This is exactly what Deepti Aggarwal, a software engineering student at Delhi Technological University, stands by. According to her, always being open to learning new things, working hard, and being confident in herself are the most important attributes that got her selected into the prestigious Microsoft Codess program.

To learn more about the program, click here.

Read on as she details her experience at Codess. 

Key Takeaways:

                                          THE INTERVIEW

1. Could you tell us a bit about the program?

Codess is a community of female coders initiated by Microsoft. The community has various chapters worldwide and holds mentorship, networking, and recruitment events for female coders. In India, they hold an annual event for female candidates who are currently in their second year of BTech. The event brings together young women in technology and provides them a platform to interact, network and learn from Microsoft employees.

2. How long did it take you to prepare? 

I started coding in my third semester. I used to practice on InterviewBit and learned about new data structures and algorithms at GeeksForGeeks.

When Codess came to our campus in early Feb, I had around a month to prepare for the assessment. I streamlined my preparation and focused on solving problems in a given time frame.

3. Tell us about the application and recruiting process. 

I was selected for the Codess Programme in 2019, the process has changed a bit this year. The initial phase includes 1-2 online coding rounds consisting of DSA questions and MCQs around CS fundamentals.

The candidates who are shortlisted from in this phase get a chance to attend the Codess Event hosted at Microsoft offices in Hyderabad and Bangalore. The 2-day  event comprises networking sessions, fireside chats with Microsoft leaders, hands-on sessions on cool Arduino stuff, not to forget lots of good food and goodies!

Ideation is held on the second day of the event where everyone is divided into teams and given some problem domains. Each team is assigned a mentor. The teams need to come up with innovative solutions for the problems and pitch their ideas to the judges who then decide the winning teams.

The event is followed by a round of personal interviews for internships. This round may or may not take place depending upon the process that is followed that year.

Depending on the overall performance in all the phases, some candidates are extended internship offers while others are given mentorship for interview preparations.

4. Why do you think you were selected? 

I think that my coding skills helped me in clearing the initial rounds. I also had the experience of participating in hackathons as I was a finalist of Smart India Hackathon 2019 which helped me in ideation. Overall I think staying positive and communicating my ideas effectively helped me in getting selected for this prestigious opportunity.

5. How was your experience in this program?

The Codess program has been a turning point in my life. It has provided me an opportunity to work in an amazing organization like Microsoft. After interning in Microsoft in the summer of 2019, I was extended a return internship offer for 2020.

Both internships have been a great learning experience for me. It has helped me grow both professionally and personally. I have interacted with a lot of amazing people and their journeys have inspired me. Microsoft is known for its culture, innovation, and its mission – “To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” I am thankful to Codess for being the starting point for my amazing journey to Microsoft.

6. What are some of the tips that you would like to give to future applicants?

I think that it is very important to work on your technical as well as soft skills because most of the companies access the overall profile of the candidate. It is very important to have strong CS fundamentals. One should be able to demonstrate good problem-solving ability, strong communication skills, and the ability to work in a team. Be confident about yourself. Work hard to build your skills. Always be open to learning new things.

Deepti Aggarwal’s journey shows us that anyone can achieve their goals if they set their minds to it. According to her, hard work, confidence in oneself, and a drive to learn are imperative to achieving one’s goals. She also emphasizes on improving one’s soft skills, like effective communication, and being a team player along with technical skills. So keeping these things in mind, don’t hesitate and apply now!

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