October, 2008

Success Story of Kasthuri

Reproduced below is a mail from Kasthuri Rangan, B.Tech -CSE, 2004-08. A truly inspirational piece that can help you define your goal and work systematically towards it. Juniors and Sophomores - for your eyes only.



Respected Sir,              
I am Kasthuri Rangan, a current master's student at Cornell University. I passed out this May from NITT. Sir, I do hope things are going good there at college.
My master's program at Cornell University is a 1-yr masters which means that I will graduate in May 2009 and have to join a company in June or July 2009. I have got a number of offers till now and I have decided to join Bloomberg in Manhattan, New York City as they have a good package and the growth in the company is pretty good. Added to that, I was the first  Indian master's student at Cornell to be offered a job.

Now, the reason I wanted to say the above is not to talk just about myself and what I did here but instead to look at the reasons that made the offers possible. It was pretty weird here since school started on August 28th and we had a career fair on September 10th. Pretty much what Cornell did was only give us a brand name apart from which we were expected to have the required skill set to interview. This is pretty brutal for a lot of people since it's so fast and the process is quite demanding.

Honestly, the reason I was able to make these converts is because of the rigorous CPC training I have had. Here, there is no written round of exams to shortlist for interview like India but instead they select you for an interview based on your resume. Resume shortlisting is the toughest thing here but once you get the interview, pretty much the ball is in your court. CPC training helped me quite a lot in the technical interviews. Almost all other Indians except those from BITS and IIT do not know simple CPC problems and the same is of the rest of the americans here. This gives us quite the advantage since the interviewer expects you to take 10-15 minutes to solve a
problem when you take less than a minute to give it back to him. Plus, the CPC training we had helped develop a certain analytical approach to problems. This too helped me a lot in the interviews. I had first round interviews with Bloomberg, Amazon, Microsoft, Blackrock and Hulu of which almost all the technical questions that were asked were from the CPCs. I did convert all of them to final round interviews. However, I am  not going for final round interviews with Microsoft and Blackrock. I am also declining my interview slots with 10 other companies I have since this will give others a chance to get the job as as far as I am concerned Bloomberg is where I want to go and atleast someone else can get the opportunity to convert them.

Sir, a lot of 3rd years think CPCs are a waste of time especially those who are applying for masters. I was in those shoes and I literally used to curse the CPC co-ordinators. I would like you to explain to them this aspect of CPCs and the way they are very vital even for those who are applying for higher studies. The job market in the US is very bad and every advantage that you can get counts to a great extent. The CPC training is probably the biggest advantage we have from NITT and I don't want students to come here and realize it too late.   

Sir, I would also like to thank you immensely for the CPC training that TP had given to us. I am very frank here when I say that without that I would not have got these offers now nor would I be joining bloomberg next july. Please do advise the juniors who are applying for masters not to neglect their CPCs as it is vital for them here too.

Once again, thanks a lot sir. Also, if there is any way I can help TP, please do let me know. I am also in contact with a number of juniors helping them on their SOPs and university short-listing. I really do hope that in a few years, we do have a sizable number of students from NITT here at universities in the US.

Yours sincerely,                                               
Kasthuri Rangan Prabhakaran