Sunday, April 7, 2013

Post 11: I am not getting an Internship/Job call

Another common thing we all come across - "I have applied to many places, but I am not getting any calls for interviews". These are challenging times for you and easier said than done you need to calm down. Remember, there are hundreds of people in your position, you are not alone. You just have to keep at it with your other stuff going on.

I am no resume critique expert, but having seen quite a few people through this, I can just give possible suggestions. In my view first thing to happen is you should believe in yourself.
1. You should believe that you are good enough to get a job in the area you want
2. You should understand that no one can stop you from getting a job if you are good enough.

My personal experience says that if you believe the above, its not too difficult to find a job. Of-course you need to be lucky as well, but you need to do your part first, that is to work in the right direction.

In general what I feel about resume are -
1. Make it easily readable by most people. ( They say that times new roman with font size 11 or 12 is easily readable by most people)
2. Its always repeated because it is one of the most important things, know your resume well
3. You should make efforts to your prepare for your interview unless you trust your luck or you are a genius or know your stuff thoroughly. Your preparation will be evident when you give an interview. In case they find that you are not prepared, they will think if you cant prepare for an interview for the company, how will you manage your job in the company.
4. Make sure you state your projects and its descriptions well.
5. I am not a big fan of keeping your resume short as long as there is nothing unreasonable, but that's my personal opinion.
6. Keep making the effort from your side, at some point of time things will click, that is nature!

One word of caution I would suggest - do not lose your sleep, its very important. Your health is your biggest wealth. In my case I always try to manage 8 hours of continuous sleep in any situation. That is important to me. Different people have different requirements and you should work accordingly.

Post 10: I can't get this project done!

During that time of the semester when projects are due many people feel something like this - " It seems that I can't get this project done" or " I don't know why it doesn't work". If you are in one of those situations do not worry. Chances are that more than a handful of people feel the same way.

As a student, its important to realize that you have time on your hands to try out different things. May be you are not having the right approach, there could be another way in which your problem could be solvable. I cannot comment on problems in pure sciences or mathematics, but as such in electrical engineering, if you have a problem, then there is a place where something is failing or not working as expected. Its upto you to find where the unexpected behaviour is arising from.

This also helps you understand what you are doing. In one of my projects to build a robot there was something that was not working. In the end it turned out that I was missing a small delay after the start of a timer. These machines!! - you generally do not notice a 100ms delay but the machine does. In one of my other projects, I wanted to read in decimal but the IC wanted to read in hexadecimal. Such small differences do make an impact to the end result. Of course, it does take time to find these, but it is satisfying once you have found it.

When you think, you will be surprised at the number of things you usually take for granted. Academic projects give you a chance to do exactly such things

There are a few things that still don't make sense to me when I think about it, for example :
-  the symbol used to denote the integral sign bothers me. (a bit of inspiration from Richard Feynman (Surely you are joking Mr. Feynman is a very good read for a grad student). Why that s-type curve to the left of something to integrate. Mr. Leibniz who introduced it thought of it as an infinite sum of infinitesimal summands which is true. Its called the long-s and stuff. But I feel its more intuitive if it showed something like an inverted bucket, a filled inverted bucket :). But anyway, different people, different thoughts :). There are other things as well, but I will save that for sometime later.

Anyway, the point is think from different views about your project and your professors are always there.  You just have to be able to communicate with them about your ideas and I am sure they will be encouraging. Just be sure not to ask questions which will put your professor off. Remember, you might be graded more on your approach rather than the result itself.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Post 8: The Good Things

During your MS student-life, once you get settled its fun, real fun.

-You have total freedom, enjoy this freedom in a good way, do not lose track
-You have good amount of activities going on other than academics
-You have a chance to do a few crazy things which you never thought you would do
-Few of them will follow Indian timings, few of them will follow American and a few of them will even follow     Vietnamese timings :)

Few things that I happened to enjoy -
- Eating ice-cream at 3-4 am in the night
- Calling everyone, waking them up at 4:30am to go have donuts
- Walking in knee deep snow at midnight to grab hot-chocolate
- Carrying 10 bags(covers) on both shoulders for a mile and a half because we didn't want to waste $4 on a taxi
- Two of us unknowingly finishing up food-stuff from a big cooker because we kept waiting for others and they were late to turn-up for food
- Listening to guitar/other instruments played by others from 3:00 am to 5:00 am
- Get a chance to play almost everyday in the evening, (if others are not sleeping)
- Have days when you sleep for upto 14 hours and have days when you work from 12 noon to 6am for a project
- Go jogging on the streets at 4:00 am because the breeze was good and the weather was awesome.
- Play cricket when its 0 degree Celsius outside and your hands are freezing!