Asheeka Singh, 24, obtained an integrated MTech in mathematics and computing from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi. She was recruited on campus in India by Capital One and is now a business associate in the UK.
What’s your background?
I grew up in a place close to Delhi (Noida) and did my schooling there. I spent the final two years of school preparing for the university entrance exam and then embarked upon a five-year course – which was a combined bachelors and masters. I then started looking for a job. There were a lot of companies coming on campus, with whom I could have used both my maths and my computer skills. But I decided to apply for finance positions as both my parents are portfolio managers who invest in the Indian stock market. The interview with Capital One was for a position at the company’s US office, but they had problems with visas, so I was offered either Canada or UK. Canada would only have been a temporary
position for a year after which I would have been moved to their US office.
How did you handle your job hunt?
I spent a lot of time analysing what kind of companies would be visiting the campus. I narrowed my search down to banks. I started developing ideas about which companies I would suit – and spent a lot of time making lists. After that I was preparing for interviews, which included going to their websites and seeing what the companies were looking for – most have a graduate link with advice on how to prepare and what they are looking for. I spent a lot of time online looking at general graduate careers advice websites too.
Did you face any barriers?
The companies had come especially to recruit from India and, because they have to justify their decisions when they apply for work permits, there was a lot more competition I guess. Before they came on campus you had to send in a résumé and you were then short-listed.
Any tips for fellow graduates?
Spend time looking at the company website before the interview. It is really important to find out if you have a good fit with the company. If you think you have, then get that across in your CV and application. At interviews try to be relaxed, and remember simple things like dress well; you need to make a good impression even if you know the company has a
causual dress code.