Astha Agarwal had no inkling back in 2009 when she signed up as a user on Facebook that she would one day get an offer from the social networking company.
She had joined FB to keep in touch with people she met in Azerbaijan during the International Junior Science Olympiad, but in May this year, she was at FB headquarters in Menlo Park, California, for summer internship.
After the May-to-July internship, she got the offer to work as a software engineer at FB.
“But it was only recently that I calculated the money in INR and realised mine was the highest among all FB offers,” she says as she shows HT a copy of the offer letter. Astha will join FB in October next year after she completes her eighth semester at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B).
Video: Here's what Astha has to say
Astha, 20, is the younger of the two daughters of a Rajasthan Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Limited (RVPNL), a transmission company, executive engineer. She is in Jaipur for her winter vacation.
After the news has got out that she’s got a pre-placement offer from the social media company for Rs 2.1 crore salary, including sign-on bonus and ESOPs, the phone at the modest Agarwal household in government colony on Sahkar Marg in Jaipur hasn’t stopped ringing.
She got into IIT when her elder sister, Pavitra, graduated from IIT, Delhi, as a chemical engineer. She secured all India rank of 90 in IIT-JEE 2011 and joined department of computer science engineering at IIT-B.
However, Astha isn’t as excited about the money as much as she is excited about working for Facebook. “She also got an offer from Google, but she didn’t take it,” her father Ashok Agarwal says.
“As a matter of fact, she hasn’t appeared for any other company during the placements.”
“What I liked about FB was that is has much less employees than Google and it is easier to make an impact with less people around,” she explains why she’s so happy for the offer.
“It’s a start-up kind of a culture, but more than anything, I guess it’s just a matter of choice.” Talking about Zuckerberg, she says she didn’t get a chance to meet him personally during the internship “but I recall from a recent news was that he wears the same t-shirt every day so he doesn’t waste time in deciding what to wear”.
“I think that is something very inspiring and people who complain about lack of time can learn something from this,” she says. Astha is one of the five other IIT-B graduates who have got FB offer: two during pre-placements and three from campus placements.
Astha went to St Xavier’s School in Jaipur and got 98% in Class 12.