I was an average (at least my marks were) Mechanical Engineering student of 2007-2011 batch. My first placement experience was L&T on August 16, 2010. I cleared the written test but failed the interview, because I could not convincingly explain why my academic performance was bad (66% aggregate). I didn’t attend any more placements for the rest of the semester.
TCS came along on New Year’s Day of 2011. That was my first success. My efforts weren’t up to my usual standards. I performed halfheartedly (I didn’t want a IT job) yet I was placed. It wasn’t very surprising, considering 350 students from BMSCE were placed that year. I was one among them.
Mercedez Benz came in February. I cleared the written test but failed the Group Discussion round. My excuse? I’m a shy introvert. GDs are not my forte. But not getting a job kind of sucked.
I wrote the GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test for Engineering) exam on February 13th. Luckily, I scored 59 marks out of 100, GATE Score of 613 and a percentile of 98.9. I could apply for any of the PSUs for a government job but I didn’t.
I had written the AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test) for the Indian Air Force in February, which I cleared and I got a call for their interview. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it because our Final Year Project defense was on the same day. And I didn’t want to piss off the external examiner since the results of 3 other guys who were in my project group also depended on this.
ONGC Mangalore (OMPL) came for pool campus recruitment to BMSCE, RVCE and MSRIT in June. I cleared the written test and the interview, and was one of only 5 from 3 of the top Engineering colleges in the city. Besides, it was the highest package for Mechanical stream around that time – 6 lac p.a. (Amounts to 50,000/- per month).
We had written the entrance test for Toyota Kirloskar at JSSATE sometime in March. The results of that came out in July and I was placed in that too. Fortunately, college was officially over by then, so I didn’t really break the ‘only 2 job offers’ rule. 😛
Based on my GATE score, I got admission into:
1) M.Tech. in Material Science & Metallurgy at IIT Madras.
2) M.Sc.(Engg.)/Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at IISc Bangalore.
3) M.Tech. in Applied Mechanics at IIT Delhi.
4) M.Tech in Aerospace Engineering (Aircraft Structures) at IIT Bombay.
I chose the 4th option and am currently in my final year at IIT Bombay. The moral of the story is not that I got 3 job offers and rejected them all, it is that despite having an aggregate of 67% and not being anywhere near the top-25 students (academics-wise) in my branch, I was able to outdo most of the students in my batch.
“It is not who you are, but what you do on the day of placement/exam that defines you.” ~Naveen N. Bhat
Original answer on Quora here.