Priyal Bhandari

Priyal Bhandari

Hey everyone, I am Priyal Bhandari, a Y17 undergrad from the BSBE department. I got a job at PwC last year in the Business Associate profile, and this is my attempt to share my placement journey- its peaks and valleys and the lessons I learned through it all.

Last year around this time, as I prepared my resume, I remember how doubtful and anxious I was about my future. Having gotten placed in a company now, I still have many apprehensions, honestly, but what I did achieve from the placement process is a boost in my confidence and trust in my capabilities. I consider that a big win for me.

From the outset of college life, very few lucky people have complete clarity of the career path they want to pursue, and I was definitely not one of them. But keeping my options open and successively exploring them did bring me close to attaining that clarity. Having explored my branch (BSBE) through a summer internship as well as a UGP and the corporate side through my internship at OYO, I was quite confident about my inclination towards the corporate side.

Multiple discussions with seniors and referring to the SPO resources helped me learn about the different companies and their profiles offered during placements. Subsequently, I was able to filter the roles and companies I wished to target for the placement season. Once I was clear on which profiles I’d be targeting, figuring out my preparation goals was fairly straightforward.

Preparation details:

Coming to my preparation specifics, I list below the areas I focussed upon and the resources I utilized.  

  1. Resume: I started working on my resume soon after I got done with my summer internship. It was beneficial to start early since it gave me enough time to go through the long iterative process and make significant changes. While undergoing this process, some people might get consumed with a disheartening feeling of not having a lot to show on their resume and might fall into the vicious trap of regrets and comparisons. Easy to say, but instead of pondering over the past, preparing for the future is the way to go.  

  2. Coding: Having a good grasp of coding skills is inescapable, even if one is not aiming for software development profiles in particular. I first ensured that I was well versed with all the ESC101 level concepts and solved some Codeforces practice ladders to accomplish that. Eventually, I moved to Geeks for Geeks and Interviewbit to solve company-wise and topic-wise questions. It used to get really frustrating at times when I would spend hours over a question and still not come out with a solution, but giving up was not an option as I knew these tests form a major part of the shortlisting criteria. Taking a break or solving aptitude questions in between and then getting back to coding was my way to handle these frustrations.

  3. Case Prep: One of my targeted profiles was consulting, so it was important to be proficient in case solving. I practiced cases from books like Case Interviews Cracked and Case in Point. Practicing cases in groups of 3 and regular evaluations by seniors helped to better my perspective and elevated my confidence in case solving.

  4. Aptitude: This section offers the best gain to effort ratio and so it would be a big mistake to ignore it, a mistake many people tend to make. It certainly can give you an edge over others if prepared well. Therefore I would suggest giving it an appropriate amount of preparation time. I solved CAT papers and went through topic-wise questions on Pariksha and these resources proved to be more than sufficient.

  5. Puzzles:  This part requires a good amount of effort and time but then also proves to be very fruitful if prepared well. The advantage of starting my preparation early was that I could give a good amount of time to the different profiles of puzzles so as to understand the concepts well. I solved all the questions from 50CP and Brainstellar thoroughly. While this required a lot of time and effort, it was all worth it when I saw some direct questions from these resources in a few company tests I gave.  

Few of the infinite plans I made xD


For someone who gets nervous and panicky very easily, I was surprisingly calm on Day-1 of placements (might be the gallons of coffee I had xD). On day 1, I had interviews with JPMC, Goldman Sachs, PwC, Finmechanics for slot 1, and Blackrock, American Express, and Alphonso for slot 2.

My first interview was with JPMC. In the first round, I was asked questions based on my resume and a few puzzles. I was sent to the second round, and I messed it up.  I succumbed to the pressure and was not able to answer a simple puzzle and my mind was all blank. I knew that very moment that I had lost my chance, and that feeling pinched a lot but maybe somewhere in my heart, I knew that there were definitely more deserving candidates than me in the race, so I did not let this feeling lower my morale. I had more interviews awaiting me, and I was eagerly waiting to give my best shot.

Next was the Goldman Sachs interview, and the first round went really well, in my opinion. I was asked puzzles- a slightly different version of which I had solved during my preparation. This was followed by one coding question.

In the second round of Goldman Sachs, I was asked a few probability questions, and then I was grilled on why GS and not a career path in my own branch. I could guess at that time that the interviewer did not look very convinced.

By this time, I was pretty exhausted, and on the brink of giving up. Thanks to my parents,  who stayed up with me all night and were a constant source of motivation, that I could gather my courage and was once again ready to spare no effort in the interviews that awaited.

The first round of PwC began, and the interviewer made me feel quite comfortable. I was asked a profitability case followed by some quick calculations and resume-based questions.

I proceeded to round two, which began with resume-based questions followed by a general case based on the working of a call centre. I was again asked to do some quick calculations and draw some graphs towards the end of the interview.

Seconds seemed like hours as I waited to hear from SPO regarding the final shortlist. The constant fear of having to go through all of this process again in slot 2 with barely any sleep haunted me. Finally, the news was out!- I got a confirmation of my placement at PwC, thereby restoring some peace in my life. I celebrated the news by doing my most favourite activity of all time- sleeping, but this sleep hit different after months of being anxious and patient.

Yayyy :))
Here is a detailed list of questions my friend Arzoo and I were asked in different tests and interviews; hope it helps

Unlearn and Learn:

  • Have a plan that helps you stay oriented, but it is imperative not to lose hope when things don’t go according to your plan. Placements, after all, are known for the unpredictable situations they offer.

  • The spirit of collaboration was my saviour in placements and so try to have a placement buddy/buddies with whom you can practice, crib, plan and celebrate (shoutout to Arzoo, Digu, and Siddhanta). Be in constant touch with seniors to get an idea of the type of tests and interview questions asked.

  • Of many things, one thing that kept me motivated was how much I was learning and growing with the process. Not only was I learning how to solve some complicated puzzles or coding questions but also a lot of self-control, patience, and the spirit of healthy competition. These learnings will stay with me for a long time and help me in the different paths I tread in the future.


More than anything else, the biggest challenge that one might face is self-doubt, and gradually it starts hampering one’s performance too. It is thus important to overcome that. When faced with overwhelming emotions, try to embrace the madness, take a deep breath, and believe that however demanding the journey might be, the destination will be beautiful, and you’ll make it count.

In the end wishing all those appearing for placements this year, lots of strength and luck. Keep calm and keep going, the best is yet to come!