Aman Baweja: Analyst @ American Express
Current Job Profile
I am currently working as an Analyst at American Express, Gurgaon. I work on identifying fraudulent trends on American Express cards and devising strategies to minimize fraud losses for the firm. It involves analyzing huge customer (transaction level) data using various tools and identifying which transactions to look at to catch a particular type of fraud.
I usually work on Python, SQL, SAS, Hive, Pyspark and some other languages/tools, as required. I expect to keep learning new techniques to catch trends and get a better understanding of how to work on Big Data.
BUILD YOUR CV
|CG||Important especially for shortlisting, but not the make-or-break factor for landing the job!|
|Courses Done||Courses on the lines of Data Structures and Algorithms|
|Projects and Internships||A well balanced and diversified CV helps. Data science projects add value|
|Technical Skills||Fluency with programming tools and languages helps. Data handling skills and competitive coding are sure to come in handy!|
The Internships that Paved the Road to this Job
I did internships in almost every summer/winter vacation after my first year. This helped because I got to see different type of work that is being done in the industry, how each company differs in terms of work culture and what kind of work I’d like to do after I finish college. I have interned at KPMG, Times Internet, Roposo, M H Alshaya and a startup. The key to getting good internships is finding people, preferably our alumni, who work in companies you want to intern at, and request them to refer you for an internship position. Make sure you start looking for opportunities well in advance, because MNCs usually hire interns at least 6 months before the time they’re required. The selection process for an internship varies from company to company and depends on the role you’re applying for.
Balancing the MnC life, while not losing track of CS courses
Maths and Computing is designed to be more of a mathematics intensive course. There are electives that you can take up to enhance your computer science skills. I was more interested in the mathematics and data science related courses.
Projects at IIT Delhi
Projects under the guidance of a knowledgeable professor are the best way to have a deep understanding of the topic you’re interested in. This is because you can work at your own pace, focus more on some particular sub-topic and interact more with the professor. I have done projects in multiple departments- Humanities, Economics, Statistic Biotechnology and Maths. These projects helped me explore subjects other than Maths and CS. I really liked the project I took up on Oil Pricing Strategies (Economics) and published a paper on the same.
I’d say competitive coding can be really helpful if you’re working in an Analytics firm because you’ll know how to write codes efficiently. But to crack an interview for a top-notch Analytics firm, I’d suggest juniors to hone their data handling skills. Data science is the buzzword today in the analytics industry and there is a lot of self explanatory material on the internet to deep dive into it.
The Final Job Selection Process
After my internship experiences, I’d decided that a full time coding job is not my cup of tea. So I decided to apply for analytics firms only. American Express has a written test, which checks your quantitative aptitude, for shortlisting candidates for interviews. The interviews are mostly based on the projects and internships you’ve mentioned in your CV. I had some data science projects in my CV, so they asked some basic concepts related to data science.There were two technical rounds for me. There’s an HR round as well, if the interviewer feels so.
LOOKING BACK AT IIT as an Alumnus: Man ki baat
Going through the ups and downs of IIT Life
When I look back at college life, I realize that I did not value it as much back in those days. The time spent in having random discussions at 4 am in the hostel, going to eat out after cursing the mess food, playing mini militia in the entire duration of a lecture, pulling off an all nighter for a major exam, getting free time in the evening to play anything I want to, is what I miss. The snap call that you get to usually take in college after opening your eyes in the morning, whether you want to wake up or not, you can’t do that once you start working.
I am usually a chirpy person. But yes, I did feel low at times, when I screwed up an exam very badly or when I saw my friend playing dirty politics behind my back. But most of the times, I came out stronger and learnt the lessons that life teaches.
The Personality Transformation that IIT brought
Before coming to IIT, I’d call myself an introvert, who’d be shy to initiate a conversation. Now, I feel I have better people skills and I can communicate better. Extra-curricular activities and multiple internships have played an important part in making me who I am today.
Striking the right balance between studies and extra-currics is important because excess of any of them can have a detrimental effect on the other. I used to reserve my 6-8 pm slot everyday for a sport (mostly lawn tennis) and missed it only if there was something really important. Prioritising what you want to work on is really important. Managing multiple clubs/sports is usually tough for people. I’d recommend you to explore various options and zero in on one/two on which you’d like to focus on.
A Final Word of Advice
Use your time judiciously. It may seem like you have a lot of time left until college gets over, but once it’s over, you’ll realize how quick it was. Also, do not listen to that senior who says ‘CG se farak nahi padta’. CGPA is one number that’s attached to your degree forever. Choose a sport, choose a club and make sure you’ve developed a ‘skill’ during your stay in college. Also, the corporate life for me is not as bad as some seniors had described! It has its share of bright and gloomy days and I’m trying to enjoy each one of them.