Thursday, October 28, 2010

First few days at TCS ILP

This is an article by Satyajeet Naib.

You may find few blogs about experiences of people in TCS during their first few days....But this one is different becuase I dont want to show off my vocabulary and I have written this while undergoing the ILP....And for the TCS faculty, Nisha mam, Liza mam, & Nandita mam,(Oops coudnt "unlearn" the habit of calling you "Mam" but respect doesnt cost money...) I know you are reading or will read this...I hope I am not misrepresenting the facts as you had complained about the other blogs...and for other readers, the TCS faculty at the ILP centres too read these blogs...Hope you all find this a good read...

I was wasted with choices about which information to share with you first....but I finally decided to go step by step....Lets start with what you need to prepare before joining...First of all make sure you study hard, join tuetions, and have a clear understanding of the basics of all popular languages(Or the ones they mail you with) so that you are not blank during the first few days...

TCS unlike other competing companies has a hell lot of documention and formalities at the time of joining...Dont wait for your date of joining, make sure you start acquiring all these documents and marksheets as soon as you recieve your offer letter...The joining letter annexure would mention in detail what all documents you need...Mind you, if their is even a small discrepancy in your documents your appointment will be put on hold...

After I was done with documentation & teary parting speeches, I left my place (Nagpur) on 28th June 2010 at 4am in the morning by Kerala Express(One of the only 2 direct trains from Nagpur to Trivandrum)...Found lot of friends at the railway station but still was dissapointed not to find any of my branch mates in the same bogie as the journey was of 37 excruciatingly long hours...But had an AC 3 tier ticket and some known faces in the same bogie which made things a bit bearable...

Our train reached Trivandrum central station at 3:30 pm the folowing day...I had a lot luggage and the station has no ramps for dragging the luggage...only stairs...After much effort we guys managed to find a lone cab driver who could speak few words in English and after much bargaining he took us to our respective hostels at 100 Rs per person...I was alloted a private hostel which is hired by TCS called Mohanam...All 3 hostels viz. Peepul park, Kenton Liesure Executive hostel, & Mohanam are in Kazhakuttom which is 18km away from Trivandrum city...

At the first sight of the hostel, my first reaction was "Accomodation cant get any better"...My second reaction was "Oh shitttt", no hot water for bathing, frequent power cuts, acute water shortage & worst of all, the care taker here cannot speak either hindi or english...But bieng students of a goverment college, we were used to bieng screwed...A silver lining to the cloud was that we were allowed to chose our room mates and there was a fridge, a good purifier and a TV for every 6 people. 9 of us, 3 from electrical & 6 from electronics branch where alloted the Mohanam hostel. After a little bit of shuffling, we settled in our rooms. I took a room on the first floor. We got fresh and made straight for the market and nearby areas and found out all the good hotels in the vicinity.

Mind you TCS makes no arrangements for your food. We tried each place and concluded that these are the best hotels around...The Punjabi Dhabba(On Kovalam/Kanyakumari road, and closest to Mohanam), B6 inn(plush but no so good), Geethhanjali)(Also very near to Mohanam). The rates are very good at all the hotels and both Veg and Non Veg food is readily available. TCS provides "Sodexho" meal coupons a while after you join which are accepted in any hotel that you can find...I had never lived in hostel before, so, it was a bit diificult for me to get used to walking few kilometres each time you need to eat something...
After dinner and little exploring in the market we came back to the hostel at 10 pm in the night and went to dreamland with the dread of getting up early next day and the nervousness about the first day of our corporate lives...Do read the part II of this blog for my experience of the first day at TCS...And do post your comments and querries, they are most welcome....

Let me remind you guys that if you are not ready to commit yourself 24x7 to your job, then TCS is not the company for you. I had been warned beforehand by many so I was mentally prepared.

So it was 5:30 in the morning on 30th June 2010 when I got up (with the help of 3 different alarms and few presses of the "Snooze" button). Everyone else at the hostel was asleep but I wanted to have enough time before leaving for the bus stop to make sure I haven't missed anything. The TCS bus arrives at each of the hostels at 7:30 am in the morning and its a hard time getting ready in full formal clothing so early in the morning given the fact that there is no hot water for bathing. And the dress code being so specific i.e. formal shirts (solids, checks, pinstripes), formal trousers. And yes the neck ties are compulsory. Girls have a lot of options but not boys...Friday is a relief from the dress code but again, you cant wear anything flashy or with messages on it. (I really wanted to try my Tshirt which said "I am the guy whom ur mom warned about" or the one saying "I can CODE serious shit" lolzzz)

If you get dressed wrongly or forget to shave, they send you back to the hostel and you lose a days pay. Some how we got ready on time and reached the main gate of the hostel where the bus was supposed to arrive.( The hostel warden though unable to understand our language came to see us off everyday and would phone ans scold the bus driver if he ever came late.)

When we first set our eyes on the approaching bus, we all asserted, "not worthy of TCS" at almost the same time. We were only 24 people and it did not have space even for such a small group. We were already pissed off due to the fact that we had to reach the campus almost 1 and a half hour earlier. The TCS Peepul Park & Bodhi Park campuses are located in an IT park Called "Technopark" about 5 mins distance from all 3 hostels. After reaching the sprawling TCS Peepul Park campus we were awestruck. The building looks like one seriously huge 5 star hotel. The sessions were to commence at 8:45 am but we were supposed to have breakfast in the meantime in the inhouse canteen(a rare welcome news).

