Journey to CRED: Mayank Mittal
A brief introduction
Mayank Mittal has been placed at CRED as a backend developer, focused on enhancing the system's reliability and user-friendliness. The company's culture revolves around growth, customer value, and user engagement, strongly emphasising productivity and continuous improvement. His role involves making the product better and more efficient to meet user needs effectively.
His experience was excellent. Initially, in his first year, everything was offline. Unfortunately, COVID-19 struck, forcing him and his batchmates to return. However, the learning journey persisted. They continuously acquire new knowledge, evolving and improving themselves. The college offered abundant opportunities that helped them become better students, developers, and engineers from all perspectives.
Exploring different fields
According to Mayank, there is no definitive answer to the question, ‘How will I come to know what I’m interested in?‘‘as it depends on the exposure you receive.
He said that if you explore four or five different areas, you might discover an interest even in something you initially didn't want to pursue. These experiences have helped him improve in areas that didn't initially appeal to him. Sometimes you may not enjoy specific tasks in your career, but if you have a passion for something and believe in your abilities, you can work on it and find fulfilment.
What were the key factors or qualities that you believe contributed to your success in securing the job?
Confidence in your preparation and accomplishments is crucial. When presenting your resume, believe in your work and be ready to answer any questions, even from top-level professionals like the CTO. Consistency is also essential for future success. Whether you aim to be a developer or have other aspirations, staying dedicated and continuously learning will keep you updated with industry advancements. Additionally, the environment you surround yourself with and the connections you build play a vital role in understanding and excelling in your chosen field. These attributes have a significant impact during job and internship searches.
Was there any particular soft skill that the company majorly focused on during? Your selection process.
There are a few critical points that the company particularly emphasised. Firstly, truth-seeking is vital, which involves knowing in-depth about your work and being prepared to address any questions or concerns about it. Secondly, a culture of sharing knowledge is encouraged. You may need to present your work to other teams, even those unfamiliar with your area, so confidence in conveying your expertise is essential. Lastly, having a solid grasp of the knowledge and skills listed in your resume and job description is crucial. While the company doesn't expect you to know beyond those, being well-versed in what you've mentioned is significant.
So tracing back to your coding journey, actually what were the things which kept you motivated all the time?
During the first and second years, the focus lies on exploration, where you get exposed to various fields such as game development, entrepreneurship, and set aims. However, I found my true passion in action, where creating new things and continuous learning motivated me immensely. Consistency played a vital role in becoming a better developer. Whether seeking guidance from seniors or being part of a development group, passion remains the driving force. Ultimately, one must assess their dedication and capability to put forth the required effort. Hence, it all boils down to love and consistency.
Like you, while answering, you mentioned connections. So like, how did you approach networking during your job search? Do you have any connection referrals, or did CDC?
In internships and job searches, platforms like LinkedIn play a significant role in connecting individuals with opportunities. However, numerous other platforms, such as Reddit and GitHub, facilitate job hunting and foster continuous learning and development. By joining relevant subreddits or communities of developers, one can stay updated with new trends, learn from others' code, and gain insights into documentation practices. Surrounding yourself with like-minded communities that align with your interests and eagerness to know can be highly beneficial. Therefore, continuously exploring various platforms beyond LinkedIn is crucial to fostering personal and professional growth.
Most of us use LinkedIn only. So how did you leverage your LinkedIn profile During your job search?
In utilising LinkedIn effectively, connecting with individuals who share similar interests or possess expertise that exceeds your own is important. Continuously observe their profile updates and improvements to gain insights. Ensure your profile aligns with common points in relevant job descriptions to increase visibility in employer searches. Keeping track of such updates is straightforward due to LinkedIn's continuous connection updates. By checking and analysing profiles, you can identify attractive elements and maintain a perspective that aligns with potential employers' preferences. Remember to incorporate critical points from job descriptions into your profile to enhance the chances of matching with desired job opportunities.
To create an impactful LinkedIn profile as juniors seeking job opportunities, you should showcase your professional achievements, skills, and experiences. This will help you make a strong impression during job searches and interviews
The success of your job application depends on your exposure and practical experience with relevant technologies. For instance, if you're applying as a React developer, highlight essential React libraries you've worked with, and showcase personal projects demonstrating your proficiency in React. Emphasise the impact and challenges faced during these projects, as they showcase your growth as a programmer. When describing your projects, ensure the wording aligns with the job requirements. Utilise LinkedIn's project section effectively to display your work. Ultimately, it's about the exposure you've had and the dedication you've shown through practice that will make your profile stand out to potential employers.
What were the internship opportunities you got, and how did you implement them in securing the job?
