How BVRIT helped me break a stereotype and get selected in ZOHO, an IT Product Company

I had a teacher in my XII standard namely Gagneet Kaur whom I refer as a lifelong student. She had three masters behind her name. And by the time I was out of school she was pursuing masters in psychology. This inspired me to study everything that I am interested on.

Being a big fan of superhero movies I used to wonder how those guys do miracles in the movies with technology such as a man having eight arms or a guy who controls armor. That’s the reason I opted Biomedical Engineering in my B.Tech.

Soon I came to know I can’t achieve my dream career in Biomedical Engineering. Unless I do my MS abroad. I am a type of person who likes to be independent and stand on my own feet as soon as possible. I believe a person should be able to afford his own costs from the day he/she turns major. I tried to do some part-time jobs but our culture and my parents never permitted me to do so. So I decided to switch my career options before its too late for me.

Sometimes the mistakes we do help us to know our talents. Once our faculty Sujana Madam gave us an assignment to mask a 10*10 matrix with a 3*3 matrix which we call filtering. It feels easy but complex. Some of my classmates tried and failed to complete it by hand. I totally forgot about the assignment. On the last day of submission while there is one hour left I understood that I may lose marks as the problem is too complex to solve in an hour. I went to our department lab, wrote a code for the problem, have copied the answers in an A4 sheet and submitted the assignment in 15 minutes. While there is still 45 minutes left my classmates asked me for help and submitted the assignment. Though our faculty came to know about it, Sujana madam encouraged me to code the program in mat lab.

All along my college days, our faculty Prof. Prabhakar Reddy sir came to know that software job suites me. With the guidance, suggestions and counselling from my placement in charge Sripathi Raja sir, I started learning. Ibrahim Patel sir helped me with notes and software to do projects and programming respectively. Bhanu sir and Chary sir helped me with assembly and embedded C. With suggestions and support from our faculty I started a club in our department with people who like coding. The participation turned out to be very less. But the encouragement we got is plenty. Our class counselor who is also our Timetable in charge, Srilatha Reddy Ambati madam gave slots for our club activities and our HOD  Prof.Ashok Shigli sir never want us to give up. He said us to continue on our work and leave the later on him which boosted our confidence. Though the strength is very less we continued the sessions. It helped me a lot to improve my programming skills. The trend is boosted by new faculty in our department Manju madam, Sandhya Madam and Manikyam sir.

Then came a problem that for any course I need to learn I need to pay money and may need to shift Hyderabad if I need to learn offline. My parents always believe in me and they always want to support me but it is against my ethics to make them pay. Moreover, I am still dependent on my father for my survival and basic necessities. And he is still paying my bills. So I want to reduce his cost as much as possible.

On the other hand we are affected by the stereotype that Biomedical Engineers are not suitable for software jobs and are weak at coding. I am a guy who hates stereotypes. And this is a good chance for me to break it.

I always believe a loser searches for excuses but a winner searches for chances. So I started learning on my own from Internet. The steps I followed are:

  1. Select a language.
  2. Check its syllabus in different universities.
  3. Study the topics in the syllabus individually.
  4. Take the help of tutorials from YouTube.
  5. Practice in various online platforms.
  6. If bored try Aptitude or English.

Never compare with someone who is nearly your level or whom you can beat easily. I always compared myself with great coders and worked to beat them. I am also aware of the fact that companies prefer a person having certification than someone who doesn’t. So I worked harder to learn more than the people having certification.

There were days when I attended off campus interviews but was rejected only because of my branch and became a victim of interviewer’s anger. Once I lost hope and stopped learning for a week. I shared my experience with our BME faculty Prem Kumar sir and said him that I want to give up. For which he replied- “Even the interviewer is not permanent in his seat. The only difference between him and you is- you don’t have a job. So, you are learning and stood in front of him. He has a job and he got his own seat. If he don’t update he may lose his job. So both of you are in the same race at different points.  Learn more to cross him in the race”. Those words changed my perspective and made me more ambitious. From then from every rejection and every experience I prepared myself to a better candidate. Remember, people prefer statues to rocks because they are carved well.

Through a test Niladri sir, Nagaparameswari madam and Madhubabu sir came to know what I am capable of which even I am not aware of. The test gave me a chance to talk with them. From then on I used to contact them for every doubt. I felt them as a family more than a placement team. This helped me to be myself with them instead of performing an aadarshvidyardhi show. There is a day I argued with a faculty from placement team for which some of my friends thought I am out of mind.

Though they actually promised me to allow me to try for a few companies, they never called me even if the companies came. On December 10 around 22:20 I received a call from Naga Parameswari madam to register for ZOHO drive. I did it and wrote written test in which I was selected. But I was not confident that I may clear the next rounds. I went to Niladri sir and asked him for suggestions for which he replied “You will clear it and you are going to be the first person to get placed from BME department”. In a way his answer confused me.

On the day of interview Nagaparameswari madam called me and took care for the next rounds of interview. I cleared all the rounds and in HR. I told him some answers which a candidate should not say e.g.:  Plans to do MS after five years. I was what I am. In fact, To be fact I didn’t know that I was not supposed to say that. I came to know about it after I came out of HR round. This time I was sure I am not going to be selected. But to my surprise I was offered job. Our placement team and my department faculty were all on cloud nine and it was totally unbelievable.

After I got the job, when I saw reviews of the company online, I understood why the TPC team haven’t allowed me to some companies though they promised me to. Because it was placements team who were aware that I don’t belong there. They know where to send any student. All you need to do is be yourself. I am happy today not because I was placed but because our placement team placed me where I belong to. I am really thankful to my parents, department, placement team and my friends from IT (Vijay, Pavan and Mounika Gopireddy) for helping me to break a stereotype.