After waiting in a long Que for getting a visitors pass made we were seated in the "Saffron" auditorium. By this time we were used to getting awestruck due to the grandeur of the place but still I couldn't avoid staring like a kid at the 2 identical 125 inch projection displays in the auditorium. Out of habit me and my few friends sat in the first row. After eying the schedule we were sad to find inductions (Boring informative speeches) for the first 2 days. The schedule was very tiring,
8.45am to 10:30am==Session A (OMG such a longggggggg lecture)
10:30am to 10:45am==Break (You don't even notice this one because you are busy coding serious shit in your lab sessions or you enjoying life skills sessions)
10:45am to 1:00pm==Session B
1:00pm to 1:45pm==Lunch Break (Cold and stale south Indian veg/Non veg lunch is available in tcs canteen at subsidized rates, but I assure you food cant get any worse)
1:45pm to 3:00pm==Session C (Sooooo long)
3:00pm to 3:45pm==Tea Break (The trainer is back in the lab before you take even your first sip of tea.)
3:45pm to 5:45pm==Sessions D (Seriously long again)Sessions get a bit bearable when case studies start, which are group activities.

After attending the HR and ADMIN inductions we ventured out of the auditorium and loitered around. We found the different sections like HR bay, i-Security, etc and most importantly the tea and coffee machines which were of great help to ward off the stupor induced by the speeches. (PS: The tea is very good but you cannot carry the cups around the premises :-D). It was later on that day when we found that TCS Trivandrum center operates in 3 shifts i.e. Morning shift(7am to 2pm), General shift (8:45am to 5:45am), and the Night shift (2pm to 9pm). We were lucky enough to have been allotted to the general shift because it greatly simplified the meal times.

The suspense about the duration of the ILP and its second phase was broken later om that that during the ILP induction. The newly designed ILP is of 63 working days which includes both common and stream based training. There are a lot of changes both academic and administrative. For starters, they have omitted the foreign language training and started deducting HRA during the ILP period and a host of other changes and the most notable being the undertaking of both common and stream training at the ILP center itself.

The most awaited and last induction was the finance induction which includes bank account opening. The finance guy Ashutosh was a nice person and he brought ICICI bank people with him. We filled forms for opening a savings salary account, and a current reimbursement account. The account was a privilege banking titanium account with withdrawal limit of 50k and shopping limit of 1 lac. We were given a starter kit containing a debit card a cheque book and passwords for ATM and net banking. This was the first time we proud to be TCS employees, but yet again, titanium accounts without money in them are even more frustrating...

Finally, overloaded with information and tension, we left the auditorium at 6pm and went straight to the bus which was already awaiting us outside. Mind you, if you plan to stay back at office for work or completing exercises after 6:15pm, then you will have to walk back to the hostels which are about 3-4 km away from the campus.. :-D...Even after you reach the hostel, it doesn't end, you are hungry and have to walk at least 4 km for a single bite of food...As many have said, I bet 10k bucks you will lose 2 kg weight in first 10 days...anyways keep reading the blog for my experience about the next few days at tcs
Your comments and queries are most welcome....

9 comments:

  1. Hi rahul
    It was a nice post. I was recently hired by Accenture and mind you, I could completely relate to your post.
    The only difference being the food is not that bad, (not tried the accomodation as my office is in Delhi),and we were given HDFC titanium accounts instead of ICICI.

    Apart from that, everything is similar..induction, sodexo coupons, exhuastion, long work hours at times, great infrastructure, rigorous documentation process et al.

    Hope you have a great time there. Keep us posted about your progress. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Rahul, I am very surprised to see your blog. It's really an excellent blog.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Satyajeet,
    i read ur blog regarding da ilp, i read it rather seriously as my ilp centre is also trivendrum.
    i wanted to know 2 things 4m u:
    1. whether during training tcs conducts weekly test/exams or its only at da end of da training.
    2. as you said dat u can miss ur bus n nearest hotel for havin food is nearly 3-4kms, can we bring or r v allowed to bring our bikes during training...
    thanking you in advance...

    ReplyDelete
  4. hi thanks for giving ur exp
    its very helpful..
    im frm ece.i got offr letter nd waitin for jl.so plz mention the subjects i hav to study nw

    ReplyDelete
  5. will you please give a summary of holidays in TCS. It'll be really helpful for us. Thanks in advance..My joining is on dec 08th.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Accommodations in most hostels are offered dormitory style, with large rooms holding between 4 to 10 beds, sometimes singles, sometimes bunk beds.

    Hostels in Castro

    ReplyDelete
  7. good post.nice read..keep it up bro...

    ReplyDelete
  8. thanks rahul...got lots f knowledge abt tcs in advance...hav a question which i wanna ask..

    in which things i need 2 prepare b4 joining...wat documents n certificates....which programming language....specify it exactly...pls ..

    Thanks a lot..

    ReplyDelete
  9. hi satyajeet,
    Thanks for sharing your first day experience. Im joining TCS trivandrum next month. Your blog is very useful.I had lot of doubts regarding hostel which is cleared by reading this.
    Thank u .

    ReplyDelete

Have something to share? Let me know!