Tell us a little bit about yourself
(Your studies, When did you join Dell etc.)
I am currently pursuing 5 years integrated masters in computer science from National Institute of Technology, Rourkela. My specialization is information security. I was recruited by Dell in July 2014 to work with the Dell Commerce platform team in Dell Bangalore, India, for summer internship 2015.
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What has your experience like as a University hire been? How did you hear about Dell and what was the application process like?
Dell came to NIT Rourkela for campus hiring. It was the first time that Dell visited NIT Rourkela and it was also the first company to come for recruitment in academic year 2014 (i.e. Placement day zero). I cleared coding round (first round). I was called for interview. Next one was technical round where my basic concepts of object oriented language, data structures, operating systems, etc. were analyzed. Third round was HR round. I was asked about my hobbies, my expectations from Dell, etc. It was an amazing experience.
Why did you choose to come work at Dell?
I read about life at Dell in Quora and Glassdoor. I also watched videos of interns sharing their experiences. Reputation and the kind of work culture Dell has, was something I wanted to be a part of. Before starting my internship, I wasn’t really sure what’s in store, however the work culture at Dell surpassed all my expectations. The people I have met welcome my inquiries and encourage and enable me to learn and grow. They have blown away my expectations with their kindness, patience, and willingness to share their knowledge, expertise, and insights.
How did you prepare for your internship at Dell?
There was a lot of uncertainty as to whether Dual Degree people would be allowed to sit for Dell internship. I got to know that we would be allowed, just one day before it came. When I got to know, I did not waste a single minute, but sat down for 24 hours, and read every possible thing I could on geeksforgeeks, and solved tricky questions. I was on a train from Hyderabad, and sitting on the top berth that was all I could think about. Those 24 hours mattered so much to me and when I cleared the first round, I was ecstatic that all my hard work had paid off.
How did you approach the company and what was their selection procedure?
Dell came to NITR for recruiting students for both internship as well as placements. There were three rounds. The first round was an objective round where we were asked MCQs- basically input/output questions on data structures and algorithms. The second round was a technical round where we were interviewed on our technical knowledge. That lasted for over 45 minutes where I was grilled with hardcore questions. The third was the HR round. I was very nervous for that because out of the four people selected for that round, only two would get through. However, the interviewer was very friendly. He asked me about my family and background and told me a bit about the company too.
Did you participate in any internships or rotation programs before you were hired? If so, tell us about your experience.
Yes. After my pre-final year, I interned at Indian institute of Technology, Hyderabad. It was a research based internship. I worked on Interference-Aware Channel Allocation Algorithms for Multi-Channel Multi-Hop Small-World Wireless Network and its Simulation. During this internship I got familiar with python and Network Simulator NS3.
How was your overall experience at Dell?
When I went there all I had was theoretical knowledge, and some small projects. When I went there I saw that small projects can actually become a part of a big organisation. Dell has a very pleasant work ambience. People were nice. You had to meet deadlines though. However, there wasn’t too much pressure. We were given sufficient time to complete the work. There were also sports organised for keeping up the spirits of the employees. They focussed on extra-curricular activities as well.
What are some projects that you have recently been involved with and some of your career highlights at Dell?
I was basically working on software development which could be an instrumental tool for smooth and frictionless flow of orders. Time is money. So, the main motive behind my project was easier and faster processing of orders and customer satisfaction.
During summer internship, I worked with GCMP team of Dell Commerce Services. My project was on queue handling and error management. Now, I am on a six month winter internship at Dell and I am working on order lifecycle dashboard – in the short term the project aims to provide real-time reports on order that are being held up during processing. This involves handling small to moderate amounts of data, data visualization and statistical analysis with R. In the long term the project aims to develop a complete analytical solution that can predict problems and prescribe solutions based static features such as product ordered, location, quantity, company. This involves handling big data on Hadoop platform, with processing on Hive, scheduled incremental pulls using Sqoop and micro batch processing using Spark.
How do you think Dell can help you achieve your career goals after graduation?
The plethora of exposure I am having as an intern itself is so useful for enhancing my knowledge in various fields that Dell is looking upon. I got familiar with big data concepts, R, Hadoop, C#, etc. I always wanted a research oriented work environment which I got at Dell.
How has Dell helped you in your learning and supported you in your first corporate environment?
The guidance provided by my manager, mentor and team members has been extra ordinarily supportive. Exposure to the real time working environment has been very useful in learning how the big companies work. Dell promotes us to get into more innovative things and also encourage new ideas. Each day brings many opportunities to learn and build new skills. I am constantly challenged, and as a result, I am never bored. At Dell, interns are given responsibility over their own project and are held accountable to do their best work.
How would you advise a CS student to prepare for internships?
For a CS student, data structures, algorithms, C and C++ is very basic knowledge, and it is essential that they know it. Databases and operating systems are taught in college. So, those concepts should be clear. The various projects you do help to apply theoretical knowledge practically. The company only asks questions from what one has studied, so the basics must be absolutely clear. Also, CGPA matters to some extent, and one should maintain a decent CGPA.
What message would you like to pass on to your juniors?
I would advise them not to follow the crowd. Irrespective of your branch, experiment these 4-5 years here and try to find out your passion and your hidden potential. Extracurricular activities are important but please do not ignore your studies, have a decent pointer and respond to your inner call.