Shooting for the Stars: Asmita Chihnara
Sonali Priyadarshini | Jan 07, 2019
Amidst the excitement of winter holidays, last academic semester ended on a celebratory note for NIT Rourkela as it broke its own record of the highest package offered to any graduate student. Asmita Chihnara, a final year Computer Science student has bagged the record-breaking placement offer of 40.68 lakhs per annum from Adobe Systems India Pvt Ltd, the highest in the history of NIT Rourkela. Adding another silver feather in the institute’s honour crown, the last record of 28 LPA in 2016-17 has now been placed second. Team Monday Morning caught up with Asmita and chatted up with her lively self, and a widely acclaimed persona, to get all the highlights of her achievement.
Monday Morning: Give us some insight into your early life and achievements.
Asmita Chihnara: Hailing from Bhubaneswar, Odisha, I did my schooling from Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir. In my early childhood days, I was a very notorious kid. I used to get into brawls and studied only when told to. I matured gradually as matriculation approached and started paying more attention to academics. I pursued my intermediate education from Rama Devi Women’ University for the sole reason of being close to my house and to save time.
I was a Biology student but my interest had always lied in Mathematics. Between my mother’s dream of me becoming a scientist and my father’s dream of being a doctor, JEE Mains just happened to me and I secured a good rank. Judging by my inclination towards Mathematics, my teachers suggested me to take up Computer Science as it is very logical and close to mathematical methods. Now, I do realize that it was the right decision for me.
I had absolutely no idea of programming languages before I joined NIT Rourkela. Infact, I was intimidated by programming in the beginning. But, credits to the amazing professors, I was able to overcome it. From there, I developed a keen interest in languages, and did a winter course for C++ and then a summer course for Java. Eventually, I started liking it really well.
MM: How did NIT Rourkela help in giving direction to your career?
AC: I was really lucky to get into the Computer Science branch here. Frankly, any other branch wouldn't have suited me that well. Computer Science is a subject which speaks to me at a different level. It feels very logical and sparks my interest. Also, a huge token of gratitude to Prof. Manmath N. Sahoo who really helped me build my concepts in the Operating System which was the main topic of interest in the Adobe interview and hence, played an integral role in my achievement.
MM: Which internships and projects did you undergo during your former years of graduation? How was your experience?
AC: In the summer of my second year, I did my internship at Drubus Technology, Bhubaneswar by a personal application. The internship was in fields of Android, Image Processing and Networking. This internship was my ideal choice with the company being very product-oriented. In the summer of my pre-final year, I did an internship with Skaipal Consultancy Pvt. Ltd which was an on-campus internship based on Analytics. Even though it wasn’t very taxing, I feel it was really lucky for me; as I got plenty of time to prepare for my next year while trying my hand in a different sector than software.
MM: Please tell us about the interview procedure and the placement offer you received from Adobe.
AC: This was a campus driven program by Adobe. The preliminary online test was held in October. The questions in the test were pretty basic, but time was a constraint. I had performed well and I was hopeful that I would get selected. The results came on 13th November barring only seven days to prepare for the interview. Adding to the challenge was a window of only four days to my four papers in the End Semester Examinations. I concentrated hard on the interview preparation knowing Adobe’s stature and its level of difficulty in interview questions. The interview included three technical rounds and one HR round. The technical questions were mainly based on concepts and implementation of Operating Systems and Data Structures along with some Algorithms. The interview went fine; I had answered well. The result came out in the same week. And, I had made it to Adobe.
I got the news when I was in the bathroom with my friend banging down the door. I informed my parents and they were delighted. Funnily enough, till about two hours of the news I had no idea of the package or its breakdown. I had expected a decent paycheck, of course, being Adobe. But when I actually checked it, it was quite a bit of shock to me. In a good way of course!
MM: How would you recommend an efficient preparation for any coveted placement in the software sector?
AC: I would suggest hard work from the very beginning. Summer is a very important period. Preparation for placement depends mostly on the company's requirement and the candidate's concept fluency. For example, Adobe is a company which concentrates on Operating Systems, so I prepared accordingly. In general, Operating Systems and Data Structure and Algorithm is a must for any software based company. Being thorough in any particular language is the key behind concept fluidity. Some hardware-based companies along with software companies also ask questions about Organisation-based Architecture in computers.
MM: How important is the Training and Placement Committee’s involvement in any placement?
AC: Definitely, Training and Placement Committee’s involvement is very crucial. I might not have known anything about this campus driven program of Adobe if it wasn’t for the Training and Placement Committee. For this, I am really thankful to Prof. S.K. Patel. Even, my package is Training and Placement Committee’s achievement. It’s evident that the placement stats have improved exponentially over the past two years. Now, we have PAT tests and it gives a sense of seriousness for our future while giving us a uniform platform to test our stand on the industrial scale. Training and Placement Committee is appreciably working well in bringing more and more companies, with about a 53% rise. Their efficient management is commendable.
MM: What is your current plan of action?
AC: I will join Adobe, of course. Initially, I had been conveyed that my role would be related to Cloud Computing. The brownie point is Adobe is also a very product-oriented company; the exact job profile I was wishing for. And then, of course, I will see how well I blend in there and if I get my satisfaction as a software engineer in that job. If something doesn’t work out, I will probably choose for Masters in Engineering or Science.
MM: What would be your message to our readers?
AC: Self-satisfaction should be your priority because success is judged differently by everyone. It’s a chain. Success comes from the self-satisfaction and that comes when you overcome your own shortcomings. We should always motivate ourselves to be the best version of ourselves.
Team Monday Morning congratulates Asmita Chihnara for her commendable performance and wishes her the best for her future endeavors at Adobe and beyond.