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The UHG Experience - From Assessment Test to Internship Offer - I

I've been waiting for over a month to write about this amazing experience, and now that I finally have the official confirmation, I'm ready to blog! :D

Photo by Nik MacMillan on Unsplash
Three days before our 1st Mid Sems, our class group got a message about the arrival of a company called United Health Group (UHG) - Optum, and its upcoming aptitude test. Suddenly I went from being an impulsive kid to someone who was seeking... something. It was the first aptitude test my entire class was giving. To be honest, I wasn't sure what I wanted. I just wanted to excel and give my best, like everybody did, although there was some...desperation. The desperation wasn't so much for the internship as much as it was to justify my 2 years in this college.
Since the beginning of my journey, I've been this confused person who has been trying a lot of things. I tried Competitive Programming, then Front End Web Development, and then Backend Development, with some Android Development scattered across the 2 years as and when the need arose. I definitely knew something, but wasn't sure if it even meant anything in the real world because I wasn't an expert in any of the sub-fields!

Aptitude and Coding Questions

To look back at this first round of selection seems really silly. I thought of this as a really big deal before and even after giving this test. Like I said, all I wanted from this test was to give me the assuration that I'm not stupid in the world of Computer Science, and that I haven't wasted my college life.

  • There were 30 logical reasoning questions from the point of view of an engineer, and I say engineer because it required some knowledge of Maths and Physics as well.
  • I also think the questions were written with the objective of not being completed, since there was no way anyone could have attempted all those 30 questions correctly! (They'd added comprehension questions, by the way)
This section of the assessment test went just fine. As first timers, we were quite disappointed by our attempts. Yet, the coding round was still remaining.

This was the time to prove. My main strength is a relaxed mind. I focussed on that before attempting the coding round. 
  • There were 2 coding questions, which were to be attempted in 30 minutes.
  • We had an editor that monitored every activity on the screen and keyboard. To add to the nervousness, if the user opened a new tab or anything that removed the focus of screen from the site opened currently, it would detect that and straightaway disqualify the candidate.
  • Being a Web Developer, I knew this was no joke and was possible. 
Fortunately, the coding questions that I got on my screen were really easy problems. I even spent the last 10 minutes adding comments! And yes, I say 'fortunately' because of the uneven difficulties of the problems that were distributed among the candidates. 

I wasn't sure of my performance, since we didn't know the cut off marks or ranks. 

Judgement Day

The next morning, we got up to attend the presentation by UHG. I didn't have any formals, so I just put on my best white shirt and a pair of black jeans to at least look presentable in the audience. We reached pretty late because of our hesitation to go to the presentation. (It was a Saturday morning) 

The gates were closed, and the names of the selected candidates were being called out now. All of my friends were outside, waiting to know the result. Suddenly, our class group rained with messages. The guys who were in the auditorium started writing the announced names on the group. The names started popping up, and congratulations were in order. Some 5 names were written on our class groups and we were out there hooked on our phones hoping for our names to pop in too! 
After a dramatic pause in messages, my name popped in! Yeah, screw me for having an alphabetically late name, but I was really really relieved, and happy! 

Great, I was selected. Now what? Some of my friends who were the Training & Placement Coordinators came to congratulate me, and put my entire being into an uncoordinated commotion. They asked me to go for the interviews, and then stopped mid sentence to look at my patterned white shirt and asked me to go get formals and a printed CV! I had none of those. To describe my state:

Somehow, everything worked out. I wore a decent looking plain shirt, and got my CV printed out from one of my friends, and an hour later, I was there in the Training and Placement Office, ready for my interview!

To conclude the first round, I would say that the assessment test was obviously no proof of any superiority of my skills over others who attempted it. It was just a fast reading game, to be honest, and how quickly someone's brain could think of answers there. So, while I rejoiced at my own conclusion that I drew over my college journey's worth by the assessment test's result, I realize now that this merit doesn't hold anything. The real proof, though, was realized during the interview.

I'll return shortly to write my experiences and facts about the final interview, both Technical and HR, in part 2 of this blog post. 

Hope you liked this one!

P.S: Special thanks to my seniors, Anurag Bansal and Ashutosh Sharma, who helped me in this 2 day journey with their advices. 


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