I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Martin Luther King

A dream begins with a vision. It is your vision – it could be to: obtain entrance into a specific university, to break an addiction, or even just to be happy – it is your vision. To transform these dreams into reality – it is instrumental to bring them out of the night and into the day, into the sun to share with the rest of the world. It is a journey – and it begins with igniting the fire inside of you to burn you when you feel like giving up, but to also provide you warmth from the cold air of challenges that come your way – to remind you that it is okay to make mistakes – you are only human. No dream is too big – find the right paint brushes and colors to paint your “vision work”, and who knows maybe you could be the next Da Vinci with a Monalisa? Keep trying, keep striving, and keep chanting the mantra: I can.

She believed she could – and she did. Aiswarya Lakshmi Renganathan is living her dream to the fullest and is reaping the benefits of growing internally and externally by being open to new opportunities and taking advantage of the hidden treasures, fulfilling her dream has rewarded her with – such as bagging a product development internship at VMware.

VMware is a top software company headquartered in California and is awarded Forbes Best Employers For Diversity 2019. VMware offers a myriad of opportunities for students– these opportunities are not to be missed and are worth all the dreams – be the next Aiswarya and make your dreams come to life.

VMware brings to you:

·         23 internships currently open – click HERE!

·         Scholarships – click HERE!

·         Learn about VMware’s exclusive codehouse in Atlanta – HERE!

·         Learn about VMware’s exclusive codehouse in Palo Alto – HERE!

Key takeaways from the interview:

BRINGING HER DREAMS TO LIFE – CRACKING OUT OF HER COCOON TO SPREAD HER WINGS TO THE WORLD –

INTERVIEW WITH AISWARYA LAKSHMI RENGANATHAN

1. Describe the application process in brief – your experience and the type of questions to expect

I applied for about 15 Summer Internship positions with VMware. My resume caught the attention of a recruiter filtering out the candidates for one of the positions that I applied. She sent me the online coding assessment link and I gave the test right after receiving her email. It took me only 20 minutes to complete the 75 minutes test. I guess I was able to do it as I was on a spree giving so many online coding tests by then and also, the questions were only of easy and medium level difficulties. The recruiter replied to me within a few minutes of my submission. She sent me a questionnaire asking my interests, current projects, some visa related questions, etc., to make sure I was eligible for the position. Right after a week, she introduced me to a different recruiter who was assisting me with the 1-1 technical interviews with the teams. In the first interview, we figured that my interests and prior experience did not quite match the requirements that particular team was looking for. I let the recruiter know what exactly happened during the interview and I was almost certain that I would not hear back from them ever again and I moved on to preparing for the other interviews. But the recruiter apologized and she let me know of a new position which was just posted on the same day. My skills seemed to have exactly matched the requirements for this new position. The interview went well this time. I was asked to talk about my previous projects and there was one coding question, which I solved fully with some minor help from the interviewer. I was delighted to hear my internship offer one week after the interview.

VMware has 3 different ways of extending the full-time job offer to the interns. First, if the team likes the work of the interns with them, they hire them directly. Second, though the interns performed well, the team might not have any open positions for a full-time job. In such cases, the recruiter would try to match the interns with some other team looking for a similar skill set. Third is the Propel Program. The candidates hired in this program are given the opportunity to work with two different teams in the R&D division over their first two years, which would help them explore the opportunities within VMware before committing to any particular project. The interns signing up for Propel Program have to take the entire set of the interview process, starting from the coding round, followed by some technical interviews, during the course of their internship. This interview does not have any influence on the decision made by the managers by the first two ways of extending the full-time conversion. The interns getting offers from both Propel and either of the first two methods, are given a time frame to decide which offer they are willing to move forward with.

I applied for the Propel Program, but did not clear the coding round. Then, I asked my manager if I could extend my Summer internship through Fall. He came back after a week saying that there were no open positions for the Fall and asked me to check with the recruiter for the availability with the other teams. But she replied that there were no open positions anywhere else either. On the final day of my internship, my manager gave me the good news of full-time conversion. It was followed by a few weeks of salary negotiation and the job offer letter was sent out about a month after the end of the internship.

2. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Could be your story. Feel free to write about anything fun, deep, emotional or motivating!

I am the first graduate from a traditional Indian family, where my parents worry so much about the society and their long-distance relatives whom they meet once in a decade than their own children’s aspirations. Though I was successful academically and professionally back in India, I never had a total control over the decisions taken to shape the future of my life, as they were highly influenced by my parents’ insecurities and conformity to their traditional beliefs. I decided to start planning to move away from my family just to try and explore living an independent lifestyle, which was when one of my friends strongly motivated me to apply for the Computer Science Masters studies in the USA.

I did not think of myself to be a good candidate for pursuing a Master’s in Computer Science as I was just a 7 pointer in my Computer Science Bachelor’s program. But as the saying goes, “A known devil is better than an unknown angel”, it was in the mid of October 2018 when I finally made up my mind to give it a try rather than figuring out something new. I decided to take my time in preparing for GRE and start applying for Fall 2020 as it seemed to be too late for Fall 2019 application process, which was when the same friend nudged me again and asked me to stop procrastinating and encouraged me to apply for Fall 2019, as I was in a very bad mental state due to my family pressure. The encouragement and support from my friend strongly motivated me to give it a try and I did everything starting from preparing for the GRE, TOEFL, giving the tests, writing SOPs, finding the Professors to get the LORs and applying for the universities, while going to my full-time job, all within about 45 days from the application deadline for the universities. It was very exhausting, but it, at least, put a smile on my face as I started getting admits within 3 months after all the hard work.

After moving here to the States, I not only have been enjoying the independent life that I always dreamt of, but also discovered the nerd in me who was hidden by all the distractions back in India, and it helped me secure a job with a lucrative pay just within a year since my entry to the USA. Though my family was not very happy with some of my decisions initially, as they were not sure what was going on, they were happy to see the way my life started progressing and are now proud of my decisions.

3. Major accomplishments

I committed to complete 24 credits of the coursework in the first year of my Masters program and to graduate at the end of third semester. I was working part-time as a Software Developer Intern with 12 credits coursework in the second semester as well as was on the lookout for Summer Internship positions. I successfully landed a Summer Internship position with VMware in the first month of the semester and completed the semester with a 3+ CGPA and was also offered to convert my part-time Spring Internship to a full-time Summer job.

4. Why do you think you were selected?

I think I fit the requirements for the team which interviewed me. Also, I applied for this internship position on the same day it was posted and I completed my entire interview process as early as I could. There has been research showing that applying early improves your chances of landing a job interview and I guess it worked in my case as expected. I was also very quick at responding to any email from the recruiters, which might have had some impact as well.

5. Any failures or rejections?

1. Gave up on my dance classes, the opportunity to participate in Republic Day Camp when I was an NCC cadet, said no to the fully discounted IIT-JEE coaching after cracking their entrance exam (all at different stages of my timeline) just because of my lack of courage to balance them with my academics, which I now find to be very silly.

2. There had been tons of job interview rejections, which is very common for many students.

6. Any advice you would like to give future applicants?

Just believe that you are totally capable of achieving all your dreams and work passionately towards achieving them instead of doubting your capabilities. The resources are abundant for anything that you are looking for, in this world of the Internet. Do not shy away from reaching out to anybody for help, seek professional guidance from the experts in your field of interest which would help shape a better future for yourself.

INSPIRED?

Reach out to Aiswarya  on her LinkedIn HERE!

“I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

Martin Luther King

He had a dream so great – a dream that was dreamt of by many – but yet during that period seemed impossible to achieve – but here we are today: living in a rainbow nation. The freedom to love and be with someone of a different race to us. The freedom to interact with whoever. The freedom to be us. Where would we be without a dreamer like Martin Luther King? Never question the validity of your dreams – “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today” (James Dean) – you were born into this world alone and you will die alone, the duration of your life on this earth is limited. Do not care what others think – care about what you think and what you want to achieve. This is your journey. You just need to take the first step.

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