Interviewer: N. Ramya
Intern/Interviewee: Guru Naveen, (CSE, Fourth Year, College of Engineering Guindy)
GT: How did you happen to develop a passion for Computer Science and technology?
Guru Naveen: My passion for Computer Science started from my school days, games always fascinated me, and they eventually pulled me towards computers. I have a few relatives who have successful careers in this field as well. The buzz that IT and CS students get better career opportunities also drove me towards this field.
GT: How did you get the internship opportunity at MathWorks?
Guru Naveen: I got this opportunity via the internship drive organized by CUIC. Regarding the process of selection, there were three rounds of interviews which were mostly based on conceptual materials. My seniors played a major role in helping me understand how the internship drive functioned and also taught me about how interviews are conducted. I wouldn’t have landed this internship without their help.
GT: What were the activities you took part in during the internship?
Guru Naveen: My internship was for nine weeks, and the first week included the orientation and introductory session. Various courses regarding specialization in MATLAB and SIMULINK were also conducted. I also got to know more about the products they work on. Then in the following weeks, I worked on a project which wrote automated tests related to Simulink. I also got to know about customer support, which involved addressing product queries. There were also plenty of fun events which were also conducted on Fridays.
GT: What do you think are the key takeaways for you from this internship?
Guru Naveen: My learning process began with my preparations for interviews, and it helped me gain a lot of technical knowledge then. When I entered the company, I had to work as part of a huge organization with a big team. It was a new experience for me and I learned a lot about how to network with people. I learned the importance of communicating properly with people, and how one should convey messages accurately and to the point. Working on code was a huge challenge for me and it was very different from what I was used to up until that point. Overall, these experiences gave me confidence that I am capable of doing things.
GT: I believe many of your juniors will also be looking forward to such opportunities in the future. What advice would you give to your juniors to ensure that they will be well equipped to bag these opportunities?
Guru Naveen: The first thing I’d like to say is that many of us have the misconception that interviewers come to reject us. This is far from the case, and I think everyone should change their mindset regarding this. Recruiters indeed come to recruit us and not to reject us. We tend to think that the job of the interviewers is to ask hard questions, but that’s not the case. Students should overcome this stigma and must realize that once the interview begins, everything will fall in place. The interviewers will make you feel comfortable during the interview and make sure there’s nothing for you to worry about. One more thing I’d like to add is that despite being very hard to follow when preparing, try to stick to the process without worrying about the result. Last but not least, if your interview is soon approaching in a few days, do not start reading anything new from that point onward. Make sure your basics are strong and revise whatever you already know.
GT: Did you face any challenges or hurdles during the internship period at MathWorks? If so, how did you overcome them?
Guru Naveen: Yes, I did have a few. The first hurdle I faced is the fact that the project that I worked on was mostly related to ECE; signal processing in particular. I had to write the automated tests for the same which posed to be a challenge. I needed to develop knowledge of the products to code the tests right. So, during my first 2 weeks, I read up a lot on this topic and gained more knowledge from sources like books, videos, and Wikipedia. I also had to learn some tools that were specific to the company. While it was initially challenging to use, in due time I became well versed with them.
GT: Does MathWorks provide a full-time job offer after the internship?
Guru Naveen: Yes, that option is available and it’s called a PPO or Pre-Placement Offer. At MathWorks, they don’t have a separate interview for PPOs. It is decided based on your performance during the internship, which in turn is based on the feedback provided by your team, mentor, and manager. I have received PPO and I’ll be joining the company after I graduate.
GT: You mentioned organizing events and participating in club activities were some of your other areas of interest, before to our meeting. May I ask how you were driven towards that?
Guru Naveen: In my school back in Salem, there was an inter-school cultural competition conducted every year, wherein I used to organize at least one event every year. I also used to participate in similar events hosted by other schools in the zone, which was very rejuvenating and motivating. When I joined CEG, the magnitude of these events was at a whole new level, with several opportunities to work at various clubs and events, and I thought I should make the most out of them.
GT: What are some of the noteworthy courses and certifications that you pursued to enhance your expertise in these fields?
Guru Naveen: I didn’t do too many certifications or courses in my domain. During the lockdown, I did 2-3 courses in Coursera regarding ML and AI. Other than that, I just browsed several sites to develop and practice my knowledge in the relevant areas.
GT: It’s a pleasure to know that you play cricket as well. Can you please share with us your secret tips on efficient time management?
Guru Naveen: I used to play and watch cricket during my free time. I am a morning person so I wake up early and utilize that time for productive activities. Waking up early sets my mind straight for the rest of the day. I’d suggest planning out your day in the morning itself so you can make the most out of it.
GT: Finally, what do you think of the Intern Diaries series?
Guru Naveen: If I’m not wrong, Intern Diaries is being conducted for almost three years now. When I was preparing for my intern opportunities, I went through some of the interviews in the series for guidance. It is a good platform to create awareness amongst students regarding the intern opportunities at college. Keep up the great work!
The Guindy Times extends thanks to Guru Naveen for taking out time for this interview and wishes him all the best for his future endeavours.