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Last Chance

I was about to cry when I told my landlord that I will vacate my cot by the end of this month. It was the end of my continuous third failure story, somehow I controlled myself. First when I was preparing for engineering entrance exams, second for GATE exam and third is this time. I just wanted a job in any IT company, which I couldn’t get. After college I am trying since last 8 months. I know this is not a big thing, but for a private college engineering student getting a job is a big success.

From past one and a half year, continuously I am trying to get placed but today I lost all my hopes, Infosys was my last chance but it’s gone.

Looking behind in that one and a half year, I really worked hard.

 

Indore: From July, 2013

Tanuj was my roommate, He was from a good engineering college of Indore, and no doubt he was very intelligent too. My college was also known for its past placement history. Tanuj and I joined classes for campus placement in starting of final year. I was regular to classes, but Tanuj was not. In 3 month training I learned a lot, aptitude; English and reasoning and some interview tricks.

October 2013, on the zero day, 3 MNCs were coming to Tanuj’s college. As expected, he got the job not only in one company; he was selected in two companies.

Just after 10 days, TCS was coming to my college for campus placement. I worked hard, solved all the TCS placement papers everything. Tanuj also helped me. When I appeared in test, pattern was completely changed and I couldn’t clear the test.

However, I was not tensed until I got the news of TPO’s resignation of my college. Now our TPO was the part of Acropolis College. After this everyone was sure that no big company will come to our college for placements and this assumption was right. Till the end of 7th semester no company visited our college.

In semester brake I prepared for placements, but I was tensed too.

In starting of 8th semester we got a news that 3 MNCs are coming for open campus drive in Acropolis College in next 20 days. As I got this news, immediately I made the registration. Same day I started preparation.

On the first day of drive, what I saw was surprising. Minimum 3000 students were there on first day, I stood for 2 hrs. in the sunny day just to write the test. After all my efforts I couldn’t clear the test. They shortlisted 100 students for Interview.

Second day of drive, after all these process like first day, I cleared the test. I got a mail in the evening. But next round was not PI; it was GD, my weakest point. But I went for GD and as expected I lost my chance. And one more thing I couldn’t appear in the third company.

After this I tried for 2 more companies, but didn’t get success.

Now finally, I decided to prepare for GATE. I had 2 months’ time for exam. My aim was not to get good rank, I just aimed to score minimum marks to get Score Card. My plan was that if I will get score card then I will give next 1 year for preparation of GATE.

Next two months, I read desperately just to get score card. I got opportunity to sit in campus of small companies, but I didn’t go there because I was focusing on gate. To get the score card of Gate Exam I focused on 3 subjects apart from Math.

But After all these efforts I couldn’t score enough to get score card. This was very tough phase of my life. I couldn’t make a placement. In two months’ preparation I couldn’t score enough to get GATE score card. That was the time when I was very depressed because I didn’t have any idea that what should I do and on other hand some of my friends were getting placed. One month was left in final exams so I just focused on semester exams. Tanuj was over with all his exams and just waiting for his joining. Sometimes he asked me to come for parties but I refused. Obviously, I was feeling guilty like how can I attend parties if I didn’t achieve anything. But after some time I realized that I should enjoy this last time and I did that.

Those two months were awesome. Everyone knew this is the last time of college we won’t get it again therefore leaving all the worries I just jumped in the ocean of last time enjoyment with all my best buddies.

After final semester I left Indore and came back to my hometown.

Hometown: June, 2014.

“Now what?” I asked myself.

I had 4 options. Try for software job, further studies, preparation for government exams and to join my brother’s business.

After all the discussions to friends and family, finally I decided to go for job search in IT perhaps because of patience. I thought further studies and government jobs preparation will take lot of time and hard work to get some meaningful achievement. Somewhere I had doubt on my decision that I don’t have any software skills as I was from electronics still I chose this option, also I knew that this was my last chance to take any decision and if I won’t get job in next few months, I’ll will get a seat in my brother’s shop which was never acceptable for me.

But my decision was final. Now I needed someone to come with me for job search.

I knew, two my batch mates, Amit and Sumit, will go for job search. I have contacted both. I wanted to go Bangalore but no one agreed for that. 15 days we were just discussing where should we go, Pune or Bangalore?

Finally we decided to go Pune. One of my old friend was also there in Pune for job search. One of my old friend, Kushal, was also searching job in Pune. He was there from last one month. I was in contact with him constantly. When we decided the city I called Kushal. Till that time he got a job in a Game Testing company but still he was searching for a good job. He told me about Pune, where I should live, what are the chances and so many thing.

We decided to go Pune after collecting all the mark-sheets and certificates It took 15 more days to get all the documents from college.

