Semester 8 – Finale

I got back to Kanpur just before New Year.  Kanpur was very cold this time (sub zero).

I went to Delhi during the first weekend of the year for an interview with Microsoft Live Search. I went with Sid, Khantal and Soumyadip. We went by Shatabdi and checked into this hotel near the station. It so happened that Sid’s birthday was on the following day so Somu and Khantal decided that we should stay awake till midnight and then give Sid his GPL. Unfortunately, Sid was on the phone nonstop after midnight so Somu and Khantal decided to give me the GPL instead (I still havent understood the logic they used to select me :P)

Ten days later, I got an offer from them. I took a month to finally accept the offer. It was for Microsoft LIve Search initially at Vancouver and subsequently at Redmond after a year.

These days (ok…make that years) it’s impssible for a BTech from an IIT to work immediately at any company in the US for visa reasons : to work, one needs a H1B work visa for which one has to apply in April first week (since by then the visa cap/limit of 65,000 is reached). Now as far as I know,  all BTechs at IITs graduate only in May or June and so can’t apply for the H1B in time. So to solve this, companies post the student turned employee at a location not in the US and then apply for the L1B visa for which there is no cap. The L1B however requires one year of work at the same company and at an office outside the US. In my case, I will be posted at Vancouver which is 150 miles from Redmond but in a different country. Ok enough of talking on visa issues, back to IITK life.

The last sem is usually the one with the most number of treats and it was pretty much the case with me too. I also started playing tennis early in the morning and continued for 2 months before switching to running but my weight refused to go down because of the treats.

In terms of classes, I had about 2 classes a day which left the rest of the day free to talk to friends online/in person. A trip to the CC canteen was an almost daily event and it wasn’t unusual so see a big crowd of cse final years outside the CCC at 4pm daily.

I had 2 CS courses that sem… by 4th year one tends to learn that with non-theory courses, one of the best ways to approach a CS course is to do a really good job on the project (for starters by spending time and planning) which helps you appreciate what is taught in the lectures. And yeah, it also ensures the A grade in most cases 😛

Towards the end of the semester once again I was in a situation with 5 projects to be submitted in 2 weeks but by now one gets used to it. It’s tough to focus on Project No 20 of your BTech when it’s the last sem but I think I did an okay job on most of the projects in the end.

The farewells and photo sessions were all in the last month – both the departmental one and also the one organized by the Alumni Association. No dues at IITK hasn’t been put online and so one has to run to each of the 21 places to get signatures including places one hasn’t ever seen like the Glass Blowing Lab. Maybe it is one of those things that shouldn’t be automated – one gets to see all the places one has spent time in during the past 4 years – the TA Labs, NCC, Auditorium, Media Lab and so on.

When the endsems came, it didn’t really feel like endsem time in Hall 1 – most of the regular activities (like cricket…or let’s call it phatta) continued with some people having a book in their hand maybe. The gtalk status messages at this time as expected were interesting with all sorts of countdowns.

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