Voice of an EA – Kondala Rao

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Q. How are you introduced to Chegg?

I am Kondala Rao. I came to know about Chegg from my friend who is working as an Expert Answerer (EA) for Chegg. The Chegg team visited our college and gave a seminar on the role of Expert Answerer. Most of my friends applied and got placed. Later, my friends encouraged me to sign up saying that Chegg is one of the best places to work. At present, I am working on the Chegg Question and Answer (Q&A) Board as an Expert Answerer. I have an Engineering degree in Computer Science and now I am pursuing a Master’s degree. I am one among the toppers in my class. I am very happy with Chegg because it has laid a platform for me to use my subject knowledge for the benefit of the students.

My aim is to find a job in a public sector, for which I am preparing for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). Though from a computer science background, I had no interest in software jobs. I aspire to work for companies like the Indian Oil Corporation or Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited.  To get a job in such companies, one must be the crème de la crème in the subject. I knew that I am still an expert in the making. However, I’m always in the pursuit of improving my subject. When I signed up with Chegg, I realized that Chegg is a gold mine of intellects and this is where I can truly be shaped.

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Q. What is your daily routine?

I stay in a shared rented apartment in Vizag. I begin my day at 4 AM and start working on the Chegg Q&A board. I attend college from 9 AM to 3 PM. After hanging out with friends for some time, I get back to the Chegg Q&A board and answer as many questions as I can. I learned to balance my college studies and the Chegg Q&A Board. During weekends, I go home. I hail from Ongole, which is approximately an eight-hour drive from Vizag. My love for Cricket and Kabaddi makes me spare some time for the game. We have a huge playground in our college and we play cricket or kabaddi every day for two hours.

Three of my roommates also work for Chegg. After our dinner, we open our laptops and take our positions to answer on the Chegg Q&A board. We compete among ourselves and encourage one another to answer as many questions as we can. Whenever we get stuck with answering, we discuss and help one another. We never compromise on the quality of the answers and always ensure that the provided answers are student-friendly. We do not budge out of our places until we finish our daily targets.

We believe in the concept – work hard and party hard. We savor the best delicacies in Vizag and we often party with our hard-earned money. We covered almost all the famous restaurants in Vizag – Spicy, yummy Hyderabadi Biryani, being our favorite food. We also celebrate our birthdays. Vizag has a beautiful coastline. I love spending time on the beach and enjoy nature. I also go to the cinema. Being the earning member in my fraternity, I take the privilege of being the financier.

Q. Cite a challenging moment.

Once I received a difficult question about counters in digital electronics. The challenge was not just solving it, but explaining it to the student. I managed to solve it to some extent but got stuck in the middle. I had no inkling of how to go about it. Thanks to my friends, who pitched in and helped me simplify the intricacy. The satisfaction that results from the outcome of sincere hard work is matchless. The student responded with thumbs-up and commented saying, “Good Explanation! Thank you very much.” We partied after solving the question (smiles).

Q. How did Chegg help you in your overall growth?

Answering questions on Chegg boosts my confidence to such an extent that I needn’t revise for my competitive exam. Financially also I am much more stable. I do not have to depend on anyone for my basic needs, study material, hostel fee etc. Working for Chegg is very comfortable for me as it provides me a platform to apply whatever I have learned in my college.

As a Computer Science expert, I need to constantly upgrade my know-how with the latest software. I cannot survive in the market with the basic knowledge I have in C language, CPP, and JAVA. On the Chegg Q&A board, I receive questions related to languages like Python, Assembly Language, etc. The logic is the same but the functions and the presentation of the new languages differ. Over the years, I have learned a lot of new technical stuff just by answering on the Chegg Q&A board.

I receive a wide variety of questions on the Chegg Q&A board – theory type and also program type. However, one should be a subject expert to solve such questions. I sometimes receive questions related to error detection in code, testing, or addition of new functions to the existing code. Encountering such challenging questions is definitely carving me into the good programmer. These days, not just software jobs but every job is vulnerable. The only way we can survive during the testing times is by aiming to be the best in our realm.

Q. Cite a memorable moment

During an offer season initiated by Chegg, I made the best use of the offer and earned a sizable amount. Those were testing times for my family owing to huge debts and an immediate need of finance. I took the onus and cleared all the debts of the family. It was quite memorable that I could do it with my hard earned money.

I also cherish the time when I received my first paycheck. Usually, students do not get to earn as they have to concentrate on studies. I am thankful that Chegg has given me this great opportunity of working from home, which enables me to balance my academics and simultaneously earn. I also get some stipend from college and I transfer the entire sum to my parents’ bank account.

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I paid a fee for a poor friend of mine and also bought him books when he was preparing for Indian Engineering Service exams. Now, I am glad to see that he is in a good position.

Earning also gave me confidence that I can make my dreams come true. It’s not good to depend on others for financial needs for one’s own improvement in life, isn’t it?

Q. Have you ever got a poor rating and how did you respond?

Initially, once I got a poor rating because my presentation wasn’t up to the mark. The Chegg In-House team gave constructive feedback on my errors. When I saw my mistakes from the prism of the precedent answering, I pulled up my socks and delivered more presentable answers.

Q. Who inspired you in life?

In school, my teacher Mr. Balasubrahmanyam was an inspiration to me. I aspired to become a subject teacher because of him. He had the true heart of a teacher. He was attached to us and we enjoyed a sense of belongingness with him. When he taught, he would doubly check with us to ensure that we understood the point clearly. I gained a lot of teaching skills from him. Even when I answer questions on the Chegg Q&A board, I also ensure that the student clearly understands the point I convey.

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I owe my interest in teaching to him. My friends like to listen to me while I teach the subject. Whenever they have doubts related to computer networks or operating systems, they approach me for clarification.

I also worked as a teaching faculty in a renowned teaching institute based in Hyderabad. However earning-wise, I am earning more by teaching online at Chegg, than by the traditional classroom teaching. At Chegg, I get exposed to a lot of computer related subjects which is not possible at a teaching institute where we get to teach only one or two subjects. So, I preferred teaching online at Chegg.

Q. Cite something from your personal life?

My parents are farmers. We have some farming land where we cultivate crops like tobacco, sweet potatoes, groundnuts etc. Even I used to help them in my childhood. We have water scarcity in our area, so cultivation is not easy.  However, my parents are glad that I am working. We also have five buffaloes and are into milk business too.  I have two siblings. My brother is preparing for bank jobs and my sister is pursuing her degree. I am the eldest one. My uncle is a software engineer and he is my mentor. He guided me in my education pursuits so far.

With the money earned by working for Chegg, I am able to buy branded stuff for myself and my family members. That gives me immense satisfaction.

Being the eldest in the family, I have learned to be more responsible. The expectation from the eldest one in the family is obviously more. I have more dependents and am the breadwinner of the family.

I love to do social service. I visit orphanages, old age homes and the under-privileged to extend a helping hand and provide them some basics amenities. Once my friend’s house was washed away by floods and his family was in deep trouble. I mobilized all my friends and collected a generous amount to help the family.

Q. Have you recommended anyone to Chegg?

My friends got inspired by me and signed up with Chegg. They used to observe me sincerely working for Chegg and the way it improved my life. Now, they are also working as expert answerers for Chegg.

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I can’t sum up in one sentence how impactful Chegg has been in my life. I would never discontinue working as an EA@Chegg, no matter where life takes me. I shall continue to inspire others to join Chegg, as the intrinsic happiness gained from working here, is immeasurable.

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