We reached Pune on August 15, 2014. Directly we went to Kushal’s place. He was living in a hostel near to his company. We talked to hostel owner to stay there for next 4 days, he agreed for 200 bucks per day. From Kushal and some other friends we came to know that there is an area in Pune, which is best place to stay for job seeker. It’s Karve Nagar, the students’ area of Pune.

We decided to take a room in Karve Nagar. Getting a room for boys in Karve Nagar is a very difficult task, Kushal already told us about this. It was 15 KM far from hostel.

Same day we went for room search. It took us 2 hrs to reach Karve Nagar as we didn’t know about the transportation of Pune. As expected, first day we couldn’t get any suitable room for us. But we got some more information about the area. For girls there were so many good rooms and hostels were available but for boys there were no good options. For boys there were simple rooms and in one small room, three or four cots were there with the rent of minimum 1800 Rs per month and rooms were also horrible. One more thing we observed, that area was full of Girls because a very famous girls’ college was situated there. The area had great ambience.

After a lot of search and 3 days of hard work we finalized a room. Our room was very small but it was 3 sharing. It was a hostel, on the ground floor of hostel there were 2 rooms and one big hall with main entrance gate. In that hall they made a small room of wood walls. Toilet was on the back side of other two rooms. For bath we were using other room’s bathroom. We gave 5000 Rs deposit each and 1800 rs as first month rent.

Same day evening we shifted to that hostel. After shifting we searched for food. There were so many restaurants and mess. Food was fine in Pune.

Next morning around 7 O’clock, Kushal called me. He told me about Vodafone Walking in some IT park. I searched about the place; it was 30-35 Km far from my place. I told to Amit and Sumit about this. We decided to go there.

I was happy because on first day of my job struggle I got an opportunity. It took 2 hrs to reach to the venue. When we reached to Vodafone office, no other candidate was there for walk-in. We tried to go inside but guard told us that no walk-in is going on.

“Fake information, next time first I will verify then only I will go.” I told to Amit.

We came back home. After two days we came to know that, Vodafone walk-in was going on there but it was in it’s another office. But till now we missed it.

The next thing we did was ‘Internet Connection’. Internet is very important in job search. We didn’t by Wi-Fi router because it was costly. We had 1 LAN socket in modem and 3 laptops to use internet. We installed software which makes laptop a portable hot-spot but it disconnects automatically in every half hour. However, we managed it.

During this we met some of our college friends. Some of our friends also came Pune for job search. Everyone was staying nearby. We made a big network for job news.

We got news about our first off campus drive in Pune. This drive was organized by a very reputed college of Pune i.e. PCCOE. Earlier I heard about this college that this college will give us many opportunities. The drive was of L&T InfoTech. I had one week to prepare. Everyone in our group of 10 friends was preparing hard.

On the day of the drive, we woke up at morning 5 and got ready by 5.30. Early morning we left for drive because we planned to reach venue by 7 so that we can be first to give the test and we reached as planned. I was shocked when I saw a 1 Km long queue of students. But anyhow we entered into the queue.  We gave the online test. 1 hour later result was out but we got this news little late. We ran to see the result; one from our group, Sumit topped the test. He ran for the GD round as his name was in first slot, but he reached there his slot was in and HR put him in the last slot. From 12 PM to evening 7 we were waiting for his turn.  He couldn’t clear the GD round.

After 10 days of this drive there was another drive of Mu Sigma in D. Y. Patil College. Everyone knew it was not easy to clear the second round of this drive i.e. screening test. Still everyone went for this drive two of us cleared the 15 question test. Again, I couldn’t make this happen but I think this time I was very close to clear the test. ” Next time I will clear the aptitude test definitely.” I said to Sumit.

After this I got one more opportunity came for us as a core job in 3DPLM. It was a very nice company. One of my friends came early and told about the walk-in.  In half an hour I left for walk-in.  Here first time I cleared a written. Sumit and Amit also cleared the written. I appeared for the interview. He asked me so many questions about core electronic and some from software field. I couldn’t answer all the questions but I answered for most of the questions. I was hoping to appear for HR round same day. Kushal missed this opportunity because he left for Hyderabad. HR told us that selected candidates will get a mail from us.

After this drive was very confident in aptitude and reasoning but technical part was my weak point. Amit and Sumit joined classes for Java. I went there for demo class but I didn’t join it. Next we planned to give Elitimus exam. Amit, Sumit and I scheduled the exam; we prepared for it over a week and went for exam. I thought like if I will 50 percentile in each section then I can expect call from Accenture. 3 day after the exam, result was out. Among all three no one got at least 50 percentile in English section.

Now I was becoming little phobic type. I was afraid of interviews. An example is here. We heard about a walk-in of Quick Heal. Everyone went there even Kushal came from Hyderabad for this Walk-in but I didn’t go. I was afraid of interviews. Like this I missed 2-3 walk-in just thought like if I’ll clear the written how I will face the interview.