During my six-month internship at CDC, I focused on connecting with seniors, seeking help when needed, and documenting my work. This approach allowed me to prove myself and improve my skills effectively. Additionally, I learned to consider both the problem and solution perspective to develop better solutions. This experience was invaluable as it taught me essential aspects of the corporate world. I now understand the importance of aligning myself with the company's requirements and leveraging opportunities for growth. By documenting my tasks and understanding their significance, I can better articulate my learnings during job interviews. Being specific and well-prepared while seeking help from colleagues demonstrates professionalism and respect for their time. These qualities are highly valued in the cooperative work environment and should be kept in mind during internships, job searches, and project collaborations
Recalling these points, as you mentioned. So how did these points help you to tailor your resume and cover letter that help you fetch the first internship?
Before my first internship, I already had some freelance work, which provided me with experience in communication, teamwork, and understanding project requirements. To secure the first internship, it's crucial to highlight personal projects and coding skills during interviews. When discussing projects, be prepared to explain the tech stacks used, their relevance to achieving project goals, and how uncertain requirements were handled. Documenting challenges and solutions is essential for future reference. Also, showcasing live projects that benefit the target audience adds value. In the corporate world, similar questions arise when dealing with tasks or projects, so it's essential to keep these points in mind while exploring passion-driven projects or aligning with your chosen career path.
How did you start researching the internship? Was it that time when you were building the projects?
In my case, I aligned my project with my coding skills, and I researched how to present it effectively on my resume and LinkedIn. This approach led to selection for several off-campus opportunities, although I faced rejections in the final rounds. Aligning projects with current market needs is crucial for internships and jobs. Searching for relevant projects and seeking advice from seniors can be valuable. Fresh and useful projects showcasing your coding skills are essential when applying for internships. Connecting with others and asking for feedback can help improve projects and algorithmic knowledge. Focus on building projects that align with your chosen career path and enhance your coding skills.
What were the challenges you faced during your interview process, and how you handled it?
Fortunately, I was selected for my first placement without many issues. However, I struggled with presenting my work effectively during interviews, both technical and HR rounds. To improve, I participated in mock interviews on specific websites and practised presenting my technical and non-tech-related work. As the complexity of technical interviews increased, I focused on staying updated and reading about computer programming, operating systems, databases, and networking. Time management was a significant challenge as I had an internship during weekdays. I tackled this by dedicating weekends to study and preparation. I also strategically selected companies to apply for, considering the specific skills they would likely assess. This filtering process allowed me to focus and allocate more time to prepare for the interviews effectively.
Before accepting the offer, like did you sell research about the company values, mission or the environment you're going to work with?
Researching a company's values and aligning them with your own before applying is crucial. During interviews, they often inquire about your alignment with their values, making this preparation essential for success. Searching on LinkedIn, Glassdoor reviews, and the company's career site can provide valuable insights into their requirements and expectations for the developer position or the role you are seeking. Presenting your alignment with their values during the interview increases your chances of getting selected. Be proactive in gathering this information to enhance your preparation and make a positive impression on potential employers.
Any resources such as books, websites, or any courses you did and found very helpful during your interview. Would you like to recommend some?
Mock interview sites like InterviewBit can be incredibly helpful for interview preparation. Additionally, books like "Cracking the Coding Interview" and "Clean Code" have been instrumental in structuring my responses during interviews. "Cracking the Coding Interview" assisted in answering questions about projects, internships, and personal experiences, while "Clean Code" provided theoretical knowledge relevant to both entry-level and senior-level developers. These resources are valuable for interview preparation and enhancing one's presentation and technical skills.
How did you prepare for the interviews? Did you give active mock interviews or any interrelated documents and all?
Apart from mock interview sites like InterviewBit, two books that have been helpful in interview preparation are "Clean Code" and "Cracking the Coding Interview." Additionally, there are valuable resources available on the internet, such as spreadsheets and documents, containing top questions for different programming topics like Dynamic Programming (DP) and computer-related subjects like networking, databases, and operating systems. Searching on websites like GeekforGeeks, Glassdoor, and LeetCode provides valuable insights into common interview questions and experiences shared by others. For example, LeetCode's machine coding round can be prepared using a repository created by someone to understand how to approach and solve the given problems effectively. Researching the company's interview style and preparing accordingly is essential to stay up-to-date with the current market trends and increasing the chances of success
Looking back, is there any wish during the second or third years of engineering that you can better prepare for an internship? Any advice, lessons for this?
The coding culture and community in our college could be improved to match the strength and problem-solving abilities seen in other colleges and among professionals. As a third-year student, I believe we can take the initiative to enhance the coding culture for ourselves and our juniors. Looking back, I have some regrets about missed opportunities in this regard.
I encourage all juniors to make the most of their college time. Enjoy every moment, embrace joy, and continuously work on self-improvement during this phase. Avoid future regrets by taking this opportunity to grow and learn. You won't have to rely on seniors for guidance if you focus on personal development now. Embrace whatever comes your way and enjoy the best experiences that life offers. Embrace student life to the fullest.
Join the Conversation
We hope that Mayank's journey has inspired you. As Mayank's story eloquently demonstrates, the road to success is paved with hard work, exploration, and continual learning.
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