions about "Why Accenture?", "Tell me about yourself." etc., but the weird thing was she was filling up a form as if I was a employee already :) This was very surprising thing for me. She even asked me "Oh, you are a quizzer right? Name the top-5 IT companies in India, along with the names of the CEOs of atleast 3 of them". I said "Accenture and William D.  Green; Wipro and Azim Premji; Infosys and Narayana Murthy", then I faltered a bit and stopped for a few seconds before continuing "Satyam and Microsoft". She was surprised when I said Microsoft, but I said convincingly that I considered MS to be a rising force in India and that it would soon make its presence known (Chatur, are you listening?). She also mentioned that Murthy was not the Infy CEO anymore, which made me quickly change my answer to Nandan Nilekani. 

After the interview, I was told that my second round will take place soon but the turn never came and at around 1.30 am, I was told that my interview would take place in the morning at around 7 am. I went to my room as tired as a dog. I slept like a baby (seriously it was a nice sleep, tension free)

I woke up early and reached my interview on time. I was like one of the first fellas to be interviewed by the techie-monster. It started well, with him asking me some C-related questions (very simple stuff like arrays etc). He was actually not happy with my one-line answers and when he asked me "Tell me more about arrays", I said "I told all that there was needed to know about arrays" (a bit brash, but I hate early mornings!). Then he came closer to me and sharply asked me "We will make you work for 16 hours flat, while your colleagues will be enjoying. Will you be able to take that?" The natural answer was "Yes, of course", but I added "Anyways, last few days I have not had more than 4 hrs of sleep every day and I am pretty good with that. Besides, you mentioned in your presentation that you grade people based on the performance, so if I slog early-on, I will have the last laugh when I will steer ahead of my colleagues and friends." I think this answer got me the job (as I saw a smile on his face). He then asked me if I had any questions for him. I just told him that I had never heard about Accenture before, until I had seen those Tiger Woods ads. I then complemented him on using the perfect person to endorse their brand and that each advertisement reflected truly what the company stood for. I was not trying butter him up, because I sincerely liked the ads a lot; and I made sure he knew that.

After the interview I had my breakfast and went to my morning class. In the second class, I got a sms from Sushant, telling me that the list was not officially out, but that he saw my name on the list and hence congratulated me. I was happy that I got a job in my first try itself! It was cool that I was officially a professional now! As far as I remember, I never felt that good about myself. A job in a American-based MNC! By my own efforts!

I remember that I took Ujjal and Jango out for a pastry that evening. I didn't celebrate it that much anyways. I am not much of the celebrate-till-you-drop guy. I was glad that I had a back-up in case I screwed up my CAT. As most of you know, it was the CAT which was screwed by me and not the other way round :)

Hope you liked this post. Next one will be about - Just visit it to know more about what I am talking about!


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