Everyone was advised me that I should not miss these chances and at least I should go for the walk-ins. This is why I have decided to go for HP off campus drive. This time I gave my 100% and solved many placement papers of HP. Prepared apti, English and technical. I was very confident to clear the written.

On the day of drive when we reached we saw a big number of students standing in a queue.  Around 2 to 3 thousand students came for the drive. They took us in a class room for the test. As the number of participants was huge they announced for extempore round before the test.  Among all my friends I was the only one who couldn’t clear this round and in the very first round I was eliminated.

I was completely broken. I am not for all this. Immediate I left the place alone. In the way I was abusing my destiny. I decided to go back to my home. No one could clear the written test of HP still I was feeling low.

Earlier I have applied for 3 month training program of Infosys. One of my friends told me he got a regret mail. Immediately I checked and I was also not selected. What was this, rejection from everywhere? At least here I should have get a chance.

Diwali was near. Everyone planned to home except Sumit. He didn’t go home. I also went but little early, 5 days before Diwali.

I stayed home for 15 days. I was afraid of this struggle; everyone at home was asking me about job. I didn’t want to come again here. But my parents told me to fight one more time, to give one more chance and to not afraid of struggles. Finally I decided to give one more chance. I came in little trouble as we couldn’t get Tatkal reservation easily.

The day I came here, someone gave news about ADP walk-in. Again I couldn’t dare to go in this walk-in. Everyone went for this walk-in but I told them I can’t go because I am not well. And then I have decided to go back to home in next 2 months if I won’t get anything.

A friend of mine, Raj, got Job in DRDO, Pune. He was shifting to Pune. He came to my place for some days. In last 4 months, these were the day when I went outside for fun. Raj was common friend of Kushal and me. We went Lunavala and Khandala, enjoyed a lot, booze a lot. Before this, in Pune I didn’t even go a mall or movie. When I was in Khandala I got a message from Amit that he got call letter from Infy for written. I also got mail for call letter. Sumit and Kushal didn’t get call from Infosys.

Date of drive and venue was same for me and Amit. I was very serious for this drive. Only one barrier was there i.e. distance. Venue was in Delhi. Everyone was thinking that Rakesh never went for interviews in Pune for 20 km run then how will go 1500 km to give a test which is toughest test of English. I was also confused in this. Tanuj who was a scholar couldn’t clear this test; how would I do?

I don’t know why but I was very positive to go there. We booked the ticket for Delhi but it was waiting ticket, again a negative thing. I have decided if this ticket will confirm then only I will go. We had one week to prepare.

We started preparation. I was taking a big chance because I was going travel from Pune just to give a test. Saurav, A very good friend of mine in my hostel, helped me a lot. He just went for Infosys drive and got offer. He gave me many tips for English test and interviews. I also gave my 100%. Two days before the train, our reservation got confirmed. Now it was sure that I was going.

On the day of journey I did all the packing and kept all the important documents. Our train was at 4:00 PM so we left by 2.30 PM. We caught bus for PUNE station. By bus it is around 45 mins to reach Pune Station from Karve Nagar.

Amit and me were very tired, so as we got seat we took a nap. It was around 3:40 PM when Amit told me to get up. He told we are about to reach. We stood near the gate of the bus. After 5 minutes conductor told me:

Conductor: You guys have to go Pune Station, Right?

Me: Yes.

Conductor: Sit down; it will take half an hour to reach there.

Amit: What?

Me: Uncle its 30 minutes distance to reach Pune Station from Karve Nagar. You already took 45 minutes, again you are asking for half an hour?

Amit: Uncle we have to catch train by 4:00 PM.

Conductor: You are right, it’s a 30 minute distance but it’s by direct bus. You guys took wrong bus.

There were two buses for Pune station from Karve Nagar with different routes. What we did, we didn’t see the route and caught the bus in hurry. We asked conductor what we should do.

Conductor: Get down on coming stop and take an auto then only you may catch your train.

We did the same but we couldn’t reach on time. We lost our train by 2-3 minutes. Standing on platform we were very upset.

“Everything was negative in this then why I thought to go?” I said.

“After one hour there is one more train for Delhi should we?” Amit Said.

“No Amit, I can’t go. It’s over. I was fool so that I was going to Delhi just for this drive which is out of my capability” I said.

We decided to go back to room; Amit came back because he didn’t know anyone in Delhi. I was taking him to my friend’s place but now didn’t have any accommodation there.

We took a bus for Karve Nagar. Because of this I was vey upset and angry with the situation and this struggle. I was fed up with this all. I decided to leave the room by the end of the next month. I have finally decided to go back to hometown and prepare for SSC exams. In bus only I called my PG honor to vacate the room.

While talking to PG honor I was about to cry. As cut the call I cried and thought about past.

Present Time:

I was in flashback for 15 minutes.

“Rakesh pick up the call” Amit Said.

