Alumni Interview – Ms. Meghna Das – Associate Analyst and Academic Excellence

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Ms. Meghna Das is an alumna of the Batch of 2022 from the Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies and Research (SICSR). After completing her Bachelor's in Computer Application, she currently works as an Associate Analyst at Deloitte USI. Prior to this, she worked as a Community Manager at SAWO Labs where she managed a community of 30000+ developers and the SAWO Champ program. During her time at SICSR, she was an accomplished student, holding multiple leadership positions at IEEE, serving as a member of the Placement Committee, and volunteering as a computer science teacher at Samparc India NGO. Her contributions were recognized by IEEE Pune Section, which awarded her the Outstanding Student Branch Chair Award in 2021. In this edition of CURSOR 5.0, Ms. Meghna shares valuable insights from her experiences at SICSR and Deloitte, and offers advice for current and upcoming students of SICSR.

Speaker: Meghna Das (BCA 2019 – 2022)
Interviewed by: Ayush Chatterjee (BCA 2020 – 2023)

How did you become interested in the field of Information Technology? What led you to decide to pursue your formal education and career in this field?

“Well, that is a very interesting story. I had computers in my education curriculum as a separate subject from grade 1 to grade 10. I always used to score well in this subject although I was not very much inclined towards pursuing a career in this field because it was mostly theory that I was studying till then. My mother used to say I should take up PCM and go for software engineering but I wanted to do biotechnology so I took up PCB in my +2 along with Multimedia and Web Technology as an elective subject where I was exposed to various programming languages, designing softwares, animation technologies and I couldn’t stop myself from solving the various coding related problems all day long. I also used to help my friends with programming during school days. Although I couldn’t score that well in Physics and Chemistry, I did very well in Multimedia and IT subjects in my 12th boards. It was after this that I finally realized where my potential lies and that IT is where I want to build my career. After I joined college, there came various opportunities where I honed my existing skills and learned several new aspects of this field and that helped in boosting my confidence that I have made the right choice.”

How was your time at SICSR and how does your college education help you in your professional life now?

“My time at SICSR was truly wonderful and memorable. I have experienced it all... in terms of college life, online studies, projects, cultural fests, technical committees, research, and everything else that we can think of. Right from my first year in college, I was a part of the IEEE Student Branch at SICSR and helped in managing the technical events there. I then took up various office bearer responsibilities at the student branch, state, national and international levels. I also received the chance to teach underprivileged students of an NGO, about computer applications and web development via the Service Learning initiative of the institute. I was exposed to a whole new world of intense dedication, passion for technology and commitment to humanity. I met a lot of new people through this and each of them is phenomenal in their own unique ways. I remember being asked about “what a hackathon is” at my Symbiosis PI-WAT interview and I couldn’t answer that back then. But after joining the college, I participated in many hackathons and ideathon events and emerged as the winner and runner-up in some of these, all of which were
absolutely amazing experiences. I also participated in the college’s cultural fests like Unify as part of the Orator, Design, and Content teams and thoroughly enjoyed this experience as well. Of course, I have made some great friends, studied with them, took examinations, wrote assignments, built projects and did 4 internships(off-campus), one of which also got converted to a full-time opportunity, 6 months before graduation. I also wrote my first research paper on image processing and medical text extraction which is soon going to be published by IEEE Xplore. As far as professional life is concerned, my college education has significantly helped me build a strong foundation of necessary skills on which I can develop and work further in the necessary
domains. To give an example, in my college days, I developed a mobile application on Optical Character Recognition, and currently in my work responsibilities OCR is an important part of the project and our team is responsible for this tool’s regular maintenance and upkeep. Similarly, languages like Java and DB knowledge like MySQL have also helped me a lot in working effectively in my current role. I am very thankful to all the faculty members and professors who have equipped me with the required skills and motivated me to take up the responsibilities at my current role with full confidence and dedication.”

Could you tell us a little about your experience working at Deloitte?

“Yes, Deloitte is a great place to work at in terms of culture, work environment, trust, fairness, compensation, etc. They assign specific portfolios to their employees and also train them in necessary skill sets and evaluate them in the required parameters. They have a wide range of benefits that can be availed by full-time employees with respect to well-being, hybrid work, leaves, and other such things. Added to this, Deloitte as a firm is very dedicated towards making an impact that matters. It is an amazing place to start your professional journey as everyone is understanding, is ready to help, and works as a team. Currently, I work in the Enterprise Operations as a Service (EOaaS) business line where Oracle is my primary capability area. As per the assigned project, I am working with the Oracle Service Oriented Architecture/Middleware team where we are responsible for enabling the integration of different systems or technologies. We design and develop the different integrations which carry out various ERP functionalities and also maintain the associated servers for seamless client service delivery. I am grateful to be a part of a very fun and energetic team within the project who have vast experiences of 13-15 years in their respective domains and are also very helpful and provide all necessary guidance whenever required.”

Since you consistently demonstrated a proactive attitude during your time at SICSR, what advice would you give to your juniors on making the most out of their college years?

“Yes. That’s a very important question. As rightly said by someone that college friends are friends that you will have for life. I agree with this too. You mention anything, be it IEEE, be it project, be it research paper, I have always involved my friends in all of my endeavours and they have not only supported me in my journey but have also inspired me through their way of doing things. So the most important part of college life would be to make the right circle of friends who want to see you succeed and want to succeed themselves as well. Also, one should not limit themselves to only a particular ideology in the freshman year of college, it is best to explore and understand all the various aspects that the institute has to offer both in terms of academics and extracurricular activities and leverage those opportunities to the maximum. One should also build strong connections with their faculty members, placement officers, and seniors which will last even after they have graduated. Finally, one should understand that not only the final year but all the years are equally important both in terms of the final GPA calculation and also for one’s own growth and development. The way one spends their entire three years at the institute decides a lot for what is in store for them in the future.”

How was the placement process during your time? Also, what would you encourage your juniors at SICSR to do to ensure the best possible outcome for themselves during placements?

“The placement process was rigorous and spread out over many months. As the final semester of BCA and BBA-IT have internships, so both the processes were going on side by side. For some of the students, the on-campus internships got converted into full time opportunities. For others, the placement companies were different and they completed their internships from off-campus opportunities. Many well-known startups and MNCs visited for the on-campus placements, and most of the companies had a resume screening round, followed by an MCQ round (Verbal ability, Quantitative aptitude, Data interpretation, and Logical Reasoning) and a final interview (1 or 2 rounds). A few of them also had technical hands-on rounds in which students had to code live within a specific time.

I would encourage the juniors to build a strong resume and LinkedIn profile, have a good academic record (avoid backlogs), and have relevant experiences and skills before the placement season. Be in touch with the seniors who are already working in their dream companies and understand about their individual interview and placement experiences. If you already know which domain you are interested in, for example, cyber security, you can only prepare relevant concepts related to security and apply to these domain-specific companies. If you are not sure yet, you can prepare the general syllabus of your curriculum, have detailed knowledge about the project you have built and be well-versed with the skills that you have written on your resume for the interview rounds. For the MCQ round, it would be a good idea to practice some similar pattern question papers online. Another important tip would be to tailor the resume based on the role you are applying for and be very proactive and alert during the placement season. Finally, when selecting a company to apply for, one should consider all factors which are important like location, role, compensation, benefits, culture etc, not just one of these factors.”



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