PLACEMENT STORIES: CHIRAG RANAWAT

When and why did you decide to pursue this line of work/professional path? What were the other professional options you’d considered in the past/would still like to keep open?
CR: Since my Bachelors’ degree is in EEE, I had the opportunity to try out various aspects of electronics through coursework and projects. The more I delved deeper into this field, the more I came to know about its significance. I enjoyed learning about circuit and architecture design concepts, since they could be related to solving one big optimization problem, which is why I decided to pursue research in this field. The other option open to was to pursue a postgraduate degree, which is yet an option that I will consider in the future.

Why did you opt for an off-campus placement?
CR: In my final year, I was exploring the options of pursuing research in a university or joining an industrial R&D job. I decided to try out a research position in the industry so as to get some exposure to the practices and methods of research carried on there. Since not a lot of companies come to campus for R&D positions in core EEE, I decided to opt for off-campus placements.

What research and prior preparation did it require for you to gear up for this technical line of work and its selection process?
CR: Off-Campus placements are usually a two step process consisting of resume short listing followed by a written round and interview at the company office. I had built a good resume ensuring that all the necessary experiences and achievements were mentioned in it and it had no redundant information. Usually, recruiters do not have the time to go through every resume word by word, so mentioning relevant courses and skills for the job profile you are applying for is a must. Having any kind of relevant prior experiences, especially in the form of projects is a huge bonus since it helps to show initiative, which is well appreciated by recruiters. Also, it is essential to read up on the products that the company is working on, in order to get a better idea about the skills you are expected to have.

How were you made aware of the placement opportunity at Synopsys?
CR: I actively used LinkedIn to search for job opportunities in the companies I wished to work in. Regularly updating your LinkedIn profile helps a lot, since there are recruiters who search for potential employees through the same channel. I came across the job opening at Synopsys through LinkedIn. Since it suited my choice of profiles, I applied and got shortlisted for the written and interview round.

What’s your academic and extracurricular background like, and which elements, according to you, stood out the most in the eyes of recruiters?
CR: I believe that during the interview, it matters if one can make the discussion revolve around one’s strengths. I had a solid experience from my thesis work at EPFL, one project and a course relevant to the profile I was applying for. Around 95% of the technical part of my interview revolved around my thesis work, for which I was well prepared and thus the interview went well for me. Also, my ability to take initiatives was apparent from the fact that I had audited two graduate level courses during my undergraduate studies, one at BITS and the other, at EPFL. This was another factor which was possibly the reason for my selection.

What exactly constituted the recruitment process for Synopsys? How did you clear the various rounds?
CR: Synopsys had a resume short listing round after I applied through LinkedIn. Selected candidates had to appear for a written test, which was equally balanced between technical questions and aptitude questions. Technical questions were based on basic concepts from 2nd year courses. After clearing the written round, there were two rounds of interviews, both having a similar pattern. The interviewers tried to understand my approach to problem solving by asking both technical questions and puzzles. In such rounds, the ability to clearly state your thought process in solving a problem is more important than arriving at a solution. I did not have a specific HR round, since HR round questions were clubbed with technical questions in the technical interview itself.

What is your job profile going to be like (perks, location, nature of work, etc.) ? What are the future prospects /potential career paths for someone in your position?
CR: My job profile is similar to that of most core EEE jobs. There are no specific hours of work, as long as deadlines are met, and work is being done. It is imperative to be punctual for meetings and working from home is a convenient option that we may avail of, on days when it is not necessary to be at the office. My team is based out of Bangalore. For someone in my position, the potential career paths would be to become a team lead or manager, driving an entire product specific project; although it is something which one can achieve after years of experience in this industry.

Do you have anCy advice for juniors who aspire to follow in your footsteps? Is there anything you’d like to have done differently in your own journey through this process?
CR: I will advice juniors to ensure that they explore different aspects of electronics by way of projects. Limiting oneself to coursework will be insufficient when trying to secure a job/internship. Also, it is necessary to constantly update your LinkedIn profile and to connect with important people in your field of interest and to follow their work. A well-maintained LinkedIn profile and resume is half the work done while applying for jobs, off campus. Also, a final advice is to be smart about letting go of lost opportunities and to try for the next one which comes your way, which is something that I learned the hard way. Good Luck!