Observations from IIT Guwahati Campus Placement Visit

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This week, I spent time at IIT Guwahati giving pre-placement talk and the next whole day at the placement process trying to find our next Product Managers. The idea was to find someone who could join MakeMyTrip's Young Turks Program. 

I and my colleague went through 258 profiles who had applied for the Product Management role. The number made us realise that it was one of the hotly contested role in the campus. We had some real good profiles - Students who were undisputedly working on super hot stuff! 

While the shortlisting itself was a herculean tasks, eventually we could whittle it down to a manageable number. And when we started speaking to theses folks, I was blown away with the clarity in their thought process.

Following are my observations from the experience:

  1. Electronics Engineers have finally found a niche! : When I was in college, placement for E&CE was always a tangential experience. Either you go to IT companies prevalent then (there were rarely any product/startups then) or keep aiming for few embedded chips companies' jobs. But now they have found a real niche - "Machine Learning" . Every E&C student we spoke to had done an internship on ML and some even had knowledge of how to apply their skills to the business use cases.
  2. Coming back to ML, I was amazed to see how these students were upskilling themselves and reading cool stuff. Pretty much every student had done projects and/or internships on either ML, IOT or Crypto. Most Importantly, they are doing it voluntarily! Goes on to prove the power of self learning.
  3. Most of the students understood the implication of the work they did in the internship or as projects. They looked at pushing the envelope, even when organisations they worked at seemed reluctant or didn't have scope.
  4. For all the buzz around online video streaming, we asked few questions around that. Turned out, students were only clued into Netflix and Amazon Prime. Rest all streaming apps seemed redundant to them. Out of these too, they only see Amazon Prime, which too again is shared among friends
  5. Students love delivery apps! They were literally gushing on Swiggy's launch at IIT Guwahati recently. Having said that, there was reluctance on delivery charges where it can be avoided like stuff ordered from the college canteen itself

It was a beautiful campus where the time spent was truly valuable! We found a real great guy - someone who already had picked up experience working on an e-commerce platform - to join our Product Management team. We also chose 3 students for our vibrant Design team.

It was a great experience which taught me a lot and brought back memories of my placement days where jitters were common place. Grad Education in India has indeed progressed! 

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