Updated: Nov 16
My Delhi University journey started with securing admission at Kirori Mal College, it was one of the colleges situated in the north campus.
Upon joining, the first thing I got to know about life at DU was - “Nobody studies here, it’s only extra-curricular that matter at the UG level.” Honestly, I was surprised as well as disappointed. I decided I wouldn’t follow that path. Instead, I chose to focus on both simultaneously.
Tip 1 - Don’t ever neglect academics, your marks count!
I was regular in college in the first semester - I attended all classes, took notes, prepared well for exams and it certainly paid off. I scored a 9 GPA in the first semester and was ranked 1. That is when I realized that there are a couple of tricks to score better in the DU exams:
Attend classes - in most of the colleges, the marks of internal assessment and even final exams are proportional to the attendance of the students.
Give structure - before beginning to write, mention what all the answer is going to cover. A structure helps the checker be mentally prepared.
Write examples - unless it’s a quantitative subject, you should write the same examples that the professor has taught in the classroom.
Listen carefully - in the last couple of days, professors generally mention which topics are important, go through them for sure.
Use 10-years - there are sample papers and past year papers of last 10 years available at bookshops across Delhi, use them fully.
I can’t emphasize enough on the benefits of having scored high at the undergraduate level. Some of them included:
References: Most of the professors knew me. So, when I needed reference letters for my IIM-Bangalore Interview, it became fairly easy to get it.
Scholarships: My college awarded the memorial awards and scholarships (50% of my fee got refunded) associated with being a rank holder.
IIM Selection: For IIMs, 80% in graduation (translates to 8.5 CGPA) gives 10/10 marks in the composite score. This really helped boost my profile.
This was regarding academics. But like I said, I tried to focus on both academics and extra-curricular. So, the next step was to join clubs and societies. I had the option of choosing from 10 clubs/societies in our college. By talking with seniors, I found out that Placement Cell was highly regarded, so I applied and got in.
Tip 2 - Join as many clubs/societies as you can manage, record your efforts.
In order to get into any clubs/societies, there are certain rounds that you need to clear. Your seniors are your best resource to get that information. Also, make sure to record every effort you put in or any initiative that you show in the club/society. You can write these points in your CV.
At the undergraduate level, one of the biggest additions you can make to your candidature is by doing an internship. Generally, internships offered at the UG level are work-from-home or virtual. But, you can still learn a great deal out of them.
Tip 3 - You must do at least 1–2 internships, even if they are virtual.
You can use a well-crafted e-mail to reach out to the company of your choice, which you can find through Internshala or Letsintern. I did a total of 6 internships - 4 virtual, 1 NGO and 1 office in the span of 3 years. Honestly, each and every internship contributed to my profile. Having an NGO experience in your CV adds a lot of value.
IV. EVENTS & COMPETITIONS
One of the biggest advantages of being in DU is that there are so many clubs that keep organizing competitions, internship fairs, etc. You must take part in them and try to win. There are also a lot of National Level Case Study Competitions that are open for DU students. One must try to get the exposure of participation.
Tip 4 - Organize or Participate in Events and Competitions
If you get a chance to host any of these events, that’s also great. You can add it to your positions of responsibility. I was in the Organizing Committee of Levitate, the annual fest of KMC’s placement cell. The kind of exposure I got was tremendous.
V. ONLINE COURSES
These courses not only help in increasing your knowledge of a particular field, like marketing, finance, HR, etc. but also increase your chances of getting hired by a company or getting selected by a B-school. I did a couple of courses from Coursera. I also had a 5-years certification from NSE because of clearing the NCFM module.
Tip 5 - Show inclination in a field by doing online courses.
You can get a list of courses that you can do by checking these links:
It’s very important to pursue a hobby side-by-side so that you can create a more holistic profile and also have something to do that you really like. For this, try utilizing the library properly (most DU colleges have a great resource in the form of libraries). I used to read a lot of marketing books at that time.
Tip 6 - Create a niche for yourself - nurture a hobby.
I also started watching a lot of ads, started writing on Quora about marketing, which really helped me show my enthusiasm towards marketing to employers and interviewers.
Getting a good job after Delhi University is not as easy as it sounds. I appeared for only one interview - that of McKinsey Knowledge Centre for the position of Research Analyst. There were more than 6 rounds and each round tested for something unique.
Tip 7 - Ask your seniors about their job interview experiences.
One of the things that really helped me was to stay in touch with my seniors and seek their mentorship regarding the jobs. I often asked them what all needs to be prepared.
It’s very important to be active on LinkedIn - it’s a great source to connect with people you look up to and seek guidance. I used to talk to IIM Ahmedabad students and check with them what needs to be done to improve my profile further.
Tip 8 - Stay active on LinkedIn, connect with people.
The kind of tips they shared to boost the CV proved out to be really helpful.
You may like to read:10 Uncommon Hacks to frame your CV points better
Above all, don’t forget that it is a great time of your life - it’s the time for newfound freedom. The only thing you need to keep in mind is to direct your energy on what matters the most - listen to others’ advice but focus on improving yourself all the time!
I’m sharing some internship experiences of students that might help you: