Placement is like a hotcake, every one of us wants to grab the best one of it. But it’s never that easy to get your dream job. You are a lucky one if you get it on-campus, but going for off-campus is a 180-degree shift. For On-campus you merely compete with 300 or thousand students at most, but when it comes to off-campus you are competing with a whole crowd of thousands or maybe even lakhs! It's going to be a tough game to stand out in such a dense competition. But learning from the real-life experiences of an expert who has made his way to Microsoft, FlipKart, Oracle and his guidance can surely help you to get ready for your masterstroke. So here we bring a blog by Akash Bhayekar where he has shared his experiences of cracking various off-campus placements and guided the students.
One key difference between off-campus and on-campus hiring is getting interviews. In on-campus, the college has already invited the companies for placements. You just need to qualify the criteria and clear interviews. Whereas in off-campus your first challenge is to get your resume shortlisted, you need to reach out to multiple companies, their HRs, apply on various job portals. This process itself takes time from applying on job portals to getting interviews scheduled. Even the ratio of applying to response is low, so you must apply as many as possible and focus on what responses you got and give your best shot.
As you won’t be having any prior work experience you need to show something valuable for companies other than college grades and assignments because, in off-campus, you will be competing with people from all over India, so you need to stand out. Here are few things you can do –
If you can get on-campus placement, that’s really a good option, but if you are looking for a particular field or company that doesn’t come to the college, you do a few simple things to apply off-campus.
Every company has different work culture and subject matter expertise. You will always learn something or another from different companies whether it’s a tech giant or not. Focus on getting the experience that you desire, what kind of tech stack or field you want to work on, what kind of project you like to work on. Sometimes you learn more from start-ups than big companies. Don’t forget, every experience counts good or bad.
I didn’t get much mentorship or guidance in my time, but friends have always helped me grow in my career. The collective experience of people around you also acts as your north star. If you need mentorship, you can reach out to your seniors or alumni. Also, you can always learn from blogs and Youtube videos about their journey and work experience.
This might not be a popular point of view but I feel that it is a mistake to give more importance to a specific part of the hackathon at the cost of another part of the hackathon. For example, if you try to rush the ideation phase or don’t discuss the tech stack and implementation clearly, it will only make the coding a lot more difficult. Another mistake in my opinion is to compromise on the presentation to get a few more lines of code in. It would be appreciated more if a team can clearly present the crux of their solution rather than making a haphazard presentation where it seems that a random set of features has been made into a project. Of course, the coding is extremely important but small things like clear documentation and proper git workflows can be highly appreciated and show that you tried to go one step beyond everyone else.