How I got selected in JPMC via Code for Good (not a CS/IT student)

internship Nov 12, 2021

Recently I got completed my internship in JP Morgan Chase & Co. I am currently a 4th year Electronics and Telecommunication (ExTC) student studying in VJTI. In this post I shall be explaining the interview process of how I got selected along with some tips.

It was a very lengthy process. Out of all the placements till now I can definitely say that this was the most lengthy process. So how did it start ?

The beginning: Resume Shortlisting

I can definitely say this interview experience will be the most different and fun then any other interview experience, this will most likely be your first company through which you will give a coding test and interview, it is the most lengthy and the process is unlike any other. There won’t be different interview rounds, no technical round and even if you are weak in DSA but decent enough in web/app development there is a very good chance you will be selected. So how did it start?

It started when I was in 2nd year around November/December ( I guess or around that time) when I submitted my application on the website. I forgot about it after a month as I thought I might not have much chance about it until I received a mail from our TPO ( training and placement officer ) in mid January about the shortlisted students from our college. 72 students from our college were shortlisted for the next round which was the coding round and I was selected, I was very happy at that time but did not think much as my DSA (Data structures and Algorithms) was very weak and I did not have much practice in coding questions. The test was just next week on Sunday (I don’t remember the date )

Round 2: The coding round:

Now here was the start of a problem: there was a hackathon of SIH on Saturday. It was going to start at 2:00 pm on Saturday till 2:00 pm on Sunday. ( it would include a presentation and all ) We had received on mail that the coding round will start at 2:00 pm ( There were 2 slots min was at 2:00 pm). So I thought yeah no problem we will submit at 12:00 pm I will get 1.5 hr sleep and give the test. (People who have been in a hackathon know that sleeping in a hackathon is very hard, there is too much excitement and most likely you are not going to sleep). We received a mail on Friday stating the test will be conducted at 6:00 pm and I was relieved to see the mail as it will give me plenty of time to rest. Our hackathon started on Saturday ( I won’t tell you about that on this as it shall be a very different post ) and somehow we had made some kind of website to show in the morning. At 10:00 am TPO sent a mail announcing the test will start at 12:00 pm. I was shocked to hear that I
had just slept for 2 hours and may be on the table during the hackathon and had to give the test. I thought not to worry about it right now and concentrated on finishing the hackathon. Our presentation ended at 11:55 am after we told the judges about the situation.

I rushed for the coding test ( it was 2 hours ) and started solving the questions. I was relieved seeing the questions. There were 10 questions about finding the output of C program and 2 test cases questions. One was very easy- given a number, find if the number is divisible by 3 or 5 or both. Another one was doable and I had 1 hour left. I tried to solve it and came very close to solving it ( some test cases had passed some had not ) and there was 30 min left, but I was very tired and decided to just leave it. I submitted my test and just went back to hostel to get some sleep)

Round 3: Virtual Interview

I had just forgotten about it again and then around March, I received a mail from TPO about the shortlisted students. I quickly scrolled through it and there it was. 18 students were shortlisted and I was one of them. Again for 2 months, I received no mail from neither the TPO nor from JPMC. Then finally in May starting, I received a mail from JP Morgan about the virtual interview. It was my first interview ( although virtual ). It was an automated online interview in Hirevue and was my first interview ( although virtual ) I got full ready and all and the interview questions were pre recorded meaning a question would pop on your screen, you will have 60 sec to prepare your answer and the camera would start and you will be able to record your answer till 90 seconds and almost everyone was asked 2 questions. I don’t remember the questions ( they were real life scenario questions though mostly what an HR would ask maybe ) but I do remember that I thought I had messed up the last one. I decided to not think much about it.

Final Round: Code for Good

I received a mail this time in July that I was selected for the final round of JPMC- Code for good to be held on 13–17 August and was going to be completely virtual. This time I thought hell they
take a lot of time to select, like just when you forget about it completely you receive a mail from them. Now for the Code of Good hackathon, I was super nervous. I had only one previous hackathon experience and I had not really done much that time. It is a flagship JPMC round, which is super unique. Normally it is conducted in their office but due to pandemic it was conducted online.

So before starting the hackathon there were some events for a couple of days like a team meeting, git workshop, hackathon tips and tricks. ( I met my team just a day before the main event). The most important thing is communication with your team. Understand each person’s strengths, weaknesses, what they are good at and all, and most importantly communicate honestly. The hackathon happened on Sunday and was only 12 hours starting at 10 am ( generally it is 24 or 36 hours but as colleges had not given most students permission for leave on Monday it could not be conducted, there were 550+ students. )

There are 9 NGOs and each NGO gives you a problem statement and you have 5 minutes to decide with your team which problem statement you are going to choose and you have to fill out preferences. Only 7 teams are allowed for 1 NGO and according to first-come-first-basis and your preferences, your NGO is decided which will give you your problem statement.

Hackathon experience:

Our topic was “Supply and Demand of eggs” around the world and the NGO may give some websites from which you may collect the data but don’t depend on them too much. I was in charge of creating an ML model for future predictions and plotting the graphs for the current scenarios. I had one other person in my team (let’s call him X) who was really good at this too
and we both started working on it while the others were working on the website. We made the graphs and the ML predictions ( they were not too great but we had data for a very small number of years ).

After I had completed that particular task, a team mentor (each team is assigned 2 team mentors ) took me to a breakout room and asked what my plans were after college. I replied to the question that and at this point, I thought yes I might have a chance of getting selected.

We went back to see how the rest of the team were doing and to be honest we were disappointed as almost nothing was done. Then X and I tried to help the other people but it was a little hard to do virtually and I won’t go into the details but the website, in the end, was very terrible and not very responsive and all. At 10:30pm each team gave a presentation and the top 3 teams were decided for each NGO and the winner of each NGO was declared on the next day.

We did not even come in the top 3 and I was really disappointed after all this but was a little confident I might get selected cause they had told, they would look at individual performance. The teams which were winners, all of their teammates would get I-pad 7 and all would get a t-shirt and some other goodies.

Results:

In mid-September as other companies too had come and interviews and coding tests were happening a mail came in my inbox at 08:07 pm ( I remember the time cause I looked at it when the mail came ) and inside there was a list of people who were selected from our college. A total
of 7 were selected and I was one of them!!. From my team, 3 people were selected X, I and one other person.

Well, this was my entire interview experience.

Tips for Hackathon:

Most important: Communicate with your team truthfully.
1. Try using vs-code and google colab ( for ml ) as your editor as there is an option of live sharing.
2. Learn a min of one framework ( it can be any ) and try knowing different packages of that framework for visualisation and all.
3. It will happen some of your teammates may have never developed a website before so don’t worry help them out with things.
4. Even though you do not win, don’t be disheartened because the job offer isn’t dependent on your win.
5. Don’t forget you are allowed to use google, github, stackoverflow anything and everything.

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