Engineers’ day it is, hence the post 😀
Most of my posts have been personal more or less. So here’s one more. This one is by far the closest one to my heart. I remember saying the same last year after my b’day. And I say it again… I could not be happier with the way things have been. After the happenings of yesterday and the day before, I had a lot to say and a few FB statuses could not justify that. Then I thought, what is the one thing I have, that most of the other students don’t. And the second answer in my mind was my blog (The first one being a few backs!)
Starting with the scene sometime back:
Placement session kicks off in college with 1-2 students getting the jobs of their dreams every day. I was mainly worried about three things.
a) My grade sheet wasn’t the ideal one that any company wants to see. PROBLEM!
b) None of my good/great/best friends were getting a job they wanted.
c) My grade sheet!! (Did I already mention that?)
Now this session is to go on for over six more months and it’s just a start, but still the desperation for getting into a good job could be clearly seen on most faces. When I had started engineering, unlike others, I had one simple aim: To get a job. No MBA, GATE or anything like that. The Part time RJ, Hacker and now a writer, all this came along the way and nothing was pre planned. But once the final year started and I got kicked out from the first placement test I gave, the fear of ‘not getting a good placement’ started gripping me!
When I talked to people close to me, these were the general replies.
“I am pretty sure you’ll make it once you get to the interviews”
“There’s a long way to go, keep trying”
“If you won’t, then who will!”
“Your dream company is yet to come!”
And of course the fourth one was my favorite reply. The company I was actually waiting for. Deloitte! Not that it offered a big package. But it was probably the best suited profile for my resume. I didn’t really sit in many companies when I got this message from Sahil, my friend and more of a partner in the placement season! Deloitte was coming to the campus in September. Soumya, my friend cum competition for Deloitte was supposed to handle the process.
I was pretty sure (and nervous) about the first round of Deloitte. I sat for it with full zeal and just after the completion I came to know that I had also made it to the final round of another company “Oracle Financial Softwares”. Now the problem was, Deloitte screening results were to be announced after Oracle finals.
I decided to give up on oracle and sit for Deloitte. But then, talking to three people changed my mind. Kalpit, my senior and mentor, Gaurav, my cousin brother and again, mentor… and lastly, Soumya. All the three were of the opinion that what all I expect from Deloitte, I’ll get in Oracle as well and if everything goes well, I’ll have an even better future. (Now I think soumya just wanted me out of competition 😛 )
So, it was a tough decision to make. But I decided to sit for oracle and put an honest effort to get into it. And then, I gave my first ever technical interview. Unlike most others, my interview went on for over 40 minutes. The interviewer made sure I told him every freaking rule I knew about C and data structures! Plus a simple question “Does sun rise in the east for everyone?” took 15 minutes when I started proving how!
It went well and I was convinced I’ll make it to HR round. And within 10 minutes I was informed that I did. HR round started in an hour. And it took another 1 hour to be completed. The questions I was asked were not very different from any other interview. But the interviewer was. My CV was scanned line by line and he made sure he asked me every single thing about it. Some highlights were:
He: Such a brilliant performance in 10th and 12th, why so low in college?
Me: No excuse sir. I didn’t study.
He: Don’t you have any excuse?
Me: I could say I wrote a book, started a company, met an accident, co-ordinated a fest… All in last 1.5 years, but that doesn’t stop me from getting good grades… so… no!
<He smiled, and turned to page 2 of my resume.>
He: Book. Tell me more about it. And convince me that you won’t become a professional writer and leave us.
Me: If I could become a full time writer by writing one book, I would have. But that’s not the case, I’ll continue to write even after you hire me, but that won’t affect my performance in company.
<Then he looked at my second and third year projects and took 15 minutes in asking and understanding what they were about>
He: So I see that you are quite a creative person. Won’t you get bored if you have to code all the time?
Me: Sir that’s why I sat for oracle. I have heard and you said the same in PPT that your coders are given full freedom in their work and the creativity and innovation is respected.
<After almost 35 minutes of all this, we came to the end>
He: It was great talking to you shubham. Any doubts?
<And then I asked my doubts, and it took another 25 minutes after that>
After the interview, they said I could go home, results will be declared the next day.
I came to the campus, formally clad, nervous and my heart skipping a beat every time someone asked about ‘oracle’!
At 1, the HR entered the conference hall. 25 candidates who had made it to the final HR round out of the 300 appeared were sitting there. Outside the room were almost 2-300 friends of all of us, waiting for the moment.
After 10 minutes of a talk, the HR manager told us that 11 students were selected out of the 25. Names were going to be announced and our heart beats grew faster and evidently louder. Soumya was standing right besides her not even smiling. I got a little worried. Name 1, name 2, name 3… till name 9… my name wasn’t there. I thought 10 names had been announced. So the next name was announced, which wasn’t me and I lost all the hope. With every name, there was a little clapping and one more smiling face in the room. I had no idea how will I face the 100 people standing outside for me. But then the HR manager said… “And the last name is…” and I looked up. Her next words were… “Shubham Choudhary” and before she could say anything, a loud hooting and even louder clapping covered the room. Not only mine but actually many smiles were there and many came forward to hug me.
That moment she said what I was waiting to hear for a long time. “Whoa! So much cheering! Are you famous or something?” And all I had was a smile. And to that, soumya replied, “Ma’am he is our local celeb. Wrote a book too” and she smiled and said “Alright then, you’ll manage the team of recruited people from this college!”
After a lot of handshakes, wishes and hugs, the door opened and all our friends rushed in to wish us.
Before that I had seen a few, after that I saw a few, but that day the people went crazy like no other time. I got the beating of a lifetime. And so many hugs. Every person who saw me had only one word… “Congratulations!”
I was happy. I celebrated like never before. Not because I had a job. Not because I got a response no one else did. But because I had proven myself in front of those who thought I couldn’t. A guy with below average results was standing with a handful of toppers in the same line. I was in bottom 10% if marks were taken into account. And I am in top 10% if time of placement is taken into account. And instead of any mass recruiter, I got to go on a premium profile in the 3rd largest IT company of the world.
Of course I was a little sad I heard this. “You made it to Deloitte finals”! Now a GD and PI were left which I couldn’t appear in. But who cared. And to add to that, I stood there in soumya’s place while the Deloitte results were being declared. And I am glad that two of my best friends, Khushboo and Soumya, made it to Deloitte.
Times will come and go. We’ll get better jobs, we’ll have greater incomes. Our lives would be different, our cities would be different. We’ll make new friends. From students, we’ll become professionals. But no one will ever be able to replace the mark this month has made in my mind. No one will ever be able to delete the space this time has occupied in my heart.
I couldn’t be more thankful to all those who called me right after they got the news. I thank everyone who wished me on Facebook. Shilpi di! Sahil, Vipul, Soumya, Shubham, Mitin, Sameer, Sunil, Pragya, Aayusha, Juhi, Mona, Ajeeta, Vineet, Apsara, Tarun, Aayush, Shailesh and everyone else who was there with me in this awesome moment. (On phone, in person!)
Please do not at all take this as an acknowledgement or anything like that. I am yet to get over this thing and this just came out. No matter what, I love all my friends.
This line I should have said earlier, but I kinda felt like ending with this. For the first time I saw my father crying because of me. And I was happy! And it was the same day my blog crossed 25,000 Views and I got to see the final cover of my book (I’ll upload soon 😉 )