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Stories from the experienced about How to get First Internship, First job, First GSOC, Win Hackathons


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FG Editor: Thank you, Prashant - for doing this! Here are some questions that I believe could add value to someone who’s looking at this post.

Prashant: Thank you for giving me a chance to reach more people & to share my thoughts !

What is your background and What are you currently doing?

Around 4 months ago, I completed my bachelors in computer science. I’ve been learning the basics of machine learning & data science in general on my own from various sources from mid of 2017.

Recently, I started my data science job at a (AI based) personalised education startup in Bangalore, India. Goal of the project I’m working on is to provide vernacular medium of learning to millions of students of India.

You’ve an impressive profile on Kaggle, Tell us about that?

Thank you.

I started doing Kaggle around 2 years ago. My only purpose of doing Kaggle is to keep myself updated with latest tricks & tips in the data science market. You never wanna miss those tricks as new things come every week !

Also, we get the chance to test our knowledge via their competitions platform. We can see codes written by other people via their kernels platform. And take part in discussions with similar minds.

Overall, Kaggle is I think the best place to visit for data science.

If you are getting started with Kaggle fresh today, What would be your strategy to become a Kaggle Master?

To earn these titles, share whatever you know as much as possible !

People will encourage you looking at your great content.

That being said, ideally, core focus should not be to earn titles. They’re by-product. “Learning new things & sharing whatever I know” is my 1st priority in Kaggle. Because that’s the core thing that matters.

Nobody knows everything. Everyone shares their ideas. So, everybody learns. It’s a win-win.

Kaggle is also a tough place in some regards. When your work wasn’t resulting in success either a medal or recognition, Did you feel disappointed and How did you handle that feeling?


After some bad results it’s easy to feel discouraged. But, we’re here to learn. And no one learns without avoiding failures.

Question is, whether you’re learning from other’s mistakes or not? If yes, you will face less failures; otherwise you have to face comparatively more failures. But failures are almost inevitable.

If we attach ourselves with outcome (medals, recognition), we can end up happy or sad as there are some factors in the equation which we can’t control.

But if we attach ourselves with learning, then we’ll surely be happy. As, it’s in our hands, whether to learn new things or not.

Do you recommend a Data Science aspirant to start with Kaggle? Why?


Kaggle is a very good place to start in the field of data science. Because they check the majority of the skills required in data science like EDA, feature engineering, pre-processing,data wrangling, building whole end-to-end pipeline etc.

To achieve some good things from Kaggle you have to have some of those skills which ultimately makes you good data science person!

Your current role seems to be an interesting space of Education + AI, Can you share more about your company and the kind of problems are being solved?


Company in which I’m working, focuses on leveraging AI for personalized education.

If we see, traditional education system is not efficient. We teach the same concept to 100 students at a time in the same way. But every student has a different style of learning. Some learns a concept better in this way, some learn that same concept in some other way.

So, ideally, we should be using today’s cutting edge technologies in education to teach millions of students simultaneously in their own way of learning. It’s like a personal teacher appointed to you and you only. Who teaches you & test your knowledge in your own way.

At what point in your life, you decided to get into Data science and Why?

Truly speaking, I decided to explore data science field after watching sci-fi movies !

AI in general is a very fascinating idea. What if we can copy a human brain? What is consciousness & how can we install it in a silicon chip?

AI have power to transform every industry from the root. As what are trying to mimic, is the human brain itself, it touches everything as everything is ultimately a product of the human brain.

Were you ever afraid that you are not into the celebrated IITs/NITs and so how will you find the job?

At first, yes. But I didn’t know the truth that time.

If we see from the employer’s point of view, they don’t care what my background is, as long as I can deliver best-in-class results for their company or organisation.

And your performance & ranks shows what your level is.

Seeing college of a candidate ignoring his/her skills, is like casting based reservation system. Doesn’t make sense at all.

Can you share about how did you land this job and some tips for fellow job-seekers?


Actually, I had several offers to choose from.

Mostly, because of my projects & Kaggle work, I got those many offers. But to clear those interviews, only understanding of nuts & bolts of data science helped me.

I would like to tell all those who want to make a career in data science that..

  1. Only choose this field, if it truly excites you. Not because everyone is talking about the bright future & all. If you truly don’t like the field & hate the Maths part of it, it’ll become difficult to manage.

  2. Learn the basics from well-known courses & check your knowledge on Kaggle. Keep yourself updated with latest things by reading research papers.

  3. At last, make good connections to increase your chances of better job offers. That’s very important.

Do you have any proud moment in your life or What’s something that can make you proud if you ever do?

My ultimate goal in life is to “make +ve impact on millions of people’s daily lives”.

It’s an abstract statement. But in whichever form, if I achieve that, I’ll be truly proud of myself.

Ultimately, people are remembered for what they did for others, not how much they were wealthy or famous. So, according to me, the ultimate goal should be to help others.

What’s something that you want to do / accomplish in 3-5 years from now?

In 5-6 years, my own venture, through which I can make +ve impact on millions of people’s daily lives.

I’ll definitely at least try for that. If it succeed, best, otherwise try again !

Who’s your life’s inspiration? - If any

Ronaldo & Messi.

I admire & follow people who completely dominate in their field. These two people have dominated football from last 10-12 years. Thousands of footballers from all over the world came, no one even came close to these two. That’s called dominance.

I also admire & follow Elon Musk. What he is doing for future generations is thousands of times better than what Facebook & Instagram is doing.

Do you have any other message to send out to other College Students like you?


Two things.

  1. Only pursue a field which truly excites you. Don’t copy other people. You have one life to live. Why to spend time in a field you don’t really enjoy? People will say different things. But it’s your own happiness which ultimately matters.

  2. If you have accounts in social media, don’t fully trust what you see there. Everyone is only sharing their best parts. So, we think everything is going great in their life. That’s not the full picture. They don’t share their problems or worst parts of their life.

So, don’t feel depressed by seeing only happy faces all over social media.

Thank you

On behalf of Freshgrads.Info Community, A Big Thanks to you Prashant for doing this. This would massively help someone trying to start their Data science life post Engineering Undergraduation.

You can get in touch with Prashant Kikani here on Linkedin and follow his work from his Kaggle Profile.

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