“Yes” I replied.

“Didi is calling you third time, why are you not picking her call” Amit said.

I answered the call.

Me: Hello.

Didi: Rakku, you are going to Delhi? Papa told me. Go safely. Take care of everything. You must be on station.

Me: Didi actually I… (She Interrupted).

Didi: do you know this time I have strong feelings that you will definitely get the job. I have strong positive feelings for this try of you. Just don’t loose your hope in any situation. All the best.

I was speechless.

Didi: What time train is coming??

Me: Its 1 hr late. But we have to reach our platform. So Ill call you once I catch the train.

Didi: ok

Phone disconnected.

Amit: what you told your sister??

Me: Yes Amit, Now I want to go Delhi at any cost. Will you come with me?

Amit: I already told you about this. We can go by next train. You were not ready. But remember Rakesh we won’t get seat. Are you ready to go?

Me: I don’t have any problem. I will go.

Immediately we get down from the bus. Station was not that far, by auto we reached there in 10 mins. It was 4: 40 PM.

Amit told we don’t have tickets for this train. Luckily train was standing on platform 1 and ticket counter was near. We decided I will stand in the queue and Amit will try some other way to get the ticket.

And just 5 minutes before the departure Amit got the ticket; He requested a person near the window to buy his ticket.

We ran to catch the train and entered into the sleeper class because it was in front of us. Just 10 minutes after departure TT came and asked for tickets. We told him whole story. We told him that we are going for job interview.

TT: don’t worry. I will give you seat. But you have to pay for penalty. Just mange in 1 seat for 5 hours, after that I will give you one more seat.

Amit: No problem Sir.

We paid against penalty and got the tickets.

TT: Take another seat in S9 after stationName and All the best for your Interview.

This thing gave me more positivity. We informed our friend Ajay, who was working in Delhi, that we will stay at his place. Now everything is fine, I should revise what I read.  We tried to utilize most of the time in train. I am confident enough for test I am feeling now just before reaching Delhi.

Next day evening 7 we reached Delhi. After 2 hours we were at my friend’s place. We had dinner and went for sleet. Out test timing was 10 AM. This time didn’t want to take any chance so I woke up by morning 5. We left by 7 AM. I reached there by 9 AM. After verification we got seats for online test.

After test HR told us “Selected candidates will get mail for interview till the evening.”  We came back to Ajay’s. I was expecting mail for interview. Now I was worried about interview because I was not good in technical. This time I had to face, I didn’t have other way. This was a good opportunity for me because there was only one interview for technical and HR both.

I didn’t have much time because they were scheduling interview just next of written. I needed some time to prepare if I am expecting interview call. I started my preparation from noon only with basic concepts of C and till the evening I was studying this only. I had to learn so many more things for which I needed time.

Evening 6 Amit got mail for interview and as expected I also got mail for interview round but it was a miracle for me, they gave one day gap for interview round. God is showing miracles.

I memorized 10 frequently asked C programs with logic. I Learned about OOPs concepts, some topics from electronics, about my major project and HR questions. In this time I didn’t learn too much but whatever I learned, I was confident in that.

I reached the venue 15 minutes before the reporting time. After the document verification they gave a form to fill and after that they took 10 candidates to room. Inside a cabin in that room interviews were going on. We were sitting in the queue. I was next to Amit. When they called a girl next to Amit, my heart beats increased at high rate. I was continuously saying myself “Calm down Rakesh, calm down”. I became normal after some time.  As that girl came out after 25 minutes, I thought now its Amit’s turn, that guy called my name.

“What?”, I said to Amit.

“Go, fast”, Amit said.

I this think this was a good thing because I didn’t get time to think anything. When I entered in the interview room I was confident and normal. I was answering straight forward. Whatever was coming in my mind, I answered.

In 30 minute HR and Technical interview, he asked me a lot of things. After Amit’s interview we came back to Ajay’s flat. In the evening when other people came they asked about interview. I told about every question interviewer asked.

A flat mate of Ajay told, they might reject you because you answered very straightly and for the question “Where you want see yourself after 15 years”, you answered him in completely wrong way.

Actually I answered interviewer, “I would like to start my own business after 15 years of experience.”

I didn’t mind his words. We left for Pune just next day.  After reaching Pune I didn’t took my words back from owner. I again reminded to leave the room by next month and decided to wait for this result, this was my last chance.

For next 20 days we checked our mails thrice a day. One day, both of us got mail from Infosys. It made me very happy when I read “Dear Infosian ”.

Again I cried when I called my father to tell him about this good news but this time I cried in the happiness. It was great moment for me. In this struggle I learned how to face the things. I was not very good in this field but I didn’t let go the opportunity. Infosys Mysore training center is heaven.

In this struggle and training I learned a lot. I must say that

 “We should not go back because of our weakness but we should go forward and face our weakness.”

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