I was having a power nap in the city of Char Minar waiting for dinner to arrive after a long tedious day. I visited the city for the first time and immediately fell in love with it. Courtesy a call for interview at IIIT Hyderabad for the course of M.tech Bioinformatics. The interview was long and gruelling. After a stressful peroid of 45 minutes I had no clue whether I was able to cast a good impression in front of the panel of professors who are experts of Bioinformatics. Hailing from Punjab, my mother never wanted me to go and study in Hyderabad. Though Hyderbadi Biryani tempted her to allow me follow my heart. Still she accompanied me to Hyderabad for this interview.
When I reached IIIT Hyderabad, I found the campus quite small as compared to other universities but immediately reminded myself about the products it produced. After waiting for a long time, I was asked to enter the panel room. In the interview room, I was faced with a panel of 8 members one of whom was a woman.
Dr. Nidhi Tiwari, a powerful Bioinformatics faculty and as expected the most curious to ask questions. The first question was about my B.tech Project which was analysing the oral microbiota and understanding the relation between oral immunity and oral microbiota. I explained about the methods and results concluded from the project. Fortunately it was a wet lab project, so none of the members of the panel were actually interested in the outcome of the project. Next question was about my Btech college – Amity University. I was stunned when a question popped up, Do they really teach in Amity? or you just have a filmy atmosphere there? And God knows why there came an answer from an offended me, Yes, we do study but in a priveledged Filmy atmosphere. The outcome is a GATE qualified student sitting in front of you competing for a seat in India’s best college. Probably my answer poked the panel to ask me technical questions, courtesy my bragging about GATE qualification.
So the first technical question – What is Michaelis Menton Equation?.
Fortunately I satisfied them with the answer. Then, tell us about its variants. Now I admit over here, that I always hated the variants of the basic enzyme-substrate equation, but I somehow explained them the variants. Convinced panel then asked a question on normal distribution. I explained but they were not satisfied. They handed me a chalk piece and asked me to give an example about the normal distribution. I was nervous with a chalk in my hand and a panel in front of me who will decide my future. I asked for a 5 minutes time to think and explain about normal distribution. It was simple, but nervousness is a bad thing in interviews. A professor helped me there, He asked me to draw a graph of number of students and there marks distribution. And Eureka, I felt at the top of the world.
Then, came a series of questions about the variants of normal distribution. Guess, ‘the people of IIIT are obsessed with variants of everything’. They confused me and I confessed after trying for a long time that this is all I know about normal distribution.
A professor sarcastically fired back at me that filmy atmosphere doesnt always help. I said probably IIIT’s atmosphere would help then. I am here to learn and grow along with you all.
With this the panel asked me to leave and told me to wait for the result. I came out, my mother informed that it had been 45 minutes since I went in. The biggest and the most insulting interview of my life lasted for 45 long minutes. I decided to forget about it and enjoy my stay in the city of delicious biryanis.
In the evening while waiting for my dinner I checked the website of IIIT and to my suprise I was selected for the course of
M.tech Bioinformatics. I was elated and surprised at the same time.
I eventually ended up joining Delhi Technological University (Delhi College of Engineering) for the same course as it was near to my home place. But I would suggest going to IIIT if at all you get selected for the Bioinformatics in IIIT. It offers the correct combination of technical and theoritical details required to master Bioinformatics.
All the best!