Goldman Sachs — SDE
Name: Atulya Arya
1. Which company have you been placed in and what’s the job description?
>> I am placed at Goldman Sachs. The role is that of a Software Development Engineer (SDE) and is referred to as a ‘Technology Analyst’ in the firm.
The role involves combining the best open-source software, databases, cloud solutions, and programming languages, to solve problems and provide accurate, complex, scalable applications that will help the business and clients of the firm gain new insights.
2. Tell us something about your college life and experiences. Were you a part of any club or society throughout your college life and how did they help you?
>> I was a part of various clubs and societies (both tech and non-tech) & even held leadership positions in a few of them. The clubs have helped me immensely, not only in terms of the number of people I interacted with, who eventually ended up being great friends but also in enhancing my persona.
I was actively involved in the co-curricular activities at our campus, ranging from hosting events, participating in many of them, to being a part of the organization team of all our annual fests (thankfully it wasn’t online back then;) I genuinely believe that the aforementioned things have added a lot of value in shaping my personality and are some of the best memories of my college days.
3. What message would you give to the first and second-year undergraduates on effectively using their time and maintaining their academic as well as social life?
>> Identifying the right balance for oneself is of utmost importance. Time management isn’t one-size-fits-all, hence, we should try to find a system that aligns with our priorities and end goals. I’d suggest students explore different clubs & events and figure out what interests them the most. It is said that these are the best years of one’s life, so do try to make the most of it, both in terms of enjoyment, as well as your overall development. Focus on enhancing your skill-set because it pays off remarkably, however, do not completely neglect your academics.
4. How did you discover that “this particular sector” is suitable for me or do I have an interest in this? How did you carry forward in this?
>> I used to do programming on and off earlier, however, the pandemic & the induced lockdown confined us within our home, that is when I started coding regularly. I enjoyed doing web development and had built quite a few projects during that time. I eventually discovered that I’m more fascinated in this field compared to the other alternatives, and with the guidance of seniors & of course Google/YouTube, I gradually navigated through this.
5. Many of the students have an interest in both core and software, what would you suggest to them?
>> Try to explore both the fields initially, for instance, maybe try to do a mini-project, this will help you figure out what interests you more. Then you should eventually decide what sector you want to pursue.
6. What are the technical skills that are important for EEE graduates?
>> There’s no pre-defined list per se. For placements, it entirely depends on the field you are going forward with, for example, if you wish to be a Software Developer, some of the desired skills would be: good problem-solving, a strong understanding of Data Structures & Algorithms, and knowledge of fundamentals of computer science. Similarly, it will be different for other domains.
7. How early one should start preparing for internships and how important an internship is? Where did you pursue your internship?
>> The sooner the better. An internship is a great learning experience, especially because it gives first-hand exposure to the corporate world and real-life projects. I interned as a Summer Analyst at Goldman Sachs itself.
8. What are the projects you have done in 4 years and how did they help in your placement and internship?
>> A few notable ones would be Speech Recognition using MATLAB; developing Concord: a real-time chat app built with socket.io, node & express; and finding the best pilot positions for channel estimation using deep learning.
They helped a lot in my interview, as one of the interviewers was very interested in my speech recognition project and asked a lot of questions, and we discussed at length the scope of this project.
9. What is your advice to the juniors who want to get placed in the field you’ve chosen?
>> Be consistent with coding. Have a strong understanding of the basics and try to do at least 1–2 projects pertaining to any domain of your choice.
10. If you are from the software sector, how did you balance between coding and electrical studies?
>> There isn’t any fixed formula that I followed. I paid attention to the lectures taught in the class and revised it periodically, this gave me enough understanding of my course subjects.
I tried to be as much consistent as I can with coding, giving contests was a crucial part of this.
11 How did you prepare for the interviews? What was the toughest part for you while giving the interviews?
>> I researched thoroughly about the company and the job requirements. I also went through interview experiences of people who have made it through and brushed up DSA, DBMS, OOPs, and OS.
The toughest part for me was to explain to the interviewer why I, being an Electrical Engineering undergrad should be selected, instead of someone from CSE/IT branch. Thankfully I managed to convince him with my response to this question.
12. If an aspiring student wasn’t able to secure an on-campus internship, what recommendation do you have for that person both academically (off-campus/ research internship) and mentally.
>> Try looking for opportunities via LinkedIn, or other platforms like D2C, etc. Do not panic because it’s not the end of the world. If not an internship, you may go for a research project on any domain which interests you. There are global research internship opportunities too like Mitacs, try to search about these as much as you can.
13. Is it necessary to have internships for good placement? Any alternative?
>> Internships do give an edge during placement interviews, having said that, it won’t be very damaging even if you don’t have one, given that you’ve enhanced your skill-set, and can substantially show that to the recruiters.