Q: How can a 1st-year student prepare himself to land a job in Google, Amazon, Flipkart, etc., or large tech companies in India? I am in Bengaluru now.

A: It is great that you are planning well ahead of time. In my opinion, you can go forward in this way:

1)   First, focus on your subjects and try to achieve good grades.

2)   Invest in getting some extra qualifications during the summer and winter vacations. You can apply for research work during these breaks at IITs or IISc or any other reputed college.

3)   If possible, after the second year, try to get an internship at a good company. Bengaluru, definitely, has some advantages in this regard. There  could be many companies nearby. Try to avoid “so-called trainings” where you visit a facility for two or three weeks and get a certificate without doing anything.

4)   Do learn some coding as it will help a lot in the future. C, C++, MATLAB or Python will definitely help. Try to apply them for solving engineering problems. You can also learn some engineering softwares if you are interested.

5)   Start preparing for competitive exams (engineering or any other) in the last two years. It will help you to stay focussed.

6)   If possible, try to learn another language like German, French, or Chinese. It should not be difficult in a city like Bengaluru.

7)   Do not forget to have fun. Take up sports and maintain good health. Make good friends and develop interpersonal skills.

Answered by: Deepjyoti Borah, Forschungszentrum Juelich, Germany.

Q: How do I build a career after graduation?

A: This is a million dollar question!

Some people are very lucky, those who realise what they love doing pretty early on. They have encouraging parents who allow them to pursue their dreams.

But then there are others who wander aimlessly, unable to figure out what they like. They either like everything or nothing. So, how does one find direction?

Start thinking about your broad interests. Do you like sports? Do you love designing things? Or you might like travelling or even love working on maths problems.

Draw a list of the top few things you love doing and then try to filter down to the career options in that area. If you are a good writer and love sports, think about sports journalism. If you like maths, think about pure maths research.

Next step is to figure out the basic degree needed for your interests. Since sports/journalism is not too structured, you need to build portfolios to show your capability. Start building it by blogging. For pure research, you need to be very good in academics and score good marks.